Labeling ????Labels help us to know a child’s educational needs, but too often labelsbecome a substitute for getting to know the individual child’s strengths,personal goals, and needs.
Exceptional students► Students who have abilities or problems so significant that they require special education or other services to reach their potential.
Language► How we talk about people betrays our attitude toward them. If we say “that is a learning disabled student,” then we are saying that the most important thing about that student is his/her struggle with perception and taking in information. This person may be gifted and talented, this person may have a lot of knowledge about his/her areas of interest and hobbies, this person may consider some other aspect (e.g., religion or culture) to be more significant in terms of identity than learning disabilities. Yet through labeling, we have reduced this person to a problem.
A word about names ► Handicap comes from “cap in hand” when people with disabilities often were forced to beg for a living. This word is offensive to some, even though it is used in educational settings to describe certain conditions. ► Further, people often do not wish to be identified by a disability, as if being in a wheelchair, having a visual or hearing deficit, or having a learning disability were the major part of their identity. All people are so many things; their abilities are just one piece of who they are. ► Pay attention to the way in which people wish to refer to themselves and wish to be referred to.For an interesting and often challenging set of thoughts about this very issue in relationto people with disabilities, read John Hockenberry’s book, Moving Violations.Hockenberry, a news reporter, became paraplegic at the age of 19. This book is hisautobiography.
If you don’t know how people wish to be referred to…► Go with person first, disability second: a student with a learning disability, a student with Down Syndrome, etc.Just to confuse you: sometimes within a culture, people will decide that theywant to be thought of in certain ways—and many disabilities lead to theformation of cultures. For example, there is a deaf community, composed ofpeople who have hearing disabilities, although not every person who has hearingdifficulties is part of that culture and some hearing people are part of the culturebecause their parents were deaf. There is a culture of people who usewheelchairs, although not every person in a wheelchair subscribes to that culture. This diversity among people means that some people will have a strong culturalidentity connected to their disability and may want you to use that disability first(e.g., deaf person). Other people will want you to refer to the disability second.
Disorders, disabilities, handicaps► Disorder: a broad term meaning a general disturbance in physical or mental functioning► Disability: the inability to do something specific such as walk or hear► Handicap: a disadvantage in a particular situation, sometimes caused by a disability.
Disorder, disability, handicap Disorder: A general malfunction of mental, physical, or psychological processes. Disability: a Handicap: a limitation functional limitation that an individual or an inability to experiences in a perform a specific particular environment. act.These students are disabled (they cannot walk) but not handicapped in this setting.
Universal design for learning► The whole point of UDL is that we can use technology to keep classrooms from handicapping students. With UDL, disabilities do not have to stop a student from learning. This means that the disability exists, but it is not a barrier to learning. The question becomes, how can we use what we have to address the needs students have? This is the creative aspect of teaching. Sometimes it requires us to use an old tool in a new way.
Intelligence: a can of wormsUnfortunately, because intelligence is a valued trait in our society, assessingintelligence has from the beginning been mixed up with politics in the worstway.
Intelligence► Inthe process of creating assessment, some scientists also had a desire to prove that one group was smarter than another.
Intelligence Unfortunately, they didn’t do a “doubleFor example, some blind” experimentpeople thought that where the personthe bigger the head, measuring the skullthe smarter a person would have no ideawas. In order to about the personexplore that idea, whose skull it was.they placed mustard So, their prejudicesseed in various skulls towards one race andin order to measure against anotherthe volume. They influenced their dataused skulls from two (it’s easy to stuff adifferent races of little extra mustardpeople. seed in some skulls and to not completely fill others).It was in the early 1900’s when this theory was discredited, using a then newstatistic, the correlation. This information from Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man
Intelligence► Intelligencewas part of Hitler’s theory of a master race. Unfortunately, he was not the only person with this set of ideas. There were “eugenicists” in the United States who wanted smart people to breed with other smart people. (Carl C. Brigham, the “father of the SAT” was a eugenicist). Information on Carl C. Brigham: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/where/three.html
IntelligenceThe struggle continues. In 1996, Herrnstein and Murray published this book thathas the essential argument that people who don’t do well on IQ tests should haveless access to authority in their lives. They didn’t question whether our measuresof intelligence might be culturally biased; they simply bought into the results—thatsome groups are smarter than others and our IQ tests are adequate to measureintelligence.
Here is the basisof the argumentabout intelligence: that people onthe left hand sideof this graph aremore likely tohave certain socialtroubles thanpeople on theright hand side ofthe graph.http://wps.prenhall.com/wps/media/objects/803/822654/psychplace/genintell/genintell.html
Correlation► This is a correlational problem. Low IQ (whatever that is) is correlated with certain types of crime and certain social problems.► Yet, we know that correlations do not determine causes. Low IQ does not necessarily CAUSE certain types of crime or other problems. For example, part of being in poverty is poor nutrition, which would mean poorer brain development, low IQ, and possibly a need to commit crimes just to survive financially.
AND…there were plenty of very smart Nazis, not tomention very smart white collar criminals, verysmart computer hackers, very smart but dishonestCEO’s (think: Enron, Bernie Madoff), and verysmart political operatives (Watergate, Irangate,Ohio’s “coingate,” etc.).In other words, high IQ is also associated withcertain types of crime which these authors usuallyfail to mention.Intelligence does not create morality.
SO…► There are lots of new theories of intelligences and some attempts to revamp the old theories.► There are some useful functions of intelligence testing, primarily for determining when a student might have a learning disability. Use this information, but remember IQ is not a measure of personal value.
Intelligence One trait or many? Old intelligence theory: New intelligence There is one trait, “g,” that theory: defines intelligence There are several traits that contribute to intelligence. Although most educators acknowledge there are multiple traits to intelligence, current intelligence assessment is still based on the single trait theory.Intelligence: (a) the ability to acquire knowledge, (b) the capacity to think and reasonin the abstract, and (c) the ability to solve novel problems.
Fluid and crystallized intelligence► Fluid intelligence: mental efficiency, nonverbal abilities grounded in brain development. This is not related to culture.► Crystallized intelligence: ability to apply culturally approved problem-solving methods. This increases across the life span.
This represents a way of trying to understand a single trait, “g,” and yet accountfor the various ways in which people are intelligent.
Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences Interpersonal Linguistic Intrapersonal ! Spatial Logical- Mathematical Naturalist Musical Bodily-Kinesthetic ExistentialIt’s a good idea to create classrooms where The ability to think about the big questions of lifestudents use all these means to express (e.g., philosophy). Not officially part of Gardner’stheir ideas. theory but being considered by him.
Using and misusing Gardner in the Classroom► Gardner’s theory is popular, but it has led to some classroom practices that don’t really work and don’t really support intelligence development► Bottom line: look at anything that claims to be multiple intelligences both critically and with an eye to common sense.
Emotional intelligence► The ability to process and use emotional information accurately and efficiently.► Includes: perceiving, integrating, understanding, and managing emotions.► Usefulness: research shows that programs that increase this type of knowledge are effective in improving student behavior.This represents an attempt to get beyond sheer brain power as being valued byour society. Certainly a part of morality is the ability to express emotionsappropriately. People with a lower IQ could potentially have a high EQ andtherefore considered to be valued members of our society.
