Thursday, April 2, 2009

children development


Teachers’ activities aim at imparting effective education to their learners. The duty of educating needs much to have clear knowledge that would help the learner to achieve the intended goals aimed to him/her. The teacher should know well his/her learners; therefore, s/he must know the basis of the learners. It is therefore very important for the teacher to know well child development that will help him/her to meet the specific goals of imparting education. Before we look at the importance of studying child development to teachers, let us study the definition of the terms child, development and child development.

A Child is a young human being between birth and puberty while Development refers to how people grow, become accustomed and change over the way of their life span, through physical, personality, socio-emotional, cognitive and language improvement. Child development refers to the biological and psychological changes between birth and the end of adolescence as an individual progress from dependency to increased independence.
A variety of factors influences child development. Heredity guides every aspect of physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and personality development. Family members, peer groups, the school environment, and the community influence how children think, socialize, and become self-aware. Biological factors such as nutrition, medical care, and environmental hazards in the air and water affect the growth of the body and mind. Economic and political institutions, the media, and cultural values all guide how children live their lives. Critical life events, such as a family crisis or a national emergency, can alter the growth of personality and identity.
Most important of all, children contribute significantly to their own development. This occurs as they strive to understand their experiences, respond in individual ways to the people around them, and choose activities, friends, and interests. Thus, the factors that guide development arise from both outside and within the person, which is why it is very important for a teacher to study child development.

A teacher is a model of the society and therefore s/he should study child development to achieve the following goals of providing better education to his/her learners and the nation at large.
Assist children with special needs: Child development helps educators to assist children with special needs such as emotional or learning difficulties. Studying child development helps to detect abnormalities and health problems related to child development in the learning process. Child development in acquiring knowledge can be affected by abnormality or health problems like diseases, disability and malnutrition. The study of child development enables the teacher to take measures in order to rectify these problems.

Support healthy growth: Child development enables teachers and the society to support healthy growth. Understanding early brain development, for example, means that teachers and parents can provide better opportunities for intellectual stimulation and society can reduce or eliminate obstacles to healthy brain growth. In addition, it enables them to understand the roles played by heredity and environment in the development of a child. Hereditary diseases like sickle cell, asthma, epilepsy and nervous disease can affect the development of a child or by environmental factors, which includes climate conditions, malfunction and effects of illness, psychological and social factors.

Determine unique cognitive abilities: Studying child development helps to determine unique cognitive abilities among the children. The study of child development enables the teacher to know and understand the cognitive ability of his/her children and therefore get more efficiency in testing the cognitive behavior and emotional side of a child.

Solving Problems related to learning process: It helps to solve Problem related to learning process in school; the children who experience difficulty in growth and development mostly have problems in learning hence the study of child development helps the teacher to determine the type of teaching to be used in order to meet the educational needs of a child.
Practical guidance: Child development provides practical guidance for parents, teachers, child-care providers and others who care for children.
Self-understanding. Through studying child development, we know ourselves better by recognizing the influences that have made us into the people we are today.
Evaluate the achievement of learning: Studying child development helps to evaluate the achievement of learning at school level. The study of child development helps teachers to get more information concerning child’s achievement and performance in school; therefore teachers make different ways in which the child can most effectively brought into successful interaction with materials learned.
Many abilities and characteristics developed in childhood last a lifetime. Some developments in behavior and thought are very similar for all children. Around the world, most infants begin to focus their eyes, sit up and learn to walk at comparable ages. Children begin to acquire language and develop logical reasoning skills at approximately the same time. These aspects of individual growth are highly predictable. Other aspects of development show a much wider range of individual differences. Whether a child becomes outgoing or shy, intellectually advanced or average, or energetic or subdued depends on many unique influences whose effects are difficult to predict at the child’s birth.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

severe and multiple disability

The term Severe and multiple disabilities have referred as a low incidence that is in the society only few people can have it. There is no widely acceptable definition of severe and multiple disabilities, most definition includes three criteria’s, which are.
· Test of intellectual function,
· Developmental progress, and
· Extent of education needs.
The IDEA defines multiple disabilities as
“Concomitant impairment (such as mental-blindness, mental retardation orthopedic impairment e.t.c) such combination of which causes such severe educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness”

