Identifying Effective TeachingStrategiesAssessing the Effectiveness ofthe Inclusive Classroom
Identifying Effective TeachingStrategiesGoals and objectives for Using Inclusive TeachingStrategies2 overall goals for using carefully selected inclusiveteaching strategies:• Successful learners: to help all children experiencesuccess in learning• Independent learners: to assist children in gainingindependence as learners
The major goal of inclusive education inearly childhood is to promote the successof all children in their early learningexperiences. There are several objectivesteachers in inclusive classroom seek toaccomplish through careful anddeliberate use of learning enhancementstrategies to:
• Encourage children’s engagement• Improve the quality of play and learningopportunities• Streamline learning process of children• Activate children’s prior knowledge• Facilitate children’s social and learninginteractions
Selecting Inclusive Teaching Strategies andPracticesThere is abundant evidence indicating that‘how’ children are taught is just as critical as‘what’ they are taught. Teachers tend to spendtime planning the curricular activities thatpresent children with the curriculum contentor ‘what’ is to be learned.
Insight from Brain ResearchNature and nurture• Through neurobiological research, we learnthat brain development is a dynamic processthat involves a unique interplay betweennature and nurture.• A long-standing assumption of scientists hasbeen that nature, the biological and geneticcharacteristics of individuals, affects how achild’s brain grows and develops.
Scientists are finding evidence that severalcomplex environmental variables thatconstitute what is commonly referred to asnurture also exert a profound influence on thegrowth and development of the human brain.The type of stimulation children receive, theadequacy of their nourishment, the kind ofcare they are given, and the social interactionschildren experience are among the types ofenvironmental conditions identified asinfluential in the development of the amazingorgan that we call the brain.
Critical PeriodScientist have determined that the brains ofinfants and toddlers are far more activecompared to the brains of adults.Researched suggested that environmentalcontexts in which a child grows and develops canexert either a positive or negative influence onbrain development and learning. We also knowthat warm, responsive care giving is essential foroptimizing brain development, especially duringcritical periods for specific types of learning.
Implications for parents and teachersInteractions, such as those that occur as aresult of efforts to teach children, can haveextra ordinarily powerful affects on the braindevelopment of the children. The type andnumber of different strategies and practicesteachers and parents use may affect thequality of interactions and experiences ofchildren during periods of growth that areprime for the development of the brain andthe acquisition of knowledge and skills.
Early is bestIt makes sense for early childhood teachers tobe especially conscientious in planning theirroles in facilitating children’s learning in theclassroom.It is important to plan beyond the activitiesand materials that will be offered to childrendaily
Implications for teaching children withspecial needsIt is most efficient to ensure proper braindevelopment through attention to adequatenutrition, care, health, and safety for all children.When trauma and negative influences onchildren’s brain development have not beenaverted, it is critical to focus on providing thesechildren access to prompt and intensiveintervention during the early years when thebrain is most likely to recover.
Implications for inclusionHoward Gardner and others have longcontended that “one size fits all” teaching failsto reach all children.Effective teachers adjust their teachingstrategies to the learning styles of individualchildren in their classrooms, which isparticularly true of inclusive early childhoodsettings.
Guiding preparation and practiceProfessional standards and guidelines serve adual purpose in early childhood education:1. These documents provide a solid researchbasis for guiding practice in early childhoodsettings.2. Professional guidelines provide a frameworkfor personnel preparation.
Staying informedEarly childhood teachers in inclusiveclassrooms are obligated to stay apprised ofaccepted strategies and practices acrossdisciplines and fields of study.Teachers in inclusive classrooms should checkfor relevant information inmulticultural, specialeducation, giftedness, and bilingual educationliterature to name a few.
NATURALISTIC STRATEGIESWhat are Naturalistic Strategies?Naturalistic strategies are implicit teachingstrategies and practices that naturally occurwithin the typical contexts of early childhoodsettings.Incidental or milieu teaching > a type ofnaturalistic strategy where teachers embedstrategies as incidents occur to enhance learningwithin the usual milieu of the classroom activitiesand functions.
NATURALISTIC STRATEGIES• Respect a child’s way of learning• Value play as a natural catalyst for learning• Maximize transitions and routines• Are unobtrusive• Foster learning in a relevant context
The Importance of NaturalisticStrategiesHelps maximize learning through dailyroutines and activities at home and school.Permits teachers to significantly increase thechances for children to learn without addingundue pressure.
Play-based strategies• Children’s play activities offer a variety ofopportunities for teachers to enhancechildren’s learning.• Play linked to culture and is present in everysociety across the globe.• Play appears to serve a cultural function ofcreating a cohesive bond between childrenand their society.
Naturalistic strategies in PreschoolWashing hands• Sensory awareness: “Feel the water running overyour hands? Is it cool or warm? How does thesoap make your hands feel? How does the soapsmell? Tell me how the water sounds.”• Vocabulary: “Water is…wet, cool, warm. Itsplashes, sprinkles, drops.• Mathematics: “How much water do you think youwill use to wash your hands?”
Walking to playground• Motor: “Can you walk tall? Walk small? Canyou be quiet as a mouse?”• Finding Bug Outdoors: “what is this bugdoing? Walking, running?”
SOCIOCONTEXTUAL STRATEGIESWhat are Sociocontextual Strategies?Sociocontextual strategies are a type ofnaturalistic strategy that involves children withothers in authentic situations or contexts.
SOCIOCONTEXTUAL STRATEGIES• Help children acquire collaborative interactionskills• Foster group thinking to learn• Enhance social interaction• Provide opportunities for practicing expressivelanguage and communication skills
KEY SOCIOCONTEXTUAL STRATEGIES• Select games and activities that promote interaction.• Encourage children to work and play in pairs or smallgroups.• Reduce materials for some activities to foster sharingand cooperation• Assist children in delineating roles for group activitiesor play.• Scaffold children’s interactions.• Interact with children frequently during their activities.• Stimulate peer mediated play and learning.
Assessing the Effectiveness ofthe Inclusive ClassroomUSES OF ASSESSMENT AND RELATED ISSUESWhat is the Difference between Testing andAssessment?Assessment > a term that is usually more broadlydefined than testing. It is the ongoing process ofgathering data and artifacts over a span of timeand analysis of the collected information. Thegoal of assessment is to provide an accurate viewof the child’s progress, allowing teachers to makeinformed decisions about instruction or strategiesto stimulate a child’s learning.
• Testing > is generally defined more narrowlyas a method of checking for skillmastery, content knowledge, or determiningperformance of a task.
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENTTECHNIQUESChild Performance AssessmentsMonitoring children’s progress by evaluatingtheir performance on specific learning task iswidely accepted as an alternative assessmentmethod in early childhood and earlychildhood special education.
Portfolio and Work Sample Systems Teachers using this method find it is a versatile system forassessing children’s progress and keeping tangible recordsdocumenting their work samples. In an inclusiveclassroom, portfolios represent a strength-based systemthat highlights a child’s abilities rather than disabilities.Role of Collaboration in the Assessment Process When teachers use collaborative methods that bring othersinto the assessment process, the resulting information willlikely be more comprehensive and accurate. Personal profile > it is similar to a case study; however, it isa greatly abbreviated form with bulleted categories ofinformation.
CULTURE-FAIR AND GENDER-FAIRPRACTICESSelecting Assessment Techniques andInstrumentsLiving in poverty can impede a child’s chancesfor success in school. An ongoing scheme ofcultural-fair assessments to guide instructionmay help close the academic gaps precipitatedby poverty, lack of preschool experience, orother factors.
Collaborative Approaches with ProfessionalsTIPS:• Establish contact with professionals alreadyinvolved with the children in your inclusiveclassroom.• Identify professionals not yet in your networkwho can contribute ways to assess the child’sskills and abilities.
PROGRAM EVALUATIONOngoing Evaluation of Program EffectivenessInformal evaluation3 key program indicators have proven reliable asbarometers for estimating the overall qualityof an early childhood programs:
• The education attainment of teachers isassociated with high-quality programs.• Low child-to-staff ratios are likely to signaleffective programs.• Low class size has been reported to have ahigh correlation with quality programs.
Involving families in evaluationAsk families to comment the followingmajor programs areas:•Communication•Satisfaction with programs strategies•Child’s satisfaction with the programChild’s progress in learning new skills.