+ genuine love and concern for students
+ commitment to education's purpose and goals
+ positive expectations
+ opposition to unjust, unequal treatment of people based on differences | celebrates diversity | models acceptance
+ honesty with students, families, and colleagues
+ willingness to be a team member
+ respect for confidentiality of students and families
+ respect for individual dignity
+ sensitivity to individual differences and needs
+ a sense of humor
+ resistance to cynicism ("cynical teacher" is an oxymoron)
+ commitment to being a life-long learner
+ creativity | imagination
+ intelligent problem-solving
+ knowledge of a variety of teaching strategies
+ careful preparation
+ effective use of technology
+ community leadership
+ embraces the opportunity to teach students with special needs (disabilities, gifts, talents)
+ ongoing evaluation of teaching effectiveness
+ effective communication
+ consumer of/contributor to research about best teaching practices
|"The gift of teaching and the gift of parenting have
to be rediscovered with each child. There is no
formula, no easy way, no single way to do it."
Vaughn, Bos, & Schumm (2014) offered "instructional techniques and accommodations for students with learning disabilities"
based on "more than 100 studies" (p. 158). These strategies included:
|Creating Learning Communities
|This website focuses on education's mission to maximize opportunities for all learners to achieve their
potential by involving families, collaborating with stakeholders, assessment, positive expectations,
nurturing empathy, promoting positive self-esteem, enhancing independence, and inspiring self-advocacy.
Positive behavioral interventions and supports are the key to effectively teaching students.
|“Effective instruction begins when educators intentionally create learning environments in which
students learn to respect and value each other and everyone’s individual differences, understand their
roles and responsibilities, work in a self-directed manner, and participate in setting classroom rules.
You can create an effective learning community by discovering the abilities of all your students,
developing systematic ways to collect information on student progress for use in planning future
lessons, and using collaborative teaching, grouping, and differentiated instructional strategies to
individualize student educational experiences” (Turnbull, Turnbull, Wehmeyer, & Shogren, 2010).
|Creating Learning Communities: Effective Teachers
|"I am an architect of days that haven't happened yet."
John Mayer (2012)
"These types of questions about your instruction and your students' thinking and learning epitomize reflective teaching
practice. They show your attention to
1. identifying problems or crises that occur in teaching;
2. thinking about causes of classroom events;
3. reflecting on your own actions;
4. making efforts to improve your own success and that of your students.
Reflective teaching practice focuses on 'thinking about doing' before, during, and after a lesson. Reflective learning
focuses on 'thinking about doing' before, during, and after a learning activity. At its most effective, reflective teaching
serves as a role model for your students and helps them become reflective learners. Teachers, students, administrators,
and even parents can benefit from reflective practice." (Hope J. Hartman, A Guide to Reflective Practice, 2010, p. 1)
"Reflective teaching means looking at what you do in the classroom,
thinking about why you do it, and thinking about if it works - a process of
self-observation and self-evaluation ... This may then lead to changes
and improvements in our teaching." (British Council, Reflective teaching:
Exploring our own classroom practice, 2011)
|Part One: Including Students with Disabilities
There is no "instant experience" (we can't know how someone else feels). But, each of us is
capable of understanding others' feelings (empathy). This project was a 15-year research
effort to better understand the experiences of parents whose children have special needs.
Danger and Opportunity: Parents of Children with Disabilities was presented at the Second
Annual Conference of the International Association of Special Education in 1990.
|Danger and Opportunity: Parents of Children with Disabilities
Effective communication, empathy, and support for parents of students with disabilities requires understanding:
+ the effects that disabilities have on families
+ roles, responsibilities, and challenges faced by parents
+ judging families is professionally naive and not productive
+ nonjudgmental, unconditional commitment to families is the key to achieving our mission and goals
+ how to promote genuine teacher-parent partnerships
|Negative Feelings and Experiences Reported by Parents
Betrayal by family and friends
Concern for siblings
Criticism of society’s outlook toward son/daughter
Difficulty finding appropriate services
Discrimination by employers, insurance companies
Doubt over professionals’ claims of concern
Fearing death of the child
Grief (initial, lifelong)
Initial lack of knowledge about the disability
Judged by others, self
Lack of support systems, trust in others, understanding from others
Mourning the loss of the expected child
Need for respite, time for self
Negative public reactions toward son/daughter
Overwhelmed by sense of crisis/tragedy
Pity for the child
Preoccupation with cause of son’s/daughter’s disability
Punished by God
Regret overprotecting the child
Regret not having an abortion
Resentment of the child’s poor quality of life
Resentment of people staring at/mistreating child
Ridicule from son’s/daughter’s peers
Sense of failure as a parent
Sense of sacrifice
Separation of husband and wife, partners
Unaware of resources for assistance, guidance, and support
Uncertainty about child’s future
|Positive Feelings and Experiences Reported by Parents
(Joy, Pride, Hope, Productive Partnerships with Educators)
“I feel like Casey has been an education in my life and, today, we’ve made it.”
“We have every hope that Brandon will survive. But, if he doesn’t, everything that just happened this last two years we’ll want to hold onto.”
“You don’t dwell on the dying; you dwell on the living.”
“I hope that he can always stay in a small group and that he will always be challenged, as I say, to work to his potential, and that he’s happy.
These are my dreams.”
“People need to be more sensitive to the fact that this is a human being. This is a person who happens to have a (disability), but is no different
otherwise than they are.”
“And I realized how much it meant to him that I believe in him and that he had the capacity to succeed in school.”
“I wouldn’t trade him for the world.”
“You keep giving them love and you give each other support.”
“I love having my son at home. I would like to keep him at home and give him as much love and affection as I can.”
“There are fears, but there’s fears with everything in life. If you just go inside of a shell because of uncertainties and fears, you’re not going to
do anything in life.”
“A child is a child, especially if he’s mine.”
“I think she’s ready to be mainstreamed and I really think that’s great.”
“(The interdisciplinary conference) was reassuring.”
“I found that meeting and planning a program for my daughter with a team of people who were really skilled in a hearing impaired placement was
very beneficial to us. It also gave us a clearer picture of types of things that we could be working on at home so we could complement what was
happening at school.”
“We’ve indicated to the school at all times that we’re interested in his progression and what the problems are and what’s being done. And, at the
same time, they have been willing to communicate with us.”
“You never, ever give up.”
“It makes you reach down into places you didn’t know existed in yourself.”
“She’s broadened my outlook on other people, people in general. She’s made me look at the world differently. She moves me a lot. She gives
me great joy. It bubbles over and runs down my cheeks.”
“To me, Laura has been definitely a very positive thing. And, in fact, she’s the best thing that ever happened to me - seriously.”
“We knew she was a gift from God because He wanted to show us something, and she’s taught us so much.”
“You never want to give up, you never want to give up. Tomorrow’s going to be a better day.”
“I wanted that child. She was my child. I didn’t know what her possibilities would be and I knew if I would give her up, she wouldn’t have any.
Who would fight for her if not her mother?”
“We just try and take her out into the outside, into the community. Not only for her benefit, but for other people’s benefit.”
“Children really help him out a lot. They treat him just like before. They really help. I’m really proud of him. I’m really happy for him, to see his
“I think one thing that you should know is that you need to learn patience and that they are a person.”
“When he came home, we had so much training that it was natural to us, but now, when I look back at the pictures, it’s unbelievable that I had
this child and that I could take care of something that complicated.”
“We were just thankful to have him and have him alive. And we looked at the fact that he was going to be visually impaired, at that time, as not
being that big a deal as compared to not having him at all. And we’ve kind of maintained that. I don’t think we’ve put a lot of emphasis on it as a
(disability). That’s just the way John is.”
“Most of the time, life goes right on as normal.”
“We want Carlyn to have the same things that our other children have. We want people to know that it’s normal to talk and interact with children
with disabilities, that it should just be an everyday occurrence. I have a lot of faith and hope that Carlyn will have a bright future to look forward
to and I’m very grateful - I think all of us are - that we have Carlyn. That really sustains us at times.”
“I’m very optimistic about Lily’s future because I think she’s got such a great spirit. And as long as she keeps trying, I can see her living
independently. I feel really fortunate to be associated with Lily. I’m just really thrilled that she’s in our family. She offers so much.”
“I’d like to see him in an independent living environment eventually down the road. I’m sure he can handle it.”
“The Children’s Center - and I’m not exaggerating at all - has just made our life bearable and happy and full of love again. They’ve taken away
the stress, but basically, they’ve given me my son back.”
“I think Nick has a very bright future, but he has to want it. That’s what I keep telling him: ‘I can’t do it for you.’”
“He needs to be in a regular classroom. He needs to be in with regular peers. He needs to be out in the world. He needs to experience it.
Sean needs to learn to deal in our society. What’s even more important, our society needs to learn to deal with people who are different.”
“I know what’s best for my kid and I’m going to fight - whatever it takes - to keep her where I want her to be.”
“But I think it’s crucial that they’re given the right support systems, that there are teachers who are trained, that there’s enough help for
teachers, that they really get intensive special education programming within that typical setting.”
“I think he just has many possibilities now. And I think the other thing is, the kids he’s growing up with are going to be the adults in his world and
they know how to interact with him. They like him. He’s their friend. They help him out and they look after him.”
“The key point is that people we’ve written off for years as being unable are showing us that they can work and they can produce, and they can
contribute and they can be tax-paying citizens. So, our own attitudes are the biggest ‘handicap’ of all to people who have a disability.”
“All the money in the world can’t buy a friend for your child and she just feels like she belongs to this school - the whole school now - that
she’s not just a member of that exceptional program.”
“If there’s anything that has happened to me personally, it’s to have developed the most profound respect for (people who are) learning disabled
because of the way in which they are trying their hearts out.”
“We dwell on that which you can do and encourage them to do it even better.”
“We try to teach to her all things, like other people. She can ride a bicycle, she can skate - only she is blind. I think she’s equal to my
daughters, equal to the rest of the people. She always do the things very well.”
“Roger is very special and he can do anything that any other child can do. And, little did we know 22 years ago, that he would be doing these
“I think our feeling in not hiding him was that, at some point in time, he’s got to live out there in the real world and make it on his own. And we felt
if we did hide him, then really we would be hurting him. There’s no time like the present to get out there and see what the real world is really like
and he’s done a good job of it.”
“I love you, too, Son. I love you.”
“My kids really enjoy just knowing that I’m here.”
“We set the foundation for our children. You know, our children are wherever we are.”
“It’s time to highlight the children and celebrate their families.”
“The Chinese symbol for ‘crisis’ has two characters. The first one is ‘danger’ and the second one is ‘opportunity.’”
“My husband and I always think back on what we had to do and we always wonder how we ever did it. I’m just glad we stuck it out and did it.
Now, the tears from the pain and the hurt are over, but the tears of just being so proud of my daughter and so happy for her, those will never
“When your parents are involved, you do better. You know, their support. Their support - family support - along with your teacher support,
which all becomes like a family. You do better; you excel better.”
Parents react to their sons’ and daughters’ disabilities in diverse ways; it is inaccurate to stereotype them.
|Roles, Responsibilities, and Challenges of Parents Whose Children are Disabled
|providers of unique information
advocates for accountability in education
parents to siblings who are not disabled
relationship between husbands and wives | partners
educators of significant others
effective communicators with educators and other service providers
In effective programs, empowerment of families is not perceived as threatening.
