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Abstract

Promoting access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities has emerged as a central theme of recent legislative and policy initiatives. Ensuring that students with severe disabilities benefit fully from the myriad learning and social opportunities available through the general curriculum remains an important challenge, particularly at the secondary level. We discuss peer support interventions, a form of peer-mediated intervention, as an effective approach for engaging youth with severe disabilities more meaningfully in the general curriculum, as well as promoting academic success for classmates serving as peer supports. We describe the core elements of these interventions, review research pertaining to the academic and social benefits available to participating students, and discuss factors that may account for the effectiveness and social acceptability of this intervention approach.
Research
&
Practice
for
Persons
with
Severe
Disabilities
2006,
Vol.
31,
No.
4,
284-292 copyright
2006
by
TASH
Promoting
Access
to
the
General
Curriculum
Using
Peer
Support
Strategies
Erik
W.
Carter
University of
Wisconsin-Madison
Craig
H.
Kennedy
Vanderbilt University
Promoting
access
to
the
general curriculum
for
stu-
dents
with
disabilities
has
emerged
as
a
central
theme
of
recent
legislative
and
policy
initiatives.
Ensuring
that
stu-
dents
with
severe
disabilities
benefit
fully
from
the
myriad
learning
and
social
opportunities
available through
the
general curriculum remains
an
important
challenge,
par-
ticularly
at
the
secondary
level.
We
discuss
peer
support
interventions,
a
form
of
peer-mediated
intervention,
as
an
effective
approach
for
engaging
youth
with
severe
disabil-
ities
more
meaningfully
in
the
general
curriculum,
as
well
as
promoting
academic
success
for
classmates
serving
as
peer
supports.
We
describe
the
core
elements
of
these
in-
terventions,
review
research
pertaining
to
the
academic
and
social
benefits
available
to
participating
students,
and
discuss
factors
that
may
account
for
the effectiveness
and
social
acceptability
of
this
intervention
approach.
DESCRIPTORS:
general
education
curriculum,
in-
clusive
education,
peer
support
Over the
past
decade,
a
fundamental
shift
has occurred
in
educational expectations
for
students
with
disabilities.
Schools
are
being
called
upon
to
provide
students
with
disabilities
with
meaningful
access
to
the same challeng-
ing
and
relevant
curriculum
established
for
students
with-
out
disabilities
(Browder
et
al.,
2004;
Wehmeyer,
Sands,
Knowlton,
&
Kozleski,
2002).
Spurred
by
legislative
and
policy
initiatives
(e.g.,
Individuals With Disabilities
Edu-
cation
Act,
1997,
2004;
No
Child
Left
Behind
Act,
2001;
President's
Commission
on
Excellence
in
Special
Edu-
cation,
2002),
this
evolution
in
service
delivery
is
chal-
lenging
educators
to
think
differently
about both
where
students
with
disabilities
spend their
school day
and the
focus
of
their educational programming.
Although
in-
structional
goals
for
students
with
disabilities
must
be
individually
determined,
the general education
curricu-
Support
for
the
preparation
of
this
article
was
provided
by
grants
from
the
Wisconsin
Alumni Research
Foundation,
Uni-
versity
of
Wisconsin-Madison
(Erik
Carter)
and
U.S.
Depart-
ment of
Education,
Office
of
Special
Education
Programs
(H324D020009,
Craig
Kennedy).
Address
all
correspondence and
reprint
requests
to
Erik
Carter, Department
of
Rehabilitation
Psychology
and
Special
Education,
University
of
Wisconsin-Madison,
432
North
Murray
Street,
Madison,
Wisconsin,
53706.
E-mail: ewcarter@wisc.edu
lum
now assumes
a
more
prominent
role
as
the
context
for
addressing those
goals.
Indeed,
schools
are
now
held
accountable
for
ensuring
that
students
with
disabilities
demonstrate
adequate
progress
toward
standards
that
are
directly aligned
with
the
general curriculum. These
high
expectations
for
what
students
with disabilities can and
should
accomplish
are
intended
to
improve
educational
outcomes
for
every
child.
Students
with
severe
disabilities-typically
served
un-
der
the
special
education
categories of
mental
retardation,
autism, multiple
disabilities,
and
deaf-blindness-are
not
exempt
from
these expectations.
Although
unable
to
par-
ticipate
in
statewide
assessments even
with
substantial
accommodations, these students must
participate
in
al-
ternate
assessments
designed
to evaluate
their
progress
within
the
general
curriculum. These
initiatives
articulate
a
clear message
that
students
with
severe
disabilities
should
not
only
participate
more
fully
in
general
edu-
cation
classes,
but
they must
also receive
the
supports,
instruction,
and
opportunities
needed
to
meaningfully
ac-
cess
the
general
curriculum.
However,
at
the
secondary
level
meeting
these
expec-
tations
remain
a
considerable
challenge.
Middle
and
high
school
classrooms
are often
characterized
by
increasingly
complex
curricular
content,
faster
instructional
pacing,
and raised
expectations
for
student
performance.
For
example,
secondary general education teachers
rely
ex-
tensively
on
didactic
instruction and
independent
seat-
work
(Wagner,
Newman,
Cameto,
Levine, &
Marder,
2003),
instructional
arrangements
that
require
sustained,
passive
engagement
and
provide
few
interactive
op-
portunities.
The
peer
culture
also
changes
substantially
during
adolescence,
as
peer
relationships
assume
a
more
prominent
role
in
the
lives
of
youth.
Peer
interactions
increase
in
complexity,
take
place within
dynamic
peer
systems,
move
beyond
the immediate
purview
of
adults,
and often develop
beyond
the
school day
(Brown,
2004).
It
is
clear
that
without
well-designed
support
strategies,
students
with
severe
disabilities may be
physically
inte-
grated
but
not
socially
integrated
among
their
peers
without
disabilities.
With
the
general curriculum
now
serving
as
the
pri-
mary
focal
point
for
instructional
planning
and
support
delivery,
effective
strategies
are
needed
for
ensuring
that
students
with
severe disabilities
can access
the
myriad
284
Peer
Support
learning
and
social
opportunities
available
within
gen-
eral
education.
The
most
commonly
used
approach
for
including
youth
with
severe disabilities
within
the
gen-
eral
curriculum
involves
the
assignment
of
individual
paraprofessional
supports.
Although
paraprofessionals
can play
a
critical
role
in
supporting
students'
access
to
the
general curriculum,
research
suggests
that
an
ex-
clusive
reliance
on
adult-delivered,
one-on-one
supports
may
inadvertently hinder
students
from
participating
in
all
of
the
academic,
social,
and
other
learning
oppor-
tunities
that
comprise the
general curriculum
(e.g.,
Gerber,
Finn,
Achilles,
Boyd-Zaharias,
2001;
Giangreco,
Broer,
&
Edelman,
200.1;
Hemmingsson,
Borell,
&
Gustavsson,
2003).
