Curriculum modification as a critical approach to assist learners with special needs in institutions of higher learning in Zimbabwe

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Curriculum modification as a critical approach to assist learners with special needs in institutions of higher learning in Zimbabwe

Mukomana Saziso1,Prof Sylod Chimhenga2
1Zimbabwe Open University, Department of Teacher Education,
2Zimbabwe Open University. Department of Disability studies and Special Needs Education.

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract
The current research was undertaken in order to explore how the curriculum of institutions of higher learning could be adapted to include learners with disabilities in inclusive education settings. Curriculum modification strategies, particularly curriculum adaptations and augmentations, have been identified as important to enable learners with disabilities to achieve access to and progress in the general curriculum. This paper adopted the qualitative approach and used a case study design that relied largely on interviews and document analysis. The semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from lecturers, learners and principals of higher learning institutions. The study concluded that adapting instructional strategies is a method that allows educators to meet the needs of all learners according to their strengths, ability levels, and needs, without separating learners homogeneously. The study recommended that educators need to know how to differentiate instructions in order to make the curriculum more accessible for learners with disabilities through adaptations and accommodations.

Keywords, Adaptation, curriculum differentiation Curriculum, Curriculum modification, learners with special needs, special needs, Special needs education,

1.0 Introduction
Differentiating instruction for diverse learners means planning and implementing curriculum based on each student’s level of readiness. Appropriate curriculum development for learners with special needs involves differentiation of content, teaching and learning strategies, and learner products in a learner-centred environment. Curriculum modifications can be put into practice for different purposes ranging from altered content knowledge, conceptual difficulty, educational goals, to instructional methods and assessment. Curriculum modification is an educational strategy that allows special needs students to have better access to information and resources. It consists of the adjustments educators make to curriculums to make them