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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Hood-Wilson

Why Customized Educational Programs?

I've spent close to 25 years working to serve hard to serve populations. I've taught middle grades in an area of Baltimore that had, at the time, the highest rate of abuse and neglect in the city. I've designed continuing education career certificate programs, pre-employment programs, and academic skills programs for adults with disabilities. However, I didn't know how to truly serve students until I learned to develop customized programs for special populations and, then, for individual students.

Learning is not one size fits all. Students who have challenges, be they differences in ability, differences in school readiness, or learning differences, are often written off as being unable to gain and to retain the same information that their more learning ready peers more easily gain and retain. Too often, what those students need is to be taught differently, as differently as they learn. When students learn skills in programs that focus on their modalities, their interests, and provide them with opportunities to share what they've learned through products of their choosing, we start to see gains that shock and surprise parents and teachers.

Cookie cutter approaches to learning harm students. Students with differences are best served by programs that are built around who the learners are as individual people. Customization is not easy and it is not cheap. But it is effective.

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