Increasingly,
researchers
and
practi-
tioners
are
calling
for new
support
models
that
en-
able
students
with
severe disabilities
to
access
fully
and
demonstrate
progress
within
the
general
curriculum
(Cushing, Clark,
Carter,
&
Kennedy,
2003;
Giangreco,
Halvorsen,
Doyle,
&
Broer,
2004).
Peer-mediated
approaches
have
long
been
utilized
to
improve
the
learning outcomes
and
social
interactions
of
students
with
and
without
disabilities,
especially
stu-
dents
with
high
incidence
disabilities.
Peer-mediated
ap-
proaches,
which
are
also
referred
to
as
peer-mediated
interventions
and
peer-mediated
strategies,
utilize
other
students
as
the primary
instructional
interventionist.
As
students
with
severe disabilities
increasingly are
spend-
ing
more
of
their
school
day
in
general
education
classes
alongside
their
classmates
without
disabilities,
peer-
mediated strategies
are
being recognized
as
an
espe-
cially
promising
vehicle
for
promoting
full
participation
and
success
in
school.
Indeed,
the
involvement of
peers
without
disabilities
increasingly
is
a
core
element
in
many
intervention
packages
used to
support students
with
severe disabilities
within
inclusive
secondary
class-
rooms
(e.g.,
Downing,
2005;
Gilberts,
Agran,
Hughes,
&
Wehmeyer,
2001;
Kennedy,
Cushing,
&
Itkonen,
1997;
Kennedy
&
ltkonen,
1994;
Kennedy,
Shukla,
& Fryxell,
1997;
McDonnell,
Mathot-Buckner, Thorson,
&
Fister,
2001).
In
this
paper,
we
describe
how
one
specific
type
of
peer-mediated
intervention-peer
supports-can
be
utilized
to
support
meaningful
general curriculum
par-
ticipation.
First,
we
will
describe the
peer support inter-
ventions,
and
then
we
will
explore
the
research
that
supports their
use
in
general
education
settings.
Finally,
we
will
discuss
future directions
for
research
on
peer
support
interventions
and
practical
applications
of
this
approach.
Peer Support
Interventions
Peer
support
interventions
were
developed
to
offer
an
effective,
practical
approach
for assisting
students
with
severe
disabilities to
access
the
general
curriculum
and
develop
meaningful
peer
relationships.
Peer
sup-
port
interventions
have
the
expressed
goal of
increasing
both
access to
the
general
education
curriculum
and
facilitating
social
interactions
in
general education
set-
tings
that
might
not
otherwise
occur
in
these contexts
(Kennedy
&
ltkonen,
1994).
These
interventions
in-
volve
one
or more
classmates
without
disabilities
pro-
viding
academic and
social
support
to
a
student
with
severe disabilities. These classmates
then take
a
di-
rect role
in
accessing
the
general
curriculum
under
the
supervision
of
one
or
more
adults.
As
with
other
peer-
mediated
strategies,
peer
support interventions
com-
prise
a
structured approach
to
involving
classmates
directly
in
the
delivery
of
educational
and
social
sup-
ports. However,
the
involvement of
smaller
number
of
peers
to
provide
individualized
support
is
one element
that
differentiates
peer
support
arrangements
from
classwide
interventions
such
as
cooperative
learning,
peer-assisted learning,
student
tutoring
teams,
and
recip-
rocal
peer tutoring
(Goldstein,
Kaczmarek,
&
English,
2002;
Maheady,
Harper,
&
Mallette,
2001).
Peer
support
interventions-as
defined
in
the
research
literature-
consist
of
the
following
core
intervention
components:
student
selection,
peer
training, peer-delivered
support,
and
adult monitoring.
Selecting
Students
Peer
support interventions
are
intended
for
students
with
severe disabilities
who
require
additional
assistance
to
fully
participate
academically
and
socially
in
general
education.
Educators
begin
by
identifying one
or
two
peers
from
within
the
same
classroom
to
provide
this
support. Although
various
recruitment
strategies
can
be
employed
(e.g.,
teacher-extended
invitations
to
spe-
cific
students,
peer
volunteers,
general
announcements),
teachers
should
weigh
several
factors when identifying
potential
peer
supports,
including
the preferences,
edu-
cational
goals,
and individual
support
needs
of
students
with
severe
disabilities;
the
activities
in
which
students
will
engage;
peer
interest;
and
the
educational
needs
of
potential
peer
supports. Students
who
agree
to
work
together
are
then
moved
within
the classroom
so
that
they are sitting
next
to
each
other
and
remain
in
close
proximity
during
instructional
activities
(Kennedy,
2004).
Training Peers
Helping
peers
to
support
their
classmates
with
severe
disabilities
consists
of several
steps.
Peers
are
provided
with
a
rationale
for
their
involvement
in
delivering sup-
port
to
their
classmates,
an
overview
of
their
teachers'
expectations
related
to
this
role,
and
information about
how
their
classmates
communicate,
interact
with
their
environment,
and
learn
most
effectively.
Peers
are
then
shown basic
strategies
for
supporting their
classmates
with
disabilities
by
(a)
adapting
class
activities
to
facilitate
their
participation;
(b)
contributing
to
the
attainment
of
IEP
goals;
(c)
supporting behavior inter-
vention
plans,
when
appropriate;
(d)
providing
fre-
quent,
positive
feedback;
(e)
modeling
age-appropriate
and
contextually
relevant
communication
skills;
and
(f)
285
Carter
and
Kennedy
facilitating
interactions
with
other
students
in
the
class.
This
training
does
not
incorporate
general awareness
activities,
as
is
typical
of
peer-mediated
interventions
implemented at
the
elementary
and
preschool
levels.
Rather,
information
and
support
strategies
are
tailored
based
on
the
individualized
needs of
the
student
with
disabilities
whom
the
peers
will
be
assisting.
Initial
training
may
occur
over
two
to
four
class
periods,
de-
pending
on
anticipated
classroom
activities,
the
support
needs of
students
with
disabilities,
and
characteristics
of
peer
supports.
Peer-Delivered
Support
The
support
strategies
just
mentioned
are
modeled
by
a
paraprofessional
or
special
educator
as
students
with
and
without
severe
disabilities work
together.
Initially,
curricular
and
instructional
adaptations
are
made
by
these
adults,
with some
input
and
involvement
from
peer
supports.