The group of my choice is the children/learners with mental retardation and blind. There level of severity is mild mental retardation and low vision, there level have been determined by assessment in the adaptive behavior as in Tanzania we don’t have clear and acceptable I.Q assessment.
Mild mental retarded children have been divided in to two terms especially in the school setting these are “educable mental retardation which refers to students whose abilities were adequate for them to profit from an academically oriented curriculum and trainable mental retardation refers to students whose program emphasized the training of basic functional skills like self help skills” (smith, 2002) in this group of children with mild mental retardation and blind they need all kinds of program that will educate and train them this is because the level of their disabilities is mild and there fore they can acquire knowledge and trained to live in the society independently.
The program that can suit children with mild mental retardation and low vision is personal social skills this skills include play skills, interaction skills, group participation, sexual behavior, self direction, responsibility, leisure activities, and expression of emotions.
This program can help a learner or a child to interact with other people in the society, it also teach how a child can express his/her emotions especially when he/she is angry happy unhappy or sad, then through this program a child can know his/her self direction and responsibilities in the society just because children with mild mental retardation and blindness are educable they can learn and live independently in the society.

Moreover these skills can help a child to participate in-group activities like playing with his/her peers and other activities given by teacher like classroom activities, how to draw pictures how to write there names e.t.c. Children can learn how to follow orders given by their fellow, teacher, or their parents at home and their elders in the society.
Not Only this program that fulfill the child’s learning needs, other skills is needed like self help personal appearance skills which will teach a child how to feed themselves that is eating, drinking, and other things like dressing, toileting, brushing teeth. All this will make a child to appear smart like other people, to keep his body clean all the time and to eat or drink if he/she feel hungry.
Moreover a child also need “cognitive functioning such as pre-academics example counting, reading, writing with brail machine, numeric functions, counting money, measurements and approximation” (Heward 2006) This skill will help a child to know the basic academic skills for their daily life and this will help them in places like super market, in the kitchen, passing through the road bank and other places.
Not only that but also learners with mild mental retardation and low vision need vocational skills where they can know their work habits and attitudes, how they can search for job, how they can perform work, social vocational behavior and how they can work safely. This will help learners to move from one location to another, to plan things and perform.
Apart from that in this program my learners will benefit the following first they will be able to communicate with their fellow learners, they can communicate with every one in the society.
Then learners as they have mild mental retardation and blindness this program will help them to know the basic things in the society like how to cross the road, how to ask if they need anything, how to receive and give message, The program also educates and trains how learners can respect the elders in the society and how to respect themselves.
To sum up one can conclude by saying that children with mild mental retardation and low vision can be educated in inclusive classes although they need high care and they need to be trained or educated in communication skills how to use brail machine, how to use sign language and the teacher should be competent in all aspects and be able to interact with other professions on how to help a child’s learning.


Beine. S. Mary et al {2002}, Mental retardation, R.R. Donnelly& Sons company; New

Heward. William. L {2006}, An introduction to special education 8th Ed, courier
Kendallville Inc. New York.

Smith B. M. etal (2002) mental retardation 6th ed. New jersey Columbus, Ohio

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

special poem for specil eduation

If you are honest and frank,
People may cheat you.
Be honest.

What you spend years building,
Someone could destroy over night.

If you find happiness,
They may be jealous.
Be happy,

The good you do today.
People will often forget tomorrow.
Do good,

In final analysis,
It’s between you and God.