Sternberg’s Triarchic Model of Intelligence “Laborer” “Manager” “Trainee” To improve intelligence: Practice thinking: Analytical Creative PracticalTriarchic—implies there are three things: Processing, Contextual, Experiential
Practical: ability to adapt to changing environment. Processing ContextAnalytic: ability to Intelligencethink abstractly,process information,verbal ability Experiences Creative: Ability to formulate new ideas and combine unrelated facts. creativity Insight: the ability to Automaticity: the result of learning to deal effectively with novel perform a behavior or thinking process situations. so thoroughly that the performance is automatic and does not require effort.
Performance—doing something Metacomponent—your ability Knowledge acquisition: to think about & manage a Learning taskIn order to do something, you need all three abilities—to manage what youare doing, to learn, to do. Each contributes to your overall intelligence.There are people with varying abilities in each area (for example, someonewho can learn a lot but can’t do things very well).
Tacit knowledge: knowing how rather than knowing that—knowledge that is morelikely to be learned during everyday life than through formal schooling.Your choices:Change yourselfChange what is around youLeaveIt takes a certain amount of wisdom to realize what is changeable, what is not, andwhen it’s time to give up and get out of there.“You gotta know when to hold up, know when to fold up, know when to walk away,and know when to run…”
See Piaget’s theory of equilibrium (Chapter Two) Insight—the ability to deal effectively with novel situations Automaticity—the result of learning to perform a behavior or thinking process so thoroughly that the performance is automatic and does not require effort.
Measuring intelligence► Alfred Binet created a test designed to measure a person’s mental age—in intelligence testing, a performance that represents average abilities for that age group.► For example someone who is chronologically 9 years old might perform like the average 15 year old and therefore be more intelligent than normal or might perform like the average 3 year old and therefore be less intelligent than normal.
What is IQ?► Intelligence Quotient (IQ)=(mental age/chronological age)x100► Using our previous examples:► The child who is chronologically 9 and does as well as the average 15 year old on the test:► (15/9)100=167► The child who is chronologically 9 and does as well as the average 3 year old on the test:► (3/9)100=33 IQ is a score that compares mental and chronological age.
Deviation► Deviation IQ: score based on statistical comparison of an individual’s performance with the average performance of others in that age group.► In other words, how far from the average do the scores tend to be? A small deviation says the deviation from the average is small and a large deviation says that deviation from the average tends to be large.► Don’t worry about this concept—we will explain it much more in depth at a later time. Just be aware of it.
Group vs. individual IQ tests► Traditional intelligence tests are administered individually► There are group IQ tests, but children don’t tend to do as well on them—the scores tend to underreport a child’s capability.► This is because of several reasons: one is that in an individual test, the child receives more attention from an adult, which is usually motivational; also, in a group test, a child might have problems that are unaddressed by the adult administering the exam (e.g., losing his/her place on the answer sheet).Take IQ results from group tests with a whole salt shaker of salt!
What does IQ mean?► IQis a “normally distributed” characteristic which means that if you graph how many people get which score, you will come up with a bell-shaped curve (therefore, The Bell Curve, the title of Herrnstein and Murray’s book). The highest point of the curve will be over the score 100, which is the average IQ. Statistically speaking, 68% of the people will score between 85 and 115 on an IQ test.
Flynn effect► Because of better health, smaller families, increased complexity in the environment, and more and better schooling, IQ test scores are steadily rising.► Remember: your great-grandparents didn’t have to deal with smart phones…
Intelligence and achievement► With what does IQ correlate?► To some degree, school success (well, duh, that’s what it was supposed to do).► But not necessarily with “success in life,” e.g., income, status, etc.► IQ ain’t everything…even though some people try to make it important.
Problems with Measuring Intelligence► Cultural bias: occurs when one or more items on a test penalize students of a particular ethnic or cultural background; questions asked depend on certain types of knowledge or experience that are not universal instead of intelligence.► Expectations: teachers may base their expectations of students on scores, not what the students are really doing.
Cultural bias: A gorilla takes an IQ testAfter teaching some gorillas how to communicate through sign language, researchersdecided to give them IQ tests. One question on the test asked, “which item is edible?”and gave options such as an orange, a flower, a nail, and a tractor. The gorillaanswered “a flower” because gorillas do really eat flowers. This is an example ofcultural bias! By the way, the gorillas scored at the same level as the average humanpre-schooler.
Cultural bias► Because of cultural bias, it is important not to assign too much significance to IQ of students not from middle class White US homes.
“Nature vs. Nurture” Intelligence is Intelligence is influenced determined by your by how you are raised genes Can you imagine how your environment might influence intelligence?Nature view of intelligence: Nurture view of intelligence: intelligence is solely emphasizes the influence of thedetermined by genetics environment. Other alternatives: •Both “nature” and “nurture” are significant. •The tests we have don’t work very well for all populations, so we don’t know.
Nature vs. Nurture I. Q. Correlations* ► Foster parent-child .20 ► Parent-child .50 ► Siblings reared together .49 Weak correlation ► Fraternal twins .53 Strong correlation ► Identical twins reared apart .75 ► Identical twins reared together .87 *Erlenmeyer-Kimling and Jarvik, 1963 These are the correlations between various groups of IQ scores. Remember thecorrelation is stronger the closer the score is to 1.
What to do with IQ► It is used to help diagnose learning disabilities and can be helpful there (a learning disability exists if a student’s IQ and achievement don’t match—the IQ indicating a higher level of achievement than is currently there).► Avoid judging students by their IQ scores. Sometimes it is better to choose to remain ignorant of their scores unless you have a specific need to know.► Remember the limitations of IQ—it is based on a single-trait idea of intelligence rather than multiple traits.
Ability Grouping + - all the groups in •Instruction is easier to •Hard to manage plan if all kids are at single classroom same level •Kids might be placed in the wrong group •Kids in low group feel bad •Kids in low group achieve less than when they are with kids of all abilitiesAbility grouping: the process of placing students of similar abilities together andattempting to match instruction to the needs of different groups.Between-class ability grouping/tracking: places students in different classes orcurricula on the basis of ability.Untracking: redesigning schools to teach students in classes that are not grouped byability.Joplin plan/non-graded elementary school: arrangement wherein students aregrouped by ability in particular subjects, regardless of their ages or grades.
So, what to do in the classroom? Use Positive Grouping Strategies Individualize Instruction► Don’t keep kids stuck in groups ► Give extra time for completion —change them around to of assignments to those who accommodate kids’ needs & need it abilities ► Get kids to tutor those who► Be sure low groups get high need help quality learning experiences AND/OR► Have students work in small► Remember, kids change groups. Make sure the groups► Don’t use negative labels for are balanced with stronger kids low-end groups & those who need help.► Be aware of problems with ► Break large assignments down ability grouping—be prepared to into smaller units for those who change your practice if those need it. problems arise ► Provide options for those who need it—doing something visual instead of a book report
More ideas for the classroom► Offer honors assignment options or challenge pull- out activities► Provide additional times during school breaks when struggling students can get extra help► Provide tutoring before and after school► Staff a “homework center” with parents, teachers, and community volunteers► Don’t “dumb down” the curriculum—teach learning strategies instead.
More on grouping► Within-class ability grouping: system of grouping in which students in a class are divided into two or three groups based on ability in an attempt to accommodate student differences.► Flexible grouping: grouping and regrouping students based on learning needs.