As
peers
evidence
greater
confidence
in
their
new
role and
demonstrate
their
capacity
to
deliver
appropriate
support,
active
adult
involvement
is
sys-
tematically
faded. Students
with
severe
disabilities
do
not
lose access
to
individualized supports;
they
sim-
ply
begin receiving
those
supports
from
someone
else
(Shukla,
Kennedy,
&
Cushing,
1998).
Thus,
peers
assume
a
primary
support
role
which
may
include
para-
phrasing
lectures,
clarifying
instructions,
asking
compre-
hension
questions,
modifying
class
materials,
offering
choices, reviewing
work, and
supporting partial
partic-
ipation
in
activities.
Adult
Monitoring
While
providing
support
to
their
classmates,
peers
receive ongoing
monitoring, periodic feedback,
and
any
necessary
assistance
from
paraprofessionals,
special
education teachers,
and/or
general
education teachers.
These
educators
continue
to
ensure
that
adaptations,
assistance,
and
interactions
are
appropriate
and
educa-
tionally
relevant.
As
students
accrue
experience
work-
ing
together,
educators
continue
to
offer
feedback
to
students
every
10
to
15
min
and
at
the end
of each
class
period.
Thus,
paraprofessionals
shift
from
an exclusively
one-on-one
role
to
a
broader,
but
more
peripheral,
support
role
in
which
they
monitor
students
with
dis-
abilities
and
their
peers,
provide
help and
feedback
as
needed,
and
assist
other
students
within
the
classroom
(Cushing
et
al.,
2003).
Intervention
Outcomes
Over
the past
decade, research exploring
the
utility
of
peer
support
interventions
as
a
viable
education
strat-
egy
for
increasing
access
to
the
general
curriculum
and
promoting
peer
interaction
has
accrued steadily.
The
general
curriculum
certainly
refers
to
the
instructional
content
delivered
to
students
that
is
derived
from
and
reflects
state
and
local
content standards.
But
it
also
includes
the
social
opportunities
and
other
learning
experiences during
and
through
which
students
interact
together.
In
the
following
section,
we
review findings
describing the academic and
social
outcomes
associated
with
peer support
interventions.
We
also discuss
the
extent
to
which
these
interventions
comprise
socially
acceptable
support
strategies.
Academic
Outcomes
The
general curriculum
offers
opportunities
for
stu-
dents
with
severe
disabilities to receive
instruction
in
rigorous,
relevant content.
These
content
standards
out-
line
the
skills,
knowledge,
and
experiences
that
all
stu-
dents
should
attain.
However,
ensuring
that
students
with
severe disabilities
access
and
demonstrate
prog-
ress
within
this
curriculum
remains
a
challenge
for
many
secondary
educators.
Even
when
physically
pres-
ent
within
classrooms
where
the
general
curriculum
is
being
taught, students
with
severe disabilities
may
not
be actively
engaged
in
the
same
learning
opportunities
as
their
classmates
(Wehmeyer,
Lattin,
Lapp-Rincker,
&
Agran,
2003).
Disengagement
may
occur on
two
levels.
First, when
supported
exclusively
by
paraprofes-
sionals,
students
may
be
completing instructional
activ-
ities
largely
disconnected
from
those
of
their
classmates
without
disabilities.
Second, when working
indepen-
dently
without
any
consistent,
direct
support, students
may
remain
unengaged
altogether.
Peer support
strategies, however,
have
been
shown
to
either
maintain or enhance
students'
academic engage-
ment
within
the
general
curriculum.
Defined
in
studies
as
attending
to
ongoing classroom
activities
or
engaging
in
work-related
assignments, academic
engagement
re-
flects
the
extent
to
which
students
are
participating
in
instructional
content
and learning
activities
that
are
closely
aligned
with
those
delivered
to
other
students
in
the classroom,
with
or without
adaptations.
Shukla
et
al.
(1998)
and
Shukla,
Kennedy,
and Cushing
(1999)
con-
ducted
two
studies examining the impact
of
peer
support
interventions
on
the academic
engagement
of
middle
school
students
with
severe disabilities
enrolled
in
core
academic,
related
arts, or
vocational
classes.
Initially,
a
paraprofessional
or
special
educator
provided
direct
support
to
each
of
the
students-delivering
systematic
instruction, adapting
activities,
and
implementing
be-
havior
support
strategies
while
sitting
directly
next
to
the students.
Peer support
strategies
were
then
system-
atically
introduced
for
each
student
and
evaluated
experimentally.
Across
half
of
the
peer support
arrange-
ments,
students
with
severe disabilities showed sub-
stantially
higher
levels
of
active
engagement
relative
to
receiving
support
exclusively
from
paraprofessionals
or
special
educators.
The
remaining
students
displayed
comparable
levels
of
engagement
irrespective of
the
support
model.
Furthermore, Carter,
Cushing,
Clark,
and
Kennedy
(2005)
demonstrated that
middle and
high
school
students
with
severe disabilities
maintained
high
286
Peer
Support
levels
of
engagement
in
instructional
activities
that
were
aligned
with
the general curriculum
when
working
with
one
or
two
peer
supports
in
core academic
class-
rooms. These
findings
challenge the prevailing
view
that
paraprofessionals
are
always
necessary
as
direct,
one-
on-one
support
to
students
enrolled
in
inclusive
class-
rooms.
Moreover,
they offer evidence
that
peer support
interventions
may
enable educators
to
differentiate
in-
struction
within
their
classrooms and
increase
all
stu-
dents'
access
to
challenging
content.
Educators, administrators,
and
parents
sometimes
raise
concerns
about
the
possible
detrimental
impact
of
peer
support
interventions
on
the academic
performance
of
participating
students
without
disabilities.
Research
sug-
gests,
however,
that
peers
are
not
hampered
academi-
cally
by
their
support
role and actually
may
improve
their
academic
performance
when
assuming
responsibility
for
assisting
their
classmates
with
disabilities.
Cushing
and
Kennedy
(1997)
evaluated
the
effects
of
serving
as
a
peer support
on
the
academic
engagement
of
three
mid-
dle
school
students
without
disabilities, each
of
whom
had
been
identified
by
teachers
as
struggling
academi-
cally
(i.e.,
below modal classroom
grade
levels).
Prior
to
working
with
their
classmates
with
moderate
to
severe
disabilities,
the
students
participated
in
the
same
teacher-
directed
instructional
formats
as
the
rest
of the
class
(i.e.,
whole
class
instruction,
independent
seatwork).
The
aca-
demic
engagement of
the
students
increased substantially
when
peer
support arrangements
were
systematically
in-
troduced,
including
the overall
percentage
of
time
that
students
were academically
engaged
in
ongoing
instruc-
tion,
homework assignment completion, and
classroom
participation.
