“Natural Environment Teaching” Seminar at CIU
Cyprus International University Department of Special Needs Teaching, affiliated with the CIU Faculty of Education, held a seminar on “Natural Environment Teaching”. Prof. İbrahim Halil Diken of Anadolu University was present as speaker during the seminar which was held at Çevik Uraz Conference Hall.
Speaking of special needs education at the outset of his speech, Prof. İbrahim Halil Diken pointed out that mentally handicapped people, particularly children with mental disabilities in the age group of 0-6 years, needed to be observed at an early stage during their education with an aim to taking necessary measures.
Explaining that he was providing services for 120 students and their families at the institution where he was currently employed, Diken said that more conferences should be held in order to raise awareness about special education. Prof. Diken said, “there are three principal rules for special education teachers; to observe, to perceive, and to provide an appropriate response”. He underlined that children needed to be seen as what they were, i.e. as children. Diken explained that particularities of every single child needed to be known, pointing to how significant it was for any intervention to be appropriate for the developmental particularities of a given child.
Speaking of the significance of special needs education, Prof. Diken said that family members had a critical role to play in this type of education, with the initial training taking place in the womb. Explaining that children spent most of their time with their mothers, Prof. Dr. Diken claimed that children slept an average of 22 hours per day, spending the rest of the time interacting with whatever happens to be in their surrounding environment. Diken said “If you manage to render this interaction meaningful, so would this mean that you are undertaking natural environment education for the child”.
Prof. Diken explained that children should not be exposed to rules and obligations when developing their sense of knowledge acquisition, adding that they needed to be allowed to take the initiative concerning the study of observed objects and objects of interest, since only then would perception be augmented through education. Pointing out that special needs education teachers needed to assist families with the education of their children, Prof. Diken provided information on what approach parents needed to adopt during education.
In the final part of the seminar Diken projected special education relevant videos, allowing comments and questions by participants on whether or not the viewed conduct was appropriate.
At the conclusion of the seminar the Associate Dean for the Faculty of Education Prof. Fatoş Silman presented a plaque of appreciation to Prof. Diken.