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Teaching students with general learning disabilities

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  • This presentation is a great tool to understand the complexity of teaching students with disability at a high level. If we learn to teach students with learning differences then we can meet our academic goals as a nation, state, district, school, classroom, and student.
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  • 1. Dan O’Sullivan ED6306 – Inclusive & Multicultural Education Lecture 8 - 07/11/11 Teaching Students with G eneral L earning D isabilities
  • 2. Section A) Introduction ~ 5 points of information Section B) Barriers to Learning Section C) Principles of Effective Instruction Outline of Presentation:
  • 3. * GL D = General Learning Disability A) Introduction Point 1 : Education system adopts a categorical approach towards identifying general learning disabilities * (GLD) – based on IQ score. < 20 * Profound GL D 20 - 34 * Severe GL D 35 - 49 * Moderate GL D 50 - 69 * Mild GL D 70 - 79 * Borderline Mild GL D 80 - 89 Low Average 90 - 109 Average 110 - 129 High Average 130 -169 [ Profoundly Able 170+ ] Exceptionally Able Full-Scale IQ Score ( Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning ) Category
  • 4. 70-79 Borderline Mild General Learning Disability 50-69 Mild General Learning Disability 35-49 Moderate General Learning Disability 20-34 Severe General Learning Disability IQ < 20 Profound General Learning Disability IQ Distribution
  • 5. Establishing IQ: Tests Administered by psychologist.
    • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) Age Range: 6 yrs. - 16 yrs 11 mts. Y ields a Full Scale score . S cores for Verbal Comprehension, Working Memory, Perceptual Reasoning, and Processing speed.
    • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) IQ test for older children and adults Age Range 16 – 89 Provides Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale score s , Also scores verbal comprehension, perceptual organization, working memory, and processing speed.
    * [David Wechsler (1896 – 1981) - American psychologist]
    • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, Fifth Edition (SBIS-V) ( 2 – 90+ ). In addition to providing a Full Scale score, it assesses Fluid Reasoning, Knowledge, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Processing, and Working Memory . C ompare s verbal and nonverbal performance.
  • 6.
    • Only intelligence that IQ tests presently measure is verbal reasoning ( linguistic ) and non-verbal reasoning ( logic-mathematical )
    Point 2: Theory of Multiple Intelligences
    • Howard Gardner – Theory of Multiple Intelligences [MI]
    • Implication that there is just one all important intelligence - wrong and unhelpful ?
    • Eight intelligences: linguistic, logic-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic. [9 th - existential intelligence?]
    - White 2004 - Myth of Multiple Intelligences
    • But
    - Review of Kincheloe (ed.) 2004 - Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered [ Blackboard: Lecture 8 Subfolder ]
  • 7. Point 3: Categorical approach extends to other areas of SEN A) Assessed Syndromes: ~ Down Syndrome ~ Fragile X ~ Prader-Willi Syndrome ~ Rett/Rhett Syndrome ~ Tourette Syndrome ~ Turner Syndrome ~ Usher Syndrome ~ Williams Syndrome ~ Noonan Syndrome …….. B) Autism: ~ Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) ~ Asperger’s Syndrome C) Dyspraxia: ~ Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) ~ Developmental Verbal Disorder (DVD) / Verbal Dyspraxia D) Emotional Disturbance and/or Behavioural Disorders: ~ ADD ~ ADHD ~ ODD ~ CD E) Exceptionally / Profoundly Able ~ Exceptionally Able (IQ 130-169) ~ Profoundly Able (IQ 170 +) Note: Prader-Willi Syndrome www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone Oisín’s Story [Broadcast 29 th /30 th Oct. 2011]
  • 8. H) Specific Speech & Language Disorders: ~ Receptive Language Disorder ~ Expressive Language Disorder ~ Global Language Disorder F) Physical Disabilities: ~ Cerebral Palsy ~ Spina Bifida ~ Muscular Dystrophy I) Sensory Impairments: ~ Hearing Impairment ~ Visual Impairment ~ Deafblind G) Specific Learning Disabilities: ~ Dyslexia ~ Dyscalculia ~ Dysgraphia (affects ability to write coherently, regardless of ability to read) www.sess.ie > Categories www.sess.ie > Documents and Publications > Government Agencies > SIGNPOSTS PDF (Sept. 2008)
  • 9. Point 4 : Addressing the educational needs of pupils with GLD – also adopts a categorical approach National Council for Curriculum & Assessment (NCCA) (2007) www.ncca.ie Four Major Sections: 1) Mild General Learning Disabilities - Primary 2) Mild General Learning Disabilities - Post Primary ***** 3) Moderate General Learning Disabilities - Primary 4) Severe & Profound General Learning Disabilities - Primary Detailed guidance for teachers in relation to curriculum differentiation in the various subject areas Guidelines for Teachers of Students with General Learning Disabilities
  • 10. Web: www.ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and_Assessment/Inclusion/Special_Educational_Needs/Download_Special_Educational_Needs_ Guidelines/Guidelines_for_teachers_of_students_with_general_ learning_disabilities.html www.ncca.ie/en > Inclusion > Special Educational Needs > Guidelines for teachers of students with General Learning Disabilities > Download guidelines in PDF format
  • 11. Guidelines for Teachers of Students with Mild General Learning Disabilities (NCCA 2007) 13 e-books / 13 subjects Guidelines offer support to teachers in differentiating curriculum areas and subjects.
