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A VARIETY OF SITUATIONALTRENDS, FACTORS, ANDVARIABLES HAVE SHAPEDTHEORY,LEGISLATION, ANDPRACTICE, AND HAVE MOVEDTOWARD GREATERINCLUSIVENESS IN EARLYCHILDHOOD CLASSROOMS.
Civil Rights and Educational Equity- The roots of the inclusive education movement can betraced back to the beginnings of public education andthe intent to provide equal chance for immigrantchildren to gain an education (Olsen, 1994).Rights for Children with Disabilities- The rights of children with disabilities and specialneeds to receive a free and appropriate publiceducation have been established through federalstatutes and court decisions.- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)was landmark legislation that mandated key tenetsthat are still enforced today:1. Free, appropriate public education(FAPE).
Gender- The Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination bysex, those rights did not extend to children inschools until 1972, with the passage of Title IX ofthe Education Amendments Act.Gifted and Talented- Most people agree that gifted and talentedchildren have much to contribute to the future ofsociety, the education of these children has beenapproached with ambivalence.Sociological Contexts- Children’s development and learning are shapedby sociocultural contexts in which they liveIntercultural competence and communication- Teachers in inclusive classrooms can draw fromresearch in the field of multicultural education.
-Early childhood teachers must be cognizant of thechanging needs of children and their families. It iswidely acknowledge that parents are the first teacherof their children.
Social Trends-major societal trend can influence the demographiccharacteristics and the lives of families, as well asnational policy.-overarching societal trends that have exerted a broadinfluence on children and family today.Advanced Technology-the rapid advancement of technology has had far-reaching effects on society and has changed family life.Global Interdependence- Industrialized nations have entered an era of globalinterdependence, as they move toward a worldwideeconomic system.Increasing Diversity- the increasing diversity of the population has broadimplications for society and early childhood education.
Living in PovertyLiving in Poverty-poverty is the single most influential factor that canbe isolated as having an effect on the outcomesfor children. The effects of poverty are moresignificant to children’s lives than their race,ethnicity, family structure, or the educationallevels attained by their parents (Edelman, 1994).Developmental Disabilities or Special NeedsDevelopmental Disabilities or Special Needs-An important reason to use collaborativeapproaches in inclusive early childhood educationis that families are often the first suspect aproblem with their children’s development.Violence, Neglect, and Child AbuseViolence, Neglect, and Child Abuse-it is particularly troublesome trend when that
Homeless FamiliesHomeless Families-Homelessness was once a condition of life sufferedby a minority of single males. Today, thephenomenon of homelessness wreaks devastatingaffects on a growing number of single motherswith children.Victims of HIV/AIDSVictims of HIV/AIDS- the number of children afflicted is rising, withacquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)being the sixth leading cause of death amongchildren aged one to four years. Brain damage,developmental delays, physical abnormalities, andmental disorders can occur in children withcongenital AIDS.
Defining the Concept of Inclusion- The meaning of these terms and the connotationseach encompasses has evolved through legislativeaction, transformation in social thought, andsocietal trends.Inclusion a Dynamic Construct- The concept of Inclusion continues to be adynamic construct shaped by social thoughts,statutes, professional recommendations, andresearch.Early Terminology
Comprehensive View of Inclusion- Initially, teachers and other professionals usedthe terms inclusion and inclusive education inreference to the practice of placing childrenwith disabilities and special needs incommunity care and general education settingswith their peers who exhibited typical patternsof development.
Inclusive early childhood education has beeninfluenced by a number of disciplines and fields ofstudy. Traditional early childhood education, earlychildhood special education, multiculturaleducation, bilingual education, study ofgiftedness, and gender studies are fields of studythat have a bearing on the inclusive earlychildhood education provided to children today.Early Childhood Education-Traditional early childhood education has evolvedfrom electric theoretical underpinnings.Early Intervention/Early childhood Education-the philosophical roots of the field were influenced
Multicultural Education- The theoretical foundations for multiculturaleducation are a composite of influences fromvarious fields of study aimed at understandingmarginalized groups of people.Reconceptualization- In the 1990’s, several theorists sought toreconceptualize the field of early childhoodeducation to achieve a theoretical base thatwould promote more responsiveness to theincreasing diversity and wide range of abilities ofchildren in early childhood classrooms.- Mallory described a triangulated model that drewfrom three sets of principles:- 1. Biogenetic Maturation.
1. Provide all children with equitable education2. Enable all children to achieve success as learners3. Support family strengthening4. Build communities of learners5. Offer all children challengesKey Principles for Inclusion1.View Diversity as a strength2.Foster success of individuals within groupcontexts.3.Apply recommended strategies and practices.4.Use assessment to fuel instruction.
5. Create reciprocal partnership with families.6. Provide safe, challenging learningenvironments.7.Emphasize prevention and early intervention.8. Implement an integrated, active learningcurriculum.
CREATING A POSITIVE SOCIAL ANDEMOTIONAL CLIMATE FORLEARNING
Relationship to success in school- The critical relationship between the social andemotional domains of children’s development andtheir success in school is gaining more prominenceand a higher priority among issues considered byprestigious national organizations and topgovernmental officials.