Shukla
et
al. (1998, 1999)
replicated these
findings,
documenting
similar
engagement
patterns
for
students
who
struggled
academically.
For
students
who
already evidenced
high levels
of academic
engagement
while
working alone,
no
changes
in
engagement
levels
were
apparent
when
they assumed
their
support
role.
Although
these
studies
collectively
suggest
that
peer
sup-
port
strategies
offer
potential
benefits
for
all
participating
students,
they
appear
to
be especially
promising for
stu-
dents
judged
to
be at-risk
for
course
or
school
failure.
Several
factors
may
account
for
improvements
in
academic
outcomes.
The
involvement of
one
or
more
classmates-when
coupled
with
the ongoing
monitor-
ing
and
feedback of
a
paraprofessional-increases
the
amount
of
individualized
instruction, response
op-
portunities,
corrective
feedback,
and
immediate
rein-
forcement
that students
with
severe
disabilities receive
(Maheady
et
al.,
2001;
Utley
&
Mortweet,
1997).
For
example,
a
review
by
Sutherland
and
Wehby
(2001)
discussed the
association
between
increasing
students'
opportunities
to
respond
and
higher
levels
of
engage-
ment
and
academic
achievement.
The
presence
of
peer
supports
also
increases
the
number
of
people
monitor-
ing
curricular
adaptations
and
ensuring
the
relevance
of
activities
and
materials
to
ongoing classroom instruc-
tion.
Peer supports
readily recognize when
a
student's
instructional
activities
are
not
aligned
with
their
own
and
are
adept
at
identifying
appropriate
adaptations.
Finally,
peers
are
expected
to
provide
academic
sup-
ports
(e.g.,
modifying
the
general
curriculum) and
using
appropriate
learning strategies
to
teach
their
classmate
(e.g.,
time
delay
as
a
prompting
procedure).
For
students
serving
as
peer
supports,
improved
aca-
demic
performance
may
be
attributable
to multiple
factors.
Increased
contact
with
educators
and
parapro-
fessionals
appears
to
be
one influential variable
(Shukla
et
al.,
1998).
For low-achieving
students
in
particular,
serving
as
a
peer
support
may
provide them
with
a
denser
schedule
of
adult
feedback
and behavior-specific
praise
relative
to
what
they receive when
working alone.
Such
adult
contact
also
provides peers
with
access
to
instructional
assistance
and
may
introduce additional
reinforcement
contingencies
for
improved
engagement.
The academic
support
strategies
demonstrated
by
edu-
cators
during
initial
peer
support
training,
as
well
as
the
opportunity
to
practice
those strategies
through
teaching
them
to
others,
may also
promote
increased
engagement
and
learning. Students more
readily
acquire
academic
content
when
they
must
explain
it
to
others
and
are responsible for
ensuring
another's
learning. To
convey
accurate information
to
their
classmate,
adapt
class
activities,
and facilitate
participation,
peers
must
attend
closely
to
lectures
and
teacher
instructions.
Social
Outcomes
In
addition
to
affording
distinct
curricular
advantages,
general
education
classes
offer
opportunities
and
ave-
nues
for
peer
interaction
simply
not
available
in
self-
contained
settings. The
general
curriculum
provides
a
natural
context
for
peer
interaction
as
students
work
together
on
shared
learning tasks,
providing
a
meaning-
ful
context
for
acquiring
social-related
skills,
accessing
social
supports,
meeting
additional
classmates, and de-
veloping
new
friendships.
Indeed,
improving the
social
relationships
of
students
with
severe disabilities
is
a
perennial
concern
articulated
by
educators,
parents,
and
peers.
Yet,
youth
with
severe disabilities
are
often
among the most
socially
isolated
students
in
second-
ary schools
(Carter,
Hughes,
Guth,
&
Copeland
2005;
Marder,
Wagner,
&
Sumi,
2003).
The
social
benefits of
peer-mediated
strategies
are
well-
documented
(e.g.,
Carter
&
Hughes,
2005;
McConnell,
2002).
Research
indicates
that
peer support
interven-
tions
also
improve
a
broad
array of
social
outcomes-
from
brief interactions
to
sustained
social
contacts.
Shukla
et
al. (1998)
found
that
the
social
interactions
of
middle
school
students
with
severe disabilities
were
both
more
frequent
and lasted
longer
when
students
worked
with
peer
supports,
relative
to when
they
re-
ceived
support
primarily
from
a
paraprofessional
or
special
educator.
Shukla
et
al. (1999)
extended
these
findings
by
also
examining
the
social
support
behaviors
287
Carter
and
Kennedy
exchanged
by
classmates
with
and
without
disabilities.
When working
with
peer
supports, students
with
severe
disabilities
were
the
recipients of increased
and
more
diverse
social
support
behaviors,
including
emotional
support,
companionship, material
aid,
informational
support,
and
assistance
with
decisions.
Moreover,
such
arrangements
increased
the
amount
of
social
support
that
students
with
severe disabilities
were able to
offer
to
their
peers. A
descriptive study
conducted
by
Carter,
Hughes,
et
al.
(2005)
suggests
that
peer
support
arrangements
may
facilitate
similar
outcomes
in
high
school
classrooms.
Students
with
moderate
to
severe
disabilities
engaged
in
more
frequent,
higher
quality
interactions
when
working
with
a
peer
support.
These
social-related outcomes
are
not
surprising,
given
the
nature
of adolescent
peer
relationships
and
the
instructional
contexts
of
typical
secondary
class-
rooms.
Peer
support
interventions
appear
to address
several
prominent
barriers
to
accessing
the
peer
social
environment.
First,
the
constant
presence of
a
para-
professional
or
special
educator
can
have
a
suppres-
sive
effect
on
youth
interactions,
communicating
that
all
academic-related
interactions
must be
channeled
through
special
educators
and
reducing
the likelihood
that
peers
will
attempt
to
initiate
social-related
inter-
actions.
Second,
secondary
teachers
rely heavily
on
instructional
arrangements
(e.g.,
lectures,
independent
seatwork)
during
which
peer
interactions
generally are
discouraged.
Peer support arrangements
serve to
re-
structure
students'
instructional
environment
by
estab-
lishing
teacher-sanctioned,
interdependent
interactions
between
students
with
and
without
disabilities.
Such
arrangements
create additional
communication
op-
portunities
by
increasing the
number
of initiations
di-
rected
to
the
student
with
severe
disabilities,
as
well
as
increasing
the
likelihood
that
students' interaction
attempts
will
be
reinforced
by
their
peers.
