In education science, it is increasingly seen that participation and learning within schools it doesn’t just depend on whether boys and girls adapt to school activities; but the school itself has a responsibility to adapt to the conditions of boys and girls.
From this approach, different educational proposals have emerged to deal with the diversity of learning and participation modes. One of them concerns curricular adaptations.
What are curriculum adaptations?
Curricular adaptations, also called curricular adaptations, are one of the strategies developed by pedagogy to reduce obstacles to learning and the participation of boys and girls.
The word “curriculum” comes from “curriculum” (which means “career” in Latin) and refers to educational plans or projects that shape educational activities. In this sense, a curriculum allows us to answer the questions of what is taught? and how is it taught? This may vary depending on the school or the education system.
Thus, a curriculum adaptation is roughly planning and making relevant changes to a curriculum (for example, in the first grade primary education curriculum). to encourage the learning and participation of one or more children.
When are they needed?
Curricular adjustments may be necessary in the event that a child has difficulty in acquiring skills or knowledge at the speed required in a school through the official program (in this case we could say that there is a barrier to learning).
But not only that, it can also happen that a school needs to adapt the conditions of its space (architecture) so that boys and girls can access educational programs. For example, in the case of a person with reduced mobility.
Or it may also happen that boys or girls go through emotionally conflicting situations and this has an impact on their academic performance, which could be thwarted if the program has some flexibility.
These latter cases are obstacles to participation, and although they do not involve directly modifying the educational programThey are important because the participation of boys and girls is one of the necessary conditions to facilitate their access to the program.
Types of curriculum adaptations
There are several types of curriculum adaptations, each depending on the condition of the child and also on the conditions of the school or the education system.
1. Access accommodations (or schedule the classroom)
Access adaptations are those which, as the name suggests, allow boys and girls to be integrated into educational spaces. They can be of two types, adaptations of access to physical condition, or adaptations of access to communication.
1.1. Access adaptations based on physical condition
They consist of reviewing the means and resources that prevent or allow the child to access the curriculum. for reasons of mobility or communication. In other words, it is about adapting the physical spaces of schools, providing the necessary technological supports and ensuring that there is adequate furniture, so that they can guarantee all children fit into classrooms, gardens, etc. .
1.2. Access to communication-related adaptations
They involve taking into account that throughout their development, boys and girls may have different difficulties in communicating with others, both orally and in writing.
Also in the case of children with sensory and intellectual or motor impairments may have difficulty communicating. An example of access adaptation in this case is to promote augmentative and alternative communication systems and the use of resources such as symbols, signaling system, use of hearing aids, Braille system, or electronic or pictorial cards, which among other things can facilitate children’s expression and understanding.
In short, access adaptations can be made easier if we ask ourselves what the trips, communications and interactions promoted in the educational environment look like.
2. Adaptations of the elements of the program
These adaptations consist of making changes directly to the educational program. It is a process that must be done gradually and with the participation of both the children concerned and the teaching staff.
Its development can be subdivided into four general stages: diagnosis, design, implementation and evaluation. However, these steps, how they unfold and how they close depend very much on the person proposing them as well as the people who will put them into practice.
2.1. Diagnosis: Why do we need a curriculum adaptation?
This involves knowing the institutional conditions, i.e. the support available to the school within its community, as well as identifying the knowledge of the teaching staff on the education plans applied according to the school year.
It is also a question of carrying out a psycho-pedagogical assessment, not only of the child but of the real possibilities of the teachers to make an adjustment and to follow it. In the same sense, identify the condition of the child, that is to say the reasons for which his access to learning is made difficult. finally know the nearby development area, Their needs and interests, so that prudent and realistic goals can be set.
2.2. Design: how to compensate for the situation?
After having analyzed the normative documents, the current educational plans, the school conditions and the needs of the children, it is necessary to prioritize the situation which must be compensated by a curriculum adaptation, And from there, generate a proposal. For example, in some cases it is a priority for the child to acquire academic knowledge, and in others it is more necessary to stimulate social skills.
It is then a question of developing the proposal in collaboration with the teaching staff, so that a monthly, bimonthly or annual course is planned according to the needs of the educational context, and to adapt this proposal to the needs and to the development area. close to school. . ‘baby.
2.3. Implementation: implementation
It consists in starting to use the didactic units programmed for the determined time, and especially in implementing them gradually. Also provide materials, detailed strategies and consider the form of assessment or assessment to be carried out.
2.4. constant evaluation
Finally, it is necessary to assess the child’s access to the program, both in terms of mobility and communication, and the ease with which he or she now has to acquire the knowledge that we have set for ourselves. Likewise, detect new difficulties, both for the child himself and for teachers and the educational community, So that it is possible to offer prudent alternatives.
- Basic Directorate of Special Basic Education. (2007). Handbook of curriculum adaptations. Ministry of Education: Peru
- Puigdellívol, I. (1996). Classroom programming and curriculum adaptation: dealing with diversity. Grade: Barcelona