Write an essay of 1,000-1,250 words discussing the experience and evaluating the strategies used.

Discuss with a teacher of students with intellectual disability (ID) diagnosis/prescription/evaluation and analyses of goal instruction, including the implementation and development of goal instruction for students. What role do such procedures play in this teacher’s daily class?
Write an essay of 1,000-1,250 words discussing the experience and evaluating the strategies used.
Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a grading rubric. Instructors will be using the rubric to grade the assignment; therefore, students should review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations for successful completion of the assignment.

NOTES

Instructional Strategies for Teaching Students With Intellectual Disability

Introduction

When thinking about how to instruct students with intellectual disability, educators must consider the fact that instructionalorganization and effective instructional delivery are the keys to success. Instruction is not just done in some haphazard,discovery-learning manner without any particular goals in mind; rather, teachers should be thinking about their students’ particular disability and their associated learning characteristics from start to finish.

Three Assumptions to Guide Instructional Delivery

Assumptions in science have to do with laying out ground rules or basic agreements about how something is to be interpreted, discussed, or studied by interested parties; it is much like setting the rules for playing a game. Similarly, teachers need basic assumptions to govern the science and practice of teaching. The first assumption teachers should come to agreement about is that due to the unique learning characteristics of students with intellectual disability, instructional procedures that work well for typically developing students may not work as well with this population (*****, *****s, & Brady, 2005). The learning characteristics of students with Intellectual Disability will ultimately affect what actual skills will be learned and what educational goals can realistically be attained. Therefore, while typically developing students will benefit from the global general education curriculum, the educational goals and specific skills students withIntellectual Disabilitywill focus on will depend heavily on the decisions of an individualized education plan (IEP) team as they consider the unique educational needs and monitor instructional progress over time (Miner & Bates, 1997).

The second assumption teachers of students with Intellectual Disabilityshould adhere to is that instructional progress could only be obtained if that instruction is direct and explicit. The idea that typically developing students do not need precise instruction to make academic gains is losing ground in America because such an assertion lacks empirical support (Taylor et al., 2005). The features of direct and explicit instruction are described in detail by Gersten, Carnine, and Woodward (1987) and include research-based practices such as beginning each lesson with an advanced organizer, having students engage in activities that show they have learned the objective, and designing instructional materials in such a way that they promote high levels of student engagement.

As axiomatic as this may sound, teachers must assume that when powerful instructional strategies/practices are selected, students with Intellectual Disabilitywill make dramatic progress in their learning. As Taylor et al. (2005) remind teachers, “even as some individuals with mental retardation gained a foothold in schools during the mid 1900s, most were labeled ‘uneducable’. . . . However, as educators learned how to teach these students, assumptions involving educability changed quite dramatically” (p. 285, emphasis in original). The teacher must realize that for any student in special education, dramatic progress can only be made when empirically supported instructional methods are selected and applied (cf. Heward, 2003). Descriptions of sound instructional methodology are available and can be found throughout the special education research literature (cf. Christensen, Ysseldyke, & Thurlow, 1989; Kame’enui, Carnine, Dixon, Simmons, & Coyne, 2002; Wolery & Schuster, 1997). It is only when teachers take the time to learn and apply effective strategies with students with disabilities that they will finally move beyond simply knowing what to teach and advance into the territory of knowinghow to teach in the field of special education.

The Learning Characteristics of Students With MR

As mentioned above, it is critical for teachers specializing in the instruction of students with Intellectual Disability to have mastery-level knowledge about their students’ learning characteristics. Knowledge and understanding in this area help the teacher understand what instructional approaches/procedures are appropriate to use to maximize and enhance rates of learning and retention.

The Content and the Setting Matters

Goal analysis, development, and implementation are lofty concepts to consider, but without an idea of what to teach, these concepts are meaningless. Over 20 years ago, America grew alarmed by numbers of students who were unprepared to meet the demands of life and society, information brought out in the now famous publication A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983). The National Education Goals Panel (1997) established a set of skills that all students should have when they graduate from high school, and the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) came in behind that to require periodic assessment towards those goals. With these standard educational expectations for typically developing students, it should come as no surprise that students with Intellectual Disability should be held to a set of standards, the mastery of which will enable them to participate in society. At the outset, and given the range of challenges to learning that children with Intellectual Disability need to overcome, these children must acquire a set of critical skills that are needed to participate in daily routines that typically developing students (or adults) take for granted (e.g., toileting, hygiene, using technology like phones, knowing how to use a city’s transportation system, etc.). These critical skills serve as the basis for a broad functional curriculum that teaches (a) independent living skills, (b) communication skills, (c) social interactions and relations, (d) academic skills, and (e) transition and community living skills (Taylor et al., 2005). Such a curriculum does not preclude the opportunity for some students with Intellectual Disability to access and participate in the general education curriculum, but that all depends on their particular educational When thinking about how to instruct students with intellectual disability, educators must consider the fact that instructional organization and effective instructional delivery are the keys to success. Instruction is not just done in some haphazard, discovery-learning manner without any particular goals in mind; rather, teachers should be thinking about their students’ particular disability and their associated learning characteristics from start to finish.

Assumptions in science have to do with laying out ground rules or basic agreements about how something is to be interpreted, discussed, or studied by interested parties; it is much like setting the rules for playing a game. Similarly, teachers need basic assumptions to govern the science and practice of teaching. The first assumption teachers should come to agreement about is that due to the unique learning characteristics of students with intellectual disability, instructional procedures that work well for typically developing students may not work as well with this population (*****, *****s, & Brady, 2005). The learning characteristics of students with Intellectual Disability will ultimately affect what actual skills will be learned and what educational goals can realistically be attained. Therefore, while typically developing students will benefit from the global general education curriculum, the educational goals and specific skills students withIntellectual Disability will focus on will depend heavily on the decisions of an individualized education plan (IEP) team as they consider the unique educational needs and monitor instructional progress over time (Miner & Bates, 1997).