Third, many
students
with
severe
disabilities
have
substantial
dif-
ficulties
in
the
areas
of
communication,
language,
and
social
interaction
skills.
Peer
support arrangements
pro-
mote
these
skills
by
providing
additional
practice
oppor-
tunities
and
peer
modeling,
whereby
students
receive
peer
feedback
regarding
the
appropriateness
of
their
social
behavior.
As
the real
experts
on
both
critical
conversation
skills
and
adolescent
peer
culture
(Hughes
et
al.,
1998),
peers
may
be
more
effective
than
adults
at
shaping
appropriate
conversational behaviors.
Fourth,
the
initial
training
provided
to
peers,
coupled
with
on-
going
information
and
feedback
from
educators,
ensures
that
students
demonstrate
confidence
when
interact-
ing
with
and
supporting
their
classmates
with
severe
disabilities
(Copeland
et
al.,
2004;
Downing,
2005).
This
intervention component
can
overcome
any
initial
hesitation
students
may
have
related
to
interacting
with
classmates
who
communicate
using an assistive
de-
vice,
engage
in
stereotypical
behavior,
or
exhibit
other
idiosyncratic
behaviors.
Social
Validity
It
has
been
well-documented
that
peer
support
inter-
ventions
improve the academic
engagement
and
social
interactions
of
participating students
(e.g.,
Cushing
&
Kennedy,
1997;
Shukla
et
al.,
1999).
Intervention
effec-
tiveness,
however,
is
only
one factor
educators
consider
when deciding
whether
to
adopt particular educational
strategies
in
their
classrooms
(Kennedy,
2002).
Inter-
ventions
must
also be
feasible
to
implement
and
align
well
with
current
instructional
practices
(Greenwood
&
Abbott,
2001;
Klingner, Ahwee, Pilonieta,
&
Menendez,
2003).
Peer support
strategies
appear
to
constitute
an
acceptable and practical
intervention
approach
within
inclusive
secondary
classrooms. The
widespread adop-
tion
of
peer-mediated
programs
attests
to
their
accept-
ability
among
educators.
For example,
approximately
40%
of
youth
with
disabilities
attend
schools
that
offer
some
type of
peer
support program
(Wagner
et
al.,
2003).
For
general educators,
peer support
strategies
ap-
pear
to
constitute
a
flexible,
practical
approach
for
differentiating
instruction
within
increasingly diverse
classrooms.
These strategies
can
be
implemented
on
an
individual
basis
without necessitating
classwide
changes
in
instructional
approaches.
As
a
highly
adaptable
strat-
egy
for
meeting
the
individualized
needs
of
students,
the
supports provided
by
peers
can be
tailored
more
heavily
toward
facilitating
academic
participation
(e.g.,
Carter,
Cushing,
et
al., 2005;
Collins,
Branson,
Hall,
&
Rankin,
2001)
or
promoting
social
relationships
with
classmates
within
and
beyond
the classroom
(e.g.,
Kennedy
&
Itkonen,
1994;
Haring
&
Breen,
1992).
Not
only are
peers
a
source
of
support
already
available
in
any
class-
room,
but
research
demonstrates
that
youth
can
learn
to
implement
peer
support
strategies
fairly
readily
(Cushing,
Clark,
Carter,
&
Kennedy,
2005).
It
is
there-
fore
not
surprising
that
general
and
special
educators
judge
peer support
interventions
to
be
highly
feasible
strategies
that
align
well
with
the
resources
available
in
general
education
classrooms
(Carter
&
Pesko,
2007).
Peer support
interventions
also
define
clear
roles
for
paraprofessionals
within
inclusive
classrooms.
One-on-
one
support
models
often
lead
general
educators
to
defer responsibility for
educating students
with disabil-
ities
entirely
to
paraprofessionals,
leaving
paraprofes-
sionals
isolated
and
without
clear guidance,
support,
or
direction (Giangreco
&
Broer,
2005;
Marks,
Schrader,
&
Levine,
1999).
When
peer support arrangements
are
established, paraprofessionals
assume
responsibili-
ties
for
(a)
teaching
peer
supports
to
interact
with and
support
their
classmate
with
severe disabilities,
(b)
pro-
viding
ongoing supervision and
feedback
to
participat-
ing
students,
(c)
ensuring
that
curricula and
standards
remain
accessible
to
students,
(d)
monitoring
students'
progress
on
standards-based and
individualized
goals,
and
(e)
providing
assistance to
other
students
within
the
classroom,
as
directed
by
the
general education
teacher.
288
Peer
Support
Clarifying
these
roles
for
paraprofessionals
may be
one
key
to
enhancing
their
effectiveness
and
job
satisfaction
(Giangreco, Edelman,
&
Broer,
2001).
Several
studies
provide
insight
into
the
perceptions
of
youth
without
disabilities
regarding
their
roles
as
providers
of
social
and academic
support.
Hendrickson,
Shokoohi-Yekta,
Hamre-Nietupski,
and
Gable
(1996)
found
that
middle and
high
school
students
believed
that
they
should assume
primary
responsibility
for
develop-
ing
friendships
with
their
classmates
with
disabilities,
a
sentiment
echoed
in
research
by
Fisher
(1999)
and
Copeland
et
al.
(2004).
Moreover,
youth
who
have had
the
opportunity
to
provide
support
to
their
classmates
with
severe disabilities
frequently
articulate substantive
personal
benefits,
including
greater
appreciation
of
di-
versity,
personal
growth, raised
expectations
of
their
classmates
with
disabilities,
new
friendships,
a
sense
of
accomplishment,
and the acquisition
of new
skills
(Copeland et
al.,
2004;
Hughes
et
al.,
2001).
Less
is
known, however,
about
how
youth
with
se-
vere
disabilities perceive
their
own
involvement
in
peer
support
interventions.
Interviews
with
youth
and young
adults
with
severe
disabilities
reveal
numerous
concerns
related
to receiving
support
extensively
or
exclusively
from
paraprofessionals
(Broer,
Doyle,
&
Giangreco,
2005;
Hemmingsson
et
al.,
2003;
Sk5r
& Tamm,
2001).
A
shift
to
peer-delivered
supports
is
expected
to
alle-
viate
many
of
the
concerns
articulated during
these
interviews,
including
the
potential
stigma
associated
with
having
a
paraprofessional
always
by
their
side;
their
limited
contact
with
the curriculum,
general
education
teachers,
and
instructional interactions;
and
having
in-
frequent opportunities
for
interactions
with
classmates.
Like
other
forms of
support,
peer-delivered
support
can
be
extended
in
ways
that either
enhance
peers' percep-
tions
of
competence
or set
students
apart.
