Teaching in the INCLUSION classroom: LeoSuresh, New York
New York, New York|
From Leo to my valued readers:
This is one of my best works created this Summer and I want to share with the educators of New York.
Creating a wonderful atmosphere so well suited to teach what the theory says
needs lots of thinking and wisdom. That is what our Prof. Robin Finnan Jones did in every session. My
thankfulness to her can not be expressed in words. Her impact will always reflects in my
teaching style in future.
Here I got an opportunity to understand the strategies like cooperative learning, collaborative teaming, peer tutoring, and the State/Federal laws relevent to the academic community, to help facilitate the successful participation of diverse students in inclusive, hetrogeneous classroom. And also to understand the practical process and essential steps of planning for inclusion.
Table of Contents
Planning for INCLUSION: A Practical Process
Multiple Intelligence and Learning Styles
My Personality Profile Color
What was something new that you learned or thought about in the first session?
Inclusion is not sacrificing the educational needs of students without disabilities. It does not mean that all students learning the same thing, in the same manner, at the same time. In addition to these two points, I learned one of the goals of the course is to understand the legislation on Special Education.
Remembering all the peer's names in the very first session is a very unique experience in my nine years of University education. It's a wonderful beginning and I will always remember this course because of the enthusiasm, social and friendly, and co-operative atmosphere created on the first hour of the course.
I am looking forward to understand the strategies like cooperative learning, collaborative teaming and peer tutoring, to help facilitate the participation of diverse students in inclusive, hetrogeneous classroom. And also to understand the practical process and essential steps of planning for inclusion.
The IEP process helps me to understand that the following important facts:
IEP is a shared responsibility of the school, the family and the community.
Begining at age 14 and updated annually, a statement of the transition service needs, and begining at age 16(or younger if appropriate), a statement of needed transition services.
A statement of how the students progress towards annual goals will be measured and a description of how the parents/guardian will be regularly informed of the students' progress toward the annual goals and the extend to which that progress is sufficient to enable the student to achieve the goals by the end of the year.
The IEP team must also consider certain special factors like students' communication needs, language needs of limited proficiency, positive behavioral intervention and supports strategy as such.
IEP team must include atleast one general education teacher and one special education teacher, local educational agency representative, parents, students(if appropriate), interpreter (instructional implication of evaluation results) other people whom the parents or the school have chosen to invite. They have a big role in the due process. Accommodation and modification are also provided due to the modalitiy deficit of some kind. Description of special class delivery and the supplementary aids and services are also need. Anyone who handle the IEP's should know that they are confidential documents.
Think about the way you teach. Does it fit closely with one of the prefence? Does there seem to be any similarity between your modality preference and your "temperament color"?
Being an analytic learner, I teach in a systematic and sequential way. Putting things one at a time to build the whole concept is the idea. I am time conscious and plan well ahead. I give opportunities to students to enjoy writing, reading and talking so that they will master communication skills which is vital for success.
Pay attention to the students' logical views and give guidance whenever necessary. Process information linearly so that they could be in task without any other behavioral/disciplinary problems. Enthusiastic presentation at the right pace is my teaching technique.
GOLD is my personality profile color. "Law is order, and good law is good order". Aristotle's words are hundred percent true as far as I am concerned As far as my job performance is concerned I am realistic, set and achieve goals, I repsect(and seek) positions of authority. I am very responsible in all aspects of my life. I want everything to be precise as much as possible. To be more specific, when I involve with job,or any other activity I want to know, what needs to be done by whom, when, by what means and what degree of quality.
And I want my work to be appreciated for its quality. And I know all my weakness too. In a work place, I won't be working alone. I will be meeting very diverse people of different personality. Now I can easily find a method to find the personality profile color of my co- workers whom I deal with quite often. Being an analyst, I will find a way to work as a team in setting.
I will study the characteristics of other personality profile colors and plan to work well with them as a team. Since I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses, I am looking forward to focus on my humble job with confidence and optimism. Since I clearly understand from the profile, what I enjoy at work and what I appreciate and expect. I will try to be more respectful and worthy and a simple teacher. My "temperament color" and my modality preferences are almost similar.
about,"Knowledge and skills for Teachers supervising the work of paraprofessionals"
Changing roles and responsibilities of paraprofessionals in educational settings make teachers' direction and supervision of paraprofessionals increasingly important. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA) emphasized on training paraprofessionals to provide special educational services ensuring they are adequately supervised. The article is a statistical study conducted to empirically identify and validates the skills and knowledge that educational professionals needed for directing paraprofessionals. Data is collected by surveying teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals. They considered the following seven skills are vital and could be used as a basic for developing training programs for teachers and other professionals responsible for directing the work of paraprofessionals in educational settings.
These are the knowledge and skills teachers needed and are most critical to sucess when
directing the work of paraprofessionals. Teachers need competency for successful management.
As an Educator, my opinion is that more training programs are to be developed for teachers
working with paraprofessionals. Many administrators and teachers are not aware of the change
in the role of paraprofessionals and therefore unaware of the need for training. If the teachers
are not adequate(knowledge, skills, strategies) difference in perception could lead to incogruent
expectations and misunderstandings between teachers and paraprofessionals. Paraprofessionals
have provided essential support for students with disabilities for more than 50 years. Their
responsibilities vary based on geographic region and type of district. Today they play a
prominent role in the instruction of students with disabilities. 58% of paraprofessionals are
supervised by a special educational teacher or related service provider. 37% are supervised by a
school or district administrator, and 3% are supervised by a non-special educational teacher.
