Learning Resources Videos
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Based on my research as a Farmington Fellow at the Harris Manchester College, Oxford, I developed a model for digital assembly resources for education. (The DARE Project)
Although initially aimed at the early years and learners with special needs, with hindsight, this approach may be modified to work across all abilities and age ranges.
Learning Resources Videos
The online learning resources may be viewed according to the users' needs:
- As a visual stimulus to present a key topic or themes in school assemblies or supporting lesson plans.
- This versatile and ubiquitous learning media may also be used to integrate, mix and blend in with the teaching and learning of Geography, RE, PSE, or Social Studies.
- Video resources may be used for class, group or individual use on devices.
- Media is designed to include sensory impaired children and pupils with a wide range of special needs by promoting the use of personalized ‘objects of reference’ to add meaning to their lives and learning.
This free online education site, like the Simpson’s, addresses philosophically challenging issues for educators and society.
The main purpose is to ask questions about what makes life worth living and what makes a good life? These are the same issues that Socrates pursued two and half thousand years ago in Athens:
In the twenty-first century, they still need to be addressed by society.
The online site and its supporting guidelines advocates and strongly promotes the thoughtful use of significant real objects from the child’s environment to help them refer to things, people, places, and events in their lives.
A key issue is the systematic use of these ‘objects of reference’ in the major areas of the child’s life to assist and help promote learning.
The themes aim to contextualize major events in the child’s life by using significant ‘objects’ to help assist in the internalization of the symbolic meaning and understanding for the learner.
When this achieved, it helps in the child’s communication, cognitive development, and emotional literacy.
In recent years, the specialist technique of employing ‘objects of reference’ has evolved to help communication between children who have multiple disabilities, their parents, and educators.
School Assembly Videos
Objects of Reference
These ‘objects of reference’ cannot be seen in isolation from any education theory or philosophy. They are very important for some learners but are not a panacea. For Special Needs teaching and learning, it is a very useful strategy. However, some children do not have sufficient control or tactile discrimination to benefit from this approach.
Theoretically, this project is based on the proceedings and papers presented at a national conference at Birmingham University in 2002, Objects of Reference: Their Role in Supporting Learners with Multiple Disabilities.
Dutch academics, Professor van Dijk and Marleen Janssen, have taken Russian work based upon the fundamental language theories of Vygotsky. Here, Meshcheryakov (1979) emphasized the importance of creating opportunities and giving children sufficient scope to build up representations of the world around them to implant mental images in their memory.
van Uden’s ‘conservational observations’ are based on child development and the mother’s interaction with her baby. It provides a strong framework to develop and use the principles for the use of ‘objects of reference.’ This research shows how the mother seizes the child’s utterances and repeats them in the right words and sequence. She adds her own contribution in natural situations when the child is waiting for her response.
Typically, a mother approaches the cot after listening to the baby’s sound and expressive movements. Instantly, the mother understands these, the non-verbal body language and say’s, “You are hungry.” The child quickly understands the expression.
This is based on anticipation and motivation of the child leads to an expectation of the mother’s action.
In the use of ‘objects’, the criteria for success is repetition and predictability in the daily routines of their use.
Language and Motivation
Educators must find the essential elements that make the biggest impression on the child and then provide a language for these.
A crucial function of this approach is the use of a comprehensive communication method that enables child the to become aware of “symbolic functions.”
This separates thought from concrete actions. Communication allows the internalized representations of things, people, and events when they are not present.
For children with a significant sensory loss, the process of becoming aware of the meaning of symbols may take years.
Marleen Janssen, (2002), outlines that the van Dijk’s research is based on the idea that symbolic formation must take place within a natural context in which the initiative lies with the child.
It is vital to match the child’s focused interest to try and create conservation moments by taking the individual signal from the child as a starting point.
The ‘child’ must be enabled to discover the relationship for themselves.
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Eddy Jackson | Editor | Communication UK Digital Learning Services