The first step to empowering parents is to convince them that you respect them.
|Some Ways to Involve Families
Creating an Inviting/Inclusive Climate
PHONE: initial calls of introduction; calling/texting with good news; reporting accomplishments and milestones; daily or weekly recorded
messages; regular updates; available for calls from families; homework hotline; parents welcome to call teacher at home
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION: initial letter of introduction; "happygrams" and two-way reporting forms/notebooks; daily folders; notes; monthly
calendar of lesson topics/events; "fridge facts;" flash cards; newsletters; Post-It Notes; behavior contracts; homework forms; "Friday folders"
WEBSITES: message board; online newsletter; teacher home page; homework tips; assignment outlines; goals and objectives; social media
(but, respect that some families do not have Internet access)
PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEES: the core of the Comer Process, parents collaborate with teachers and administrators to shape policies
that govern the school experience for students and all stakeholders
INVOLVING PARENTS AS EDUCATIONAL DECISION-MAKERS: family representatives at each grade level, classroom, homeroom
PROGRAMS: for parents by educators | for educators by parents | for parents by parents
OPEN OBSERVATION POLICY: parent visits encouraged, not just "tolerated;" parents invited to special school events; making school facility
available for parents to meet with each other
FAMILY SUPPORT GROUPS: making the school available for meetings and programs
FAMILY-SCHOOL SOCIAL EVENTS: these may be family-directed with school support
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: for family members to support classroom instruction
PARAPROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: parents as paid support staff
INVOLVING SIBLINGS: "sibshops;" support groups
HOME VISITS: make them voluntary (recognize that some families will not feel comfortable having school personnel in their homes); schedule
in advance (no surprises)
FAMILY-SCHOOL SENSITIVITY TRAINING: establish awareness and knowledge about the diversity of families; develop culturally-responsive
skills promoting successful interaction with family diversity (age, disabilities, economic status; ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression,
genetic information, geography, language, marital status [including same-sex unions], race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status)
ELICIT FAMILY INPUT ABOUT STUDENT INFORMATION, PROFILES, INTERESTS: respect parents as providers of unique information about
their sons/daughters (they know their children better than anyone else)
PARENTS AS TEAM MEMBERS: generalizing skills development to - and from - the home setting; express trust in parents' descriptions of their
sons' and daughters' performances in settings outside of school
COMMUNITY NETWORKING AND INTERAGENCY COOPERATION: promote family resources, services, and support systems
TREATING FAMILY MEMBERS AS "INSIDERS:" avoid a "them and us" mindset
OUTREACH INITIATIVES: promote free and continuous exchange
CONFERENCING: building rapport; sharing information; summarizing; follow-up
FIELD TRIP PARTICIPATION: involve parents as chaperons and support people
TRUST BUILDING | EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: express acceptance; send clear messages; listen actively; wait for complete messages;
match words with actions; avoid differential treatment; be specific; be a model, not a critic; express understanding (not "I know how you feel" -
rather "I understand"); let families see you as a "real person"
MAINTAIN CONFIDENTIALITY: families should expect absolute respect for their privacy
+ advanced by the disability rights movement
+ reversing English syntax to send a message, to make us "stop and think"
+ putting the person first | placing the disability second
+ the message: this is a person, not an object | a disability is not a person's essence | a disability is not all that a person is "about"
+ examples: "the person with a disability" rather than "the disabled person" | people with disabilities" rather than "the disabled"
|Alternatives to saying "the learning disabled student"
students labeled learning disabled
students diagnosed as learning disabled
students with learning disabilities
students categorized as learning disabled
students who are learning disabled
students considered to be learning disabled
students identified as learning disabled
Using "people first" language as a message - that we care about people's individual differences and respect their dignity - is only a
beginning. Hopefully, we will promote a way of thinking about all people as members of one family - the human family.
|The Special Education Cycle
Procedures mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
|Prereferral | Response to Intervention
PREFERRAL: concerns are shared with parents; teacher is assisted by a special education consultant; a
plan of intervention is developed; students who do not improve are referred for evaluation
RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION: students who do not successfully respond to generally effective
instruction receive more intense, evidence-based instruction; progress is monitored; those who do not
respond to tiers of more intensive instruction are referred for evaluation
REFERRAL: school personnel or parent(s) request an evaluation in writing
EVALUATION: parent consent required; comprehensive assessment by a multidisciplinary team of
specialists, measuring student's performance, identifying learning style, and documenting strengths as well
as special needs
ELIGIBILITY: to receive special education services, the student must be declared formally eligible
(diagnosis consistent with one or more of the disability categories listed in IDEA)
INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP): a plan is designed to meet the student's special learning
needs; the plan drives the placement decision
PLACEMENT: not just location; identifies the appropriate school program, related services, and supports
PARENT-TEACHER PARTNERSHIP: parents and educators collaborate to maximize student success
INSTRUCTION: the purpose is to maximize opportunities for students to achieve their potential
ANNUAL REVIEW: the IEP is reviewed each year; IEP may be reviewed and changed at any time
TRIENNIAL REVIEW (RE-EVALUATION): every three years, a new evaluation is performed, followed by
renewed consideration of eligibility and appropriate placement
The privacy of students and their families must be respected by educators. Beyond the control of student
records and other legal issues protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, this is a matter of
caring, professionalism, and supporting the dignity and safety of children and their families.
|Individualized Education Programs
The Legislative Response to the 1975 Congressional Investigation of Special Education
Among the findings of an investigation commissioned by the 94th Congress in 1975: nationwide, over half of all students eligible for
special education were not receiving appropriate educational services. To address this injustice, the 1975 law now known as the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act mandated that every student receiving special education must benefit from
an individually-designed plan consisting of:
+ an entering performance description
+ how the special needs affect the student's participation in general education
+ annual goals which are observable and measurable
+ short-term objectives which
(1) describe conditions under which a change in behavior (learning) occurs
(2) identify the learner
(3) a verb that is observable and measurable
(4) description of the outcome
(5) minimum performance criteria
+ special education services
+ related services
+ percentage of regular class participation
+ program adaptations, accommodations, modifications, and supports to achieve goals and objectives
+ supports needed to promote inclusive academic and extracurricular involvement
+ accommodations and modifications in the administration of statewide and districtwide assessment (if needed)
+ a rationale for alternative assessment statewide and districtwide assessment (if needed)
+ implementers with primary responsibilities
+ projected beginning and ending dates of services
+ how parents or guardians will be informed of progress
IEP objectives are designed in response to discrepancies between a student's entering performance and the skills typically
displayed by peers who are developing typically. That discrepancy is documented in a description of the student's "present level
of academic achievement and functional performance," a requirement of IDEA. This description reflects a summary of formal and
informal assessment, teacher observations, and parent concerns.
A precision teaching model - which identifies individual differences in both learning skills and learning styles - provides a context for
|Precision Teaching: A Diagnostic-Prescriptive Teaching Model
1. ASSESSMENT: pinpoint a student's strengths and challenges; identifying educational needs; document entering performances in various skill
areas; compare current skills with normal development
2. TASK ANALYSIS: break a task into its "teachable bits;" identify the scope, sequence, performance, and characteristics of a task; analyze an
outcome in the context of an individual student's learning style
3. INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES : state outcomes from the learner's point of view; state desired outcomes in behavioral (observable,
measurable) terms; identify conditions under which a change in behavior (learning) will occur; identify the learner; carefully select an action word
(verb) that specifies the performance; describe the performance to be learned; establish minimum performance criteria; ensure accountability by
creating/selecting a means to evaluate outcomes
4. INDIVIDUALIZED PLANNING: select teaching strategies; match instruction with individual learning style; design/select modes of presentation
and materials; decide time and length of presentation; engineer instructional settings to maximize opportunities for the student to experience
success; "tailor-make" positive expectations, modeling, reinforcement, cueing, time, and place; "set the stage" by arranging antecedent events,
extinction, structure, and logical consequences; provide appropriate activities; consider the student's interests and competencies; collaborate with
all stakeholders (establish and maintain effective communication with the student, family, peers, and other service providers); develop a program
which is sensitive to how this student learns differently from other students; promote positive self-concept, independence, and self-advocacy; plan
based on as intimate an instructional relationship with the student as possible
5. EVALUATION: ongoing documentation of performance; accurate measurement of outcomes to guide future planning and teaching; a process
that assumes there is no student failure, only program failure; a process that leads to the next developmental step or causes teachers to "try
another way;" the measurement of program integrity and accountability
6. RE-EXAMINE STEPS 1-5: continually review each step above to identify errors and consider alternative ways of teaching
|Myths develop because they sound intuitively correct and support stereotypical thinking.
The facts are clearly supported by educational research evidence.
"Interpersonal collaboration is a style for direct interaction between at least two coequal parties voluntarily engaged in shared
decision making as they work toward a common goal" (Friend and Cook, 2010). In the context of our mission to maximize
opportunities for all learners to achieve their potential, collaboration among stakeholders is essential. Partnerships involve
students, families, direct service providers, support staff, administrators, and the community in a genuine spirit of networking and
Co-teaching is a special education service delivery model, providing all students
with access to general education curriculum and high quality content
instruction in addition to the supports and adjustments they need to succeed.
It consists of a general educator and a special educator who work as a team
to plan and implement instruction. At its best, co-teaching improves student
performance and is mutually beneficial for the teachers involved. A way to
achieve supported inclusive education, co-teaching models include:
|One Teach - One Observe
One Teach - One Support
|There is no one approach to teaching students within any given category of disability because the individual differences that
exist within disability categories are every bit as significant as the individual differences among the general student population.
Simply stated, no two learners - with or without special needs - are exactly alike. No two students learn exactly the same way.
Teaching strategies are not disability specific. What all students need is effective teaching.
However, teaching strategies that are a good match with common characteristics within categories of special need are a logical
place to start. When considering characteristics within any category of learners, it's critical to keep three facts in mind:
1. not every person in the category exhibits every one of those characteristics
2. as a group, people in the category display those characteristics more often than the general population
3. most people will find themselves on the list of characteristics; a list of characteristics associated with any category of learners
is not exclusive to the members of the category
It's number 2 above that provides us with a starting point in selecting and developing teaching strategies designed to minimize
the challenges faced by students with special needs. Effective teachers, though, understand that there is no recipe - no cookie
cutter approach - to maximizing opportunities for students within a disability category to achieve their potential.
With these facts in mind, the following teaching strategies listed under categories of disability are meant to address challenges
more often faced by students who have been diagnosed with specific disabilities. But strategies should be tempered by the fact
that there is a "thin line" between characteristics and stereotypes. Stereotypical thinking presents the risk of limiting a
teacher's imagination in "getting through" to individual learners.
|Teaching Strategies: Learning Disabilities
|"+ Controlling task difficulty (i.e., teaching at the student's instructional level and sequencing examples and problems to maintain
high levels of student success)
+ Teaching students with LD in small interactive groups of six or fewer students
+ Using graphic organizers and other visual displays to illustrate key ideas and concepts
+ Providing modeling and 'think alouds' to demonstrated strategies and learning practices
+ Teaching students to self-regulate and self-monitor their learning and to 'fix-up' when they have learning problems
+ Providing opportunities for extended practice with feedback" (Vaughn, Bos, & Schumm (2014, p. 158)
According to Boyle & Scanlon (2010), "To help your students follow your lecture, give them an advance organizer that tells them
what you are going to teach them. Think of an advance organizer as a 'map' to the points you are going to address" (p. 300).
