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No more Slow Learners , Let’s call them Unique learners

By Sharmila S|3 - 4 mins read| February 15, 2023

What is a slow learner? What are the Symptoms of slow learner? In my opinion, every child is a blessing. Everyone of us is born with a unique intelligence. The one who identifies their intelligence soon is called as an intelligent child the rest are called as average and slow learners. Standard definition of slow learner – it is a words people use to describe a student who has below average ability to learn necessary academic skills, as compared to students of same age.

In fact there are no slow learners. Every child has an expertise in any one of the topics they are interested in. If a child is guided based on his/her interest in education, he/she develops interest in the area where he/she is weak in.

Any name which we apply to children who are falling behind in their school work (backward, educationally subnormal, less able, remedial or slow learner) tends to acquire some sort of stigma. Also, the act of labeling seems, inevitably, to lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby children who are clearly marked out in school as being “dull and backward” conform more and more to the expectations which are presented to them.

It would be wrong to deny the proper educational opportunities to slow learners because they have been typecast by labeling. What is required is a positive approach to the identification and education of slow learners, coupled with a conscious effort on the part of staff and school to circumvent the inferior status which may be given to these youngsters.

In the past many secondary schools with remedial departments have recognized that there were two groups of children to be catered for – the less able and the remedial (those who might respond to coaching and return to the normal timetable). Ultimately, of course, there should be as many categories as individuals, but for practical purposes we should try to plan for four or five groups. One would be our slow learners, a second could be for children with specific learning difficulties, another might comprise children with behavior problems, and in certain areas there will be a further group of children who may be thought to be socially or culturally disadvantaged. Another group, which is not often acknowledged, may be those whose educational history has been inadequate.

If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.

– Ignacio Estrada

real teacher would always force his/her students to think out of the box rather than getting good grades. But the point is real teacher is like an imaginary thing in this real world. A teacher who can motivate students to perform to his/her optimum level. A teacher who can clear his/her all doubtnesses. In my opinion, teacher must be enthusiastic to teach kids not just what is in the text book but everything that would make his/her students a real human being.When a teacher notices that a child is weak in academics , he/she must first find the area of the child’s interest. After that, she can lead his academics with respect to the area of his interest. If this is done, there will not be any child who is slow in academics.

Lets not call the kids as slow learners .……

Lets call them as Unique learners.……

A Profile of the Slow Learner

The main classroom cues which indicate that a pupil may have learning difficulties. Teachers can use the below table to identify slow learners, the table highlights some of the characteristics of slow learner.

% Classroom Cues (Resulting list of 200 teachers)

Self Reflection

95 … need specially clear, step by step, repeated instructions
93 … need extra explanations of subject matter
88 … need constant extra help
87 … have reading difficulties
87 … lack concentration
87 … have difficulty in comprehension
84 …do not absorb information
82 … are easily distracted
81 … lack basic knowledge or skills
81 … do work of poor quality
80 … are slow workers and slow to respond
80 … are easily confused

Facilitator can use the below table to create a list of characteristics using which they can identify unique learners or students who are learning differently.

Additions to the above list

Self Reflection


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About The Author:

Sharmila S

Last Updated: Wed Feb 15 2023

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