Among other approach to organizational development, " Total Quality Management" (TQM) is being used to promote organizational growth and effectiveness in schools. Paraprofessinals should participate in professional development activities. Well-conceived training can lead to desired results in classroom. The law mandates that a paraprofessional can not provide instructional services unless working under the direct supervision of a teacher. Paraprofessionals are specialized persons work with disabled children who should have the qualities of "three Cs" - caring, concern, and compassion. They have many rights and responsibilites as the special education teachers had. Working relationship, communication, trust, and team building are the main factors behind the success of paraprofessional - Teacher collaboration. As an educator in the inclusion setting, I want to maximize paraprofessionals to the fullest degree but some teachers do not know what to do with paraprofessionals in the classroom. Teachers and paraprofessionals are there for the kids and we need to learn to work together to be as productive as possible(8).
about "understanding the difference between IDEA and SECTION 504"
Public law 94-142, The Education of all Handicapped Children Act of 1975 was renamed to IDEA(Individuals with Disabilities Educaiton Act) by 1990 amendments. This law governs all Special Education services in the United States. IDEA provides federal funding to state and local services. It provides all handicapped children the right to "a free and appropriate public education." Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil right statute, not a federal grant program to aid handicapped persons. Section 504 requires that schools, public or private who received federal financial assistance for education purposes.
School Districts are required to identify and evaluate children of suspected of
having a disability under the IDEA guideline. 'Child find' activities should be publicized, to
include children from both public and private schools. Many school districts give parental
handbook to parents the first day of school as a method for identification of students in need of
services. Section 504 also require school district personnel to identify and locate students with
disabilities who attend public or private school or state agencies. Eligibility is the second
process after identification.
Evaluation is the third process. Under IDEA, a full comprehensive evaluation is required, assessing all areas related to the suspected disability. Parents must be involved and give informed consent before an initial activities are conducted. Testing must be mult- disciplinary, non-discriminatory, and at no cost to the parents, when a child's parent or teacher request a re-evaluation can be conducted, at least once every three years.
Independent educationl evaluation can also be done at the school district's expense if the parent disagree with school's evaluation. Under section 504, a student must be identified through evaluation procedures that gather information from various sources which do not require parents' consent, only notice to the parents. As an educator, we should know the differences in evaluation and mostly responsibilities and due process procedures of IDEA and Section 504.
Under IDEA, school districts are required to provide a free and appropriate public education(FAPE) for children with atleast one or more disabilities categorized. Then the students are entitled to an Individual Educaitonal Program(IEP) which must include many factors and needs to be reviewed atleast once every 12 months.
Successfully categorizing students with disabilites under IDEA and Section 504 is a major factor. As an educator, we need to understand the provision of both IDEA and Section 504 to service the most needy students with disabilities. To avoid wrong decisions which can lead to failures, we need to take more responsibility at the initial stage and in the due process procedures in the case of a child with disability.
about, "The role of Cognitive Education and Mediated Learning ..."
Mediated learning and cognitive education address the 'how' of learning, not the 'what'. Developing cognitive skills required for effective thought and problem-solving behavior is the focus of these methods. Not all students develop a system or strategy inorder to be efficient in storing (remembering) many things in their memory. Solving certain tasks become difficult and demanding, especially children with dyslexic. Some give up the task, thinking it is beyond their abilities. Certain cognitive pre-requisites are required in this case, to be on task. The mediator(2) encourages the student to think of ways to make such a task easier, leads him/her to recognize the need to apply a rule or principle inorder to solve the problem. Here the static intellectual function of the students is elevated to a mediated learning experience which demonstrates their potential to change. According to Feuerstein, change within a student requires a process depends on the following factors(1):
In this article, by using two simple activities, Feuerstein illustrates the diversity and richness of the programme and the application of Mediated Learning Approach. The main concept is to bring thought process to hypothetical thinking, planning and many other cognitive skills into the task. In reality, the more we know about something, the easier it is to find a solution. First, students should know what they know(or what they have), then find a strategy to understand what they do not know(or lacks). This analytical approach can be applied in so many ways. Feuerstein says, "we all have the capacity to change." The brain is capable of adapting and changing. His theory encourages to modify the low functioning child to adapt to the environment by giving him the cognitive tools he needed to become an autonomous and active learner rather than adapting the environment to suit him. Feuerstein's 'passive acceptance approach' allows acceptance of the low functioning child as static or immuvable. But we should perceive the child as an open system that is receptive to change and modifiable. Mediator continue to believe in the child's capacity to change. Perseverence and persistence succeeds. This is what Feuerstein's view in "the belief system," where Mediated Learning and cognitive education play a big role in the modification of a dyslexic child.
The 'how' is answered by the mediated learning experience to change the ability of the student. But what should be learned is not discussed in this article. Content based education focusses on the aquisition of information and not on the process of learning. The students with dyslexia should aquire cognitive skills requred by the National Curriculum and GCSEs for content learning. When the content based education is not adequate, we need to apply a structured programme of cognitive education. Cognitive approach is to create an insight within the child so that he will be able to solve problems in an optimistic and proactive manner. The method of intervention gives him the strategies and tools he needs to learn and awareness of his mental processes. This newly aquired generalization can be applied in his daily life, and in many other areas including academic and linguistics.
In short, cognitive education alone is enough to free the low functioning child from the experience of failure and to motivate. The article gives optimism but the reality may be different until unless the statistics prove the success rate of the effectiveness of cognitive education in dyslexic child.