Advance organizers may include:
+ naming main topics, activities, subtopics, and components of a lesson
+ an outline, guided notes, or narrative (hard copy and PowerPoint or website)
+ make your expectations for student performance clear
+ offer background information, relating topics to previous lessons and identifying new information to be learned
+ state your objectives and list specific concepts
+ offer examples and analogies during introduction
+ caution students about possible misunderstanding
+ inform students why what they will learn is relevant
+ provide a list of terms with definitions
+ make clear the outcomes you want to achieve
+ assignment notebook
+ list of what is to be learned
+ study guides for assignments and exams
+ due dates
In the context of learning challenges associated with learning disabilities (LD), teachers need to select and develop strategies that
+ attention (task focus and task completion)
+ perception (helping students to identify the main idea of a lesson or lecture)
+ processing information (cognitive skills, logical thinking, sequencing)
+ organization skills (supporting students to establish and maintain control of their learning)
+ discrimination learning (perceiving and responding to differences)
+ association skills (making connections)
+ short-term memory (recalling new information)
+ generalization (carry-over, transfer of learning)
+ expression of ideas (language production)
+ initial learning (introduction to new concepts)
+ incidental learning (concepts typically learned without direct instruction)
Vaughn, Bos, & Schumm (2014) recommended ways to provide "extended practice and application" by "using learning tools and
aids, adjusting workload and time, presenting and having students demonstrate their learning in multiple ways," and "teaching
students to use memory strategies" (p. 161-164).
Technology that supports students with LD:
Collaborate with your school's least restrictive environment (LRE) coordinator to identify ways to effectively teach students with
learning disabilities. If a student has an IEP, supplementary aids and services have been listed to provide specific strategies that
will enhance the student's, the family's, and the teacher's success.
|Encourage students to use their iPods and other MP3 players to record lectures and download audio files to
support their work in the classroom and at home. Provide them with links to podcasts that reinforce lessons.
More ways to support your students:
|Teaching Strategies: Attention Disorders
+ maintain an orderly, structured classroom; avoid clutter
+ initially minimize distractions
+ then, allow for incremental, gradual increase in potentially distracting stimuli to desensitize students in handling the "real world"
+ maintain an orderly, structured classroom; avoid clutter
+ classroom routines and schedules that are reasonably predictable and consistent will benefit all learners
+ communicate enthusiasm for what is being taught; be creative
+ novel approaches and attention-getting introductions to lessons will promote student engagement in learning
+ use an "early warning" system to address challenges associated with students' difficulty with handling transitions
+ encourage parents to provide appropriate study space and schedules at home
+ help students organize their learning materials
+ engage students with appropriate role models
+ when possible, arrange activities that allow for movement and allow alternatives to sitting
+ arrange the room in ways that promote focus and eye-contact
+ seating arrangements
Consider how these and other strategies
designed to support students with
special needs will benefit all students.
By definition, special education is unusual
education based on evidence-based, best
practices. When teachers modify methods
through differentiated instruction, overall
teaching is improved.
|Where's the "best seat in the house" for most students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
Instruction and Directions
+ involve parents
+ maintain eye-contact
+ be clear, concise, consistent, complete, and as brief as possible
+ provide engaging, attractive, compelling prompts, guidelines, cues, and models of outcomes
+ check for understanding (does the student comprehend the directions?)
+ be prepared to repeat instructions and directions in a positive, supportive manner
+ help the student to feel comfortable asking for assistance
+ novelty sparks interest, attention, and focus
+ positively reinforce attending behaviors; praise students for being on task; consistently acknowledge performance
+ make presentations, instruction, and materials stimulating
+ promote active involvement and participation
+ gradually reduce assistance as students take on more initiative and responsibility for attending to their work
+ require a daily assignment notebook
+ "buddy systems" promote a sense of belonging; select a buddies who are popular with other students
+ peer tutoring
+ monitor often and be supportive
+ modify assignments, if necessary; consult the student's IEP and collaborate with the LRE facilitator
+ give extra time for some tasks; avoid time limits, but expect students to meet deadlines in place for peers
+ modify homework assignments in terms of length
+ use visual aids and technology to support instruction and classroom rules/expectations
+ promote interaction, involvement, and engagement
Promoting Self-Esteem and Positively Changing Behavior
+ be calm and positive
+ use natural, logical consequences for nonattending behaviors
+ consistently enforce classroom rules and expectations
+ avoid references to medication; educators should never recommend that students be on or off medication
+ maintain a policy of zero tolerance for bullying; if bullying occurs, get involved
+ provide supervision and encouragement
+ fade positive reinforcement for behaviors and academic performances successfully achieved; promote an inner locus of control
in which students reward themselves for being attentive
+ encourage positive "self-talk"
+ provide activities that are noncompetitive or mildly competitive
+ encourage students to participate in extra-curricular programs and activities
|Teaching Strategies: Communication Disorders
Collaboration among teachers and speech/language pathologists is crucial to meeting the needs of students with communication
disorders. Knowing these terms enhances communication among service providers and improves teachers' understanding of
reports written by speech/language pathologists.
apraxia (or dyspraxia) of speech: a disorder involving the voluntary movements of the speech mechanism needed to produce speech,
even though muscles, senses, and coordination are intact
articulation: sound production; systems governing speech
audition: sense of hearing (the first responsible step when noticing speech problems is to test hearing)
audiogram: printed record of a hearing test
audiologist: professional who tests hearing
carryover: generalization of newly learned language or speech to other settings; automatic, spontaneous use of newly learned language or
speech (relies on teachers and parents working cooperatively with therapists)
communication: (1) expression of an idea, (2) transmission of the idea to others, (3) comprehension by the receivers, and (4) social or
psychological impact of the message
delay: development is typical sequentially, but is occurring later than expected for typical developmental milestones
disorder: specific areas of abnormal development (less promising prognosis than for a delay)
dysarthria: articulation disorder resulting from abnormal brain development, central nervous system dysfunction, or brain damage
dysfluency: disturbances in the rhythm or flow of speech (stuttering); repeating or prolonging sounds of words; blocking on words; often
accompanied by facial grimaces
expressive language: messages we transmit to others
grammar: rules governing the use of a standard language
language: verbal/nonverbal signals; people in a community have agreed upon the signals' meanings; concepts/ideas; content of
communication; the messages; what we communicate to others
morphology: branch of linguistics concerned with the smallest identifiable unit that is grammatically pertinent (roots, affixes [-s, -ed, -ing, -ful,
re-, un-] and replacives [man/men, foot/feet, mouse/mice)
paralanguage: ways of communicating beyond word meaning (gestures, signs, facial expressions, eye-contact, body language, sound-making,
voice quality, intonation, rhythm of speech)
pragmatics: use of language in real context by real speakers and listeners in real conversations; effective (successful, appropriate, on-topic)
receptive language: concepts and messages received and comprehended
semantics: word meaning
speech: talking; verbal communication (involves voice, articulation, and fluency)
syntax: order/arrangement of words in an utterance or written language
|Teaching Strategies: Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
The diversity of autism is remarkable. Some students with autism need extensive or pervasive supports because they are also
labeled severely or profoundly intellectually disabled; others are gifted intellectually. The individual differences that exist within this
category are more diverse than in the general population. This is a reason not to stereotype students with autism or to assume that
a specific set of teaching strategies is a "magic bullet" to achieve potential.
Students with autism, as a group, benefit from functional behavior assessment, resulting behavior intervention plans, and
teaching strategies based on the principles of applied behavior analysis. There is a variety of intervention strategies - some
specifically devoted to learners on the autism spectrum - that specialists promote.
|Teaching Strategies: Autism Spectrum Disorders
In Part Three of this course - Teaching Strategies that Benefit All Learners - we will focus on classroom management, positively
changing behavior, behavior management principles and strategies, ways to increase appropriate behavior, positive behavioral
interventions and supports, ways to decrease inappropriate behavior, the case against punishment, and establishing effective
communication with students. Those topics don't just apply to students with emotional and behavioral disorders; they benefit all
Rather than focus here on specific teaching strategies that will be covered later in the course, we lay a foundation for managing
Students with emotional and behavioral disorders need
+ receptive understanding that these are disabilities, not choices
+ warmth; acceptance as people (rejecting behaviors, not students)
+ consistency, firmness, and resolve
+ no moral judgement
+ an alternative to punishment (punishment - defined as inflicting physical, emotional, and psychological discomfort/pain which
is intended to embarrass, shame, cause distress, and humiliate - does not work with these or other students)
Educational intervention and teaching strategies are based on psychology's behavior management principles (laws that govern
+ nonjudgmental, nonviolent alternatives to punishment and external control
+ positive expectations
+ favorable antecedent events
+ structure (predictable routines and schedules in a supportive environment dedicated to learning)
+ natural, logical consequences
+ positive reinforcement (reward by providing desired outcomes)
+ negative reinforcement (reward by withdrawing/removing undesired outcomes; the term is not a euphemism for punishment)
+ extinction (planned ignoring of inappropriate behaviors that are not harmful or disruptive)
+ interventions and strategies based on understanding, encouragement, praise, fairness, security, approval, and acceptance
instead of criticism, hostility, ridicule, shame, and humiliation
Vaughn, Bos, & Schumm (2014) devote a chapter to "Teaching Students with Autism
Spectrum Disorders/Pervasive Developmental Disorders" in their text, Teaching
Students Who Are Exceptional, Diverse, and At Risk in the General Education
Classroom. They recommend that teachers "assess preferences, establish a
classroom routine, teach communication skills, teach social skills," and use
"positive behavioral support" (pages 246-255).
As with any students - with or without special needs - collaborating with families is
a key to successful teaching, promoting consistency in expectations and intervention
at home and school. Considering that 35% of students, ages 6-21, with autism
benefit from supported inclusive education for 80-100% of the school day, those
students are placed in general class settings because they are expected to succeed
alongside peers who are developing typically.
In addition to teacher-parent partnerships, all stakeholders will benefit from
collaboration among service providers.
|PROFESSOR OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, AUTHOR, SPEAKER, AND CONSULTANT
|“I cannot emphasize enough the
importance of a good teacher."
|Teaching Strategies: Intellectual Disabilities
As a group, students with intellectual disabilities (ID) experience learning challenges similar to those listed earlier for students with
learning disabilities (LD). Unlike students with LD, learners with ID have significant limitations in intellectual functioning and
adaptive behavior. Other important distinctions between learners with LD and ID: (1) the development of students with ID is
typically normal sequentially, but is significantly delayed and (2) most students with LD have difficulties involving perception. In
order for students with ID to benefit from supported inclusive education, teachers select and develop strategies that focus on:
+ processing information
+ discrimination learning
+ association skills
+ short-term memory
+ expression of ideas
+ initial learning
+ incidental learning
These specific areas of challenge for most students with ID will be addressed in Part Three of EDPS 37000, Teaching Strategies
that Benefit All Learners, because efforts to differentiate instruction for these students result in techniques that improve learning for
all students. Learners, whether they have disabilities or not, benefit from expert, evidence-based teaching methods.