  • 12. Conway, P.F. (2002) Learning in communities of practice: Rethinking teaching and learning in disadvantaged contexts, Irish Educational Studies, 21(3), 61-91. Point 5: Three distinct perspectives on learning and cognition: - transmission orientated - didactic - drill and practice of basic skills - pervasive focus on memorisation - frequently for purposes of individual performance in exams - competitive individualism of schooling - sequencing tasks in a hierarchy from simple to complex & rewarding successful observed behaviours - learning = atomistic – linear – sequential – hierarchical - measurable A) Behaviourism: ~ learning is behaviour change
  • 13. B) Cognitivism ~ learning is thinking [ * Constructivism ]
    • ‘ Guided discovery’ and ‘active construction’ – evident in textbooks
    • Learning = the active construction of knowledge by the individual learner - knowledge is made as we engage with / explore the world
    • Intelligence = an individual trait
    • Cognitivism in action: e.g. Develop how students think about and approach the task of writing - schematic approach to writing - process approach (brainstorming ~ drafting ~ polishing). Modelling what good writers do ~ professional writer/journalist visits class
  • 14. C) Socio-cultural perspective: learning is changing participation in society
    • Intelligence - distributed across a group - not property of individuals
    • Implication for pedagogy: foster ‘communities of learners’ i.e. group work
    • Writing example:
    • Learning - a social act - relational
    • Knowledge - the construction of groups
    - e.g. degree to which a given student is involved in a collaborative editing process - literacy not just a set of discrete skills to be internalised by individual learners – but a means of changing the participation of a given student in the group - changing nature of conversation between collaborative writers
  • 15. Section B) Barriers to Learning Inclusion:- fundamentally about: - identifying the barriers to learning - creating learning environments that help ameliorate difficulties. ~ Attention span / lack of focus ~ Motivation (due to lack of success / fear of failure / avoidance) ~ Working memory [short-term memory] / long-term memory ~ Generalisation (the transfer of learning across settings) Barriers to learning for many students with general learning disabilities: ~ Observational learning
  • 16. ~ Responses to cues and signals / Understanding of social and behavioural expectations ~ Significant underachievement in literacy and/or numeracy ~ Communication / Difficulty expressing ideas in words ~ Perspective taking (difficulty recognising the perspective of others) ~ Executive control / Difficulty completing tasks unaided ~ Underdeveloped sense of spatial awareness ~ Delayed conceptual development / Poor cause-effect learning
  • 17. Outline: Introduction – 8 principles of effective instruction 1) Multi-sensory: ‘All Senses on Deck!’ 2) Structured: ‘Step by Step’ 3) Direct: ‘Give It To Me Straight’ 4) Reinforced: ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ 5) Relevant: ‘Avoid the Yawn Factor!!!’ 6) Active Learning: ‘Let’s Get Involved’ 7) Metacognition: ‘Learning How to Learn’ 8) Results: ‘Give Me Feedback’ Concluding Remarks References Section C) Principles of Effective Instruction
  • 18. Introduction
    • The eight strategies outlined are effective in the teaching and learning of students with General Learning Disabilities.
    • Strategies can also be used effectively with students who do not have a General Learning Disability – “good teaching is good teaching”.
    • Eight strategies - not discrete entities – are interlinked and reciprocal .
  • 19.
    • Material presented in a multi-sensory way – visual / auditory / oral / tactile - ‘Learning Styles’
    1) Multi-sensory: ‘All Senses on Deck!’
    • Visual thinkers ~ I get the picture ~ I see that now ~ From my perspective ~ What’s your view?