It was never,
Between you and them.
To find title
Language devices and techniques used
Add five more stanzas
Send to
THE BIG PEN 0712-280777
it is for speial people who need hope in thir life.
you can do your self no one can do or you jus believe in god then yuo can
say i can

present situation on special eduation in tanzania

Currently In the education services there are gradual changes towards special needs education as it is moving toward inclusive settings. Positive change of attitudes are taking place enhances inclusive education in Tanzania. As such the best education services for children with special needs is inclusive setting (Mboya and Possi 1996) as allows all participating fully in developing the nation. Furthermore, the real world is not segregated in regular and special sectors and if children are educated in a system that does not delineate between people, all students will be prepared for society. Possi (1999) argued that students with disabilities should be educated in an inclusive education setting because after their graduation these children are expected to live in their mainstream society where the majority of the population do not have disabilities. The question to ask is how do we prepare our special needs teachers so that we build a society that accepts equality. Currently special needs teachers in higher education are inadequately professionally prepared. This is because special needs education is not given much attention; furthermore, the training in conventional universities is theoretically based. for example the teaching practice is done once in special school in SEKUCo there fore teachers produced will not be efficiency and effective in teaching.

The increased provision of education for the handicapped in the country has been held back by many problems. Some of these problems included: an absence of a policy for the care of the handicapped; an absence of a valid statistics to depict the different types of handicaps in the region and negative attitude of society towards the whole question of people with special needs (MNE, 1984). These problems are still prevailing, though some efforts have been taken to lessen the extent. In 1984 the government of the United Republic of Tanzania, bearing in mind the problems mentioned above, stipulated some steps to be taken, among them are:
· Children with disabilities to be enrolled in schools and colleges alongside the non-disabled children.
· government to take responsibilities in making necessary adjustments to the school and college buildings in order to make it possible for the handicapped to use them;
· existing special schools for the handicapped to be expanded in terms of buildings, increased supply of equipment and materials. These schools were planned to be supplied with teachers with necessary qualifications to offer service to children who have such special handicaps that they cannot benefit much by being enrolled in the school of children without handicaps;
· Ministry of Social Welfare was given the task of preparing a policy on special education; and expansion of services to handicaps to be based on statistics available (MNE, 1984).

All these problems and earmarked plans have not been fulfilled. There are still problems with policy on special education; the budget for special needs education is inadequately allocated taking an example of school for the blind, they receive the same capitation grants regardless of high price of their equipments used for learning. As such special needs education has not been given its due attention.
The approach to special needs education has changed with the recognition that many learners other than learners with disabilities have special educational needs or a need for other special support services. Such learners could include learners with social and emotional problems, learners with language difficulties, street children, children who have experienced wars, orphans, children heading families, children who are suffering from HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses (Kristensen, 2002). It is from this view there is a need to prepare teachers that are adequate and competent in teaching inclusive classes. The reason is that teachers were trained to teach mainstream schools (Mmbaga, 2002) where people with disabilities were excluded. The curriculum used to prepare such teachers did not include a special education component, where special needs education was included, lacked expertise to appropriately competently teach.

The trends of special needs education in Tanzania.

Since the early 1960s, education for all has been on top of the agenda in all regions of the world. However, inclusive education is currently a topical subject that is widely discussed and debated in the field of education. It has variously been referred to as part of the global education for all agenda as a new education paradigm and as an educational reform. For this reform to meet the indented goals that generally are to make our societies inclusive, the whole society has to be involved. The one to involve all is actually, the social worker. The teacher can not do alone, as the teaching professions in developing in most countries are examination based. It is Finland that has been successful in including all students, by employing teaching assistants and stressing on inclusion, with the exception of children with severe problems or syndromes like Autism who are placed in a special class (Andersen, 2004).

The Scandinavian countries have political and economic conditions which enable them to carry out research in new trends, in education, such as methods to be used for the successful implementation of inclusion of learners with special educational needs into ordinary classes (Kristensen, 2002). Likewise, in Tanzania the idea of inclusive education is now in intensive discussion, and what possible educational adjustments could successfully be adopted from some Scandinavian perspectives of inclusive education is what motivates the researcher to conduct this study on teachers’ conceptions on teaching in primary schools in inclusive classrooms.