It's especially important that we promote positive self-concept, independence, and self-advocacy in our efforts to support students
with ID in achieving potential and quality of life. A place to begin in maximizing opportunities for learners with ID to achieve
potential is to enlist the support of their peers who are developing typically. Peer friendships, peer tutoring, buddy systems, and
teaching peers that students with ID are more alike than different are essential in promoting a community of learners who support
|Teaching Strategies: Visual Impairments
The place to begin: expect the same academic performance from students who are blind or partially sighted that you would expect
from your students who are sighted. Avoid pampering or treating students differently. Do not lower standards. Although
modifications and adaptations will be needed to "level the playing field," be cautioned that students with visual impairments are at
risk of "learned helplessness" that results from overprotection.
Move beyond the stereotype that students who are blind are helpless. Let the normalization principle guide your perceptions,
attitudes, planning, decisions, and behavior.
|Teaching Strategies: Hearing Loss
Although this course promotes "people first" language in reference to all people - with and without disabilities - we dispense with
nonlabeling language in reference to Deaf students because of the Deaf community's prevailing view that deafness is not a
disability. People first language is rejected by Deaf culture to disassociate with disability. The point is not to reject people with
disabilities; rather, it's an expression of cultural pride and a message to people who hear. That message, in part, is that Deaf
people are not "broken" and need to be "fixed" or "cured." We use an upper case D in Deaf, just as we would capitalize the first
letter of an ethnic term, such as Greek.
Most members of the Deaf community and advocates for Deaf people believe:
+ Deaf people are culturally different, a linguistic minority - not disabled or in need of special education
+ protecting cultural identity, values, customs, and codes of behavior take precedence over assimilation into the hearing world
|Teaching Strategies: Physical Disabilities
Physical disability is a broad category of individuals who are alike only in the sense that they are not average in physical ability.
Whether orthopedic impairments result from congenital anomalies, disease, or injury, generalizations about characteristics are
difficult. This makes identifying a set of teaching strategies aligned with learning challenges difficult, as well. However, as a group,
students with physical disabilities are more at risk than the general population to experience challenges associated with emotional
and social adjustment, self-concept, fear of injury, and social rejection.
It's difficult to form a realistic perception of adequacies and limitations when community reactions include overindulgence, social
distancing, discomfort, fear, condescension, and patronizing. Like anyone else, students with physical disabilities want to be
included and have opportunities to participate, but may experience considerable anxiety when more often told what they "cannot"
do, rather than being encouraged to consider and redefine the possibilities.
With these realities in mind, students with physical disabilities need parents, teachers, and other mentors with constructive attitudes
(sufficient understanding to accept disability and turn attention and energies toward finding ways to support the student in coping,
compensating, and circumventing potential limitations). Our efforts are driven by the normalization principle, the idea that we
should make available opportunities for everyday experiences that come as close as possible to the opportunities available to other
students. Educational decisions that come as close as possible to the choices we make for students who are not disabled are
most likely to be the "right thing" to do.
|Teaching Strategies: Health Impairments
As with physically disabilities, health impairments represent a diverse group of students who have a wide variety of needs. Like
students who are physically disabled, most health impairments present physical challenges. Another critical similarity: students
with health impairments may face discomfort, fears, social distancing, discrimination, and exclusion. Teaching strategies are less
about how to present instruction and more about how we can support students in coping with lack of acceptance from others. By
figuratively and literally embracing students with health impairments, we model acceptance that leads to improved quality of life.
Health impairments are scary to people. This fear is compounded by misunderstanding, myths, and lack of knowledge. We can
make a significant difference by informing peers of the facts and by modeling "business-as-usual," matter of fact, relaxed, casual
responses to compromised health and the events they sometimes bring to the classroom. As with all disabilities, we have an
important role in supporting students and their families from events that range from inconvenience to crisis. As with all areas of
special need, it's our response that sets a tone of acceptance, support, and problem-solving.
|Teaching Strategies: Traumatic Brain Injury
In 1990, congress added traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a separate category to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Prior
to this change, students with TBI were eligible for special education in the various categories that came closest to identifying their
primary disabling condition as a result of their injuries. Those labels added to the sense of crisis experienced by families and
service providers. By shifting identification from specific areas of permanent disability to one label that at once (1) explained the
causes of the disabilities and (2) placed students in a category in which improvement or recovery might occur, the law contributed
to redefining possible outcomes.
Depending on the nature, extent, and severity of brain injuries, students' interventions may be those commonly associated with
intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, behavioral disorders, communication disorders, hearing loss,
visual impairment, and/or physical disability. Therefore, teaching strategies promoted as good matches with learning challenges for
those specific disability categories are the focus of rehabilitation. In order to be genuinely effective and supportive, teachers should
be sensitive to the sense of loss and tragedy felt by parents whose sons and daughters are brain injured. That sensitivity would
extend to siblings and other family members, as well. While no two situations facing families are the same, one principle applies to
all: their lives will never again be the same.
|POVERTY - Above all other factors, poverty presents the highest single risk for students to not achieve academic success.
+ official US poverty rate: 12.7% (40.6 million people) | 1 in 3 children living with significant deprivation
+ White: 9% | Asian:11% | Hispanic: 19% | African American: 22% | Native American: 24%
+ ages 65 and older: 9% | ages 19-64: 12% | children 0-18: 20% | children under 6: 21%
+ poor prenatal care | malnutrition | inadequate health care | unskilled parenting | hunger | poor housing | homelessness
+ learning, behavioral, and emotional problems | disabilities
|HOMELESSNESS - 2.5 million children in the United States are homeless (1 in 30)
+ Nearly 25% percent of all people who are homeless in the US are children (under age 18).
+ Living in shelters, on the streets, in vehicles, and other public settings
Smith, Polloway, Patton, and Dowdy (2011) offered us the following advice:
+ Be understanding about absences
+ Families may fear that services require discovery and breakup of the family
+ Signs of homelessness
+ Monitor behavior and progress paying special attention to physical, health, emotional, and social issues
+ Homework may be compromised
+ Be a safe resource for students and their families
To work with parents who are homeless, teachers may consider:
+ Meeting with parents at their place of work or at school
+ Offering to help family members get services from social service agencies
+ Not requiring excessive school supplies that many families cannot afford
|HUNGER - 18 million children in the US (1 in every 4) live in food insecure households
|CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT - 4.3 million reports a year
According to Smith, Polloway, Patton, and Dowdy (2011), "Child abuse and neglect occur in families from every socioeconomic
level, race, religion, and ethnic background" (p. 438).
|BULLYING - 160,000 children a day miss school out of fear of being bullied | 3.2 million children are bullied each year
| Although all children are potential victims of bullying, marginalized groups are far more likely to be bullied. Students who are
ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities; disabled; gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered; and those whose appearance is
different (such as overweight/underweight, tall/short, those who wear glasses/braces, dress differently, have unusual hair styles
or body piercings); and kids who are gifted; new to the school; shy or outspoken.
Another concern that teachers must take into account: the bullies are victims, too. They clearly "have issues" that prevent them
from enjoying positive home, school, and community lives. They may be bullied by someone else and are simply "passing it on."
Kids who have such low self-esteem that they need to bully someone else to feel better about themselves are kids who may need
understanding and compassion, as well. They may have emotional or psychological problems that prevent them from feeling
empathy for others, which is a necessary attribute for companionship, personal connections, and socialization.
Those who "look the other way" or otherwise fail to intervene when bullying occurs are reminded that "our lives begin to end on the
day we become silent about things that matter" (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.).
|STUDENTS WHO ARE GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDERED (GLBT) - Emerging from exclusion
Students whose sexual orientation, identity,
and expression have been marginalized by
others face significant challenges that have
an impact on academic success and social
acceptance. Many are rejected by their
own families - ordinarily key sources of
support for people who are mistreated.
Teachers can play a vital role in modeling
respect for people's differences in general.
When figuratively and literally embracing
students who are GLBT, teachers encourage
peers who are "straight" to be allies who join
in resistance to hatred, discrimination, and
|SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES - 12 million single parent families (80% are single mothers, raising 17.4 million children)
The typical parent who is single:
+ a mother
+ separated or divorced
+ employed | not living in poverty
+ does not receive public assistance
+ age 40 or over
+ raising one child
Teachers can be a source of comfort and
support for a parent as well as a student.
Encouragement does make a difference.
Students who are gifted require educational
experiences not ordinarily offered in the general
school curriculum to develop demonstrated or
potential aptitudes, creativity, and leadership.
Typically, students who are gifted perform
significantly above average on standardized
measures of intelligence and excel academically
in one or more areas. Creativity and problem-solving are chief characteristics associated with giftedness.
Research consistently and conclusively demonstrates that students who are gifted appear in all ages, grade levels, socioeconomic
levels, races, ethnic groups and both genders in about equal numbers. However, in practice, certain groups of students typically go
under-identified: (1) students who are culturally different, (2) those whose proficiency in English is compromised because it is their
second language, (3) those from low-income families, and (4) learners with disabilities.
Studies reveal that most students who are gifted do not match their tested ability with comparable achievement in school. The
greatest challenge facing these students is achieving their potential. In spite of the common belief that they are more capable of
success than others, their needs are not clearly understood, resulting in a high risk of going unchallenged and receiving instruction
designed for someone else's needs.
These students benefit from teaching strategies that emphasize creativity, intellectual initiative, critical thinking skills, leadership,
responsibility for learning, flexibility, collaboration, reflective teaching, student choices, co-planning with teachers, opportunities for
mentor partnerships, and curriculum compacting.
Here are some resources to better understand the educational needs of students who are gifted and how to meet those needs:
|Like students with disabilities, learners who are gifted have special needs. This is why gifted education is a part of special
education. The term special education itself is often confused with meanings of the word special which were not intended.
|MEANINGS OF THE WORD "SPECIAL"
1. in some way superior, as in special quality
2. held in particular esteem, as in a special friend
3. more valued, as in a special person
4. particular, as in a special day
5. unusual, extra, out of the ordinary
|Of these five meanings, it's the last one - number 5 - that is meant by the word "special" in "special education." Students
who require special education need something unusual, something extra, something out of the ordinary in order to achieve
their potential. Special education is unusual education. Students who are gifted require instruction that is unusual.
As with students with disabilities, there is a broad range of placement and service options for students who are gifted. Enrichment
(additions to regular programming) and acceleration (moving through the regular curriculum at a more rapid rate), "pull-out"
programs, magnet schools, and supported inclusive education in which students remain in general education classes with the
benefit of supplementary aids and services are all effective service delivery models, depending on the individual needs of students.
|Multicultural Education | Culturally Responsive Teaching and Supports
|"NO ONE MODEL AMERICAN"
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (1973)
"Multicultural education is education which values cultural pluralism.
Multicultural education rejects the view that schools should seek to melt
away cultural differences or the view that schools should merely tolerate
"To endorse cultural pluralism is to endorse the principle that there is no
one model American. To endorse cultural pluralism is to understand and
appreciate the differences that exist among the nation's citizens.
"It is to see these differences as a positive force in the continuing
development of a society that professes a wholesome respect for the
intrinsic worth of every individual."
1. staffing patterns throughout the organizational hierarchy that reflect the pluralistic nature of American society
2. curricula that are appropriate, flexible, unbiased, and that incorporate the contributions of minority cultures
3. affirmation of cultural differences as differences rather than deficiencies
4. instructional materials that are free from bias, omissions, and stereotypes
5. educational assessment/evaluation procedures which encourage understanding and respect for all people
Biases, prejudices, stereotypes, and low expectations for students who are culturally different significantly reduce and impair a
teacher's effectiveness as an instructor, facilitator, and classroom manager. Culturally responsive teaching acknowledges the
principle that we cannot be satisfied with a school that treats only some of its students well. All ethnic cultures and languages are
valued in the culturally responsive classroom.
