Article

Mildly Handicapped Elementary Students' Opportunity to Learn during Reading Instruction in Mainstream and Special Education Settings

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Abstract

The authors observed the opportunities to learn provided in both regular and special education classes for three types of mildly handicapped students: learning-disabled, emotionally/behaviorally disordered, and educable mentally retarded. Forty-seven mildly handicapped elementary students and 30 nonhandicapped students from two school districts in the Mid-western United States participated in the study. The activities and responses of these students during reading instruction were coded at 10-second intervals. These data were used to estimate what proportion of classroom time was academic engaged time, or time on task, and what proportion was academic responding time, in which students were given the opportunity to respond. Students were actively engaged and actively responding for significantly higher proportions of time in special education reading classes than in regular reading classes. However, because less time was spent overall in special education reading classes, the absolute time spent actively engaged and actively responding in special education classes was about the same as (or slightly less than) in regular classes. The total time allocated to reading instruction was about the same in both types of classes. There were no differences between the three groups of mildly handicapped students in their opportunity to learn. However, overall, mildly handicapped students experienced significantly less opportunity to learn during mainstream reading instruction than their nonhandicapped peers. The authors conclude that mildly handicapped children get short-changed in mainstream classes, but that simply placing them in special education classes does not necessarily provide them with more opportunity to learn. /// [French] La recherche porte sur l'observation de trois types d'enfants problèmes dans des situations d'apprentissage de la lecture en classes régulières et en classes spéciales. Quarante-sept enfants présentant des problèmes légers répartis en trois groupes selon le type de problème: problèmes d'apprentissage, problèmes de comportement, déficience mentale légère, et trente enfants normaux provenant de deux écoles d'un district du Mid-Ouest américain, constituaient l'échantillon. Les activités et les réponses des étudiants durant les activités de lecture ont été codées à des intervalles régulières de 10 secondes. Ces données ont servi à établir la proportion du temps total de classe consacrée à des activités académiques impliquant l'exécution d'une tâche ou une participation active dans des échanges. De façon significative, les élèves consacrent plus de temps à des tâches effectives d'apprentissage et participent plus activement dans des échanges, dans les classes spéciales que dans les classes régulières. Toutefois, comme le temps total passé dans les classes spéciales est moins grand que le temps passé dans les classes régulières, en temps absolu, il n'y a pas de différence significative. Le temps total consacré à la lecture est le même dans les deux types de classes. Par ailleurs, aucune différence significative n'a été observée entre les trois groupes d'enfants problèmes quant à la proportion de temps consacré activement à l'apprentissage. Toutefois, dans l'ensemble, les enfants handicapés mentaux participent moins que les enfants normaux dans les classes où ils sont intégrés. Les auteurs concluent que les enfants handicapés mentaux semblent effectivement moins profiter des activités d'apprentissage en étant intégrés dans les classes régulières que dans les classes spéciales mais que les classes spéciales ne leur offrent pas nécessairement plus de possibilités d'apprentissage. /// [Spanish] Los autores observaron las oportunidades de aprendizaje que se brindaban tanto en clases regulares como de educación especial para estudiantes con impedimentos leves de tres tipos: con problemas de aprendizaje, con problemas emocionales o de comportamiento, y con retraso mental educable. En este estudio participaron estudiantes de escuelas primarias; 47 de ellos con impedimentos ligeros y 30 sin problemas. Los estudiantes provenían de dos distritos escolares del Medio Oeste de los Estados Unidos. Se codificaron las actividades y respuestas de estos estudiantes durante la instrucción de lectura con intervalos de 10 segundos. Estos datos se usaron para estimar qué proporción del tiempo en clase estaba dedicado a propósitos académicos, o tiempo dedicado a la tarea, y qué proporción estaba dedicada a responder activamente al profesor. Se encontró que los estudiantes estaban involucrados y respondiendo de forma activa por períodos significativamente mayores en