Get real► Even when students are tracked or grouped by ability, there is still a diversity of learners within a classroom. There is no such thing as a homogeneous classroom.► This is where technology can help. If you create tools that students can use to help them learn, then they can select the tools they need to get the job done.
An analogyThe way we used to do schooling with “one size text or teaching method fits all”was the same as sending a bunch of carpenters out on the job with only ahammer. A hammer is definitely a useful tool and it can be used for a numberof tasks (I have heard a hammer called a “persuader” because it can be used totap all sorts of things into or out of place). But the hammer isn’t the only tool acarpenter needs. Also, different carpenters need different types of hammers,and hammers of different weights. Go to Home Depot and you can see thearray of hammers available.
The analogy, continued Likewise, we should provide students with a wide array of The carpenter learning tools, carries a wide including a range of array of tools so possible texts, a range he or she can do of ways of presenting any job that information (visually, comes up. aurally, etc.), and a range of metacognitive strategies with which to use the tools.Technology makes it possible to provide students with the tools they need for learning.
Conclusion► If we individualize the tools we use in the classroom, then we can use a flexible grouping plan, in which a mini-lesson would be taught to the group of students who need that particular lesson. Groups would be formed and dissolved after the lesson on the basis of immediate need; no one would be relegated to the “low group” on a permanent basis.
Learning styles: students’ personal approaches to learning, problem solving, andprocessing information. Learning Styles Real Life Application: Surface: deal with the immediate information only a deep understanding of Works for tests that deal with facts and memorization Educational Psychology will help you to be aWhat do you better andknow about your happier teacher.personal learning My goal is tostyle? help you to learn this material on a deep level. Deep: connect current learning to other types of learning Works for real life situations (being able to use the knowledge) and for tests that deal with understanding. Deep learners have intrinsic motivation and set goals for themselves.
Cautions about learning preferences► Learning preferences: preferred ways of studying and learning, such as using pictures instead of text, working with other people versus alone, learning in structured or unstructured situations, and so on.► There’s a lot of hype but not a lot of research support for this. Remember, younger students may not be able to determine what works best for them.
Visual/verbal► There is a three-fold difference:► Low or high cognitive spatial ability► Visualizer vs. verbalizer cognitive style► Visual vs. verbal learning preference► Yet there is not a lot of information about what to do with this in the classroom. Given the fact that you will have both verbalizers and visual people in the classroom, it’s a good idea to use both words and images when possible.
An example of a visual thinkerThis is Temple Grandin. She wrote a book called, “Thinking in Pictures and OtherReports From My Life With Autism.” She has a fantastic ability to imagine (anddraw) buildings and other constructions from several points of view. Shedescribes her visual imagination as being like a CAD program—she can imaginesomething and turn it around in her head just like a computer can. The reason itis important for you to know this, is that some people have a harder time thinkingin words than others.
What to do in the classroom? Encourage metacognition: Help kids to learn about themselves as learners so they canVary your instruction make intelligent decisions about their environment, their processing, etc. Respond to students as individuals.
Some history► Prior to the mid nineteenth century, people with disabilities such as blindness, deafness, epilepsy, and mental retardation did not receive education in the schools. Some remained with their families all their lives and others were warehoused in institutions.
More history Gallaudet University (for the deaf and hard of hearing), Washington, D.C. Ohio State School for the BlindDuring the mid-nineteenth century, specialized institutions began to be developed toaddress the educational needs of people with disabilities. For example, the PerkinsInstitute for the Blind was established in Watertown, Massachusetts. This was whereAnnie Sullivan received her education (she was partially blind due to trachoma) whichallowed her to teach Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf. Keller also attendedPerkins for awhile.Literature connection: for anyone who loved the Little House on the Prairie series,Mary (who became blind) went to a school for the blind.
History► The advantage of institutions like these was that they gave people access to education.► There were significant disadvantages, however. Students were not fully integrated into society following their education in essentially a segregated world. Members of the deaf community responded by creating a vibrant and lively subculture complete with its own language (various forms of American Sign Language).► Finally, institutions for the “feeble minded” took an immoral twist as you can see from the following article.
History► The advantage of institutions like these was that they gave people access to education.► There were significant disadvantages, however. Students were not fully integrated into society following their education in essentially a segregated world. Members of the deaf community responded by creating a vibrant and lively subculture complete with its own language (various forms of American Sign Language).► Finally, institutions for the “feeble minded” took an immoral twist as you can see from the following article.
The Voice of a Lost Generation: Freddie Boyce Survived Neglect at Fernald,Radiation ExperimentsSCOTT ALLEN / Boston Globe 1May 2006 In August 1941, Mina Boyce, a 21-year-old widow and an alcoholic, handed her baby over to state social workers, setting little Freddie Boyce on the miserable road to the "Water E. Fernald School for the Feebleminded." Over the next seven years, Freddie lived in seven foster homes and then was locked behind the iron gates of Fernald, an institution for people with mental retardation. There he would stay until his "parole" 11 years later. The injustice, similar to the fate of thousands of children unlucky enough to fall into government custody before 1960, might have been forgotten, but Boyce never accepted the idea that he was "feebleminded." Decades later, when documents revealed that he and other children had been subjected to unethical radiation experiments while at Fernald, Boyce seized his chance: He rounded up his friends from Fernald, filed a lawsuit, and exposed a dark chapter of American history. The question here is, how was “feeblemindedness” diagnosed? Also, there is a huge ethical issue in terms of using children in an institution for radiation experiments. Those were truly dark days…
"We didnt commit any crimes. We were just 7-year-old orphans," declared the traveling carnival barker at a packed Washington D.C. hearing in 1994. Though he was testifying about being fed radioactive oatmeal, Boyce was really talking about being locked away for years without education, without love, without hope. Now, Frederick Boyce is dying. But he is going out as the voice of a lost generation rather than the lost boy he once was. From his sickbed in the Colonial Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Weymouth, he talks on the phone to an executive at Steven Spielbergs DreamWorks who tells him the screenplay for a proposed movie about his life is finished and fabulous. And, though Boyce is thin and weak from colon cancer, he promises another caller to speak at an upcoming State House meeting "if Im around.""Something like this is kind of surreal," said Boyce, 65, who always assumed he would be a "spectator" in life rather than a mover and a shaker. "How can this little kid from a state institution be able to do so much?"
But people who know Boyce say he possesses a rare resilience that has allowed him to rise above a nightmare that left many others bitter, ashamed, or demoralized. Boyce, they said, never blamed himself for his predicament. He forgave his keepers at Fernald, even the ones who administered arbitrary beatings and humiliations. And, even as he prepares to die, he retains his almost dizzying optimism, stocking up on prizes for his carnival concession booth just in case he gets well enough to go back on the road as he has for the last 43 years. "I dont know anyone who has as many friends as Freddie," said Abra Figueroa, Boyces ex-wife and close friend, who came from Oklahoma to visit him last weekend. Boyce, who loves to discuss Stephen Hawkings theories on black holes and keeps a poetry anthology at his bedside, is not, and never was, mentally retarded. Dr. Norman Frost, a pediatrician, once wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine that the main difference between Boyce and "normal" people is that "he is better looking and more charming." With his soothing, low voice and sharp Portuguese features, he always had a gift for luring people to the carnival midway. Important Ed. Psych. concept: Why is it some kidsDoes this sound like a “feeble- can go through a hellish childhood and end up asminded” person? positive adults and others can’t? What can we do as teachers to encourage resilience?