Multicultural education reflects sensitivity to individual differences while respecting
students' memberships in groups. It increases teachers' consciousness about the
wide range of family experiences associated with cultural heritage, a source of
pride that is essential to identity.
|CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHING
What is the "promise" that special education was to keep? It was to demonstrate to all people, and especially to those of us most intimately
involved, that each person can contribute to the larger society, that all people are equally valuable, that a human being is entitled to
developmental opportunities, and that development is plastic.
We have been faithful; we have supported humanistic precepts and philosophies, and we have believed that there is "enrichment through
difference." Thus, the promise of special education has always been, and remains today, not a special curriculum, or special methods, or even
special teachers. The gifts that this movement was to endow us with were the gifts of optimism and belief in the human ethos, charity and love
for our brothers, and the conviction that our work is not to judge who can or cannot change, but rather to fulfill the prophecy that all people can
change; each person can learn.
For the promise to be kept, for these things to occur beyond wish or fantasy, one must begin with oneself. Before I ask the world to change, I
I am the beginning step.
Teachers concerned about the perception and status of their profession by the general public must understand
that people "get" the robust attention to confidentiality in other fields, such as health care, law, and counseling.
Talking about students and families outside the context of direct service delivery runs the risk of violating trust and the individual
dignity of the people to whom we have dedicated our careers. In that context, compromising confidentiality is counter-intuitive,
illogical, and professionally naive.
|Advocacy efforts on behalf of students, their families, and service providers are driven by the firm belief
that "our lives begin to end on the day we become silent about things that matter" (Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr.) and that "one child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world" (Malala Yousafzai).
In his third documentary to look at education in America, Davis Guggenheim
brings us 'TEACH,' which asks the question: what does it take to be a teacher?
Offering a rare glimpse inside four public school classrooms, Guggenheim
invites us to follow the struggles and triumphs of America's education system
through the eyes, minds and hearts of its most essential resource: teachers."
|Part Three: Teaching Strategies that Benefit All Learners
|Our Mission and Primary Goals
|As teachers, our mission is to maximize opportunities for all learners to achieve their potential, to be the best they can be.
|Assessment for Instruction
In addition to the assessment that is part of the formal evaluation process to determine eligibility for special education, students
with and without disabilities are assessed by classroom teachers to gather data that drives educational decision-making. Through
formal and informal assessments, teachers identify baselines of entering performances as the first step in designing instruction.
Beyond documenting entering performances, assessment is a way to identify strengths, needs, and individual learning styles -
information that supports teachers in developing optimum instruction, including decisions about goals, objectives, curriculum,
teaching strategies, materials, ways to deliver instruction, task analysis, and how to best measure outcomes. Assessment is the
ultimate link to instruction, determining how to best present concepts and tasks in a variety of settings and contexts. In the
process, assessment helps teachers decide about initial instruction and goals to achieve (1) skill acquisition, (2) maintenance
of skills, and (3) generalization of skills (carry-over or transfer of learning from one setting to another).
Students' performance during assessment is influenced by (1) demands of the task, (2) history and characteristics students bring
to the task, (3) the setting, (4) student perceptions, (5) relationships between learners and the people administering assessment,
(6) current events in the life of the child, (7) expectations, and (8) how compelled students are to perform their best.
|"I realized early in my career that students experienced optimal learning when I allowed my assessment methodology
to shape my teaching. In doing this, assessment provided information that was directly useful in forming decisions
about teaching and learning for my students. This is best achieved when the students are examined in a variety of
contexts as well as determining not only what a child has learned, but how a child is learning" (Wooton).
Assessment is the "starting place" of the diagnostic-prescriptive teaching model known as Precision Teaching (assessment, task
analysis, designing objectives, individualized planning, evaluation of outcomes, and ongoing program evaluation). It's about
pinpointing learners' strengths and needs, documenting entering performances in various skill areas, comparing current skills with
typical development to determine what needs to be taught, and interest inventories.
Assessment may be formative or summative, formal or informal, norm-referenced or criterion-referenced. It is achieved through
curriculum-based observations, performance samples, portfolios, interviews, and eliciting unique information provided by parents
and other family members. It is a key to establishing minimum performance criteria with which to measure outcomes.
|Teacher Expectations and Student Performance
|Self-Concept: "What I Think You Think of Me"
|Teacher Behavior When Expectations are Low
(J. Kierstead in Sparks & Sparks, 1984)
|Opportunities to Participate / Interact
Proximity: seated farther away from teacher and group
Personal Interactions: smiled at less often; received less eye contact
Instructional Interactions: called on less often to respond; asked less often to model/demonstrate behaviors; given less instruction
Work Load: given fewer opportunities to learn new material; asked to do less work
Response Time: given less time to respond
|How students were treated when teachers had low expectations:
|Nature of Teacher Reactions
Delving: provided fewer clues and follow up questions to assist in understanding a question and formulating a response
Corrective Feedback: given less accurate, less detailed feedback to responses; less often given any feedback at all
Praise: praised more frequently for marginal, inadequate responses; praised less frequently for successful responses
Desists: received more commands to cease behavior than others displaying the same behaviors
Criticism: criticized more often for an incorrect response than other students making the same response
|DECADES OF RESEARCH
Teacher expectations have a direct, well-documented impact on learner outcomes.
|Two Ways to View Students who are "Different"
+ the student is fundamentally different from other students
+ differences are basic, as if by nature
+ "them" and "us" mentality ("we" are superior; "they" are inferior, deficient)
+ by comparison, "they" are incapable, incompetent, less than whole, not as good as we
+ we are all members of the same family - the human family - sharing space on a single continuum
+ our differences are a matter of degree (snow flakes | fingerprints)
+ we are more alike one another than we are different from one another
+ although there are individual differences, we have the same needs
+ all students successfully learn and be secure when feeling accepted, appreciated, respected, and loved
+ all people can learn
+ an effective school program will teach listening, sharing, cooperation, respecting self and others,
expecting respect, learning how to learn, and enjoyment of learning together
There are two lists in the minds of our students: (1) these are the things I can do and (2) these are the things I can't do. The
second list is further divided into two lists: (1) these are the things I can't do, but I'm willing to try; and (2) these are the things I
can't do and I'm not even going to try them. For students with diverse learning needs, that last list is typically longer than for other
students. As teachers, our goal is to shorten that list as much as possible. By expressing sincere, positive expectations for what
our students can accomplish, we empower them to try. (Nothing gets accomplished without trying.)
|Universal Design for Learning
|The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004)
"Supporting research, development, and dissemination of technology with universal design features, so that
the technology is accessible to the broadest range of individuals with disabilities without further modification
"The State educational agency (or, in the case of a districtwide assessment, the local educational agency)
shall, to the extent feasible, use universal design principles in developing and administering any
"To support the use of technology, including technology with universal design principles, and assistive
technology devices, to maximize accessibility to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities."
"Projects that promote the development and use of technologies with universal design, assistive technology
devices, and assistive technology services to maximize access to and participation in the general education
curriculum for students with disabilities."
|Principles of Universal Design for Learning
Equitable Use: The design is useful and available to people with diverse abilities.
Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
Simple and Intuitive: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or
current concentration level.
Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient
conditions or the user's sensory abilities.
Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue.
Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use
regardless of the user's body size, posture, or mobility.
In their textbook, Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today's Schools, Turnbull, Turnbull, & Wehmeyer (2010) devote Chapter 2 to "Ensuring Progress in the
General Education Curriculum Through Universal Design for Learning and Inclusion." Among the points made:
"Universal design (UD) is an architectural concept that helps people with disabilities become fully included in their communities."
"UD features ensure accessibility for all people, not just those with disabilities."
"UDL (universal design for learning) refers to the design of instructional materials and activities to make the content information accessible to all children."
"UDL ensures that students with disabilities can access the general education curriculum via curriculum modifications achieved through technology and
instruction (i.e., pedagogy)."
"Teachers achieve flexibility in representing and presenting content when they use several different formats, including text, graphics or pictures, digital and other
media formats (audio or video, movies), and performance formats (plays, skits) and when they use different means to deliver content information, including
lectures, computerized visual presentations such as PowerPoint, role playing, and computer-mediated instruction."
"The bottom line is simply this: universal design for learning tailors the instruction to the needs of each student. It focuses on a student's strengths, takes the
student's learning capacities into account, and offers each student a full opportunity to benefit from the general education curriculum."
|"How wonderful it is that nobody need
wait a single moment before starting
to improve the world."
|"Teach the Way They Learn"
|ATTENTION | TASK FOCUS | TASK COMPLETION
distractibility (difficulty inhibiting responses to extraneous, irrelevant stimuli
Reduce extraneous stimuli in the classroom.
+ section room with partitions when groups are at work
+ seat students away from doors and windows
+ control interruptions
+ establish consistent, structured patterns of learning and conduct
+ provide structure, organization, routines, opportunities for choices, exploration, and flexibility
Emphasize relevant stimuli and use varying modes of presentation.
+ provide examples, illustrations, demonstrations, audio-visual aids, technology
+ manipulatives, tangible materials, hands-on experiences
Spend short periods of time on new, more difficult concepts and activities.
+ break an hour's worth of instruction into three 20-minute presentations with breaks in between
+ avoid overwhelming students with new information by including practice with familiar material and concepts
Encourage questions and group interaction/involvement.
+ use attention-getting/maintaining devices
+ try a deck of name cards to avoid calling on the same students or only the students who raise their hands
+ check frequently for understanding
Reinforce (reward) attending behavior; ignore nonattending behavior if it is not harmful or disruptive.
perceiving likenesses and differences among symbols, objects, letters, words, numerals, values, sounds, colors, shapes, sizes, concepts
Reduce background interference and interruptions to a minimum.
Attach names to each object/concept with emphasis on making use of all sense modalities.
Initial instruction should be distinct and novel with gross discriminations.
+ dimensions should be clear
+ isolate a characteristic by keeping all other features constant
+ present finer discriminations as the student gains skills
Instruction should be sequential according to task difficulty.
Discrimination should logically lead to understanding of classes/categories.
Program activities for success with modeling, reinforcement, and active engagement.
decoding and interpreting symbols; connecting experiences, events, concepts, facts, feelings
Group together concepts that are alike.
Encourage students to verbalize components, aspects, and sequence of an activity.
Help students learn that some events naturally precede others (logical thinking, sequencing, patterning).
Relate cause to effect; take advantage of unplanned "teachable moments."
Explicitly point out commonalities among objects and activities.
Encourage learners to make predictions.
carry-over, transfer of learning from one setting, time, person, context to other environments
Focus on what makes an idea or event unforgettable:
+ Make presentations/materials/activities inviting, clear, unique, fun, pertinent, colorful, attractive, compelling, engaging, interesting, and
+ Make instruction bold and allow for a clear view
Tasks should move from the simple to the complex (scope and sequence).
Minimize interfering material between what is to be remembered and tests of recall.
Name concepts/objects and encourage multisensory associations.
Control reinforcement so students' anticipation of a reward is not so high that it interferes with concentration.
Provide short-term memory activities(flash cards, computer games, videos, DVDs, recordings, board games like Concentration).
Dramatization, enthusiasm, and noticeable changes in presentation enhance memory.
Phone/e-mail/text home about student successes.