Poverty and behavior- Poverty is a powerful determinant of a child’sdevelopment, cognitive and behavioral in particular,and his or her achievement in school.Home influence on Behavior- The young childs home environment is a majorinfluence on child outcomes and behavior
Concepts of risk and resiliency- There is evidence suggesting some childrendevelop protective factors that increase theirresilience and act as a buffer, shielding them fromharmful effects of early disadvantages anddeprivation. Addressing the whole child- Child-centered approaches that involvepartnerships among community agencies andschools have been recommended as an effectiveapproach to address problems in childdevelopment.
Characteristics fostering good social and emotionalsupport for enhancing learning Reasonable and clearly articulated expectationsHigh rates of engagement and successModeling, feedback, and role-playing to teachappropriate behaviorNurturant and supportive teachersConsistency and predictability in routinesCulturally responsive and competent teachers (Hesteret al.,2004)
- Planning for children to experience positivesocioemotional learning environments that are gearedfor their individual strengths and needs is vital topromote their development.Conveying High Expectations To All Children- Teachers who believe all children can learn to conveyhigh expectations and support children in their effortsto meet those expectations.
- Identifying the strengths and abilities of children andhelping them to work toward those strengths is a keytenet of inclusion (Winter, 1999).- Teacher-child relationship- -Establishing a close, supportive relationship with anadult, such as teacher, can improve the chances for achild to build resiliency and develop effective copingskills (Bernard, 1993; Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 1986).- Promote Coping Skills- - psychologist and school counselors are well-recognized as consultants to parents and teachersregarding children’s behavior.
Early Identification of Problem Behavior- The trajectory for a child’s social and emotionaloutcomes is set, and it is unlikely behaviors willimprove as the child gains in age.Preventing Occurrences of Problem Behavior- Corroborating an earlier survey of teachers in inclusiveclassrooms (Joint Committee on Teacher Planning forStudents with Disabilities, 1995), early childhoodteachers have reported again that children withproblem behavior are their greatest concern (Conroy,Davis, Fox, and Brown , 2002).
Functional Behavioral Assessment- In accordance with IDEA (1997), teachers are required toimplement specific measures for children who exhibit problembehavior. Positive behavioral support (PBS), also known asfunction-based intervention, informed by functional behavioralassessment (FBA) is required to fully comply with the law(Barnhill, 2005). Conducting FBA (Functional Behavioral Assessment)- An FBA helps teachers determine antecedent events that occurbefore the behavior and the consequences of the child’s actions. Benefits of an FBA- Planning interventions without an FBA is inefficient and maystrengthen the behavior by inadvertently providingreinforcement that prolongs the behavior.
Positive Behavioral Supports- Positive behavioral support (PBS) consists of individualizedintervention strategies focused on prevention of problembehavior. Benefits of a PBS- Evidence suggests PBS improves the behavior of children withdevelopmental disabilities, but a little known about the effectsof this approach with children who are at risk of behavioraldisorders. Intervention in classrooms- Teachers can collaborate with families to plan and implementintervention strategies designed to give children with mooddisorders support. Plan daily schedule, expression of feelingsthrough creative and artistic outlets, collaborating withparents, teachers are interventions in classrooms to supportchildren with mood disorders.
- In Inclusive classrooms, teachers are best prepared toguide children’s social development and collaboratewith diverse parents when they confident in usingwide range of strategies. Guidance Methods- Child guidance methods of facilitating children’ssocial and behavioral learning in early childhood havebeen widely recommended by child developmentexperts as foundation to effective classroommanagement (Bredekamp, 1987; Bredekamp andCopple, 1997)
Behaviorist methods- For individuals with developmental disabilities, behaviormodification is a popular set of tools used to teach childrenfunctional behaviors for improving living skills and reducingbehaviors that can impede classroom learning (Becker &Carnine, 1981; Rusch, Rose, & Greenwood 1988). Collaborating with Families-Establishing a family-centered philosophy to address childrenwith challenging behavior is a positive approach that is likely tobring greater consistency to implementing strategies andhelping families access resources in the community. Behavior and Health- Behavior modification may be useful when parents andprofessionals use these techniques as part of an overall schemetoward reversing the alarming trend of obesity in preschoolchildren.
Differentiated approach for diversity- Minimal intervention may be needed for somebehaviors, whereas other behavioral patterns that arechronic or severe may require increased consistencyand intensity of strategies to precipitateimprovement (Fox et al.,2002;Hester et al., 2004).Collaboration of teachers- Specialist provide art, music, physical education, andother special subjects to children in settings designedand equipped for these activities
Multiple levels- To increase the likelihood of successful intervention,strategies are best aimed at multiple levels or aspects ofthe classroom ecology.- Key strategies suggested for multiple levels of theclassroom context. Endorse school-wide behavioral expectations Initiate high quality programs Provide predictable, stable environments Promote social interactions Facilitate verbal and nonverbal communication Acknowledge positive behavior (Hester et al.,2004)
Acquiring Cultural Competence- A climate of respect and acceptance mediated by a culturallycompetent teacher is essential for preventing inappropriate ordisruptive behavior Defining the construct- Interestingly, despite calls for teachers to gain culturalcompetence, definitions vary and there are no universallyaccepted standards for measuring this construct. Importance of cultural responsiveness- Cultural competence enables teachers to collaborate withparents to bring greater continuity to practices that supportchildren’s social and emotional development at both home andschool.
Enhancing collaboration- Teachers can improve their collaboration with diversechildren and their families by developing skill incommunicating and interacting effectively withpeople of cultural backgrounds that are different fromtheir own