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Special Education, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1023

Essay

In education, it is important to understand that no two students learn the same.  Utilizing different methods will allow teachers options for reaching students that may otherwise fall behind.  Literacy is not the easiest thing to teach, and comprehension can be even more difficult.  Finding the best tools and implementing them into the learning process can aid in special educational needs.  Education for all does not fit into one specific technique. Teaching students with special educational needs will require provisions for them to have the success that other students may have naturally.

Planning a universal design for learning and differentiating instruction is an important part of teaching.  It is obvious to comprehend that beginning teachers do not easily embrace a theoretical method to understanding pedagogy.  “The practical findings of other researchers already referred to in this article provide a useful starting point for teacher education. For example, if Wray et al. (2002) or Topping and Ferguson (2005), among others, have identified for us the key features of effective practice for literacy, we might usefully combine their findings with case studies, such as those discussed, to give concrete examples of what any one feature might look like in action.” (Flynn)  Teachers can utilize this context and draw their own analogies to perfect their own practices.

Assessing and evaluating students with special education needs is important for adapting to the necessary change.  “The National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (2005), following a review of research, specified that students should be taught phonemic awareness and phonological knowledge, letter-symbol recognition, whole-word recognition, reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.” (Reynolds, Wheldall, & Madelaine)  The need is clearly dictated to teach phonics systematically and explicitly.  Planning valuable instructions as well as interventions is important for students who are struggling during their younger years of schooling.  There are specific elements of teaching special education to students who have signs associated with literacy problems.  MINILIT is one form of interventions that was created to deal with this need.  Studies show that this may be an important option for a cost-effective alternative to teaching the students with special needs.

Developing a learning profile will provide a better means for getting to know your students.  Seeing students struggle is not a secret.  Knowing your student and developing a learning profile accordingly is important. In a research done by The Reading Teacher, a plan for lessons was created for those who special direction.  First, make an effort to highlight essential vocabulary during student reading, showing students how to use such terms in their writing.  Second, take notes on a graphic organizer, especially for the students who had trouble recording specific details and ideas. The third model is to use the information recorded in the graphic organizer to form a summary.  Finally, write a strong conclusion, teaching students that there are transitions and variations. (Miller & Veatch) This summary includes the cycle of assessing, reflecting, planning, teaching, and finally reteaching. This allows the teachers to gain insight on the students learning patterns as well as their own teaching methods.

Researching to practice, this is where one finds out what works for both literacy and numeracy.   It is important to understand what methodologies work best with both literacy and numeracy.  “As a result of the No Child Left Behind Act (U.S.Department of Education, 2002), many school districts have implemented reading instruction based on phonological and phonemic awareness.” (Wilkins) Using phonological awareness means internalizing sound-based properties with letter-sound associations.  “A classroom based on the concept of UDL is specifically planned and developed to meet the special needs of a variety of students, including students who are disabled and those who come from a non-dominant culture. It is flexible, supportive, and adjustable, and increases full access to the curriculum for all students.” (Education) Internalizing the patterns and rules associated with each property will allow them to decode the words using a familiar pattern.

There are effective instructional approaches and teaching strategies for both numeracy and literacy.  The strategic integration, instructional aspects link among aspects of literacy knowledge. “In the early childhood classroom, dialogic reading can be used to enhance the development of preschool children’s emergent literacy skills. Dialogic reading is a scientifically validated shared storybook reading intervention that is known to boost at-risk children’s oral vocabulary skills.” (Zeece)  The instructional approach includes the questioning as well as the response to children regarding their book reading.

Computer based assistive technology is important in the learning process as well. “Students who are users of high-tech, speech-generating AAC devices typically have the cognitive ability to participate in grade-level literacy instruction.” (Wilkins) Teachers may use phonics-based approach to reading they may not know the most effective methods for helping students who use AAC devices.  There is little adaptation for teachers to incorporated AAC into literacy instruction activities.  Using such devices can increase the development of the student that they are communicating with.

Teaching students with special educational needs will require provisions for them to have the success that other students may have naturally.  Finding and utilizing resources such as methods and computer aided programs can create a much better result for learning outcome.  Teaching isn’t about reading a lesson plan and assuming that the entire class understands what is being dictated.  Monitoring student’s progress will allow teachers to jump in and aid in the event that they have special educational needs.  After all this is what teaching is all about.

References:

Zeece, Pauline Davey. “Curriculum Design Strategies in Emergent Literacy: The Role of Developmentally Appropriate Literature Selections”. Early Childhood Education Journal, 2009.  Print.

“Education for All”.  Ontario Education Excellence for All,2005. Print.

Wilkins, Julia & Amy Ratajczak. “Developing Students’ Literacy Skills Using High-Tech    Speech-Generating Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices”. Intervention in School and Clinic Volume 44 Number 3, 2009.  Print.

Reynolds, Meree; Kevin Wheldall; & Alison Madelaine. “Meeting Initial Needs In Literacy

(MINILIT): Why we Need it, How it Works, and the Results of Pilot Studies”. Australasian    Journal of Special Education Vol. 31, No. 2, 2007. Print.

Miller, Mimi & Nancy Veatch. ” Teaching Literacy in Context: Choosing and Using Instructional Strategies”.  The Reading Teacher, 2010. Print.

Flynn, Naomi. “What do Effective Teachers of Literacy do? Subject Knowledge and Pedagogical Choices for Literacy”.  Literacy, 2007.

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