"Overlearning" in a practical, meaningful way; using a variety of sensory modalities and materials.
Reduce each task to its simplest components and present instruction in a logical sequence (task analysis).
Use materials that are personally meaningful to students.
+ materials should be used in practical situations
+ demonstrate how what is being learned is applicable, how it will benefit the student (personal meaning)
Consistent presentation of concepts.
|EXPRESSION OF IDEAS | COMMUNICATION SKILLS | LANGUAGE
successfully communicating needs, wants, ideas, responses to instruction
Design a classroom atmosphere that is conducive to participation; stimulate conversations.
+ student responses should not be constantly evaluated and criticized
+ language (what is communicated) takes precedence over speech (how it is communicated)
+ substance over form
+ support, don't stifle, participation
Take time to listen to complete messages from students.
Model appropriate language use.
Facilitate communication with computer activities, video, costumes, pantomime, bulletin board displays, games, field trips, music,
art, role-play, student presentations, cooperative learning activities, guest speakers, peer support, and family involvement.
recalling new information; remembering, repeating, and writing recent concepts, facts, and events
introduction to new concepts; learning new ideas, dispositions, performances, and skills
Recognize that some students may learn more slowly, but have potential for overcoming slow starts when given opportunities for
practice and success.
+ make practice varied and interesting
+ students benefit from repetition, exposure to many contexts, and multisensory experiences
+ repeat in a variety of ways and apply to a variety of situations
Present early in the class period.
Emphasize personal significance - application - of what is being introduced.
Stress application, usefulness, and generalization
concepts and skills learned without the benefit of direct instruction; using environmental cues, past experience, models, discovery
Guided instruction provides students with direction.
+ create opportunities for students to recall and discover
+ point out environmental cues
Meaningful field trips with preparation and follow-up.
Technology - especially the Internet - is useful for focusing attention.
|Understanding that No Two Students Learn the Same Way
Students with diverse learning needs - like all students - benefit from our efforts at studying their learning characteristics and
unique learning styles through careful observation and assessment. On the basis of data collected, design an individualized plan
that specifies goals, objectives, methods, materials, and ways to measure outcomes. Apply a version of the precision teaching
model to all learners.
|"If (students) don't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn."
The adage, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink," is an educational cop-out. It's like saying, "I taught it,
but they didn't learn it." Our responsibility as teachers is to make instruction so compelling and sensitive to individual differences
that we maximize opportunities for all students to learn. Our job is to make "the horse" thirsty. Then, she will "drink."
ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING TRUST
+ unconditional acceptance and respect for students and their families
+ appropriate verbal/nonverbal responses; match words with actions
+ avoid differential treatment of learners while understanding that certain accommodations are needed by some, but not others
+ let students see you as a "real person"
SEND CLEAR SIGNALS
+ be specific
+ match verbal and nonverbal messages
+ observe and take into account student reactions
+ give learners undivided attention
+ maintain eye contact
+ wait for complete messages
+ decode messages carefully
+ express understanding and empathy
|Positively Changing Behavior: Behavior Management Principles and Strategies
Teacher and parent expectations have a direct, well-documented impact on learner
+ "I wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't believed it."
+ noncategorical thinking
+ individual differences
+ "We won't know until we've tried."
+ try another way
Modeling takes advantage of people's tendency to imitate others' behaviors and
students' natural desire for approval. When a student does not exhibit a specific
desirable behavior (or displays that behavior at a low rate), teachers can speed up
the learning process by providing models to imitate.
+ use modeling when a desirable behavior/performance is absent, infrequent, or
competing with some high probability inappropriate behavior
+ present a variety of techniques: verbal prompts; partial answers; guided notes;
role playing; demonstrations; media, including books, videos, computer programs,and Internet; games that require cooperation and
turn taking; point out desirable performances and behaviors of other students; arrange for students to interact with peers
who behave appropriately
+ some models are more effective than others (peers and others the learner admires and whose approval she seeks)
+ teachers and parents are models, too, maximizing their effectiveness when demonstrating kindness, warmth, fairness, and
respect while being firm in expectations, contingencies, and rules
+ the best models for students with diverse learning needs are people who have faced and overcome similar challenges
+ students receiving little or no support, encouragement, or praise from teachers and parents will turn elsewhere for approval
+ children have a greater need for models than critics
+ combine modeling with reinforcement
The single most powerful teaching strategy is to follow students' appropriate performance/behavior with a consequence that is
rewarding. Each time a positive consequence is provided, the probability increases that the student will repeat the behavior.
Events reinforcing to one student may not reinforce another student. Events reinforcing at one time may not be reinforcing at
another time. Positive reinforcers are limited only by our imagination. Here are some examples:
Expressions of Approval
+ verbal praise ("I like the way you are sitting," "That is excellent work," "I am proud of you for doing such a fine job on your
science project," "You should show this to your parents," "Thank you for getting to class on time."
+ eye contact, smiling, winking, laughing, hugging, clapping, pat on the back, shaking hands, "high five," "low five," signaling
"okay," thumbs up
+ displaying students' work for others to see
+ sitting with the student at lunch or on the field trip bus
+ being the teacher's partner during a game or activity
+ sending home notes of approval; calling, e-mailing, or texting home with "good news"
+ positive comments written on a paper, project, or rubric
+ "bragging" to someone in the student's presence about his behavior
+ "brag board" bulleting board display
+ reporting appropriate behavior to the principal
+ announcing students' achievements on the school's intercom or in a school newsletter
+ awards/certificates for appropriate performance/behavior
+ citations, badges, buttons
Classroom/School Helping Responsibilities
+ "teacher's assistant"
+ monitorships: chalkboard, computers and other technology, plants, materials, class roll, lunch count, hall duty, activities
+ being the leader of an activity
+ decorating a bulletin board
+ selecting or planning a field trip
+ teaching a lesson
+ presenting a skit, in charge of entertainment
+ running media equipment for the class
+ membership in special committee
+ class representative or officer; student council membership
+ operating duplicating equipment
+ sharpening pencils
+ helping in the cafeteria; assisting the custodian, nurse, librarian, secretary
+ escorting visitors; giving tours; being a greeter
+ inviting guest speakers
+ tutoring younger students; tutoring/assisting/supporting students with special needs
+ assisting teacher in preparing and distributing instructional materials
+ run office errands or message runner
Classroom and School Privileges/Activities
+ captain of a cooperative learning group
+ extra time in the gym or for a nature walk
+ extra computer time for creative writing, playing games, Internet activities, reading the newspaper, doing a crossword puzzle
+ no homework for a night or weekend
+ being excused from a quiz or assignment
+ access to library, interest activity area, games
+ time to listen to music or radio with personal headsets
+ earn extra free time for activities of choice or self-selected project
+ extra time in the math lab, reading lab, science lab
+ social privileges (parties, dances, plays, field trips)
+ "behavior honor roll"
+ demonstrate hobby to class
+ watch a movie or TV program (screen time)
+ academic contest participation
+ time alone with counselor or staff member
+ be "principal for the day"
+ eat lunch with the teacher
+ participate in a cookout or picnic
+ awards for attendance, behavior, academic achievement, improvement, hard work
+ "all star list," honor society
+ make announcements on the intercom
+ invite a sibling or friend to class
+ be VIP for the day
+ record class discussion on an overhead projector, document camera, chalkboard, or video camera
+ moderate a class discussion or debate; moderate a panel
+ select a day for the class to meet outdoors
+ have the teacher carry the student's books/materials to class
+ change places with the teacher for a class activity
+ plan an assignment for the teacher
+ release time to serve in a community volunteer position
+ displaying work at a PTA meeting
+ riding a varsity bus to an away game
+ being selected to a "Who's Who" club
+ making a video to show to the class
Home Reinforcers Based on Teacher Reports
+ family privileges
+ excused from chores
+ trip to a favorite fast-food restaurant
+ going to a movie with parent(s)
+ attending a sports event
+ a candlelight dinner in honor of student
+ shopping for books, magazines, sports cards
+ screen time (TV, video games, Internet)
Token Economy Systems and Symbols of Appropriate Performance/Behavior
+ tokens to be exchanged for something of value to the student
+ bonus points
+ credits earned toward a reward or privilege
+ charting progress
+ placing contingencies for reinforcement into a written document to be signed by all parties directly involved
+ contacting for privileges, rewards based on performance
Tangible Rewards (paid from materials budget)
+ books, magazines, sports cards
+ music (CD, tape, record, sheet music, poster of recording star)
+ art materials, pencil or pen, note pad, felt tip marker
+ game, playing cards
+ "gift certificate" for privilege or activity
+ button proclaiming approval of accomplishment
+ congratulatory announcements, certificates
+ special passes
THE RULING PRINCIPLES OF POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
Positive reinforcement can be counter-productive or backfire if not administered correctly, risking the creation of a "praise junkie."
Following these rules of how to best use positive reinforcement will ensure that appropriate behaviors are effectively increased
without inadvertently creating new problems.
+ document a baseline of performance or behavior in terms of frequency or duration
+ select reinforcers that are effective for specific students
+ develop a reinforcement menu based on an interest inventory and through observation
+ elicit ideas from parents; they are providers of unique information (they know their sons and daughters better than anyone)
+ vary reinforcers and change them frequently
+ make reinforcers contingent on learner responses
+ require an acceptable level of performance just above the baseline
+ set reasonable requirements
+ provide immediate reinforcement at first (timing is important)
+ combine praise with an exact description of the desired behavior
+ use words to bridge the gap when you can't provide immediate tangible rewards and privileges
+ gradually shape behavior (initially, reward frequently for small improvements (increments toward the target behavior)
+ set requirements just above the baseline and gradually reward successive approximations toward the target behavior
+ make contingencies clear and consistent
+ raise requirements, moving to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement
+ FADE OUT reinforcement for a specific behavior or performance by gradually requiring larger amounts
+ teach the student to REWARD SELF
+ develop and encourage an internal locus of control (the ultimate goal is for the student to INTERNALIZE behavior)
+ don't eliminate reinforcement completely when a goal is reached; maintain success with occasional recognition
+ delay reinforcement when teaching a student to wait patiently
+ omit reinforcement when behavior does not improve
+ several reinforcers may be combined to increase value
+ adults should combine their efforts
+ beware of unintentionally reinforcing inappropriate behavior
+ encourage efforts rather than constantly correcting mistakes
+ recognize the limitations of reinforcement: students' interests, readiness, current skills, interfering needs and perceptions
+ avoid ignoring students when they deserve acknowledgement; don't wait until they inappropriately demand attention
+ if getting the task done quickly takes precedence over teaching the student to her part, you may be rewarding "neglect of duty"
+ avoid food as a reward
+ reinforcement is not coaxing (rewards nonparticipation)
+ reinforcement is not bribery (distorts judgement and compromises integrity)
+ giving and withdrawing expressions of love and caring may produce emotional insecurity
+ beware that students don't "turn the table" on you by putting you on a schedule of reinforcement
+ CONSISTENCY is the key to success!