las clases de lectura de educación especial que en las clases de lectura de enseñanza normal. Sin embargo, debido a que el tiempo total dedicado a la lectura era menor en las clases de educación especial, el tiempo absoluto dedicado a estar involucrados y activamente respondiendo en las clases de educación especial resultó ser el mismo (o un poco menos) que el tiempo dedicado en las clases regulares. El tiempo dedicado a la instrucción de lectura fue el mismo aproximadamente, en ambas clases. No hubo diferencias entre los tres grupos de estudiantes con impedimentos leves en cuanto a la oportunidad para aprender. Sin embargo, visto en su totalidad los estudiantes con impedimentos tuvieron significativamente menos oportunidad de aprender durante la instrucción de lectura en clases regulares que sus compañeros sin problemas. Los autores llegaron a la conclusión que los niños con impedimentos leves tienden a recibir menos atención en las clases regulares, pero que simplemente colocarlos en clases de educación especial no significa, necesariamente, que se les brindarán más oportunidades para aprender. /// [German] Die verfasser beobachteten die Möglichkeiten zum Lernen, die drei Arten von geringfügig behinderten Schülern -- Lernbehinderte, Verhaltensgestörte und Lerngestörte -- in regulären und Sonderschulklassen geboten wurden. An dieser Studie nahmen 47 geringfügig behinderte Grundschüler und 30 nicht-behinderte Schüler aus zwei Schulbezirken im Mittelwesten der Staaten teil. Die Aktivitäten und Antworten der Schüler wurden in Abständen von 10-Sekunden kodiert. Diese Daten wurden dann benutzt, um abzuschätzen, zu welchen Anteilen der Unterricht aus reger Beschäftigung (oder auch Zeit für die Lernaufgabe) und aus Antwortzeit (also die Zeit, während der die Schüler Gelegenheit zum Antworten hatten) bestand. Der Anteil der regen Beschäftigung und der Antwortzeit war wesentlich höher für die Schüler, die Leseunterricht in Sonderschulklassen erhielten, als für die, die regulären Leseunterricht erhielten. Da jedoch in diesen Sonderschulklassen insgesamt weniger Zeit verbracht wurde, war die relative Zeit für rege Beschäftigung und Antworten ungefähr dieselbe (oder gar etwas weniger) als die Zeit, die dafür in den regulären Klassen verbracht wurde. Die Gesamtzeit für den Leseunterricht war in beiden Klassen ungefähr gleich. Zwischen den drei Gruppen der geringfügig behinderten Schüler bestanden im Hinblick auf Lernmöglichkeiten keine Unterschiede. Insgesamt gesehen besaßen die geringfügig behinderten Schüler gegenüber den nicht-behinderten gleichaltrigen Kindern dann jedoch wesentlich weniger Lernmöglichkeiten im Leseunterricht, wenn behinderte und nicht-behinderte Kinder gemeinsam unterrichtet wurden. Daraus schließen die Verfasser, daß die geringfügig behinderten Kinder dazu neigen, in gemeinsamen Unterrichtsklassen benachteiligt zu werden, daß ihnen jedoch durch eine Einstufung in Sonderschulklassen nicht unbedingt mehr Lernmöglichkeiten geboten werden.

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THIS RESEARCH examines the effectiveness of Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies for First-Grade Readers (First-Grade PALS) as a tool for enhancing the reading achievement of different learner types, particularly low-achieving students, representing the range of academic diversity typically present in primary grade classrooms. First-Grade PALS helps teachers to accommodate this diversity (a) by decentering instruction through peer mediation so that students become more actively involved in the learning process, (b) by including provisions for integrating phonological and alphabetic skills into the decoding of words in connected text, and (c) by providing extensive and repeated exposure to a variety of children's literature. In this research, the efficacy and feasibility of First-Grade PALS were examined in naturally constituted, academically heterogeneous first-grade classes, during rime normally allocated for reading instruction. Twenty first-grade teachers and 96 first-grade students (46 low, 20 average-, and 20 high-achieving) participated. Ten teachers incorporated First-Grade PALS into their reading program; 10 continued to teach reading as usual. Data collected included (a) time-series phonological awareness and reading fluency data and (b) pre-and post-measures of concepts of print, decoding, fluency, and comprehension. Students and teachers also were asked to rate their satisfaction with various aspects of First-Grade PALS. Results indicate that all learner types were positively affected by participation in First-Grade PALS, with the greatest gains indicated for low-achieving students. Likewise, both students and teachers implemented First-Grade PALS with relative ease, demonstrated high fidelity, and reported high levels of satisfaction.
