This paper will first look at the definition of a pupil with Special Educational Needs. Child (1995) explains that the label Special educational needs (SEN) extends to a broad range of children with varying forms of difficulty in learning, opposed to the majority of their peers of a similar age. Children classed with disabilities preventing them from using the provision of normal educational facilities in mainstream schools. The terminology reverts the emphasis from the stigma of the student’s disability and concentrates on the particular educational provision needed. However, teachers do need to indentify the specific disabilities and these are categorised in terms of general areas of development as follows; physical, cognitive, motor, social, language, behavioural and emotional development.
Special needs also apply to gifted children who in many cases are not categorised as (SEN) however; they need adapted teaching to challenge their abilities and to foster their potential development. Therefore, this paper will also look at gifted children throughout the concepts and theories.
Piaget's theory of cognitive development in essence deals with the view that all species inherit two basic tendencies; the first is organisation – organising behaviours and thoughts into logical systems. The second is adaptation – adjusting to your environment (Woolfolk, Hughes & Walkup, 2008).
During Woolfolk et al (2008) explanation of the tendency of organisation the example of an infant looking or grasping at an object is portrayed, however, the child cannot perform both tasks simultaneously. As the child develops they manage to combine the two separate structures into a coordinated higher level structure. Child (1995) refers to this process important term coined by Piaget to explain the child’s interaction with their environment through actions to form a distinct pattern of behaviour, is referred to as a schema. Snowman and Biehler (2006) acknowledge that these schemes are...