STRUCTURING THE CLASSROOM: "SETTING THE STAGE"
In order for antecedent events (what happens just before behavior is exhibited) to be under the teacher's control, arrange:
+ the physical environment consistent with the principles of universal design for learning
+ rules (allow for student input and limit the number) and a class motto
+ clear, positive expectations for academic performance and social behavior
+ clear messages and instructions
+ effective language of instruction
+ teaching strategies
+ instruction matched with individual learning styles
+ instructional materials that are developmentally appropriate, compelling, engaging,
and personally meaningful
+ time, length, and order of presentation
+ instructional group size
+ schedules, routines, transitions, and opportunities for choices
+ advise parents to provide structure at home (clear expectations; physical
arrangements; defining time for chores, homework, and play; rules and schedules;
options; and opportunities for the child to lead)
STRUCTURING THE CLASSROOM: TIME AND PLACE
To teach students to perform/behave in certain ways under one set of circumstances but not in another, help them to identify the
cues that make situations different and praise them for making the distinction.
+ make students aware of time, place, other people
+ help with models, cues, consistent recognition
+ ask learners to articulate the similarities and differences among classroom, school, lunchroom, gym, and playground events
+ establish designated areas for study, schoolwork, play, leisure activities
+ don't use an area designated for a positive educational experience as a location for consequences or a work area for play
STRUCTURING THE CLASSROOM: SENDING SIGNALS (CUEING)
To teach a student to act in a certain way at a specific time, arrange a cue for performance just before the behavior is expected,
rather than correcting an inappropriate behavior after it occurs. Cueing is a way of offering proactive support for learners.
+ cues should be simple, nonhostile directions
+ cues are gentle reminders (not nagging)
+ be pleasant and matter-of-fact in providing cues
+ cues can be direct or indirect
+ cues must be clear to the learner
+ cues are automatically built into the classroom
+ combine cueing with modeling and reinforcement
+ gradually reduce cues as students learn target behaviors
NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT (REWARD)
The term "negative reinforcement" is not a euphemism for punishment or negative consequences. The term "reinforcement"
means reward. Negative reinforcement is rewarding students by removing aversive situations. The word "negative" in "negative
reinforcement" means we are taking away something the students don't want - a quiz, for example.
+ excuse students from a task, chore, or assignment to reward them for appropriate behavior
+ reward students by removing bullying from the classroom
PROVIDING APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES
+ teacher responsibility/ownership for student success
+ level of difficulty; length and time of tasks
+ providing attractive, engaging, inviting, compelling lessons and materials
+ assignments and activities that call on higher order thinking skills and offer students choices
+ break tasks down into their teachable bits to avoid frustration and promote success
+ go through the tasks yourself and record each step, considering the scope, sequence, and related concepts
"I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the
decisive element in the classroom. It is my
personal approach that creates the climate. It is
my daily mood that makes the weather. As a
teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a
child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of
torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can
humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it
is my response that decides whether a crisis will
be escalated or de-escalated, a child humanized or
|Decreasing Inappropriate Behavior
|Increasing Appropriate Performance/Behavior
Just as reinforcement is the most powerful way to increase behavior, the elimination of rewards (extinction) is the most effective
way to decrease behavior. Most inappropriate behaviors are not harmful to self or others and do not disrupt the classroom. In
those cases, it's more effective to ignore them than to call attention to them. Rather than inadvertently rewarding inappropriate
behavior through eye contact, proximity, calling a student's name, and emphatic displays of disappointment or anger, it's far more
effective to direct energies toward reinforcing the students who are behaving appropriately while ignoring the student who is not.
Behavior that is not reinforced will eventually be extinguished.
+ when one student is behaving inappropriately, take time out to acknowledge the 24 students who are behaving appropriately
+ arrange conditions so that no reward follows inappropriate behavior
+ extinction is the most difficult of all strategies
+ students will redouble their efforts, resulting initially in increased inappropriate behavior
+ rather than become discouraged by this, see it as an expected, positive indicator that the technique will work
+ be fair; provide acceptable alternatives for behavior and show your approval by reinforcing the student when he displays them
+ control other sources of reinforcement; get others involved in the strategy
+ be consistent; inconsistency provides the most effective schedule of reinforcement (variable ratio)
+ "giving in" rewards inappropriate behavior, taking you "back to square one"
DIFFERENTIAL REINFORCEMENT OF LOWER RATES OF BEHAVIOR (DRL)
DRL decreases behaviors that, while tolerable or desirable in low rates, are inappropriate when occurring too often or too rapidly.
+ class discussion (contributing vs. dominating)
+ math problems (so rapid that errors occur vs. taking one's time)
+ establish a baseline
+ reinforce lower frequency/duration of the behavior
+ provide student with feedback
DIFFERENTIAL REINFORCEMENT OF OTHER BEHAVIORS (DRO)
DRO rewards students when a behavior is not displayed for a specific period of time. Unlike DRL, this strategy reinforces only
+ reinforce contingent on time intervals
+ gradually lengthen intervals
+ then, reinforce contingent on entire class session
+ may also be used with permanent product outcomes (reinforcement for every section of paper that does not contain doodles or
every complete paper that is free of doodles)
DIFFERENTIAL REINFORCEMENT OF INCOMPATIBLE BEHAVIORS (DRI)
DRI provides recognition for a response that is incompatible with the behavior targeted for reduction. An appropriate response
makes it physically impossible for the student to engage in the inappropriate behavior.
+ "illegal use of hands" vs. "screen time"
+ wandering around the room vs. completing an art project or playing a musical instrument
+ out-of-seat behavior vs. enjoyable academic activities
+ choose an appropriate behavior that is incompatible with the undesirable behavior
+ record baseline (frequency or duration of each)
+ follow rules of reinforcement, especially a careful fading of rewards
MODELING AND STRUCTURE
+ demonstrate/point out/discuss unfortunate effects of undesired behavior
+ manage the classroom environment to reduce the probability of inappropriate behavior
+ structured situations set limits to alternative behaviors
+ awareness developed in teacher-student conferences following inappropriate behavior
+ student participates in identifying logical, natural consequences as outcomes of inappropriate behavior
+ involve student and family in the process
+ natural, logical consequences are alternatives to punishment
+ uncompleted homework assigned during free time
+ cleaning, repairing, or replacing damaged property
+ class discussion to address general group problems
+ correcting one's mistakes / "making things right"
ENDING AVERSIVE SITUATIONS
+ applying negative reinforcement (rewarding students by removing something undesirable to them)
+ students are happier when their inappropriate behavior is under control and eventually eliminated
REMOVAL OF DESIRABLE SITUATIONS (LAST RESORT STRATEGY)
+ time out (from positive reinforcement)
+ consult with parents; get their permission for systematic exclusion from reinforcement
+ establish consistent rules governing use
+ establish a separate area used exclusively for time out, not an area ordinarily used for instruction or play
+ specify behaviors student may display to avoid time out
+ be immediate and clearly inform student of reason for time out in as few words as possible ("no hitting," for example)
+ number of minutes should not exceed the child's age
+ when time out is over, restate its reason ("no hitting," for example)
+ record progress (if there is not progress as a result of time out, discontinue its use)
|The Case Against Punishment
Natural, logical consequences are not punishment. Punishment is defined as inflicting physical, emotional, and psychological pain
or discomfort intended to embarrass, cause distress, humiliate, or shame. It is typically unrelated to the offense. Resulting initial
suppression of inappropriate behavior is interpreted as punishment "working." When the behavior returns at a greater intensity,
it's often blamed on the child rather than a poor choice of intervention.
The following list reflects decades of research findings from the fields of education; special education; psychology; sociology;
medicine, including psychiatry; educational psychology; and social psychology.
+ often provides students with a model of violence
+ sends the message that violence is the way to solve problems
+ is based on a "might makes right" approach in which power of size and strength prevails
+ is judgemental
+ often does not specify what the child can do that is acceptable
+ does not affect the positive consequences that are maintaining the inappropriate behavior
+ outcomes are often temporary unless control is gained over positive reinforcers maintaining behavior
+ elicits emotional behavior which interferes with learning
+ is sometimes reinforcing (a student acts out to annoy the teacher and be admired by classmates)
+ outcomes are unpredictable
+ can produce dangerous side effects (teacher may become aversive to students; child may strike back at teacher, other
students, and objects; vandalism; behavior suppressed only in the presence of the punisher; may reinforce inappropriate
behavior; may produce intense fears and anxiety; can lead to neurotic behavior; fighting back; truancy; dropping out)
+ doesn't teach children to judge between right and wrong (instead, it teaches that authority figures are in control)
+ gives adults a sense of power, control, revenge, and relief while not addressing the causes
+ is not a serious deterrent (punished students tend to be "repeaters")
+ generates guilt, defiance, resentment, hatred, damaged relationships, revenge fantasies, and revenge
+ promotes compliance to avoid punishment rather than compliance from agreement, respect, ethics, conscience, or logic
+ does not promote independent thinking and judgement, positive self-concept, independence, or self-advocacy
+ is often delivered with far more intensity and emotional display than when teachers are expressing approval
+ doesn't "work" in the context of children achieving an internal locus of control; rather, it's an external control force
|Banned in 31 states, corporal punishment in schools is permitted in 19 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho,
Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.
"If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
"If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live."
|Why do we hit kids to teach kids that hitting kids is wrong?
|"Teenagers Learn What They Live"
DOROTHY LAW NOLTE and RACHEL HARRIS
"If teenagers live with pressure, they learn to be stressed.
If teenagers live with failure, they learn to give up.
If teenagers live with rejection, they learn to feel lost.
If teenagers live with too many rules, they learn to get around them.
If teenagers live with too few rules, they learn to ignore the needs of others.
If teenagers live with broken promises, they learn to be disappointed.
If teenagers live with respect, they learn to honor others.
If teenagers live with trust, they learn to tell the truth.
If teenagers live with openness, they learn to discover themselves.
If teenagers live with natural consequences, they learn to be accountable.
If teenagers live with responsibility, they learn to be self-reliant.
If teenagers live with healthy habits, they learn to be kind to their bodies.
If teenagers live with support, they learn to feel good about themselves.
If teenagers live with creativity, they learn to share who they are.
If teenagers live with caring attention, they learn how to love.
If teenagers live with positive expectations, they learn to help build a better world."
|Linguistic Diversity | Teaching Learners with Limited English Proficiency
|Social vs. Scientific Judgement
Intolerance for language and dialect differences interferes with teacher effectiveness and is hurtful to children, running the risk of
harming self-esteem, sending a message that there is "something wrong" with the way their families talk, and negating the
dignity of cultural pride. As educators, we're faced with a dilemma: teaching children the standard while preserving cultural
heritage and identity.
Every standard language is an arbitrary composite of dialects. Perceiving dialects that vary from the standard as inferior is a
social - not a scientific - judgement. Standard English is in no linguistic way superior. For communication to take place, four
events must occur: (1) expression of an idea; (2) transmission; (3) reception and comprehension; and (4) social or psychological
impact. These four events occur - sometimes more effectively - when people communicate in a dialect other than the standard.
Given (1) negative social judgements of alternatives to the standard, (2) equal access to academic success, and (3) a "level
playing field" in educational and employment opportunities, all children benefit from learning the standard. However, viewing
these students as deficient is prejudicial and professionally naive. Viewing students who learn the standard - while maintaining
their native language or dialect - as bilingual means respecting language differences as differences, not deficiencies. Students
who are bilingual are twice as powerful. The challenge is to know when to use which language, to communicate effectively in
the board room as well as on the basketball court.