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Schools face many decisions on how to maximize instructional time and provide support for students who are at risk for failure in reading. Instructional grouping plays an important role. The authors used a true group experimental design to compare 2 grouping conditions—1:1 (1 tutor to 1 student) and 1:3 (1 tutor to 3 students)—on the reading achievement of 1st-grade students who were identified as at risk and the efficiency of delivering instruction. The results indicate that students made comparable progress and gains in reading when instructed in small groups of 3. Because the 1:3 condition uses resources more efficiently, it may be preferable to the 1:1.
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Becoming a lifetime reader is predicated on developing a love of reading. Children with special needs and their less challenged peers both deserve equity and equality of educational opportunities that promote the lifetime reading habit. To support this direction, a strong commitment is needed from teachers and administrators, whose collective energy is aimed at determining children's attitude toward reading, immersing learners in different texts, engaging students in choosing resources and in reading them during school time, and helping children use skills and strategies in meaningful contexts. Although this perspective is beneficial for all learners, those who experience difficulty with reading profit from scaffolds that support the same instructional direction intended for learners who do not.
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This study investigated the relationship between the time of scheduling of a repeated reading intervention (Reading to Read) and measures of oral-reading fluency with boys with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type (ADHD-CT). Participants included 6 male students (4 fourth grade and 2 fifth grade) who were diagnosed as having ADHD-CT, and who were treated medically with methylphenidate (Ritalin). All students mastered passages more quickly, and most students read passages more quickly, had fewer reading errors, and had higher rates of correct words per minute (CWPM) during intervention administered 45 minutes to 1 hour after ingestion of methylphenidate versus 3 to 4 hours after ingestion. Implications for academic instruction for students with ADHD-CT who take Ritalin are discussed. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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More than 2 decades ago, Hallahan and Kauffman and others suggested a cross-categorical approach to teaching students identified with high-incidence disabilities (i.e., emotional— behavioral disabilities, learning disabilities, and mild intellectual disabilities) because their behavioral and academic characteristics were seen to be more similar than different. Since that time, more than 150 articles and other works have discussed and compared the characteristics of students across these high-incidence disability categories. This descriptive review examined 34 studies comparing various characteristics of students with high-incidence disabilities. The results indicate that students with emotional— behavioral disabilities, learning disabilities, and mild intellectual disabilities do not differ markedly in social adjustment, but do display considerably different cognitive and behavioral profiles. Implications for instruction and placement are discussed.
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After the passage of PL 94-142 in 1975 guaranteeing a free, appropriate, public education to all students with disabilities, multiple reauthorizations of IDEA have refined, revised, and renewed the nation's moral and pedagogical commitment to providing well-planned, public, inclusive, and appropriate education to all students with disabilities. But conflicting views of where that education should take place, what that education should consist of, and how that education should be delivered have continued to plague the field of special education. In this article, we provide an historical perspective on the arguments over where, what and how. We open four “windows” on special education service delivery in four different settings in Pennsylvania to illustrate contemporary interpretations and contemporary public policy related to where, what, and how. In the end, we raise questions about whether current, fully inclusive special education practices fulfill the promise of PL-94-142 to provide a special and appropriate education to students with disabilities.
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Recent research on teacher‐directed instruction in mainstream reading classes with students with learning disabilities was examined. Findings of descriptive investigations of teacher‐directed instruction are discussed, and two studies of the effects of teacher‐change efforts in mainstream classrooms are reported. Finally, applications of explicit teaching are used as a framework to address the lack of teacher‐directed instruction in special and general education classrooms.