Involving
students
with
severe
disabilities
in
selecting
which
class-
mates
will
provide
support,
as
well
as
the
nature
and
contexts of
that
support,
can
be
expected
to
enhance
the
extent
to
which
youth judge these
interventions
to
be
acceptable.
Future
Research
These
initial
research
findings
suggest
that
peer
sup-
port interventions
can
improve
the
academic
en-
gagement
and
peer
interactions
of
youth
with
severe
disabilities. Systematic
replication of
these
interventions
is
essential
to
improving the field's
understanding
of
how,
for
whom,
and
under
what
conditions
these
in-
tervention
strategies
work most
effectively.
Such
re-
finement
efforts
are
critical
when seeking
to
develop
intervention
strategies
that
strike the
optimal
balance
between
impact,
feasibility,
and
acceptability.
Identifying
Optimal
Configurations
Peer
support
interventions
are
comprised
of
multiple
components
related
to selecting,
training,
monitoring,
and
providing feedback
to
participating
students. Each
aspect of
these
interventions-alone
or
in
combination
with
others-may
impact
student
outcomes
in
specific
ways. To
refine
these
interventions
so
that
they
retain
their
effectiveness,
while
maximizing
both
feasibility
for
and acceptability
to
teachers, researchers
must
deter-
mine
which
interventions components
and configura-
tions
constitute
essential,
desirable,
and
unnecessary
elements
in
relation
to
sought after outcomes.
Such
information
would
provide
educators
with
important
information
about
how
best
to
tailor
peer
support
ar-
rangements
for
individual
students
in
specific
class-
room
contexts.
The
contributions
of
some
intervention
components
have
been explored
in
previous
research.
Shukla
et
al.
(1998)
demonstrated that
the
additional
adult
contact
associated
with
these
arrangements
made
an
important
contribution
to
increased
academic
en-
gagement
of
peer
supports.
Carter,
Cushing,
et
al.
(2005)
found
that
the
number
of
peers
involved
in
peer
support
arrangements
differentially influenced
the
academic
and
social
participation
of
students
with
disabilities.
Ad-
ditional
elements,
however,
remain unexamined.
For
example,
student
outcomes
may
be
influenced
by
varia-
tions
in
the
type
and
schedule of
feedback
provided
by
paraprofessionals
and
other
adults, the
focus
of
and
approach
used
to
deliver
initial
training to
peer supports,
the
instructional
activities
students participate
in
togeth-
er,
and
the
criteria
used
to
identify classmates
as
peer
supports.
Future
research
should
examine
the
contribu-
tions
of
these
and
other
components.
Outcome
Measures
Increases
in
academic
engagement
are
noteworthy,
as
engagement
is
a
prerequisite
for
learning
and
is
highly
correlated
with
improved
academic
achievement.
Given
the
current
emphasis on
documenting
students' progress
in
relation
to
modified grade-level
content
standards,
however,
demonstrating
that peer support
interventions
actually
enhance students'
academic
performance,
as
well as
increase
knowledge
and
skill
acquisition,
remains
a
critical
challenge.
Progress
monitoring
offers
promise
for
closely
tracking
attainment
of
important
learning
outcomes
(Browder,
Wallace,
Snell,
&
Kleinert,
2005).
For
example, curriculum-based
measurement, perfor-
mance
assessment,
and
portfolio
assessment
each
com-
prise
potential
approaches
for
monitoring
academic
growth and functional
skill
development
as
students
re-
ceive
support
from
their peers.
Attributing
the
small,
incremental
changes
likely
to
be
captured
with
these
measures
to
intervention
packages
may
require
re-
searchers to
explore different
design
and
analytic tactics
(Kennedy,
2005).
Generalized
Impact
Although
increases
in
social
interaction
are readily
apparent
in
the
specific
classrooms
in
which
peer
sup-
port
arrangements
are
established
(Kennedy
et
al.,
1997;
Kennedy
&
Itkonen,
1994;
Shukla
et
al.,
1998, 1999),
less
289
Carter
and Kennedy
is
known
about
the
extent
to
which
these
interactions
extend
throughout
and
beyond
the
school
day.
In mid-
dle
and
high
schools,
rotating
classes,
staggered
lunch
and
break
schedules, and
large
learning
communities
each may
reduce
opportunities
for
students
to
maintain
contact
throughout
the
school
day.
Additional
research
is
needed
to
identify adjunctive
strategies
that
will
facil-
itate
development
of
durable relationships
that
spill-
over
to
additional
classrooms and
other
school
contexts
(e.g.,
lunch,
extracurricular
activities,
class
breaks).
Downward
Extension
Adolescents
are
capable
of
providing
fairly
sophisti-
cated
support
to
their peers,
as
evidenced
by
the abun-
dance
of
peer
tutoring
interventions evaluated
at the
secondary
level
(e.g.,
Hughes
et
al.,
2001;
McDonnell,
Thorson,
Allen,
&
Mathot-Buckner,
2000).
Although
numerous
studies
attest
to
the
social
benefits
associated
with
peer-mediated interventions for elementary-age
children
with
severe
disabilities
(Goldstein et
al.,
2002;
Odom
et
al.,
2003),
less
is
known
about
the
extent
to
which
younger
children
can
deliver academic
support
effectively
to
their
classmates
with
severe
disabilities.
Several studies offer evidence
that
elementary-age
children
can
deliver academic
support
within
the
context
of
structured
cooperative groups
(Dugan
et
al.,
1995;
Hunt,
Staub,
Alwelt,
&
Goetz,
1994),
partner
learning
(e.g.,
McDonnell
et
al.,
2000),
and
classwide
peer
tutoring
(e.g.,
Kamps,
Barbetta,
Leonard,
&
Delquadri,
1994).
Research
is
needed
exploring
whether
and
how
proce-
dures
for
selecting,
training,
and monitoring peers
may
need
to
be
altered
when individualized
peer
support
arrangements
are
implemented
in
elementary
schools.
Implications
for
Practice
Peer support
arrangements
offer
an
effective
and
fea-
sible
approach
for
promoting
access
to and
progress
within
the
general
curriculum for
students
with
severe
disabilities.
However,
the
potential
impact
of these
in-
terventions
will
always
remain
constrained
unless
these
strategies
are
couched
within
educational programs
guided
by
careful
planning, collaborative teaming,
rele-
vant
curriculum,
and sound
instruction.
As one
element
of
a
multifaceted
approach
to
supporting
general
educa-
tion
participation,
peer
support arrangements
should
be
considered
alongside
other
individualized
support
strategies-such
as
curricular
modifications,
related
services,
and
other
classroom-level
practices-that
are
likely
to
enhance
students'
academic
and
social success.
