Exploring quality education and job opportunities in special education field

Exploring quality education and job opportunities in special education field

The webinar’s poster

UTAR Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT) and Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FAS) jointly organised an international talk titled “Quality Education and Job Opportunities in the field of Special Education” on 19 November 2021 via Microsoft Teams. The webinar attracted a total of 107 participants in attendance. The webinar was moderated by CLT member from Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI) lecturer Dr Saraswathy Thurairaj.

Present to deliver the online talk was National Chiayi University (NCYU) Department of Special Education Assoc Prof Lin Yu-Hsia. Dr Lin obtained her PhD at the Ohio State University, USA. Dr Lin is a teacher who provides education for individuals who are interested in the education of deaf and language disorders. Her research interests include the areas of literacy, language development, and deafness. 

The webinar aimed to discuss and understand the quality of teacher training in the field of special education and their future employment trends.

Dr Lin during the webinar

Dr Lin started the webinar by highlighting the target and indicators of Sustainable Development Goals. She said, “The United Nations announced “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. The SDGs are categorised into 17 Goals. One of the significant goals in our topic today is SDG 4— Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

According to her, primary education enrolment in developing countries has reached 91% but 57 million children who are in the primary age have not received any education. She stated by 2030, the UN targets to ensure all children complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education, leading to relevant and effective Goal 4 learning outcomes. Apart from that, these children will have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they will be ready for primary education.

Dr Lin further highlighted the efforts made by the Taiwan government to foster the SDG initiatives such as building a barrier-free and reasonable accommodation, building facilities with universal designs that are convenient for people to use/enter, and creating physical environments, vehicles, transportations, stations, hospitals and public services that can be accessed by a normal individual and also individual with physical disabilities. Moreover, she also stated that half-price preferential treatment by domestic mass transport service is provided to people with physical and mental disabilities so that they can access it with convenience.

She explained that the development of special education in Taiwan was first established in 1889 by a British priest named Williams Gamble. He set up a training development for mute and deaf people and supported them to learn communication skills. “Taiwan’s special education law legislation began in 1984. At that time, the central government legislation mandated a free, appropriate public education for every child with special needs from the time disability is identified at school age. The first department of special education was established in 1975. Up until now, 13 universities have the department of special education in charge of pre-employment of special education teacher training,” she added.

In addition, Dr Lin also emphasised that there are four adjustments and practices, namely learning content, learning process, learning environment and learning evaluation standards. The learning evaluation methods and standards will consist of multi-resource assessments such as dynamic assessment, portfolio evaluation, ecological evaluation and curriculum-based evaluation. These methods depend on the individual needs, and we need to provide adjustment to the place and manner of evaluation from time to time, or make adjustments to the content and questions.

Before ending her talk, Dr Lin reassured the participants that individuals with special needs are able to learn using a variety of teaching methods such as visual, tactile, auditory and taste training. She also said that these training were made to develop their language input to understand simple everyday language; common words and sentences used in daily life.

The webinar ended with interactive Q&A and group photography sessions.

Watch the webinar here

The webinar moderator, Dr Saraswathy

Dr Lin highlighting the interaction progress between normal students and special needs students

Dr Lin underlining the teaching methods for special needs students

Dr Lin highlighting the sign language website and translation services available in Taiwan

Dr Lin explaining the learning content, process, environment and evaluation standards

Group photograph at the end of the webinar

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