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The authors documented reading instructional practices for students with emotional or behavioral disorders (E/BD) as well as strategies used by teachers to redirect behavior and provide positive support during reading. Six teachers of students with E/BD were observed during reading instruction and interviewed. Three of the six teachers provided some reading instruction that was documented as effective and designed to meet the instructional needs of students. Controlling student behavior through isolating students, providing extensive time for worksheets, and negative feedback dominated four teachers' reading instruction. Teachers reported limited knowledge about how to teach reading.
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First-grade struggling readers' oral reading was observed during primary reading instructional time. Participants were 65 first-graders experiencing difficulties in beginning reading and nominated by their teacher as at risk for reading failure. Each participant was observed three times over a 12-week period in the spring of the first-grade year. Observers collected frequency data on participants' oral reading at three levels of complexity: letter-sound, word-word part, and sentence-paragraph. Measures of student reading progress were also collected throughout the observation period. The findings revealed that most instruction for struggling readers may not be aligned with recent research on preventing reading difficulties, and even struggling readers receiving reading instruction aligned with best practices may be only making minimal progress.
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This article examines model reading programs for struggling readers in which instruction is delivered in the students' regular classrooms. The author also proposes a set of guidelines or principles for developing such programs.
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Technological bullying is an emerging type of bullying with increasing use of technology. Adolescents/teen agers stand out as bullies or victims as is with traditional bullying. Therefore, awareness of teenagers is required in technological bullying. Within the scope of the work training was applied to teenagers. After training their awareness was evaluated. The qualitative findings were used to make suggestions on prevention of technological bullying.
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This study reports on 1 school district’s attempt to address reading gaps in boys, Aboriginal students, and special education students at 1st grade by implementing Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) to supplement classroom reading instruction. Findings indicate that compared to previous years, when PALS was not used, students in this study made significantly greater gains in reading scores. Boys made similar gains to girls, Aboriginal students made similar gains to non-Aboriginal students, and at-risk students closed the achievement gap slightly with their typically achieving peers. For students who did not make adequate progress in reading throughout the year, the data indicate that the best predictor of at-risk status by the end of 1st grade was not a student’s sex or Aboriginal status but the ease with which he or she could effortlessly identify the sounds of letters and read words on entering the 1st grade. 2016
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This article synthesizes observation studies investigating reading instruction for students with learning disabilities (LD) in Grades K–12. A systematic search of the literature between 1980 and 2014 resulted in the identification of 25 studies. In addition to replicating and extending E. A. Swanson’s synthesis, the research questions of studies from 1980 to 2014 were analyzed for trends and gaps in the research. Findings related to both E. A. Swanson’s replicated questions and several new research questions revealed that (a) only four observation studies met inclusion criteria between 2006 and 2014, (b) greater detail in observation data related to five critical components of reading were reported in studies since 2005, (c) the most frequently used grouping structure was whole-group instruction, and (d) the research questions and purposes of observation studies tend to be related to examining prevailing practices following legislative reform.
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In today's education system recognizing various cultural values, respecting the differences and multicultural education are all important concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the difficulties that administrators and teachers face with during education process in one of the multicultural schools in Kayseri, Mustafa Germirli Imam Hatip High School. The sample of the study were 5 administrators and 11 teachers who were volunteered to take part in the study. The data were analyzed through content analysis in the qualitative research. The results of the study revealed that physical conditions of school, the applied educational programs and communication areas were the basic difficulties that school administrators and teachers face with. Recommendations related to problem areas were discussed.
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This supplemental program helped first graders become independent readers who could participate more successfully in their regular classrooms.
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The objective of this study is to determine the views of maths teachers who have inclusive students in their classes and students' parents regarding the educational applications within a qualitative framework in detail. Being among the qualitative research approaches, the method of 'case study' was used in the study. The participants were selected among teachers working at secondary education schools in Bulancak and Dereli districts of the central Giresun, as well as the parents of inclusive students receiving education at these schools. The study data were collected via an open-ended questionnaire being developed and for that purpose, the "Teacher's Questionnaire Form" and "Parent's Questionnaire Form" were developed by researchers. The method of content analysis was used in the data analysis. As a result of the study, majority of parents were observed to have expected their children to be able to perform the basic mathematical processes and adapt them into the daily life. It was also determined that a great majority of participant teachers conducted the familiar 'teacer-centered' method in the process of inclusive applications. In addition to this, teachers emphasized that they needed to be informed about the inclusive education by experts.
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In this study, we conducted 124 observations of 41 special education teachers teaching reading to their third- through fifth-grade students with learning disabilities to determine the extent to which and in what ways they promoted students' reading comprehension. In 42 lessons, we did not observe any comprehension instruction. In 30 lessons, the only comprehension-related activity consisted of asking students questions about what they had read by means of mostly factual, rote-level questions. In 49 lessons, teachers provided additional comprehension instruction, although this mostly consisted of prompting students to use a strategy rather than providing explicit instruction. Predicting was the most common strategy observed. We rarely saw teachers use more complex strategies, such as finding the main idea or summarizing. Most special education teachers seemed unsure of how to promote their students' reading comprehension. We noted many missed opportunities to do so. Our findings suggest implications for researchers and teacher preparation programs.
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This study reports findings from an exploration of the literacy practices of 10 high school science teachers. Based on observations of teachers’ instruction, we report teachers’ use of text, evidence-based vocabulary and comprehension practices, and grouping practices. Based on interviews with teachers, we also report teachers’ perceptions regarding their role in implementing literacy instruction and the alignment of these perceptions with their practices. In total, we observed for 3,167 min across teachers. Coding of observations revealed that teachers rarely used expository text and implemented a minimal amount of vocabulary and comprehension strategy instruction. They used a variety of grouping practices but most often utilized whole-class instruction and independent work. Coding of interviews revealed that teachers supported the idea of integrating text and literacy instructional practices into their lessons but perceived a wide range of barriers to implementing these practices. We provide implications and directions for future research.
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The primary focus of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a classwide peer tutoring program in reading for three learner types: low achievers with and without disabilities and average achievers. Twelve schools, stratified on student achievement and family income, were assigned randomly to experimental and control groups. Twenty teachers implemented the peer tutoring program for 15 weeks; 20 did not implement it. In each of the 40 classrooms, data were collected systematically on three students representing the three learner types. Pre- and posttreatment reading achievement data were collected on three measures of the Comprehensive Reading Assessment Battery. Findings indicated that, irrespective of type of measure and type of learner, students in peer tutoring classrooms demonstrated greater reading progress. Implications for policymaking are discussed.
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A multiple-baseline across participants was used to analyze the effects of adding multisensory elements to an explicit, systematic phonics program on the reading achievement of six students identified as treatment resisters. Participants were given 10 minutes of daily instruction in the supplemental program in addition to instruction in the evidence-based school-wide curriculum. The multisensory additions included finger tapping, letter formation onto carpet squares, and the use of magnetic letters. Fluency of nonsense word reading was used as the dependent variable and fluency of sound recognition within nonsense words was used as a collateral measure. Generalization of the decoding skills was assessed through oral reading fluency on first-grade and grade- level passages.
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In this study, we conducted 124 observations of 41 special education teachers teaching reading to their third- through fifth-grade students with learning disabilities to determine the extent to which and in what ways they promoted students' reading comprehension. In 42 lessons, we did not observe any comprehension instruction. In 30 lessons, the only comprehension-related activity consisted of asking students questions about what they had read by means of mostly factual, rote-level questions. In 49 lessons, teachers provided additional comprehension instruction, although this mostly consisted of prompting students to use a strategy rather than providing explicit instruction. Predicting was the most common strategy observed. We rarely saw teachers use more complex strategies, such as finding the main idea or summarizing. Most special education teachers seemed unsure of how to promote their students' reading comprehension. We noted many missed opportunities to do so. Our findings suggest implications for researchers and teacher preparation programs.
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The process-product literature has focused on quantitative measures of teacher behavior that correlate to student achievement of basic skills. In this article, we review the general findings from the process-product literature on effective teaching. We also suggest a conceptual framework for extending our understanding of effective teaching based on recent studies focusing on the qualitative dimensions of teacher behavior associated with the development of higher-order thinking and problem-solving abilities. These dimensions involve teachers' abilities to model cognitive strategies in meaningful and purposive activities, promote classroom dialogues about strategies and processes, responsively adjust instruction on a moment-to-moment basis given their students' changing states of knowledge and abilities, and establish classroom communities in which students collaboratively and cooperatively participate in inquiry-related activities.