    • Auditory thinkers ~ I get the message ~ That rings a bell ~ That strikes a chord ~ Sounds OK to me
    • Kinaesthetic thinkers ~ A grasp of the basics ~ I can relate to that ~ The situation doesn’t feel right
    • Students seeing , saying , hearing and manipulating materials
  • 20. Implications: Flexibility by teachers in their selection of teaching strategies and methods ~ recognise that one’s own learning style is likely to be reflected in one’s approach to teaching ~ take account of the range of learning preferences that students in the class will inevitably exhibit ~ acknowledge the dangers of allowing one particular approach to teaching to exclude others
  • 21.
    • Learning must be organised in a sequenced and cumulative fashion - graded steps
    2) Structured: ‘Step by Step’
    • Make explicit the connections with previous skills or knowledge.
    • Learning objectives: - outlined at the beginning of the lesson - reference is made to them during the lesson - review takes place at the end of the lesson.
    • Deviating from a lesson plan when an unexpected learning opportunity arises – avoid losing sight of original objective of lesson [ try at least! ] .
  • 22. “ Research evidence suggests that students with disabilities and learning problems frequently do best in tightly structured programmes where direct teaching methods and guided practice are employed” (Westwood 2007, p.14). 3) Direct: ‘Give It To Me Straight’
    • Students with learning difficulties - incidental learning problematic - require direct, explicit and intensive instruction.
    • Presentation of information is paramount - clear, concise and specific.
    • Avoid: - disorganised presentation / unconnected chunks of information - unclear instructions - ambiguity
  • 23.
    • Methods and materials used for practice should be varied - essential for generalisation.
    4) Reinforced: ‘Practice Makes Perfect’
    • Allow time for practice / reinforcement / application of new knowledge and skills - helps to build automaticity .
    • Short periods of revision best.
    • Guided practice - supportive and corrective feedback .
    • Independent practice - students use the skill in a variety of situations - fosters mastery
  • 24.
    • Homework – purpose(s) ?????
    - custom and practice / optics? - evaluate the effectiveness of teaching? - monitor individual student progress? - promote independent learning? - consolidate & extend learning?
  • 25.
    • Learning - always enhanced by relevance !
    5) Relevant: ‘Avoid the Yawn Factor!’
    • Choose materials & content that interests & motivates
    • Mismatch between SEN student’s age & developmental level:- However , books / materials must be chronologically age-appropriate (e.g. HiLo reading material).
    • Students’ involvement in - identifying learning targets - self-assessment …………..can contribute significantly to motivation & successful learning.
    • Teacher’s willingness to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning is critical to successful instruction
  • 26. - Often beyond the reading competency of students with SEN. Textbooks: - Textbooks - only source of information or complementing other means of instruction ?? - Mediating textbooks to pupils with SEN: ***** Pre-teaching / Creating a Glossary of Terms & Complex Words / Team Teaching ~ In-class Support / Differentiation Note: Jim Cummins - Canada - Second Language Acquisition - Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) - Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) DES Strategy 2011-2020: Literacy & Numeracy for Learning & Life www.education.ie/home/home.jsp?pcategory=17216&ecategory=57818&language=EN
  • 27.
    • Worksheets: - Too much text? / Clutter? / Adequate answer space? (Dyspraxia) - Print size appropriate for the developmental stage/visual capacity of the pupil?
    • - Clear instructions? (Homework) - Variety of task types? (Practical tasks, Puzzles, Games, Project-based work, Word problems) - Present material in different ways? (Pictorially, diagrammatically, using minimal text) cf. Department of Education & Science (2007) Inclusion of Students with Special Educational Needs: Post-Primary Guidelines pp.119-120 www.sess.ie > Documents and Publications > Other DES Publications
  • 28. 6) Active Learning: ‘Let’s Get Involved’
    • Reception model dominant in most countries i.e. learning = being taught – teacher is dominant. Influenced by behavioural perspective of learning A function of pressures: exams, inspections, discipline issues – all promote ‘defensive teaching’.
    • However…… Learning, is not a passive process – students learn best by doing - especially students with SEN.
    • In cognitivist / constructivist & sociocultural orientated classrooms the learner is more dominant. ‘Content’ is not for ‘delivery’; it is for connecting with previous knowledge & extending understanding . Learners create knowledge together - collaboration
    • Methods that encourage active learning : Discussion, practice sessions, team projects, research projects.
