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The Presumption of Competence: Implications for Educators

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This live webinar is an interactive discussion of the ideology of 'presume competence', inclusion, expectations and education.

About this Event

The term 'presume competence' means that we should presume capabilities within students with disability. It means that students have the capacity to learn and grow and develop. This philosophy is foundational to the disability rights movement and also plays an important role in the education of students with disability.

In this webinar we will discuss:

The origin of the term 'presume competence'.

How belief in the capabilities of our students and high expectations can positively impact our approach to education.

The danger of presuming incompetence.

Dweck's growth mindset and Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development and where they fit with 'presume competence'.

The limitations of 'presuming competence'.

How 'presume competence' has been misused to defend pseudoscientific and unvalidated interventions like facilitated communication and rapid prompting method.

Intended Audience:

Early-childhood, junior primary, primary teachers & special educators/ teachers, parents and other professionals.


Dr Leanne Longfellow is a teacher, academic researcher and a parent of a young adult with disabilities. Her teaching career spans over 30 years and includes special education, early intervention and mainstream contexts. Leanne has provided numerous professional learning sessions for educators and presented at both Australian and international educational conferences.

Participants who choose the option 'With certificate and notes' will receive:

  • A certificate of attendance referenced to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers ✳︎
  • Electronic handouts of the notes and suggested reading.

✳︎ Completing this workshop will contribute one hour of professional learning addressing Standard 3.1 'Set explicit, challenging and achievable learning goals for all students' from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher accreditation.

Testimonials from previous workshops:

'I loved that the topics covered and information expressed was applicable to all students not just those with special needs. It’s a whole class approach too! Very practical!' Nicole Zacher

'I liked the way the professional learning was presented with strategies to support behaviours.' Amelia Pickard

'Clear and to the point. Relatable to school environment. Do-able'. Marie Foreman'

'Full of information and examples, scenarios and ideas to take away. Talk time at the end of the session was good to be able to discuss different strategies'. Leesa

'I liked the examples during the slideshow. Breakdown of behaviour management strategies used now and overtime and how they have/ haven’t worked.' Alison McConachy

'Informative. Practical ideas for students with learning disabilities.' Helen Braley

'The strategies were clearly set out and identified and explained thoroughly.' Emily Shepherd

'This workshop exceeded all my expectations.' Abbie Kemp

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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