Sean Vosler looks at the impact of AI on inclusive learning.

A young boy, Josh, sits anxiously in the corner of a bustling classroom. The chalkboard is filled with diagrams, charts, and lengthy paragraphs, but for him, it feels like trying to decipher hieroglyphics. He grips his pen tightly, glancing nervously at his classmates. Their papers are filled with notes, while his remains distressingly blank.

“Josh, are you following along?” asks Mrs. Clark.

He wants to scream, “I don’t understand! Why is it so difficult for me?” But he merely nods, hoping to get through the lesson without drawing more attention. His mind, a whirlwind of questions and doubts, swirls.

“What’s wrong with me?” he wonders.

A one-size-fits-all system gone wrong
Neurodiverse people bring valuable and unique perspectives to the table. However, due to differences in how their brains process information compared to what’s considered ‘typical,’ these students often encounter difficulties when it comes to articulating their thoughts and organising them in conventional ways. While neurodivergence is now acknowledged as a distinctive way of processing information, it can still pose challenges in a society that may not always be accommodating.

For example, the traditional education approach has been designed around meeting the needs of neurotypical students. Systems like this assume that all students share similar learning and information-processing patterns and end up overlooking the needs of neurodiverse individuals.

All too often, traditional educational systems neglect the specific needs of neurodiverse people like Josh. These students may grapple with a range of challenges, such as sensory sensitivities that make a typical classroom environment overwhelming or executive functioning difficulties that hinder organisation and time management. These difficulties often result in a less inclusive educational experience, underscoring the need for more adaptable and accommodating approaches to foster the learning and growth of neurodiverse students. Moreover, with nearly 15% of the United Kingdom’s population being neurodiverse, it is increasingly evident that the one-size-fits-all educational approach is no longer a viable or inclusive option.

Unlocking learning barriers for neurodiverse students
In a diverse learning environment, the key lies in not just delivering content but also in ensuring its accessibility, relatability, and comprehension. AI tools, both generative and interactive, offer precisely this kind of assistance, contributing to personalised learning experiences and enhancing accessibility in the education system. Imagine a neurodiverse student who approaches academic content differently and finds it challenging to grasp a concept like photosynthesis using traditional methods. While their classmates might have understood it through conventional textbook reading, this student could benefit from an alternative approach. With AI tools like ChatGPT, they can simply ask, “Can you explain photosynthesis using an analogy?”

Moreover, interactive AI platforms can restructure data dynamically. A dense, jargon-heavy research paper might intimidate some students. However, with AI’s intervention, this can be converted into an interactive Q&A session, an animated visual, or even a story, making the information more accessible. This is especially beneficial for neurodiverse people who might process visual or auditory information more effectively than written content.

That being said, it’s important to remember that AI is a tool, not a sticking-plaster, and it has the power to tailor learning experiences and enrich the education of both neurodiverse and neurotypical students. Generative AI platforms empower students to become co-creators of their learning experience. Instead of being passive recipients, students can actively mould, interact with, and question the content, making the learning journey truly individualised.

Paving the way for a more inclusive future
Adapting teaching methods to suit the unique learning needs and strengths of neurodiverse students is a crucial step in ensuring that all learners can realise their full academic potential. With the integration of AI, the conventional one-size-fits-all educational system can be reshaped to embrace and empower every type of student. This shift towards a more inclusive educational system is only the beginning of a transformative journey. By personalising the teaching experience, we not only revolutionise the classroom but also pave the way for future educational paths to be redefined.

Sean Vosler
Author: Sean Vosler

Sean Vosler
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Sean Vosler runs, which helps individuals turn their ideas into non-fiction books.

LinkedIn: @seanvosler
LinkedIn: @moveable-ai


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