  • 29. 7) Metacognition: ‘Learning How to Learn’ ~ Cognitive Strategies: Processing & manipulating information to perform tasks - task specific strategies e.g. taking notes, asking questions, filling out a chart…… ~ Metacognitive Strategies: Executive in nature - planning, monitoring & evaluating learning - becoming aware of learning as a process & of what actions facilitate that process.
    • Students with SEN frequently have difficulty with the metacognitive aspects of learning – do not have an effective system of approaching a task e.g. writing an account, word decoding, completing an arithmetic problem…..
  • 30.
    • N.B. Just as students can be taught cognitive, task specific strategies, so they can be taught self-regulatory, metacognitive ones.
    “… .current evidence suggests that students can be taught to use more efficient learning strategies and can then function at significantly higher levels” (Westwood 2007, p.11)
    • By learning how to learn, students can become independent, lifelong learners – one of the primary goals of education.
  • 31.
    • To assist students metacognitively, teachers need to:
    ~ provide feedback and guidance while students refine and internalise the use of each strategy – guided practice ~ provide students with multiple opportunities to use the strategies ~ model how each strategy is used by thinking aloud while performing tasks relevant to students (modelling) ~ name and describe each strategy ~ talk about strategies explicitly
  • 32.
    • Creation and use of mnemonics
    Metacognitive (strategies) training:
    • Comprehension strategies :
    ~ KWL / PQRS ( Westwood, 2007, p.108). ~ Vizualization ~ Prediction ~ Main Idea / Best Title ~ Questioning / ‘I wonder…..’ ~ Prior Knowledge / Connecting to text / Life Application Questions / If I were…., how………? ~ Let’s evaluate – The main character should have / should not have
    • Reading strategy: Self-questioning / summarising / think-aloud
    • Reciprocal teaching
    • Check lists / Schedules
    • Question Sea: ~ On the surface questions:- Who? Where? When? What? ~ Under-the-surface questions:- Why? Would? How? What if?
  • 33.
    • Making connections between concepts - structure, organise, visualise, summarise & remember ideas/information
    • Mind maps / Web diagrams / Concept maps / Spidergrams / Brain frames……………….
    Department of Education & Science (2007) Inclusion of Students with Special Educational Needs: Post-Primary Guidelines : pp.111-114 www.sess.ie > Documents and Publications > Other DES Publications
    • Kidspiration / Inspiration - www.inspiration.com
    ~ Graphic organisers / Visual frameworks:
    • www.mapmyself.com
  • 34.
    • Focus on the processes involved in completing a task as well as on the product.
    8) Results: ‘Give Me Feedback’
    • Learning is enhanced by feedback – affirm students for knowledge and skills learned .
    • Feedback is more effective if given immediately and frequently - promotes task persistence.
    • Apply positive reinforcers . Reinforce correct responses & approximations immediately to increase learning “permanence”.
    • For mative assessment strategies: ~ used to identify student learning progress ~ used to help inform teaching approaches.
  • 35.
    • Effective teaching is bound up with, rather than separate from, sound relationships with pupils , including the strategies used to minimise and deal with student misbehaviour.
    • Mutual respect and rapport between teacher and pupils serves to illustrate the important interplay between the cognitive and affective aspects of learning experiences.
    • Be positive, patient, supportive, affirmative, encouraging, caring………..………………………and well prepared.
    Concluding Remarks: Principles of Effective Instruction
  • 36. References: a) Guidelines for Teachers of Students with General Learning Disabilities – NCCA (2007) – Introduction, p.7 www.ncca.ie/en > Inclusion > Special Educational Needs > Guidelines for teachers of students with general learning disabilities > Download guidelines in PDF format c) Department of Education & Science (2007) Inclusion of Students with Special Educational Needs: Post-Primary Guidelines – Chapter 5 www.sess.ie > Documents and Publications > Other DES Publications b) Westwood, Peter (2007) Commonsense Methods for Children with Special Educational Needs (5 th ed.), pp.14-16 [ Boole Q+2 - 371.9 WEST ]
  • 37. g) A Continuum of Support for Post-Primary Schools (NEPS 2010) Vol. 1: Guidelines for Teachers Vol. 2: Resource Pack for Teachers www.education.ie > NEPS > Reports and Publications [ Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder ] d) Griffin, Seán & Shevlin, Michael (2007) Responding to Special Educational Needs – An Irish Perspective , Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. (Ch. 12) [ Boole Q+2 - 371.9 GRIF ] e) www.sess.ie > Categories > General Learning Disabilities f) www.sess.ie > Documents and Publications > Government Agencies > SIGNPOSTS PDF (Sept. 2008)