Let’s imagine for a minute that the world of education is kind of like The Secret Garden, filled with tons of different plants and flowers each representing a unique student with their own set of strengths and challenges.
Similar to how a master gardener provides personalized care for each flower – be it water or sunlight, specially designed instruction (SDI) is the nurturing force in education that enables students with moderate to severe disabilities to thrive in their academic journey.
To ensure SDI is implemented in the classroom, legally binding IEPs, or Individualized Education Programs, play a critical role. SDI outlines the specific goals, objectives, and accommodations for each student receiving special education services.
In this blog, we’ll unpack the role of specially designed instruction in special education and why it’s beneficial for students with moderate to severe disabilities.
Specially designed instruction is a broad term that encompasses various components, including instructional methods, materials, and assessments, all designed to support individualized learning and equitable education opportunities for students, helping them reach their full potential. Let’s take a peek at a number of the key principles of SDI.
Now that we’ve gone through some key pieces of specially designed instruction, let’s discuss the benefits.
Specifically in special education, educators need to help students overcome barriers so that progress can be made toward students’ educational goals. That’s where SDI comes in!
When specially designed instruction is thoughtfully built into a student’s IEP and implemented effectively, the student will experience increased engagement and motivation because learning is designed uniquely for them. SDI provides educators with the opportunity to tap into students’ interests and preferences, fostering a positive and engaging learning experience. And, when students feel valued and supported, they are more likely to be actively involved in their learning, ultimately leading to improved outcomes.
The benefits of SDI extend far beyond academic achievements. By embracing the principles of individualization, SDI makes learning in the least restrictive environment with access to the general education curriculum a reality for our student population.
Megan Gilson is the Director of Content Marketing Strategy at TeachTown, the leading provider of K-12 adapted core curriculum. A skilled content creator, Megan has spent the last decade of her career raising awareness about the benefits of health, wellness and equitable and inclusive education. She received her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz.