Website Portfolio. Andrea Thomas SPED 4332.01 Final Project. My Overall Rationale. “Every experience in a child’s early life has an impact on his/her development now and in the future. Parents and families are the first and most powerful influence on children’s early learning and
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
“Every experience in a child’s early life has an impact on his/her
development now and in the future. Parents and families are the
first and most powerful influence on children’s early learning and
development. Young children and their families live in communities
that shape early experiences. “—publication on http://www.edu.gov.on.ca.
I believe that early childhood special education is the beginning of teaching young children appropriate lessons to help ensure success in school and in life. Early childhood special educators provide effective tools for children and their families that will help students achieve academic, personal, and professional success. It is important to know the ages and stages in which a child typically develops. If a child in not meeting those standards within the domains of development, then intervention should be taken. These teachers must focus on strengths and be attentive to the needs of students (social, personal, and environmental) in order to teach them values and to have high expectations.
Teachers of young students with disabilities should teach with the understanding that all children can learn and they must develop and mature beyond cognitive growth. There are also social, communicative, physical, and adaptive developments to consider. Students will gain skills when they learn from their experiences and their environment. Students should begin to learn their own social and personal needs so they will be able to convey them to others. Using assistive technology when necessary will help students’ abilities, needs, and desires shine through. By applying effective, research-based teaching methods with embedded instruction will create an environment that is conducive to learning.
Teachers should motivate students to reach beyond goals. Motivation, according to Reiser and Dempsey (2002), refers to a person’s desire to pursue a goal or perform a task, which is manifested by choice of goals and effort.” They believed that , ultimately, “students do have control over their motivation and that instruction should peak students’ curiosity. The subject matter must be relevant and related to the students' needs, concerns and experiences. The [ultimate] goal is to have learners engaged in learning or work activities, not just entertain them” (Reiser & Dempsey, 2002). Students should make a conscientious effort and teachers have to help students get there. Students will feel confident in their abilities when scaffolding and modeling techniques are applied. This is important when understanding that children have different learning abilities, styles, and challenges. By employing different techniques, students will have a rewarding sense of achievement. Play-based learning with embedded instruction allows young children to reach goals with more motivation. Group activities allows students the opportunities to gain social skills needed in school and in their communities. This encourages learning and gives them a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie.
Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what
amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with
accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.—Plato
Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey, J. V. (2002). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.
I would prefer using the [social] constructivist theory of learning when teaching .This approach fits best with my belief that students gain knowledge from the world around them while teachers best serve as facilitators. Children are able to gain their own understanding while the educator is there to lead them on the right path. “Constructivism provides us with insights concerning how children learn and guides us to use instructional strategies that begin with children rather with ourselves” (Van De Walle, 2004).
Although learning involves several factors including types of learning (different theories of acquiring knowledge), tools used in learning, etc., I believe the most important factor is intrinsic motivation: the drive and effort that comes from within to willingly learn something new. Intrinsic motivation is an important factor in gaining knowledge. Generally, a person has to want to learn and it is the teacher’s responsibility in the classroom to provide an environment that will engage students enough that they will want to achieve goals and become more informed. A constructivist approach can be applied in an early special education classroom to help build students’ knowledge of the world around them. Teachers can present challenges in order to help the students use what they have learned to solve problems. Using previous experiences and interactions with other children and adults, students can obtain new knowledge and skills, formulate new ideas, and solve problems in different ways. It will help students feel that they are confident to make choices in order to take on challenges themselves. Students will learn to be builders of their own knowledge and want to learn more. They will also be more likely to remember topics that they take pleasure in which can be used to help them solve problems in the future in real world situations.
Van de Walle, J. A. (2004). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
This Early Childhood Special Education course has taught me the importance of identifying infants and preschoolers who have delays in development and the aspect of inclusion. I understand that it is important that a pre-school’s instructional program and educators be highly-qualified. Both must employ best practices, adhering to laws, policies, rules, and regulations asserted by the federal government, state government, school districts, as well as the school itself. Instruction must be in the best interest of the students.
My course work and field experience has given me an opportunity to better understand the needs of infants and preschoolers with disabilities and the professionals that assist them and their families. I have a better understanding of the many components associated with being a special educator of pre-schoolers. Instruction and interventions should be planned with the knowledge that lessons have to be research-based as well as engaging to students, Students should be encouraged to communicate and make choices. My classroom environment should be one that encourages physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development skills with an understanding, also, that the developmental domains interwoven and all must be addressed when teaching lessons. My teaching style will be one that focuses on strengths, creativity, and preparing students to be able to make transitions. The practice of incorporating a system of universal design within the students’ natural environments and the use of embedded instruction and authentic assessments that center on students’ ranges of ability will help create a sense of equality and achievement within the students. I understand that children do not develop at the same rate and have a wide range of abilities but every students can achieve goals. Children at this age explore, learn, and develop through play and interactions with other children and adults, optimizing their learning experiences and developmental skills. My classroom arrangement will be one that allows children the freedom to be mobile. Modifications, and adaptations to furniture, materials, and lessons will create an environment that is more conducive to learning and exploring. Applying a variety of tools, assessments, materials, and techniques will give every student an opportunity to learn.,
Collaborations and coordination are extremely important. The educators, families, and services workers all have responsibilities in educating young children with disabilities and should have mutual respect for the others’ roles. These relationships will help assure that children will meet goals and objectives. Family involvement and support is crucial when determining the needs of the students. An educator needs to offer support to the families as well. A teacher could be the key to a family having access to needed information, programs, services, and/or technologies.
What are some teaching strategies that can be used when working with children with disabilities in early childhood settings?
Early Childhood Instruction in the Natural Environment
Adapting the Curriculum to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners
This site offers fun tools, lessons, and strategies for teachers of children with disabilities
PACER Center was created by parents of children and youth with disabilities to help other parents and families facing similar challenges