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Engaging Learners with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities


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Table of Contents

1 The Engagement for Learning Framework: an introduction

2 New generation children: the complex learning challenge

3 Engagement and learning: a brief introduction

4 Evidencing engagement for learning: the Engagement Profile and Scale

5 Personalizing engagement: case studies

6 Learning with families

7 Together everyone can achieve more: collaborating with other professionals

8 Mental health and children with complex learning difficulties and disabilities: a ticking time bomb

9 Inquiry gives you wings: school-based inquiry and engaging children with complex learning difficulties and disabilities

10 Visioning the future: schools taking forward the Engagement for Learning Framework APPENDIX A Instructions on completing the Engagement Ladders APPENDIX B Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Briefing Packs APPENDIX C The Inquiry Framework for Learning APPENDIX D Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Project questionnaires APPENDIX E Accessible Research Cycle template APPENDIX F Project information and consent form relating to the Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Project APPENDIX G Engagement passport example from Parkside School, Pukekohe, New Zealand APPENDIX H Parkside School's `Engagement Profile and Scale Final Report' template APPENDIX I Schools involved in the original Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project (2009-2011)

About the Author

Barry Carpenter, OBE, is Honorary Professor at the Universities of Worcester (UK), Limerick (Ireland), Hamburg (Germany) and Flinders (Australia). Jo Egerton is a Schools Research Consultant and educational writer. Beverley Cockbill is Training Co-ordinator and TEACCH Practitioner in complex learning needs for Chadsgrove Teaching School, Bromsgrove. Tamara Bloom is a Chartered Educational Psychologist working in both local authority and charity sectors. Jodie Fotheringham is a Lead Teacher at Tor View Community Special School in Lancashire. Hollie Rawson is an Occupational Therapist, currently working in mental health rehabilitation. Jane Thistlethwaite is a Complex Needs Consultant, specializing in autism and sensory/vision impairment, and Director of Positive Path International in New Zealand.


'The book is arranged to present the urgency of the issues facing educators, which Professor Carpenter describes as the `new generation' of children for whom teachers are `pedagogically bereft', while also providing practical resources to access the framework. The brave world of the special school educator, the children and the families is exposed to us, and helps to drive this urgency. While it is disconcerting to read chapters written in first-person singular without having the chapter author identified, and the extensive use of exclamation marks, when one reflects on the truly surprising results these educators are seeing in their students these things can be excused. The book concludes that, "engagement can be described as the liberation of intrinsic motivation" (p.160), and it could be said that this is an approach that all teachers and leaders could be taking in our daily work.' - Julliette Hayes, NZEALS Leading lights

"The impressive qualifications of the authors makes this an authoratitive book that will be highly valued by all involved in the teaching of CLDD young people" - Sarah Brew, Parents in Touch

"This book provides a definitive explanation of 'Engagement for Learning' for children 'who do not fit neatly into an understandable category.' These learners are described as a new generation of children with complex learning needs, requiring innovative approaches and a personalised curriculum. There are many useful examples and top tips from classroom practitioners throughout and all resources are freely available to use and clearly referenced. [...] I found the style of writing engaging, with the content encouraging and motivating. I believe I will keep coming back to [this book] to reinforce my classroom practice for a long time to come" - Anne-Frances Royle, Special World

"In the light of Government reforms in the assessment of children with SEND this is extremely timely. The book is profoundly significant in that it does what teaching was meant for and that is to place the child at the heart of learning." - Diane Rochford, Executive Headteacher, John F Kennedy Academy and Chair of the Rochford Review

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