Cushing
et
al.
(2005)
outlined
one
process for
determin-
ing
how
peer
support
interventions
could
be
coupled
with
other
instructional
and
support
tactics
to
ensure
that
youth
with
severe
disabilities
participate
meaningfully
within the
general
curriculum.
Similar
instructional
planning models
have
been
described
in
other
sources
(e.g.,
McSheehan,
Sonnenmeier,
Jorgensen,
&
Turner,
2006;
Wehmeyer,
Lance, & Bashinski,
2002).
Peer
support
interventions
will
be
most
effective
when
strategies are
tailored
in
response
to
formative
data.
Ultimately,
decisions
about
the
extent
to
which
peer support
strategies are enhancing
a
particular
stu-
dent's
participation
and progress
within
the
general
curriculum
must
be
determined
individually
on
the
basis
of
ongoing, systematic
data
collection.
Research
sug-
gests,
however,
that
data-driven
decision-making
may
be
either
infrequent and/or
poorly
implemented
(Farlow
&
Snell,
1989;
Sandall,
Schwartz,
&
Lacroix,
2004).
In-
deed,
the pervasive
use
of
individually
assigned
para-
professionals
intimates
that
other
variables-apart
from
academic and
social
performance
data-may
be
guiding
the
decision
to
rely
so
heavily
on
adult-delivered
sup-
port
models.
As
educators
establish
and
maintain
peer support
ar-
rangements,
it
is
wise
to consider
factors
that
prompt
and
sustain
the
involvement
of
classmates
without
dis-
abilities
in
these interventions. The reasons
to
serve
as
a
peer support
derive
from
multiple
sources,
including
previous experiences
with
people
with
disabilities,
existing
relationships
with
their
classmates
who
have
disabilities, desire
to
have
greater
access
to
adults,
en-
couragement
from
teachers,
or
academic
feedback
from
adults.
However,
what
sustains
the
involvement of youth
may
be
quite different
from
what
initially
draws
them
to
these
roles.
Understanding
these
determinants
may
offer
one
key
to
facilitating
relationships
that
spread
beyond
the classroom.
Conclusion
The
standards-based
reform
movement
has
placed
heightened
emphasis
on
increasing the quality
of
in-
struction
and
educational supports provided
to
students
with
severe
disabilities
in
general
education
classrooms.
Debate
about whether
to include
students
with
severe
disabilities
in
general education
has largely
been
sup-
planted
by
pursuit
of
how
best
to
promote
meaningful
learning,
skill
acquisition, and
durable
social
relation-
ships.
Research documenting
the impact
of
peer
support
interventions
on
the academic and
social
outcomes
of
participating
youth
offers
promise
for
educators
seeking
effective,
but
practical,
intervention
strategies
for
pro-
moting
access
to
the
general
curriculum.
Further
re-
search
is
needed
to
elucidate
the sources
of
academic
and
social
improvements
associated
with
peer
support
interventions,
as
well as
to
determine
the
contexts under
which
these
interventions
maintain
their
effectiveness.
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Received:
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Editor
in
Charge:
Fred Spooner
Stacy
Dymond
292
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TITLE: Promoting Access to the General Curriculum Using Peer
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SOURCE: Res Pract Pers Severe Disabil 31 no4 Wint 2006
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Kapalı her sınıf kapısının ardında çeşitliliklerle dolu bir dünya vardır. Bu çeşitliliğin tanınması, kabul edilmesi ve hem okula hem de topluma faydalarının açığa çıkarılması, günümüzde eğitim sistemlerinin farkına vardığı ve erişmeye çalıştığı bir amaç haline gelmiştir. Bu amaca erişmenin en etkili yolu olarak değerlendirilen kapsayıcı eğitim modeli, tüm bireylerin nitelikli ve bütünleştirilmiş eğitimden faydalanabilmesi için hem politika hem de uygulama düzeyinde kabul görmeye başlanmıştır. Dünya genelinde çoğu ülke, eğitim sistemlerinde kapsayıcılığı inşa ederek okulun “tüm çocuklara çeşitli alanlarda gelişim ve öğrenme fırsatlarının sunulduğu” yerler olduğu ilkesini hayata geçirmeye çalışmaktadır. Son yıllarda kapsayıcı eğitime yönelik vurgunun artmasıyla birlikte bu alanda yapılan bilimsel çalışmaların sayısı ve niteliği de hızlı bir şekilde artmıştır. Kapsayıcı eğitim, gelişmekte olan ve farklı bağlamlar, dönemler ve bireyler açısından tanımlanması ve uygulanması çeşitlilik gösteren bir model olduğundan, bilimsel çalışmaların da kapsayıcı eğitimi çeşitli bakış açıları ile incelemesi mümkün olmuştur. Bu durumun olası bazı dezavantajlarının (örn. bir eğitim sisteminde ortak bir tanım üzerinde uzlaşma güçlüğü) yanında, kapsayıcı eğitimin doğasına uygun olarak bir çeşitlilik içinde ele alınışını sağlamasının, farklı ortam ve zamanlarda, o ortamın ve zamanın koşullarına uygun bir şekilde tanımlanması ve uygulanışı için bir fırsat olabileceği düşünülmektedir. Nitekim kapsayıcı eğitime yönelik tüm bu kavramsallaştırma ve uygulama çeşitliliği içinde herkesin üzerinde uzlaştığı amaç “tüm bireylerin eğitimden faydalanma fırsatlarının artırılması” şeklinde olmuştur. Benzer şekilde bu kitap, okul sistemlerinin tüm çocuklar için açık hale getirilerek tüm çocukların okullarda elde ettikleri yaşantıların kendi gelişim ve öğrenme süreçlerini kolaylaştırması amacıyla okulların hizmet kapasitelerinin artırılmasına yönelik temel bir hedefi benimsemektedir. Bu kitap, kapsayıcı eğitime ilişkin kavramların, ilkelerin ve uygulamaların bilinirlik düzeyini artırmak ve söz konusu içerikten herkesin faydalanabilmesini sağlamak ve tüm bireylerin rahatlıkla ulaşabilmesi amacıyla açık erişimli olarak yayımlanmıştır. Ayrıca bu kitabın tasarımında görsellik ön plana çıkarılarak ve bazı bölümlerde özetleme yapılarak tüm bireylerin