Issues in Providing Learning Support for Disabled Students Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities
Creating an Inclusive Fieldwork Curriculum
During the field trip
- Ensure that sufficient time is being allowed for the various elements of the fieldwork to meet the needs of specific students, and that certain students have adequate opportunities for rest/meeting any medical requirements.
- Use oral/visual briefings to reinforce written materials prepared in advance.
- Ensure clear instructions/communication to meet varied needs - e.g. not turning away when introducing features of interest, maximising ability to be seen and heard by students.
- Use teaching and learning methods that require students to learn actively and in varied ways, to act cooperatively, and to support each other's learning and welfare.
- Develop a supportive environment in which the diversity of students' skills is recognised and celebrated.
- Ensure that health and safety matters are clearly addressed, and are not just the responsibility of one member of staff. (One reason is that s/he may become ill!) (Box 20).
Box 20: Some questions for the fieldcourse team to discuss for planning the day-to-day running of the fieldcourse
- Does the social programme, including informal activities, providing opportunities for all students to benefit from the informal and social learning it provides?
- Are there particular transport and/or accommodation issues that need to be addressed for some students?
- Do students for some activities need peer or specialist/dedicated assistance?
- Does the timing and/or pace of activities need to be considered?
- Are there particular weather conditions that need to be considered (e.g. pollution impacts on students with asthma, sun effects on students with dermatological conditions)?
- Over what can and should there be flexibility and over what should there be inclusive requirements?
© Geography Discipline Network/authors, 2001
ISBN: 1 86174 113 8