Students with Learning Differences – Policy and Legal Issues. IDEA NCLB Section 504 Gifted/Talented. Learning Differences. Students with learning differences are not always students with disabilities Teachers need to accommodate all student needs in learning.
Students with Learning Differences – Policy and Legal Issues
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - IDEA
-originated in the 94th congress in 1975
-original name was Education of All Children with Handicaps Act
-autism and TBI not specified as disabilities originally
-has been reauthorized twice
-next reauthorization is this year
Free appropriate public education
Least restrictive environment
Inclusive settings where appropriate
Provided to allow the student to derive benefit from the general education curriculum
Review of program
Re-evaluation every three years
The mandates of the legislation known as No Child Left Behind apply to special education students as well
States and districts can create alternative assessment formats for students with special needs, but they are not released from their responsibility to provide research-based, regularly evaluated programs of instruction with rigorous standards
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
-Full Title: An act to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind
-enacted by the 107th Congress
-will be reauthorized in 2011
-originated in 1973
-part of Rehabilitation Act, not education legislation
-may follow an individual into adulthood for higher education or employment accommodations
-each state defines differently
-no special provisions for state assessments for gifted
-only 26 states require special programs for the gifted
Source: Marland Report to Congress, 1972
Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 8-201
-a commonly identified learning difference that requires accommodation, either through the IEP and special education process, or through the process to provide a 504 plan
What does this mean in instruction?
-differences require perspective from the teacher
-knowledge of learning theories is helpful
-understanding tiered instruction is essential
-UDL is a useful framework
Gagne’s Events of Instruction
Promoting retention & transfer
Slavin’s QAIT Model
Carroll’s Model of
Degree of Learning = f(time spent/time needed)
Gagne’s Phases of Learning
Bloom’s Levels of Challenge
Knowing+Understanding+Using+Breakingapart+Judging+Putting together in a new way
The actual phases of learning that the student passes through. The teacher should consider each as he or she designs a lesson.
instruction can begin
in place so that the course of the lesson is smooth and not disrupted
apparent disabilities as students prepare answers and learning products
Aligned with the phases of learning, Gagne also outlines the actual behaviors of teaching that elicit the student indicators of the phases. The teacher should engage in the following:
Mastery moves the learner to higher and higher
levels of difficulty, connecting a hierarchy of skills.
Grade one to grade two to grade three, for example.
Complexity expands the dimension of
the learned skill at whatever level of
mastery the student is demonstrating.
Writing a paragraph can be extended to
creating a statement of opinion or
argument for a point of view for example.
Universal Design for Learning
-originated in architecture
-design of environments to accommodate all
-adapted in education as a means to accommodate all levels of need and types of learners
-not restricted to special needs
-scaffold for differentiation of instruction
How does the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) assist both teachers and students in accommodating need and still meeting mandates such as IDEA, NCLB and the 504 regulations?
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