The Importance of Supporting Diverse Learners in Your Classroom
By Neil MacKay, Inclusion Educational Specialist, Author, and Founder of Action Dyslexia Training and Consultancy.
“If teachers are not trained to notice and accommodate for the needs of diverse learners, a considerable percentage of every class will (fail to) succeed academically.”
An interview with Neil MacKay, Inclusion Educational Specialist, Author, and Founder of Action Dyslexia Training and Consultancy.
20% of learners are Dyslexic, that’s 6 in every classroom and of those another 3 or 4 will be on the Autism or ADHD spectrums. If teachers are not trained to notice and address the needs of diverse learners a considerable percentage of every class will not succeed academically.
Neil Mackay states that is especially important that all secondary teachers have “just enough” training in inclusive approaches for diverse needs. Struggling learners will be held back by their reading and spelling, even if they have a good understanding of the subject matter.
“A depressing percentage of [prisoners] have minimal literacy skills and a history of truancy and school refusal. But it is wider than this. As a nation we cannot afford to waste the talent of 30+% of our children just because they learn some things differently/more slowly than others.”
“Getting it right for Dyslexia gets it right for all”.
Neil Mackay on inclusive teaching.
Teaching all students to read and write with structured literacy methods and, setting up dyslexia friendly classrooms, gives all students the best chance of academic success at school.
Neil employs this principle into his training. He works with teachers and schools and mentoring his methodology in universities and conferences. He helps institutions implement inclusive accommodations into the conventional classroom, or as he says, “how to help more individuals without necessarily needing to give individual help”.
Neil’s teacher training embodies these classroom methods. His sessions are filled with audience participation that introduce practical solutions and strategies that work in the classroom.
Neil MacKay is the founder of Action Dyslexia Training and Consultancy. He began his career as a teacher, working in secondary schools providing support for children with a wide range of needs and abilities. In 2000 he founded Action Dyslexia to provide training and consultancy to teachers, TAs and higher education professionals. The training Neil provides focuses on the accommodation of diverse learners in the classroom, so students who have additional needs are given the support they require to succeed academically.
A big thank you to Neil for both the support he provides diverse learners and taking the time to answer our questions. See part two of our interview with Neil and the discussion about “Dyslexia Friendly Schools”.
To learn more about Neil and Action Dyslexia, you can visit his website here: