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Phil Dexter: Understanding and engaging with neurodiversity

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In this talk, Phil provides an understanding of neurodiversity and how it can support our understanding of learners.

About the webinar

This session is for any teacher or trainer aimed at understanding the concept of neurodiversity and how this can support us in understanding our learners better and also current approaches to inclusive practices. Neurodiversity is about not what we think – but how we think. In understanding neuro-diversity we recognize cognitive differences as part of a natural spectrum of ‘ways of thinking’ which are unique and equally valid that should be socially celebrated as part of a spectrum of differences in any educational learning context. Given the nature of our mainstream educational contexts neurodiverse learners typically may have difficulties with traditional text based approaches to teaching and learning. These difficulties, however, have nothing to do with intelligence but there is clear evidence of underperformance and underachievement. Neurodiverse learners also have significant strengths. Neurodiversity is an approach that can transform our understanding of our learners who may be identified as have having special educational needs from one of disability to a focus on how to support their learning through needs based approaches and inclusive learning practices.

In this session through engaging with practical examples and activities I will suggest how we can bridge performance gaps through a scaffolded and differentiated approach. I will also show that an understanding of neurodiversity is very much part of a transformational approach to continuous professional development which is a needs driven evidence based approach promoting engagement in learning and aimed at quality learning outcomes for everyone.

About the speaker

Phil Dexter is the British Council UK English language Teacher Development Adviser and previously worked in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Saudi Arabia and Libya on English language teaching projects. Phil develops courses and resources for primary, secondary and approaches to inclusive education. Phil has a Master’s Degree in English language studies from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and a Diploma in Special Educational Needs. Phil manages resources for the Teaching for Success CPD Framework approach with a particular focus on inclusive education.