rahatlıkla anlayabileceği bir tasarım benimsenmiştir. Bu çalışmayı hazırlayan akademisyenler ve uzmanlar, tüm okulların bütün çocuklara açık olması ve tüm çocukların nitelikli eğitimden faydalanabilmesi gerektiğine ilişkin akademik, pedagojik ve insani sorumluluk ilkesini benimsemişlerdir. Bu kitaba eğitim uygulayıcılarının, ebeveynlerin, çocukların, akademisyenlerin ve eğitim politikası üretenlerin erişmesi, okuması ve anlam üretmesi hedeflenmiş; çalışma içinde bunun gerçekleşebilmesi için tüm paydaşlar açısından okunabilirliği artıracak bir dil, tasarım ve anlatım kullanılmıştır. Kitap içinde çok sayıda bilgiye yer verilmiş, vurgular yapılmış, görseller kullanılmış, anlatım sadeleştirilmiş, örnekler verilmiş ve önerilerde bulunulmuştur. Bu çalışmanın içeriği, on beş temayı içerecek şekilde on başlık halinde hazırlanmıştır. Çalışmada ilk olarak Kapsayıcı Eğı̇tı̇mı̇n Mantığı ve İlkelerı̇ başlığı altında kapsayıcı eğitime ilişkin bilgi verilmiş, kapsayıcı eğitimin tanımı, bileşenleri, ilkeleri, dezavantajlı bireyler açısından değerlendirilmesi ve önündeki engellere ilişkin bir içerik sunulmuştur. İkinci ve üçüncü olarak Engellı̇ Bireylerde Eğı̇tı̇m, Öğrenme, Gelişı̇m ve Özel İhtı̇yaçların Ekolojisı̇ ile Engellı̇lı̇ğı̇n Medikal, Sosyal ve Bı̇yoekolojı̇k Modellerı̇ başlıkları altında, günümüze dek eğitim sisteminden dışlanma olasılığı en yüksek bireyler olan engel ile tanılanmış olan öğrencilere ilişkin bir içerik sunulmuştur. Elbette bu kitabın yazarları, kapsayıcı eğitimin örnek öğrenci ve/veya öğrenci grubu hedeflemeksizin okulların tüm çocuklar için yeniden tasarlanması gerektiğini öngördüğünü bilmektedir. Ancak Türkiye’de ve dünya genelinde, özel gereksinimli bireylerin ve bu bireyler arasında engel ile tanılanmış olanların eğitim sistemlerindeki dezavantajlı koşullarının ve kapsayıcı eğitim ile ilişkilendirilmelerindeki kuramsal ve uygulamalı zorlukların devam ettiği dikkate alındığında, onlara ilişkin bilgi içeren bu başlıkların eklenmesinde fayda bulunmuştur. Dördüncü olarak Kapsayıcı Eğı̇tı̇mde Akran İlı̇şkı̇lerı̇ başlığı altında akranlarla beraber bütünleştirilmiş eğitimin faydaları ve akran ilişkilerinin kapsayıcılığa katkısı ele alınmıştır. Beşinci olarak Kapsayıcı Bireysel Eğitim Planı Tasarımı ve Uygulamaları başlığı altında kapsayıcı eğitim bağlamında bireysel ihtiyaçlar, kapsayıcı bir bireysel eğitim planının özellikleri ve bireysel eğitim planının kapsayıcılığının önündeki engeller tartışılmıştır. Altıncı ve yedinci başlıklar olan Öğrencı̇ Merkezlı̇ Sınıf Uygulamaları, Uyarlama ve Düzenlemeler ile İşbı̇rlı̇klı̇ Eğı̇tı̇m, Evrensel Tasarım ve Farklılaştırılmış̧ Öğretim içinde sınıf ortamının kapsayıcılığının geliştirilmesine ilişkin detaylı bir içerik sunulmuştur. Sekizinci olarak Kapsayıcı Ölçme, Tanılama ve Değerlendirme başlığı altında, eğitim sistemlerinin en çok tartışılan alanlarından biri olan ölçme, tanılama ve değerlendirmenin kapsayıcı eğitim bağlamında nasıl ele alınıp geliştirilebileceğine ilişkin bir içerik sunulmuştur. Kitabın dokuzuncu başlığı olan Kapsayıcı Rehberlı̇k ve Danışmanlık Pratiklerı̇ içinde okul rehberlik ünitelerinin, tüm çocukların ruh sağlığı ve başarısı için nasıl yeniden yapılandırılıp hizmet verme kapasitelerinin güçlendirilebileceğine ilişkin bir içerik sunulmuştur. Devam eden başlık olan Davranış Gelı̇şı̇mı̇ ve Yönetimı̇ içerisinde davranış süreçleri kapsayıcı eğitim bağlamında incelenmiştir. Takip eden iki bölümde Özel Gereksı̇nı̇mlı̇ Öğrencı̇lerı̇n Sosyal-Duygusal Gelı̇şı̇mı̇ ve Özel Gereksı̇nı̇mlı̇ Öğrencı̇lerı̇n Akademik Gelı̇ şı̇ mı̇ başlıkları altında başta özel gereksinimi bulunanlar olmak üzere tüm öğrencilerin kapsayıcı eğitim süreçleri içerisinde sosyal-duygusal ve akademik açıdan maksimum düzeyde gelişiminin sağlanması adına bilgilendirici ve yönlendirici bir içerik verilmiştir. Kitapta takip eden on üçüncü, on dördüncü ve on beşinci başlıklar olan Kapsayıcı Eğı̇tı̇mde Aile Temellı̇ Uygulamalar, Çocuk Merkezlı̇ Kapsayıcı Aile Uygulamaları ve Öğrenme Desteğı̇ Sunulması ile Çocukları Desteklemede Aile Katılımı ve İletı̇şı̇m başlıklarında, özel olarak okul sisteminin önemli bir paydaşı olan ailelerin kapsayıcı eğitimdeki rolüne yer verilmiş, ailelerin çocukları desteklemede, okul süreçlerine pedagojik, sosyal ve kültürel açıdan katkıda bulunmada ve toplum kapsayıcılığının düzeyini artırmada üstlenebilecekleri rol detaylı bir şekilde anlatılmıştır.
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The article describes research into the perspectives of students with autism regarding their participation as the target participants in a peer‐mediated social communication intervention. Questionnaires were administered to four elementary‐aged students with autism before and after their involvement in the intervention. The students' parents and teachers also completed questionnaires about the students' participation in the intervention. Through the use of these questionnaires, we gained an insight into students' experiences with the intervention, which elements of the intervention they found most enjoyable and most effective, and the perceived impacts of the intervention on their social communication behaviours. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the questionnaire data revealed that all four students with autism enjoyed participating in the peer‐mediated intervention sessions, felt that their social communication behaviours had improved as a result of their involvement, and would like to be involved in similar sessions in the future. Implications for parents and educators who support the social communication of children with autism are explored.
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