But Boyce was born to a mother who lost custody of 13 children to the state in an era when psychologists used a now-discredited IQ test to determine whether a child should be institutionalized. When Freddie got his first test, he had never been to school, and he became anxious as strangers asked him to define words such as "timid" and "tame." He scored 65 on a test where 100 was considered normal, making him "feebleminded" in the terminology of the time. Freddie found hundreds of other boys and girls much like him among the 2,000-plus residents at Fernald — mostly "problem" children who were being warehoused at the 19th-century brick campus along with people with genuine mental retardation. All of them suffered in an environment that offered little education, required menial labor such as picking beans and mopping bathroom floors, and permitted outsiders to visit mainly on "company Sundays." Freddie couldnt understand why he was being held — "There aint nothing wrong with me," he would tell attendants — to no avail. When, in 1960, the Fernald staff finally agreed with Boyces claim that he was safe to leave the school, he couldnt read or write — and no one apologized.Notice the testing conditions in the first paragraph—and the devastating effects ofthe score on this person’s life. Fernald staff never expected much from itsresidents, so no one challenged the children to learn to read and write. A label,misapplied, caused teachers to miss out on the potential of the students to learn.
Boyce worked hard to build a life, hiring a tutor to visit him weekly and gradually saving money from his carnival work to buy a house in Norwell. He made his peace with his mother, coming to see her as a victim of her own difficult childhood, and with the staff at Fernald, which he saw as part of a system beyond their control. But his 1987 marriage to Figueroa lasted less than two years, and he came to think of himself as someone who had difficulty forming intimate relationships. "I accepted I have a life thats always going to have pieces missing," Boyce told journalist Michael DAntonio, author of "The State Boys Rebellion," a book about those who grew up at the Fernald School. Finally, in 1993, a librarian at Fernald discovered an old ledger book that described the way Boyce and other children in the 1950s had been seduced into taking part in medical experiments with promises of Red Sox tickets, Christmas parties, and other tokens. The children in the so-called "Fernald Science Club" had been fed oatmeal laced with slightly radioactive milk as part of a nutrition study for Quaker Oats. When The Globe published a story on the experiments, it made international news and triggered a congressional inquiry.The attitude towards these children by those who allowed and ran the experimentsis that these children were the equivalent of laboratory animals. It is this kind ofexperimentation which led to the establishment of Human Subjects Review Boards,which review experiments carried out on people in order to keep something like thisfrom happening again.
While we cannot say for certain that the radiation experiments at Fernald were definitely the cause of Freddies cancer, we can say with great confidence that they may not be discounted as the cause or part of the cause. Boyce quickly became the face of the scandal, aggressively calling reporters to tell his story and organizing former "Fernald Science Club" members to sue Quaker Oats, the researchers who did the experiments, and the state and federal agencies that were supposed to protect children. Although the radiation levels were probably too low to do much harm — and Boyce doesnt blame the experiments for his cancer — the group received a $3 million settlement for violations of their rights, which worked out to $50,000 to $65,000 for each of the several dozen people. Perhaps more important to Boyce, the controversy gave him a platform. He remembers feeling "weak-kneed" as he entered the ballroom of a Washington, D.C., hotel to testify about the Fernald experiments before a federal panel investigating the abuse of human research subjects. But Boyce made the most of his chance, telling panelists, "The idea of getting consent for experiments under these conditions was not only cruel but hypocritical. They bribed us by offering us special privileges, knowing that we had so little that we would do practically anything for attention."Not only is this a story of travesty, but it is also the story of how one person canmake a difference.
In the years that followed, Boyce received a personal apology for the radiation experiments from President Bill Clinton, while DAntonios 2004 book made clear that the radiation experiments were part of a larger tableau of suffering. Boyce did interviews about his past with everyone from People Magazine to "60 Minutes," where staffers called him "one-take Freddie" for his ability to speak from the heart in punchy soundbites. Steven Spielberg was so impressed by Boyces story that his production company, DreamWorks, bought the film rights to "The State Boys Rebellion" and commissioned Jose Riviera, award-winning screenwriter of the movie "The Motorcycle Diaries," to produce a script. Meredith Bagby, the former DreamWorks executive who spearheaded the project until this month, said the movie is not a certainty yet, but the screenplay is "amazing." "Its an instant story like Cuckoos Nest or Cider House Rules " by John Irving, said Bagby. "Its about kids, and no matter how bad it was, they always had this child-like optimism." Boyce, who can no longer eat much solid food and is receiving treatment only for pain, knows he wont be around if and when the movie gets made, but he doesnt seem to mind. He only hopes that other "Fernald Science Club" members carry on the effort to get a formal apology for their mistreatment from the state of Massachusetts. "I feel like I made my life," he said. And hes proud that a Hollywood movie may be his epitaph. "I want to see the story come out as strong as possible so that these institutions cant do what they did to us again."source:http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2006/05/01/the_voice_of_a_lost_generation?mode=PF 5may2006
Further…► Even within regular schools, special education had become a ghetto for those whom the education system didn’t want to teach. Biased tests insured that identified special education students were disproportionately non-white and/ or non-middle class. Once a student was labeled as in need of special education, that label often stayed throughout the student’s education. Students who were identified as needing special services often received a less rigorous education; less was expected of them. If they graduated from high school, it was with inadequate skills.
So…► Laws were passed to bring remedy to the situation.► These laws encouraged mainstreaming (keeping special education students in regular classrooms to the fullest extent possible) and mandated that appropriate educational goals be established.► Less than fifty years ago, it was acceptable to fail to educate certain students. It is no longer acceptable to do this, just as racism is no longer socially acceptable (it happens, but it is more clearly considered to be wrong now).► This is one of the great strides of the educational system in the United States.
IDEIA: latest amendment of PL94-142, guarantees a free public education to allchildren regardless of disability Laws ► IDEIA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act ► You need to know about: FAPE (Free & Appropriate Public Education) LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) Protection against discrimination in testing Involving parents in developing child’s education IEP (Individualized Education Plan)Zero reject: a basic principle of IDEIA specifying that no student with a disability, nomatter what kind or how severe, can be denied a free public education.
Free and Appropriate Education► The US educational system is supposed to provide a no-cost education that works for each individual child, no matter what that child’s needs are.
Least restrictive environment► Where possible, students are educated with their “typical” peers instead of being segregated due to disabilities or handicaps. Least restrictive environment: one that places students in as typical an educational setting as possible while still meeting their special needs.
Least restrictive environment: optionsResidential facilities still exist and they still serve educational needs—often for studentswith multiple handicaps who cannot be accommodated at a regular school.
Least restrictive environment► Had Freddie Boyce been kept in the “least restrictive environment,” even if he had been identified as in need of special education, he would have been exposed to higher level learning and he probably would have had a chance to demonstrate his abilities, leading possibly to reassessment and an exit from his educational ghetto.Is this system perfect? No—no system is. But it sure is a lot better than stickingkids in an asylum.
