Education of Mentally retarded children
The special methods adapted in teaching the educable mentally retarded are
1)Individualisation: Individualisation of education does not mean that children receive individual instructions with small classes, but it implies that each child is allowed to proceed at his own pace of learning according to his own unique growth pattern. At the same time, these children must be provided with opportunities for group participation so that the correct social attitudes can be developed in them.
2) The basic principle of special education : It has always been that the children should learn by doing. Teachers should give top priority to activity methods that lay emphasis on learning through experience. Generally the deficiency of mentally retarded children lies in the area of relational and abstract thought. So these children encounter problems in learning where the mode of communication is largely verbal.
3)Need for Learning Readiness: While introducing work to mentally retarded children, teachers should give due importance to the concept of maturation and readiness to learn. These children should be prepared through appropriate readiness programmes.
4)Graded Curriculum: Here the teachers face difficulties for gradation of students and for preparing the study materials for slow learners.
5)Periods of Short Duration: Formal teaching periods should be kept fairly short. It is of importance to note as to how long a child can concentrate when the subject is stimulating.
6)To overcome concrete problem: They need concrete presentation of instruction. Real life problems should be introduced whenever possible so that the teachers can ensure immediate application of learning experiences.
7)Projects: ‘Introduction of projects’ or ‘Centres of interest’ is a significant approach for teaching mentally retarded children.
8)Language Development: Teachers should provide mentally retarded students with such aids that will ensure better speech development in them. They should be able to follow directions and interact with peers in group situation. These children should be taught reading in order to enable them to function independently.