Miles (2002) defines inclusive education as a process of increasing the participation of all students in schools, including those with disabilities. She adds that it is about restructuring the cultural policies and practices in schools so that they respond to the diversity of students in their locality. Miles concludes that inclusive education has the following characteristics: it acknowledges that all children can learn and it respects differences in children such as age, gender, disability, language and ethnicity.
Inclusive education enables education structures, systems and methodologies to meet the needs of all children; also it is part of a wider strategy to promote an inclusive society and is a dynamic process that is constantly evolving.

Inclusive education is a process of operating a classroom or school as a supportive community. Among the above definitions, the similarities in defining inclusive education to all the authors is that all of them talk about equality and equity in education for every individual. And also that all children are different and therefore the school and the education system need to change in order to meet the individual needs of all learners with and without impairments. However, inclusion does not mean assimilation or making everyone the same, but a key ingredient is flexibility, acknowledging that children learn at different rates and teachers need skills to support their learning in a flexible way. This is a challenge to higher learning institutions on how to prepare teachers who would meet the learning needs of all children. In the most cases, children simply need good, clear and accessible teaching. This includes the use of different teaching methods and strategies to respond to different student needs, capacities and rates of understanding. Thus, inclusive education can act as a catalyst for change in educational practice, leading to improved quality of education.

Inclusive education promotes an activity that helps disabled children to develop their full potential, become self-reliant and participate in their own communities. At the same time, it challenges discriminatory attitudes in the community, helping parents to think positively about their disabled children and promoting wider social inclusion (Stubbs & Ghiasuddin, 1999). Furthermore, inclusion is the process of bringing disabled and non – disabled students into a regular classroom. Focusing on the classroom practice, Rogers (1993) points out that those involved in inclusion efforts understand that classrooms are becoming more diverse and that the teacher’s job is to arrange instruction that benefits all students – even though the various students may derive different benefits.

As such an inclusive classroom is a class, which looks different all the time because the environment is created by whatever interactions the teacher and students have as a group or as individuals in the group. In inclusive classrooms a lot of student do different things, with people (peer students) helping them, and students move from one environment to another. It is a classroom where learning often happens in small groups with peers helping and supporting each other. It is a classroom that is student-centred. Students have a high level of responsibility for creating their community. Thus, in my view inclusion without resources, without support, without teacher preparation or training without commitment, without a vision statement, and without restructuring is nothing and may “end in vain”. Hence, looking at teachers’ professional development in teaching inclusive classrooms and the work of a social work is referred to as referrals is very crucial.

From the above, there is a need to introduce comprehensive special needs education in all teacher professional development programs to make them teach effectively, as well as in the social workers curriculum so as to help society to accept persons with special needs.

One of the strategies to achieve this is to change teachers, tutors and lecturers’ conceptions of teaching. A conception of teaching is a “mental model” of practice, context, and the purpose of teaching to “guide planning, decision making – and action”. However, conceptions of teaching vary, according to the presenters, in just two ways. Teaching is either an attempt to increase students’ knowledge by transmitting content, or it is an attempt to facilitate learning by changing students’ perceptions. Thus, teachers’ conceptions of teaching affect both their activities as teachers and learning outcomes of their students’.

Inclusive classes are tough differently by different teachers in Tanzania some had perspective of teaching as facilitating knowledge and others are in imparting knowledge perspective
Teachers’ conceptions of teaching in an inclusive classroom in primary education may vary accordingly. One can say that despite all the different conceptions that will be explained by teachers and the problems connected to the process of teaching in inclusive classrooms in primary schools, inclusion should be highly advocated. Because it caters for all individual needs and reduces racial isolation and social discrimination. It enhances minority achievement and promotes educational equity and equality. Also, it opens new opportunities and maintains community support.


However, disabled children need more attention in terms of curriculum adaptation, teaching methods, and availability of teaching and learning materials, assistive technology, assessment systems, as well as funds for more assistance in adapting the school environment. Regular teachers are a key resources in the successfully implementation of inclusive education in terms of altitudes and the way they conceptualise teaching in inclusive classrooms.