Least restrictive environment: Mainstreaming ► Mainstreaming: the practice of moving students with exceptionalities from segregated settings into regular classrooms, often for selected activities only. What this means to you as a teacher: Students are placed in regular classrooms for activities that they are able to handle. If you are a “specials” teacher, such as physical education, art, or music, you will be teaching students who are mainstreamed for these classroom activities. Students may also be mainstreamed for particular subjects (e.g., a student with autism who is gifted in math might be mainstreamed for the math instruction portion of an elementary classroom). As a teacher, you will need to be prepared to provide high quality, appropriate education to these students along with the students who are in the classroom full time.Integration: fitting the child with special needs into existing class structures.
Least restrictive environment► Adaptive fit: the degree to which a student is able to meet the requirements of a particular school setting and the extent to which the school accommodates the student’s needs in that setting.► Inclusion: a comprehensive approach to educating students with exceptionalities that advocates a total, systematic, and coordinated web of services; integration of all students, including those with severe disabilities, into the regular classroom.
Least restrictive environment: resources ► The special educator works with the regular teacher. The special educator’s job includes assessing the student, maintaining records, developing special curriculum materials, coordinating everyone involved in the student’s schooling, working with parents, and assisting in adapting instruction to the needs of the student.It is really important to talk with the specialist when you are working with studentswho have special needs. That person can help you to have a successful teachingexperience with students who have special needs and abilities.
Inclusion: a personal storyThis is my fiddle group in 2003, when we went to Pigeon Forge, TN and Nashville.One student in this group has Down’s Syndrome. He is an enthusiastic participant,playing autoharp (one chord per song) and percussion. When I was a child, I neversaw a child with Down’s Syndrome because they were not educated in regular schools. I was concerned about how the other students would deal with this special needsstudent in the group, but they have been very supportive. Now we have a secondstudent with Down’s Syndrome. Mainstreaming has helped special needs students tolearn to fit into mainstream society and it has helped non-special needs students tolearn tolerance and appreciation.
Protect against discrimination in testing► Assessments that lead to special placements have to be fairly administered and the special placement can’t simply be made on the basis of one assessment.What a difference this wouldhave made in the life ofFreddie Boyce.
Parents’ rights► Parents have a right to be involved in their children’s education and they have the right to have an independent evaluation if they are not in agreement with the school’s plan. They have the right to information in the language that they speak.Due process: guarantees parents’ right to be involved in identifying and placing theirchildren in special programs, to access school records, and to obtain an independentevaluation if they’re not satisfied with the one conducted by the school. Some parents are very strong advocates for their children. Some in the school system may perceive this as negative. You will get along best with these parents if you recognize and affirm their desires to help their children.
Individualized Education Program ► Every student with special needs gets a plan created by teachers, parents, and specialists. The plan is supposed to help students take the next steps in their educational program. As you go to your field placements, try to attend an IEP meeting so you can find out more about this process.Individualized educational program (IEP): an individually prescribed instructional plandevised by special education and general education teachers, resource professionals,and parents (and sometimes the student). It specifies: assessment of student’s currentlevel, long- and short-term objectives, services and strategies to be used, schedules forimplementing the plan, criteria to evaluate the plan’s success.
Amendments to IDEA (1997)► Nondiscriminatory assessment: was reaffirmed.► Due process: school officials or parents can request an impartial hearing if they are not satisfied with the IEP.► IEP: parents must get a copy of the IEP and they are allowed to bring experts of their own to IEP meetings► Confidentiality: districts must keep confidential records of each child and protect the confidentiality of the records.
Section 504 Protections►A part of the civil rights law that prevents discrimination against people with disabilities in programs that receive federal funds, such as public schools.► Has fewer rules than IDEIA.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990► Federallegislation prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, transportation, public access, local government, and telecommunications.
Confidentiality ► As you go into your field placements, you need to be aware that you must keep the information you know about ALL students confidential. You may NOT reveal anything to anyone outside of that school. ► Confidentiality is not only the law, but it may also save a student’s life or prevent a kidnapping. Often families that have been involved in violence need to make sure that abusers do not know where a student is going to school. ► If you are going to talk to another person outside the school about a student or a situation in your field placement classroom, you may not use identifying information (including the name of the school, the name of the teacher, the name of the student, or a description that would identify any of those folks). This goes for any form of communication—by mouth, by e-mail, by blog, by letter, by telephone, etc. ► If you know that a student is being abused, you need to report this to your field placement teacher.Remember: Loose lips sink ships.
Learning DisabilitiesLearning disabilities (also called specific learning disabilities), difficulties in acquiringand using reading, writing, reasoning, listening, or mathematical abilities.What? When there is a differencebetween a student’s intelligence (ameasure of ability or potential) andachievement in the classroom or on a test(a measure of what the student can do),then there may be a learning disability.Why? These students may have difficulty processing information they perceive. Forexample, some students have perfectly good vision but have difficulty perceiving theorder of letters or remembering the structure of a letter (mixing up lower case d, b, p,and q because of their similarities—a “stick” and a “ball”). Other students may hearperfectly well but cannot process what they hear in order (for instance, they cannotrepeat even a short string of numbers in the correct order).
Learning Disabilities: Psychological consequences► Learning disabled students often try very hard and fail at what seems to be simple for other students to do.► This ongoing experience of failure has profound lifelong psychological consequences. The person feels stupid and may give up trying to learn anything.► Without appropriate help, these students will fall farther and farther behind.
Learning Disabilities Can Be Overcome My brother John has dyslexia. Although he tried and tried, he did not learn to read until after fifth grade due to a learning disability. He had the distinction of being in two special programs in elementary school: the gifted program and the Learning Disabilities program. John worked really hard and so did his teachers. He learned to read well and he now enjoys reading about World War II. He is a successful computer programmer. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening are all challenges that he deals with daily, but he has a range of effective strategies to help him accomplish these things.. But the journey for John was difficult and often disheartening.By the way, it is my brother’s preference to be referred to as a person with dyslexia. Herejects the “learning disabled” label for himself.
Learned helplessness► The expectation, based on previous experiences with a lack of control, that all one’s efforts will lead to failure.► In other words, if people with learning disabilities are not identified quickly, they struggle and fail often enough that they believe that NOTHING they do will help. So, they quit trying.
Learned helplessness► This concept comes from the work of Martin Seligman (Learned Helplessness: A Theory for the Age of Personal Control).► Seligman exposed animals to shock from which they could not escape (he quit doing animal research as soon as he possibly could). He found that when he then gave those animals a means for escape, they would not budge. They had learned that nothing they did would help, so they gave up.
Learned Helplessness► People also have the same kind of reaction. When nothing they do works, they tend to give up. This creates depression and it also explains why people in abusive relationships have a hard time doing something about it.► It is SO important for children to experience success in school so they won’t fall into learned helplessness.
Working with Students who have Learning Disabilities► That which other students pick up without instruction is difficult or impossible for students with learning disabilities. Use Task Analysis to figure out how to address particular areas in which students need to practice. For example, LD students may need help, practice, and special strategies in learning how to sequence information.► Don’t double the task for a learning disabled student, particularly one who has experienced a lot of failure. If you want students to understand a science concept, then allow the student with reading struggles to gain access to the concept through some other means besides reading (see Universal Design for Learning slide show).
Working with Students with Learning Disabilities► Set students up for success. Help them to work in their own Zone of Proximal Development, not in the ZPD of the other students.► A sense of pervasive failure can be overcome but it takes compassion and BABYSTEPS to do so. Give students ways to be successful in small tasks and build up from there. Weight lifters don’t bench press their maximum on the first day they go to the gym.
