By Hope Thompson, The Circuit.
Benedictine College students and professors soon will have the opportunity to experience the classroom from a different point of view thanks to the Learning Disabilities Simulation.
A free session will be put on by the Education Club Oct. 26 in the Murphy Recreation Center in order to further awareness and education about students with learning disabilities.
Horizon Academy, a school in the Kansas City area for students with learning disabilities, holds the Learning Disabilities Simulation once a semester. Two years ago, Elizabeth Clum, senior and president of the Education Club, discovered the Horizon Academy and its simulation while working on a project for class.
“It was the coolest thing I had ever done and I knew that I wanted current and future teachers at Benedictine to have the experience as well,” Clum said. “Then, I became involved with the Ed. Club, and we were able to make it happen.”
Earlier in the semester, the club visited Horizon to have firsthand experience before putting on the event.
The session consists of 6 different stations, each featuring a different learning disability and the challenges that come with it.
“At the table for dyslexia, we had a story where all the letters were jumbled up, and then we had to read it in front of people,” she said. “We were at each station for about ten minutes experiencing what life would be like with that learning disability in a classroom.”
Clum says the simulation at Benedictine will very closely match Horizon Academy’s.
“They’ll go around by station, experience the disabilities, and then talk about it in a breakout session at the end that will be catered more towards current professors and future teachers.”
Alexis Johnson, a senior and member of the Education Club says the simulation has the potential to be an important asset to her peers in the education department.
“It’s already hard enough to try and read a student, then get them the help they need when they’re struggling,” she said. “When you’re working with a student with learning disabilities there needs to be an understanding of what they’re going through. Getting that insight is so important. There’s a whole other sense of empathy and understanding that you can’t obtain any other way.”
Clum invites any Benedictine student to attend the Learning Disabilities Simulation, however admissions will be capped at 50 people, so she encourages education majors and professors to sign up first. If more students are interested, they will consider bringing the simulation back next semester.
“It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “You leave so exhausted but with a completely new outlook on education and educating the individual.”
For more information, or to sign up for the event, please contact Elizabeth Clum at firstname.lastname@example.org.