Teachers are encouraged to allow children to use their first language or dialect in social contexts at school. When it comes to
academics, though, educators benefit students by requiring the standard. Allowing both is realistic and empowers students.
|Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP)
SIOP is an approach to teaching learners for whom English is a new language which
integrates language and content instruction. The goals of SIOP are to:
(1) provide access to mainstream, grade-level content
(2) promote the development of English language proficiency
"As a framework for organizing instruction, the SIOP Model supports teachers in
planning and delivering high-quality instruction for all students."
|2013 National Teacher of the Year: Jeff Charbonneau;
Zillah High School; Zillah, Washington
In 1992, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) published How Schools
Shortchange Girls, examining how girls were educated. Among the findings: "The glass
ceiling begins to be built in kindergarten;" girls got less attention, faced biased tests and
textbooks and were steered away from math and science courses; lost twice as much self
confidence; and were more likely to develop eating disorders and attempt suicide.
In 2006, Newsweek's The Trouble with Boys summarized research that boys had lower
literacy skills; were less often encouraged to read; more likely to "fall victim to drugs and
violence;" more likely to have emotional, learning, and speech disabilities; and less likely
to attend college.
|Gender-fair teaching is a commitment by teachers to maximize opportunities for girls and boys to achieve their potential.
|ADDRESSING THE UNITED NATIONS ON HER 16TH BIRTHDAY
INTERNATIONAL MALALA DAY | JULY 12, 2013
|"One child, one teacher, one book,
and one pen can change the world."
Malala Yousafzai is waging a world-wide campaign to secure the right to an education for all children. Reminiscent of Nelson
Mandela's "it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die," Malala's mission inspires this course. Her courageous stand against the
people who attempted to assassinate her offers an answer to students who ask, "Why do I have to go to school?" Malala's vision
and imagination provide a frame - a context - for this website, which is dedicated to her struggle.
|Be academically and emotionally supportive.
Encourage students to participate in group activities.
Encourage peers' empathy, friendship, and support.
Don't interrupt or finish students' sentences.
Be a good listener.
Patiently wait for complete messages from learners.
Above all, in the spirit of the normalization principle, treat students with
communication disorders the same way you treat other students.
|Integrated or Segregated Educational Settings?
Exception to Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Provision of IDEA*
|Disadvantages of Integration
|Advantages of Segregation
|+ classes conducted in students' second language
+ "behind panes of glass"
+ often feel "left out"
+ sometimes treated as less intelligent
+ extracurricular activities are sometimes discouraged
+ isolated / restricted
+ dependent on interpreter, special educator, or aide
|+ classes conducted in students' first language (ASL)
+ paradoxical effect: segregation leads to normalization
+ natural academic/social experiences are more "normal"
+ access to Deaf culture
+ access to all events and activities
+ since 2004, the law acknowledges this LRE exception
+ increased independence (no need for an interpreter)
|* Turnbull, Turnbull, & Wehmeyer (2013) reported that, in 1988, the Commission on the Education of the Deaf "urged the U.S. Department of
Education to reconsider how the fourth principle of IDEA, placement in the (LRE), should apply to deaf and hard-of-hearing students." As a
result, "the federal government issued new policy guidelines relative to the education of" Deaf students. "The guidelines pointed out that 'any
setting, including a regular classroom, that prevents a" Deaf child "from receiving an appropriate education that meets his or her needs,
including communication needs, is not the LRE (least restrictive environment) for that child' (U.S. Department of Education, 1992, p. 49275).
Educators have understood these guidelines to mean that the least restrictive environment for students who are deaf or hard of
hearing may not be the regular classroom. Accordingly, teachers balance appropriateness (that is, the student's opportunity to benefit)
against placement (that is, inclusion) and place the priority on appropriateness when there is a conflict between it and an inclusive placement"
|Lesson Planning: Observable/Measurable Objectives
|Children have "an invisible chalkboard attached to their
hearts and minds that they carry with them through their lives.
Some people they meet write messages of love and support.
Some leave messages of negativity and doubt. It's a
teacher's job to erase the negative messages and fill those
boards with caring words, and inspire confidence and
strengthen values ... (students) know that what a teacher
gives them stays with them for a lifetime,
because teachers matter."
Lesson plan objectives are most effective when they include five components:
(1) describe conditions under which learning occurs
(2) identify the learners
(3) use a verb that is observable and measurable
(4) describe the outcome
(5) describe the minimum performance criteria
When writing instructional objectives, avoid the performance descriptors able to and can. Rather,describe specific, actual
performances. Instead of "The students will be able to write a one-page summary of the life of Nelson Mandela" or "The students
can write a one-page summary of the life of Nelson Mandela" as an objective, say, "The students write a one-page summary of the
life of Nelson Mandela." "Able to" is of little or no use if the student does not perform the task.
Avoid the verbs know, recognize, and identify. These are not observable. So, they can't be measured. Instead, use words like
"name," "select," "write," and "perform." This is an issue of accountability and accuracy. We owe it to our students and their
families to carefully and accurately evaluate performances. By taking ownership of our students' successes, we are maximizing
opportunities for them to achieve their potential.
Keep tense consistent. Both present and future tense are appropriate. But, choose one ("The students write ...") or the other
("The students will write ...") and use the same tense each time. (I prefer present tense, because it's understood that this is an
objective and will take place as an outcome of instruction. By using the present tense, we're more efficient with the use of words.)
State objectives positively. Describe what students do, rather than what they don't do.
|2014 National Teacher of the Year: Sean McComb,
Patapsco High School; Baltimore, Maryland
|Examples of Effective Objectives
|President Barack Obama, April 30, 2014, in remarks honoring
Sean McComb and the state Teachers of the Year.
After viewing a PowerPoint presentation about Perseus, the 9th grade students name specific characteristics of the Greek hero
with 90% accuracy.
Given math instruction during four consecutive class periods, the 9th grade students complete a quiz on adding and subtracting
polynomials with 95% accuracy.
Following a lesson about Darwin's theory of natural selection, and provided with the "Battle of the Beaks" group activity, the
students generate a hypothesis based on the question "Will 'beak shape' affect the prey that a 'bird' can catch?" The hypothesis
is supported with a logical explanation.
Given instruction and class discussion, the 12th grade students write a three-sentence summary about the climate and vegetation
of South Africa with 100% accuracy.
|Creating a COMMUNITY of Learners
Schools that are responsive to cultural diversity are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive community that values the
inherent worth and dignity of every student. Beyond mere tolerance, inclusive schools promote sensitivity, understanding and
respect, encouraging each learner to achieve his/her potential in a climate that fosters and nurtures cultural diversity. A culturally
responsive curriculum strengthens the school, promotes creativity, and encourages a valued exchange of experiences and ideas.
In the process, multicultural education fosters an open, honest, trusting, fair, accountable community of teachers and learners.
Above all, multicultural education seeks to promote equal opportunities for every member of a learning community. In such a
climate, students are expected to be the best they can be.
|Hateful reactions to these commercials, and the ensuing world-wide conversation, make our work clear.
|Beyond Euphemisms and Code Words: A Broader, Inclusive Definition of "Diversity"
|"We're all connected
to each other
biologically, to the
and to the universe
Neil deGrasse Tyson
|"Everyday, (teachers) give their students their all - their
knowledge, their creativity, their focused attention, their
love. They empty the tanks for their kids and then they
get up the next morning and they do it all over again.
Shanna's classroom provides (students) a safe haven
and in Shanna (they find) someone who protects them
fiercely and who believes in them deeply and sets high
expectations and is confident they're going to do
|2015 National Teacher of the Year: Shanna Peeples;
Palo Duro High School; Amarillo, Texas
|President Barack Obama, April 29, 2015, in remarks honoring
Shanna Peeples and the state Teachers of the Year.
A 2012 University of Michigan study appearing in the Journal of American College Health reported the negative consequences of
the phrase "that's so gay." Given the findings, the implications for educators include acknowledgement that we are models who
must take a stand to create a safe, healthy school environment. It's not enough for teachers to refrain from using hurtful language;
we must intervene when others use hostile words. Here are some of the premiere organizations and initiatives taking a lead in
protecting the civil rights of people who are GLBT:
In addition to teaching students who are GLBT, we teach students whose parents are GLBT. Treating, supporting, and involving
those parents no differently than other parents is our professional and ethical responsibility.
|10 WAYS PEOPLE ARE MORE
RACIST THAN THEY REALIZE
|STUDY: TEACHERS MORE LIKELY TO LABEL
BLACK STUDENTS AS "TROUBLEMAKERS"
|RACE AS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT
|REPORT: GENDER EQUALITY CAN'T BE
IGNORED IF WE WANT GLOBAL PROGRESS
|This senior made
dress out of
the BEST reason.
|LANGUAGE OF "US" VS. "THEM"
We like things | They fixate on objects
We try to make friends | They display attention seeking behavior
We take breaks | They display off task behavior
We stand up for ourselves | They are noncompliant
We choose friends who appeal to us | They display poor peer socialization
We love people | They display dependencies on people
We go for a walk | They run away
We insist on what we want | They tantrum
We change our minds | They have short attention spans
We are human | They are ... ?
|Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) | Restorative Justice | Social-Emotional Learning
|2016 National Teacher of the Year: Jahana Hayes;
John F. Kennedy High School;
|"Teachers exposed me to a different world by letting
me borrow books to read at home and sharing stories
about their college experiences. So many things that
(teachers do) fall outside of traditional teaching
responsibilities. It is those times when I am
transformed into an advisor, counselor, confidant,
|Janana Hayes, in remarks to the National Education
Association's Tim Walker for neaToday
(April 28, 2016)..
|President Obama on the state Teachers of the Year: "They're not just filling
blackboards with numbers and diagrams. In classrooms across America,
they're teaching things like character and compassion and resilience and
imagination. They're filling minds with virtues and values, and teaching our
kids how to cooperate and overcome obstacles."
|President Barack Obama, April 23, 2013, in remarks honoring
Jeff Charonneau and the state Teachers of the Year.
|"You will lead a force of small humans who will change the world."
|Embracing and Teaching Diversity broadly defines diversity
to include "age, disabilities, economic status, ethnicity,
gender, gender identity, geography, high abilities,
language, 'race,' religion, and sexual orientation."
This website offers current diversity news and monthly
observances, a weekly quote; links to teaching strategies
that are culturally responsive; Internet information,
resources, and support services embracing diversity; and
volunteer opportunities to support teaching and learning.
|According to the CDC, 17.7% of teens report
they seriously considered attempting suicide.
|"Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible."
"Wasted is the mind that won't take a stand."
|THE SHORT AND SWEET
Inspiring Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
|Socially Together and Naturally Diverse (STAND)
Merrillville (IN) High School
|Part Two: Embracing Diversity
|Characteristics of An Effective Teacher
At its best, co-teaching improves student performance and is mutually beneficial for the
|"(A)bout 60% of the total U.S. population identifies as white, while about 12% identify as Black, 18% as
Hispanic, 5.6% as Asian and less than 1% as American Indian/Alaska Native, according to data from the
U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey." (Jamie Ducharme, TIME, January 18, 2021)
|"Two decades ago, analysis of the human genome established that all human beings are 99.9% the
same. 'Race is a social concept, not a scientific one,' said J. Craig Venter, the geneticist who ran Celera
Genomics when the mapping was completed in 2000. 'We all evolved in the last 100,000 years from the
small number of tribes that migrated out of Africa and colonized the world.'" (Isabel Wilkerson, Caste:
The Origins of Our Discontents, 2020)
|America's Classrooms are Going
to be Much More Diverse in 2025