Working with Learning Disabled Students► These students may have intellectual strengths or strong interests. Work from these strengths and use the interests as a means to learning. For example, there are a lot of books about sports and popular music that are easy to read but written for older students.► These students need access to good study skills. They need scaffolding for “doing” school—taking notes, reading textbooks, doing tests, etc.
Working with Learning Disabled Students► Don’tput a student with a learning disability in an embarrassing situation. For example, round robin reading (each student takes a turn reading a paragraph) exposes students’ reading abilities (or lack thereof) publicly. Use other means for getting texts read (see Universal Design for Learning web site).
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) A learning problem characterized by difficulties in maintaining attention because of a limited ability to concentrate.•Energetic— “hyper”•Easily distracted—doesn’tconcentrate well•Impulsive—does thingswithout thinking•Forgetful, needs lots ofsupervision Some ADHD students also have learning disabilities.
ADHD: The Controversy► Is this a disorder of the kid or a disorder of the classroom?► If we are asking kids to do things that are fundamentally not interesting and seem completely irrelevant to their lives, then is it any wonder that some kids don’t concentrate well?► If we are asking kids to sit still for hours on end and we are not paying attention to their physical needs to be active, is it any wonder that some kids are wiggly?► Why is it that some kids who are diagnosed with ADHD can concentrate for hours on a video game but not in school?► Should we be medicating kids to make them more compliant with poor teaching practices?► How would “ADHD” kids be in a classroom that focused on constructivist, hands-on, kinesthetic learning?These are things to think about in relation to this diagnosis. There are times formedication, but perhaps not as often as it is currently being prescribed.
Teaching violin to a student with ADHD I was teaching in a stringed instrument music program at a school. In one of my first lessons with a group of children, I played the tune we were going to work on. As I was putting their little second fingers on the A string, preparatory to having them learn to play the tune, I heard the tune being played back at me.The kid who had been identified as having ADHD (and was taking a huge amount ofmedication) had figured out how to play the tune by watching and listening to me play itONE TIME. One contributor to his difficulties in class, I could see, was that he couldtake in information at a prodigious rate. Because I had the choice to do so, I decided togive him private lessons instead of having him work with a group. That way I couldaddress his strengths and teach him at a rate that would work for him. Although he wasone of the youngest in the school taking a stringed instrument, he quickly became thebest.
Strategies for ADHD (and any other K-12 kid who is disorganized) ► A Home Work Binder –ADHD children need all of their information in one central location, so they only have to keep track of one item. Put several spiral notebooks in a binder, (one for each subject at school) and staple a large envelope to the front of each spiral. All homework gets put in the envelopes, and is only taken out to work on or turn in. All written information for the class, including homework assignments, is kept in the correct spiral, and is not removed unless turning in. Pencils and other supplies need to be kept filled in a pencil bag in the binder. Monitor the binder and periodically help the student to clean out unnecessary papers.These strategies are adapted from Flylady.net. Flylady.net is for adults who havedifficulty with organization.
ADHD Strategies► Home Calendar – ADHD children need one location at home to check for assignments, appointments, holidays, chores, etc. Place one large calendar in a central location in the house. Students need to develop a habit of looking at the calendar every day and transferring school information from their notebook to the home calendar (e.g., assignment due dates).
ADHD Strategies► Take things in babysteps. Large assignments are overwhelming. Break larger assignments down into smaller ones that can be accomplished quickly. Even a whole sheet of multiplication problems can be broken down—do one line of problems and then stretch. Do another line and then touch your toes ten times.
ADHD Strategies ► Reduce chaos. Students with ADHD need to know what is happening next and they need clear, non-distracting work areas. They need clear routines (when you come into class, sit in your seat and open your notebook to the correct section. Get out a pen or pencil and get ready to take notes, for example). You will need to explicitly teach these routines instead of depending on the student to pick them up from other students. They may need to sit where they can see fewer things (e.g., not near a window and not near another student who has difficulty working). Periodically supervise the student in cleaning out his/her desk or locker in order to reduce chaos.This takes extra work, but it will pay off enormously in student achievement.
ADHD Strategies► Use a timer. Ask the student to work for a certain amount of time (e.g., 5 minutes for a younger child, 15 for an older one). When the time is done, the student will need a chance to move around in some way that is acceptable to you. Then get the student to work for another period of time using the timer. Parents should use this strategy also at home with homework.
ADHD Strategies► Encourage parents to reduce chaos at home. While we think that “the more toys, the more fun a child will have,” yet, in fact, there is a such thing as too many toys. If parents are willing to simplify and reduce what is in a child’s room (a few favorite things that can be rotated across months), they may see a marked improvement in behavior at home.
ADHD Strategies► Parents also need to create routines for students with ADHD. This is part of reducing chaos. Students need to have a regular time to do their homework, a regular time to check their calendar and update it, and a regular bedtime. Consistency is key.You will run into plenty of parents who will be unable to implement this kind of plan fortheir children. They will have the best intentions in the world but will simply not beable to follow through (possibly because of having poorly-addressed ADHDthemselves). If this is the case, then you need to do the best you can with creating aconsistent classroom environment for these students.
Articulation disorders: any of a variety of pronunciation difficulties, such as thesubstitution, distortion, or omission of soundsVoicing problems: inappropriate pitch, quality, loudness, or intonation. Communication Disorders These are exceptionalities that interfere with students’ abilities to receive and understand information from others and express their own ideas or questions. Language disorders: (receptive disorders) Speech disorders: Problems in understanding (expressive disorders) language or using language Problems in forming to express ideas. These are and sequencing really serious because sounds language is the basis for learning. Language disorder symptoms: seldom speaking, even when playing; using few words or short sentences; overrelying on gestures to communicate.
Intellectual disabilities Functional limitations: •Poor communicationIntellectual limitations:•Lack of general knowledge •Poor self care•Difficulty with abstract ideas •Poor/immature social skills•Poor reading & language skills •Underdeveloped motor skills•Poor learning & memorystrategies Levels by IQ (the old way of•Difficulty transferring ideas to classifying mental retardation):new situations Mild (IQ 50-70) Moderate (IQ 35-50) Severe/Profound (IQ below 35) Intellectual disability/mental retardation: significantly below average intellectual and adaptive social behavior, evident before age 18.
Intellectual disabilities Levels of disability are determined now by the amount of support a person needs in order to live his/her life: IEP goals relate to intellectual & social needs. Pervasive Extensive Limited Intermittent Less support More supportTransition programming: gradual preparation of exceptional students to move fromhigh school into further education or training, employment, or community involvement.