Experiences from Rainbow primary school for children with mental retardation:
Teachers’ are employed by the Government of Tanzania. The school caters the needs of all types of disabilities. Parents pay TAS 30,000/= per year. Students come from different places within Lushoto town. Students are provided with transport, powledge, lunch and in some cases clothings. The school is owned by Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania – Nordth Eastern Diaoces (ELCT-NED). The school has built close relationship with a sister school in German, Wishernschule. As such learning materials and curriculum is adapted from this sisters school.
A discussion with the head of school


Wood, , J. W. (1998) Adapting Instructions to accommodate students in inclusive settings. London: Prentice-Hall Inc.
Heward, W. L. & Orlansky, M. D. (1984). Ecxeptional Children. London: Charles Merrill Publishing Company
Mboya, M., & Possi, M. (1996). The special child in Tanzania Primary schools. Paper for Education and Development, Dar Es Salaam. – Tanzania. No 17-52.
Possi, M. K. (1999). Culture and disability: Supersitions behaviour towards people with disabilities in Coastal Tanzania. African journal of special needs education. 1: 22-35
MNE, (1984). Education system in Tanzania towards the year 2000. Recommendations of the 1982 Presidential, Commission on Education as approved by the party, and Government. Dar Es Salaam: MNE
Kember, D., & Gow, L. (1994). Orientation to teaching and their effect on the quality of student learning. Journal of higher education, 65 (1), 58-74.

MOEC (1995). The Education and Training policy. Dar Es Salaam: MOEC.
Possi, M. K. (1999). Special Pupils in Education Reform, Papers in Education 20, Dar Es Salaam: DUP
Kristensen K. (2002). Proposals for Adjustment of Education of Learners with Barriers to Learning and Development into Ordinary School Settings. Ministry of Education and Sport: Kampala, Uganda.
Mmbaga, D. R (2002). The inclusive education in Tanzania. Dream or Reality. Sweden: Stockholm University.

history of special education in tanzania

Special need is defined as specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents or guardians to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability (Bui and Meyen 2007) the education should be individualized provided in various settings and designed to meet the unique needs of the student.

Special education is first of all, purposeful intervention designed to prevent, eliminate, and or overcome the obstacles that might keep an individual with disabilities from learning and from full and active participation in school and society (Heward, 2006) this means that Special education is a profession with its own history, cultural, practices tools and research base focused on the learning needs of exceptional children and adults.

In Tanzania special education has been supported by NGO and mostly religious organization (Possi, 1996). For example, the Anglican Church started the first school for the blind in 1950 and in 1963 Roman Catholic Church established a school for the deaf.(MNE, 1984). Services for children with autism and those who are both deaf and blind were established in 1994 (Mboya and Possi, 1996). The emphasis of education in Tanzania is Education for ALL (MOEC, 1995) as such provision of special education in Tanzania is characterized by a continuum of alternative approaches of placement (Mboya &Possi, 1996), such as special –residential, special day care, mainstreaming/ integrated boarding schools and currently moving towards inclusive education (Mmbaga, 2002; Mwipopo, 2005). However, history of special needs education in Tanzania does not indicate how personnel e.g., teachers, dealing with children with disabilities were trained. This may be the cause as to why special needs education is not given its due attention in educational institutions. Currently, it is only Sebastian kolowa university college (SEKUco) which provides a Degree course with major emphasis in special needs education.

In addition, a document presenting recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Education (Tanzania Education System 1981 – 2002) had a section dealing specifically with special education. The commission recommended that, wherever possible, children with disabilities should be provided with education equivalent to that of other children (MNE, 1984). However, these recommendations did not indicate strategies on how to attain them, hence, lead to teachers treating children with special needs in the same way as the said normal students. This resulted to making them fail to attain the set goals of education for all, which is also their right. Furthermore, most educational practitioners worked with the wherever possible, as there were no commitment and had no intensive training that could make them aware on how to deal with people with disabilities. This lead to children with special needs being left out of the education system, as the practitioners in education had a reason that it is not possible to include them. Thus, to facilitate education for children with special needs there is a need to include social workers so that all children are trained on skills that make them acceptable in the society. In my view, it is the social worker who are in a position to advice teachers and other