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Observation research can shed light on the degree to which students have access to research based instruction and intervention. In this systematic review of reading observation research for students with and at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders, we sought to identify trends in the settings and student populations investigated and research methods used, as well as to determine the degree to which this student population has access to research based reading instruction. Eleven studies meeting selection criteria were identified and coded to extract information that was salient to research questions. Although the extant observation research is limited, findings suggest that concerns raised by Vaughn and colleagues (2002) approximately 18 years ago remain. Study limitations, implications for school practice, and areas for future research are discussed.
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Decisions about special educational services including pull-out placements and retention are made by well-intended adults. I examine the complexities of such decisions and make that complexity personal through the stories of six children whose school lives I followed for four years. For each child, the further removed the decision maker was (e.g., state policy versus teacher recommendation), the less appropriate the placement. As much as the public longs for uniform po- licies (ending social promotion, establishing high standards, testing early and often), there are devastating human consequences to standardized ``solutions.'' For these children, the best intentions of educators were not enough.
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This chapter discusses findings from the General Supervision Enhancement Grant awarded to the state of Pennsylvania by the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs for which the authors provide research support and consultation. The views and commentary expressed therein are solely those of the authors. No official support or endorsement by the US Department of Education or the Pennsylvania Department of Education is intended or to be inferred. We thank the editors, Deborah Fulmer, and Jane Partanen for comments on earlier drafts.
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Inclusive education for students with disabilities, as a component of school reform, is increasingly connecting to efforts to integrate diverse students in general education classes. These include students who are gifted and talented, who have limited English speaking abilities, and who are from various racial and ethnic groups. Teacher education programs must respond more effectively to these changes in schools by providing more effective preparation related to teaching truly diverse students in general education classes. Many complex issues are involved in this process. However, faculty members can make an important step towards responding to these needs through a simple mechanism—the restructuring of the typical "mainstreaming course. " This course can be restructured from one that essentially provides an overview of various disabilities to one that provides strategies that build on holistic, authentic instructional approaches and that provides a range of techniques for accommodation, adaptation of the curriculum, and utilization of support models for students and teachers. This article describes the experience of two faculty members, one at a teaching university in central Wisconsin and the other at a research university in Detroit, Michigan, regarding their experiments in restructuring this course and their responses from university students. Their experiences may provide a model upon which individual faculty can lay the foundation for change in their own departments while meaningfully enhancing the preparation of teachers in training.
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Seventeen pairs of LD and non-LD students were observed for two school days. While the time allocated to various activities and tasks did not differ for the two groups, LD students received more individual instruction and more teacher approval than non-LD students. LD students also were engaged in five of seven active academic responses for longer periods of time than non-LD students, while non-LD students engaged longer in one academic response than LD students. However, the two groups' total academic responding times did not differ. Across students, only about 45 minutes of active academic responding occurred during a typical school day. Implications of the findings for instruction and special education decision making are discussed.
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In the past decade, a number of methodologies have been proposed for observation in the classroom. Generally, this research has focused on the use of one instrument and has rarely reported results from validation investigations. The current study, however, employed two direct observation instruments concurrently within two reading programs—Breaking the Code and an Eclectic Program—in middle school resource rooms. A momentary time sample of task engagement and an event record of discrete student responses were employed in six classrooms representing the two programs. A multimethod validation process was implemented, focusing on treatment and criterion-related validities. Many findings were program-specific, with differences lost or diluted when data were combined across programs. An argument is presented for structuring observation in a manner sensitive to classroom activity structures.
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Observers followed 30 learning disabled (LD), 32 emotionally/behaviorally disturbed (EBD), 30 educable mentally retarded (EMR), and 30 nonhandicapped students each for one entire school day. They recorded in 10-second intervals the amount of time allocated to instruction in specific content areas, amounts of time spent in different school settings, and time allocated to instruction as a function of setting. While there were differences among groups in amount of time spent in regular versus special education, there were few differences among categories in the amount of time allocated to instruction in specific content areas. Issues related to current special education practice are addressed.
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Using the observation procedures developed by Leinhardt, Zigmond, and Cooley (1981), we conducted a large-scale field study of reading instruction in special education resource room programs for fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade mildly handicapped students. Children in 23 resource rooms in one district and those from 5 resource rooms in another district were observed during reading instruction. Observations were also made in regular classrooms for a subset of handicapped students and their nonhandicapped peers. The research sought to answer questions regarding the standardization of resource room reading instruction, the nature and amount of reading instruction in these programs, factors associated with how students are scheduled for special reading instruction, reading instruction in resource rooms versus regular classrooms, and special education students’ reading instruction (resource room plus classroom) versus that of nonhandicapped peers. Process-product relations similar to those of the Leinhardt et al. research in learning disabilities classrooms were also tested. Results indicated considerable variability in reading instruction across programs and students that was not strongly linked to student characteristics. Overall, the amount of reading instruction was remarkably low, and instructional process variables in resource rooms were not predictive of achievement.
Article
This study was aimed at describing the characteristics of school-aged children whom educators had identified as learning disabled (LD). A probability sample of 800 was selected from the population of all children served as learning disabled in the state of Colorado. A coding form was used by trained coders to extract relevant features from the case files of the children. The sample was characterized by (1) distributions of single variables (e.g., below grade level achievement, discrepancy between IQ and achievement, medical indicators), and (2) hierarchical classification creating clusters or subgroups within the LD sample. Fewer than half the sample exhibited characteristics consistent with definitions of LD in federal regulations and professional literature. Included in this group were subgroups of hyperactive, brain-injured children, children with significant discrepancies between IQ and achievement and those with signs of perceptual processing disorders. Slightly more than half the sample did not match conventional definitions of LD but exhibited learning problems such as language interference, emotional disorders, or mild retardation. The inclusion of the latter groups among the learning disabled is a particular problem in the validation of the construct and will confound research on prevalence rates and treatment efficacy.
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Examined the extent to which different teaching structures and tasks were used with 47 mildly handicapped students (14 educable mentally retarded, 21 learning disabled, 12 emotionally/behaviorally disturbed) and 30 nonhandicapped 2nd–4th grade students during reading time. Ss were observed in both special and mainstream settings. Although several setting effects were found, the only category effect was a difference in the time devoted to individual structures in the mainstream setting for nonhandicapped Ss (4%) compared with handicapped Ss (10%). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Applied an eco-behavioral interaction analysis by examining the quality and frequency of complex instructional arrangements (5-element ecological context variables) and their conditional association with the academic behavior of students within school settings. Observational records spanning the entire school day were obtained for 40 4th-grade students differing in socioeconomic status (SES) and were analyzed for derivation and replication samples. It was revealed that (1) instructional arrangements used by teachers varied both within and across groups, (2) these arrangements were differentially related to student responding, and (3) teachers of low SES students more frequently used instructional arrangements that were less related to academic responding. The implications of an eco-behavioral interaction methodology are discussed in terms of future applied research. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Learning disabled (n = 17) and normal boys (n = 32) from grades 3, 5, and 6 were given laboratory tasks of attention. The tasks were visual and included signal detection and letter classification with and without distraction. The dependent measures on the laboratory tasks were accuracy and response latency. Findings indicated no difference between learning disabled students and normal students on the tasks, no difference in sustained attention, and no evidence of a developmental lag. The no-difference findings should not be viewed as the result of an insensitive design, since significant differences were found due to letter spacing and distracting stimuli, but these had equal effects on both groups. The same students were also observed for on-task behavior in the classroom. Differences in on-task behavior between the groups were not found either for academic or arts topics or for ability to sustain attention. A significant difference in attention was found in favor of special classes over regular, small groups (n < 9) over large, and teacher-directed over independent activities.
Process-product study of rela-tionships among instructional ecology, student re-sponse, and academic achievement
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