Behavior DisordersStudents with behavior disorders display serious and persistent age-inappropriatebehaviors that result in social conflict, personal unhappiness, and often school failure. Externalizing: Internalizing: Turns problem onto other Turns problem onto self through people, with defiance, cruelty, withdrawing socially, feeling guilt, hostility, aggression shyness, low self confidence
Working with students who have behavior disorders► Some of the ADHD strategies will work here (reducing chaos, setting student up for success by breaking assignments down into small steps).► Positive reinforcement—reward positive behaviors.► Replacement—teach appropriate behaviors that can be substituted for inappropriate behaviors. Use words to tell about your feelings instead of fighting (and help the student to find the words). If you want to spit, spit in the toilet.► Ignoring—don’t recognize disruptive behaviors when they first happen so you don’t reinforce them. This should be a first strategy (unless the behavior is obviously dangerous). Some students thrive on being able to disrupt a classroom.► Time-out—isolating a student may give that student a chance to get him/herself under control and may keep you from rewarding negative behavior by allowing attention to be paid to it (by you or other students).► Overcorrection—requiring restitution beyond the damaging effects of the immediate behavior. For example, when a student runs down the hall, overcorrection would be to have the student WALK the length of the hall five times.
Working with students who have behavior disorders► Prevention means that a student has a successful day in the classroom, you have a positive relationship with the student, and the rest of the class is not negatively impacted by a student’s issues.► In order to prevent problems, pay attention to a student’s working patterns. Does this student need to have a little break from work a little more often than the rest of the students? Create a way for this to happen so that it doesn’t disrupt the classroom. Does the student need a place to remove him/herself when feeling pressured by social incidents in the classroom? Figure out a place for the student and help the student to make a choice to use that place. Can you identify the build-up of frustration and intervene before the student acts out?
Flexibility► Different people work in different ways. When a teacher demands that all students work in the same way, this sets up some students for failure. Some students express their frustrations about failing in very negative ways. When this sort of thing happens, ALL students are affected negatively.► Figure out all the different ways a student can accomplish work in your classroom. How can you be flexible in terms of those who need silence versus those who like a little noise (or music) when they work? How can you help students balance their physical need to move with your need for them to get their work done (and those of you who will be teaching high school need to pay as much attention to this as those who will be teaching younger students because this need does not go away)? How can you help students learn how to use their own abilities and skills in order to accomplish work (this is called metacognition and it is a critical Educational Psychology concept)? How can you scaffold students in their development of positive work skills and discipline?
Preventing Suicide► Suicide is common enough that teachers need to be aware that it is possible and they need to have the tools to deal with it.► When you get a job in a school or school system, you need to find out what the counseling resources are locally and what the proper procedures are for getting help for your students. You do not want to be trying to help a troubled student AND trying to find out what you are supposed to do at the same time.
Preventing SuicideWhen you suspect a student might be thinking of suicide, you need to talk directly tothe student.You need to ask directly if the student is thinking about suicide. This will not causesomeone to begin to think of suicide—many times people are relieved whensomeone cares enough to ask.
Preventing Suicide► When you ask, a student will either say yes or no. Of course, it’s a great relief when they say no. You can offer ongoing support and let the student know you care.► If the student says yes, you need to ask the student if he or she has a plan for how they might commit suicide (e.g., method, such as pills, carbon monoxide, etc.).
Preventing Suicide► A person who admits to thinking about suicide but does not have a plan needs help, but is not in immediate danger. Find out who in your school can help and make appropriate referrals. Report the student to your administration. Follow up with the student to see if he or she is getting help and how he or she is feeling.► A person who admits to thinking about suicide AND who has a plan is in immediate danger. Something needs to be done right away. Talk to your administrator. Someone (you, the school counselor, the principal) should call a suicide hot line, the student’s parents, or some mental health agency for help.► Suppose there is no help available. Then, make a contract with that student. Give them your phone number (if this is allowed by the school system). Tell them that before they hurt themselves, they have to call you. Get them to sign a written contract. Then be prepared for a phone call. DO NOT do this contract if you are unable to potentially be of help 24/7.
Documentation► When you are dealing with a student who has behavioral difficulties or is suicidal, you need to be sure that appropriate authorities know what is happening. This means your school principal and the school counselor. You may also need to inform the parent of the nature of your conversations with the student. Keep this in mind when you are talking with students—the content of your conversations may have to be reported. Do not promise secrecy or that you won’t tell the student’s parents because you may not be able to keep that promise.
Documentation► You need to document conversations you have with students that are significant (e.g., around student behavior, around counseling-type issues, around suicide).► This is really important to do in part because it might help someone help the student but it also may clear you if something terrible happens—your documentation may show your attempts to get help for a student.
Documentation► When you document, you need to write down events in behavioral terms. For example, instead of writing “x acted wild in class,” you write exactly what the student did: “x ran through the classroom screaming.” Date and sign your documentation.► Give your principal the “heads up” if you are dealing with a student in difficulty. Find out what you are supposed to do in the situation, according to the procedures established by the school.► When you talk to parents about a student’s behavior, use the same type of behavioral terms. This is the least judgmental way of describing someone and it is less likely to put the parent on the defensive.
Drug abuse ► Be aware of the symptoms of drug abuse: ► inexplicable and frequent mood swings ► apparent lying by your child about what he has been doing when out of the house ► an unaccountable decline in school performance, including increased tardiness and truancy ► appearing listless and hung over ► repeated injuries ► significant weight loss or weight gain ► shortened attention span ► depression ► school failure or suspension ► jumpiness or anxiety ► deteriorating health ► personality changes, such as paranoia or increased forgetfulness.http://www.drspock.com/article/0,1510,5578,00.html
Drug abuse► If it’s September, and you are teaching high school freshmen, you probably won’t know the students very well. If you suspect drug abuse, talk to the school counselor, but also try to talk to teachers who do know the student you are concerned about—e.g., middle school teachers (or teachers that teach at both levels, such as band directors or art teachers). Those teachers might be able to give you a sense of the student’s normal behavior patterns.
Drug abuse prevention► Scare tactics don’t work—and information about drugs can get students curious about them.► What works is to teach students effective strategies for dealing with peer pressure and solving personal problems.► Students also need to know that NOT everyone is doing drugs—they need accurate information about those who abstain from drugs.
Less prevalent problems, more serious disabilities► Health impairments► Deafness► Blindness► Autism
Health impairments► Assuming there are no architectural barriers, students who need braces or crutches or other mobility devices need little or no accommodation in the classroom as far as learning is concerned.
Cerebral palsy/multiple disabilities► Cerebral palsy: condition involving a range of motor or coordination difficulties due to brain damage.► Spasticity: overly tight or tense muscles, characteristic of some forms of cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy► This is a physical disability that can profoundly affect a person’s ability to communicate but that does not necessarily affect the person’s ability to think. In other words, a person with cerebral palsy may have a perfectly normal (or very high) intelligence, even though he or she may have difficulty with being understood.
Cerebral palsy► This is where Universal Design for Learning can really make a difference to a person. Using technology, a person with cerebral palsy can learn and can express him or herself. This means finding where the person has the most physical control (e.g., a hand, a chin, a foot, etc.) and using that body part to control a computer mouse.► People with cerebral palsy may not be able to use a traditional book, so it is important to make sure their texts are available on the computer.Watch the movie, My Left Foot. It’s true story about an Irish man with cerebralpalsy who became a writer.
Seizure disorders► Epilepsy: disorder marked by seizures and caused by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain.► Generalized (tonic-clonic) seizure: a seizure involving a large portion of the brain. This may involve the whole body and may last 2-5 minutes.► Absence seizure: a seizure involving only a small part of the brain that causes a child to lose contact briefly. These may be brief, and it may look like the child is day dreaming.Students with seizures (particularly generalized seizures) may feel really embarrassedif other students witness a seizure. If this happens, you will need to explain to theother students what is going on and that it is not anyone’s fault. You may need tofacilitate students accepting the student with epilepsy.
