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Daniel Sobel MA Ed (Psych) FCMI FCIC FRSA is the CEO and founder of Inclusion Expert, a leading educational consultancy offering training and resources to professionals working in inclusion. In 2012, Daniel was highly commended at the Educational Business Awards for his outstanding insights and strategic thinking in education, and Inclusion Expert won a Grand Prix at the Education Investor Awards in 2015. Daniel is the author of Narrowing the Attainment Gap and Leading on Pastoral Care, and is a featured columnist for The Guardian. He has also written for the Times Educational Supplement and regularly speaks on educational inclusion, social and behavioural issues, special educational needs, managing mental health, foster care children and impoverishment at national and international conferences.
Sara Alston BA, PGCE, PGDE, NPQH is a practising SENCO, and as SEA Inclusion & Safeguarding works as an independent consultant and trainer supporting schools with SEND and safeguarding. She draws on her experiences as a teacher and senior leader to support teachers to better understand pupils and their strengths and barriers to learning, and to use this to promote their learning. She has authored several training courses for teachers and teaching assistants, and articles on safeguarding and SEND.
This is the sort of book that should be included as compulsory reading for all trainee teachers, but it is also a great read for all those teachers who just need a gentle reminder or a tweak to well-worn practices. It is packed with helpful suggestions to improve both lesson structure but also the enjoyment of lessons, for adult and child, whether it be by outcome or the ability to access what is being delivered. All too often we think we are delivering our best, when, with a few adjustments, our lessons could become more inclusive and more accessible. The case studies running through the book are varied and frank,and in some cases, are quite heart rending. The individual cases are insightful and meaningful. The example given by the author of his aeroplane making in CDT is particularly memorable and poignant. Despite the many pointers and ideas, the book is written in such a way that it does not feel as if you are being preached at or criticised but merely…..‘Instead of this, try this’. Sometimes the tiniest tweaks could make a difference to a child. As teachers we often focus on the teaching and the learning outcome, forgetting in our enthusiasm or habit, that for a child sitting at the wrong sized desk, or with a fear of editing, or worrying about the upcoming PE lesson,or a misunderstanding of some basic instruction, this is not going to happen. The book is packed with practical and often simple suggestions that would make all the difference. The authors are obviously speaking with bags of experience, demonstrating great understanding and a huge amount of perception. I think the tips and ideas suggested in this book would benefit all our teaching practices wherever we are in our careers.
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