Seizure disorders: an historical example Harriet Tubman, of underground railroad fame, received a blow to her head by a slave master. For the rest of her life, she experienced brief seizures (of the absence type). Despite these seizures, which occasionally occurred as she was leading people out of slavery, she managed to help 300 people gain their freedom. She never lost a “passenger” on her portion of the underground railroad.http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blharriettubman.htm
Hearing DisabilitiesIdentifying a possible hearing disability:•Student favors one ear by cocking head orcupping a hand behind the ear.•Misunderstands or fails to follow directions,exhibits nonverbal cues (frowns or puzzledlooks) when directions are given verbally. Hearing disability:•Being distracted or seeming disoriented at Partial hearing impairment: withtimes. a hearing aid, this student can•Asking people to repeat what they have learn through listeningjust said. Deafness: hearing is bad enough•Poorly articulating words, especially that the student cannot useconsonants. listening in order to learn.•Turning up the volume loud when listening Working with students who haveto recordings, radio, or t.v. hearing disabilities—give both verbal•Showing reluctance to participate in oral and visual information. Speak clearly,activities. making sure student can see your•Having frequent earaches or complaining face. Minimize distracting noise.of discomfort or buzzing in the ears. Check for understanding.For some learning disabled students who have difficulty processing verbal information(but who have no physical hearing impairment) these strategies are also helpful.
Visual Disabilities Identifying a visual disability: •Student holds head in awkward position when reading, holds book too close or too far away. •Squints frequently, rubs eyes •Tunes out when information is presented on chalkboard or by other visual means (overhead). Visual disability: •Constantly asking about information that is available on Uncorrectable visual the board. impairment that interferes •Complains of headaches, dizziness, or nausea with learning •Redness, crusting, swelling of the eyes •Losing place while reading, mixing up letters. •Uses poor spacing when writing, has difficulty staying in the line.Working with students who have visual disabilities:Seat them near chalkboard and overheadTalk while you write—give them the same information aurallyUse large-print books or computerized texts where you can change the font.Peer tutors may be able to help.Low vision: vision limited to close objects.Educationally blind: needing Braille materials in order to learn.
Autism/autism spectrum disorders► Developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3 and ranging from mild to major.
Autism► There are three distinctive behaviors that characterize autism. Autistic children have difficulties with social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors or narrow, obsessive interests. These behaviors can range in impact from mild to disabling.► The hallmark feature of autism is impaired social interaction. Parents are usually the first to notice symptoms of autism in their child. As early as infancy, a baby with autism may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time. A child with autism may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm
Autism► Children with autism may fail to respond to their name and often avoid eye contact with other people. They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior. They lack empathy.► Many children with autism engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling, or in self-abusive behavior such as biting or head- banging. They also tend to start speaking later than other children and may refer to themselves by name instead of “I” or “me.” Children with autism don’t know how to play interactively with other children. Some speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range of favorite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person to whom they are speaking.http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm
Autism► Many children with autism have a reduced sensitivity to pain, but are abnormally sensitive to sound, touch, or other sensory stimulation. These unusual reactions may contribute to behavioral symptoms such as a resistance to being cuddled or hugged.► Children with autism appear to have a higher than normal risk for certain co-existing conditions, including fragile X syndrome (which causes mental retardation), tuberous sclerosis (in which tumors grow on the brain), epileptic seizures, Tourette syndrome, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder. For reasons that are still unclear, about 20 to 30 percent of children with autism develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. While people with schizophrenia may show some autistic-like behavior, their symptoms usually do not appear until the late teens or early adulthood. Most people with schizophrenia also have hallucinations and delusions, which are not found in autism.http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm
Asperger Syndrome► The most distinguishing symptom of AS is a child’s obsessive interest in a single object or topic to the exclusion of any other. Children with AS want to know everything about their topic of interest and their conversations with others will be about little else. Their expertise, high level of vocabulary, and formal speech patterns make them seem like little professors. Other characteristics of AS include repetitive routines or rituals; peculiarities in speech and language; socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and the inability to interact successfully with peers; problems with non-verbal communication; and clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements.► Children with AS are isolated because of their poor social skills and narrow interests. They may approach other people, but make normal conversation impossible by inappropriate or eccentric behavior, or by wanting only to talk about their singular interest. Children with AS usually have a history of developmental delays in motor skills such as pedaling a bike, catching a ball, or climbing outdoor play equipment. They are often awkward and poorly coordinated with a walk that can appear either stilted or bouncy.http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/asperger/asperger.htm
Autism and Asperger in the classroom► These students need stable routines and help with transitions. They need non-chaotic environments.► Autistic students may have difficulty with certain types of stimulation (e.g., the buzzing of fluorescent lights) and may need accommodation for that.► These students need help with learning how to interact socially with other students. They need this social information taught to them—it is not something they learn intuitively.
Assessment of Exceptional Learners Curriculum: Adaptive Behavior: How is the student How is the student managing performing in relation to every day life needs (taking care what the teacher is of self physically, developing teaching? socially, etc.)?Curriculum-based assessment: attempts to measure learners’ continuousperformance in specific areas of the curriculum.Adaptive behavior: a person’s ability to manage the demands and perform thefunctions of everyday life.
Gifted and TalentedStudents who are gifted and talented are those at the upper end of the abilitycontinuum who need support beyond regular classroom instruction to realize theirfull potential. Gifted students can learn quicker and more deeply than other students their age. They need a richer curriculum. Talented students have a particular strength (such as music or math) that needs support.
CreativityCreativity—the ability to identify or prepare original and varied solutions to problems. Three kinds of intelligence: Fluency—many ideas Synthetic, analytic, practical Flexibility—new perspectives Originality—new ideasThe ideas of creative students may surprise and even shock you—creative people thinkdifferently from the rest of the world. If you want to encourage creativity, cultivate apositive reaction, even when an idea seems off the wall at first. Remember that theideas of many creative people (Stravinsky, Galileo, Columbus, Picasso, Gertrude Stein,Pasteur, etc.) seemed off the wall when they first had them. A good strategy is to getthe student to talk more about the idea so you can compose yourself. “That’s… uh…interesting” is not a good response. “Wow. Tell me more about that,” is better.Encourage the other students to support creativity rather than making fun of it.
Identifying the Gifted and Talented► Traditional ways of identifying the gifted and talented (IQ scores, standardized test scores, teacher recommendations) tend to miss students who are gifted and/or talented.► More helpful identifiers: look for students who want to work alone, have imagination, have highly developed verbal ability, are flexible in thinking, persistent in challenging tasks, bored with routine tasks, impulsive, having little interest in the details of something.
Teaching the Gifted and Talented► Acceleration: keeps the curriculum the same but allows students to move through it more quickly.► Enrichment: provides advanced and varied content. Avoid turning enrichment into “busywork.”► Assess to find out where students have already learned the content of your curriculum.► Provide alternative activities to challenge students’ abilities and interests.► Utilize technology to provide challenge.
Teaching the Gifted and Talented► One of the most important things to remember: gifted students need to be challenged so they can develop a work ethic and strategies for dealing with difficult material. If a bright student goes all the way through elementary, middle, and high school without really having to work, this student will be in real trouble in college.