The second assumption teachers of students with Intellectual Disability should adhere to is that instructional progress could only be obtained if that instruction is direct and explicit. The idea that typically developing students do not need precise instruction to make academic gains is losing ground in America because such an assertion lacks empirical support (Taylor et al., 2005). The features of direct and explicit instruction are described in detail by Gersten, Carnine, and Woodward (1987) and include research-based practices such as beginning each lesson with an advanced organizer, having students engage in activities that show they have learned the objective, and designing instructional materials in such a way that they promote high levels of student engagement.

As axiomatic as this may sound, teachers must assume that when powerful instructional strategies/practices are selected, students with Intellectual Disability will make dramatic progress in their learning. As Taylor et al. (2005) remind teachers, “even as some individuals with mental retardation gained a foothold in schools during the mid 1900s, most were labeled ‘uneducable’. . . . However, as educators learned how to teach these students, assumptions involving educability changed quite dramatically” (p. 285, emphasis in original). The teacher must realize that for any student in special education, dramatic progress can only be made when empirically supported instructional methods are selected and applied (cf. Heward, 2003). Descriptions of sound instructional methodology are available and can be found throughout the special education research literature (cf. Christensen, Ysseldyke, & Thurlow, 1989; Kame’enui, Carnine, Dixon, Simmons, & Coyne, 2002; Wolery & Schuster, 1997). It is only when teachers take the time to learn and apply effective strategies with students with disabilities that they will finally move beyond simply knowing what to teach and advance into the territory of knowinghow to teach in the field of special education.

As mentioned above, it is critical for teachers specializing in the instruction of students with Intellectual Disability to have mastery-level knowledge about their students’ learning characteristics. Knowledge and understanding in this area help the teacher understand what instructional approaches/procedures are appropriate to use to maximize and enhance rates of learning and retention.

Goal analysis, development, and implementation are lofty concepts to consider, but without an idea of what to teach, these concepts are meaningless. Over 20 years ago, America grew alarmed by numbers of students who were unprepared to meet the demands of life and society, information brought out in the now famous publication A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983). The National Education Goals Panel (1997) established a set of skills that all students should have when they graduate from high school, and the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) came in behind that to require periodic assessment towards those goals. With these standard educational expectations for typically developing students, it should come as no surprise that students with Intellectual Disability should be held to a set of standards, the mastery of which will enable them to participate in society. At the outset, and given the range of challenges to learning that children with Intellectual Disability need to overcome, these children must acquire a set of critical skills that are needed to participate in daily routines that typically developing students (or adults) take for granted (e.g., toileting, hygiene, using technology like phones, knowing how to use a city’s transportation system, etc.). These critical skills serve as the basis for a broad functional curriculum that teaches (a) independent living skills, (b) communication skills, (c) social interactions and relations, (d) academic skills, and (e) transition and community living skills (Taylor et al., 2005). Such a curriculum does not preclude the opportunity for some students with Intellectual Disability to access and participate in the general education curriculum, but that all depends on their particular educational

Needs and the severity of Intellectual Disability that is present.

Although teaching is considered the essential feature of what takes place in education, the setting where teaching takes place does have an effect on instruction. “Settings influence the attitudes and behavior of students, their teachers, and society at large” (Taylor et al., 2005, p. 329). The place or setting for instruction in education holds great importance, as seen by the various legislative changes and reform efforts since 1975 to provide instruction in the least restrictive environment. Contrary to popular belief, the least restrictive environment is not synonymous with the general education setting, especially for students with Intellectual Disability who may need a more functional curriculum that cannot be delivered or supported in the general education environment; in this case, the least restrictive environment might very well include locations such as community settings or job sites where those functional skills can be taught and learned effectively. It is always important for IEP teams to consider the best setting for delivery of instruction; access to the best instructional opportunities will always result in the greatest gains. Not only do the right settings help students withIntellectual Disability grow, proper instructional accommodations can also improve the quality of the setting. Accommodations can be made for rules and routines, material usage, group arrangement, tests adaptation, or task performance (cf. Scott, Vitale, & Masten, 1998). Adaptations to learning requirements such as this can increase the likelihood that a particular instructional setting will be a positive and successful one.

The DPE Approach

According to Thomas (1996), helping students with Intellectual Disability achieve the greatest success and independence in life can be accomplished through individual life goal planning and diagnostic/prescriptive/evaluative (DPE) teaching. Considering all that was presented above, with the variety and limitations imposed on individuals with intellectual disability, a flexible curriculum is needed that can be adapted to each student’s situational and family needs. As Thomas describes, the diagnostic component takes into account all available information about the student and their skills/abilities, and matches that against their high-priority life goals. After sifting through all the information and data on a student, a more refined life goal emerges which can then be taught in a highly prescriptive manner (i.e., broken down into teachable segments and components). After the prescriptive teaching begins, progress is then monitored and evaluated on a formative basis. Thomas warns that the DPE approach is not to be confused with the IEP; rather it is the means for accomplishing the goals of the IEP itself.

Conclusion

With the assumptions, characteristics, and content/setting issues now presented to the teacher, DPE and goal-based instruction takes on a new character. The development and implementation of goals is not done in a vacuum; goals represent and involve real persons, real students who need their teacher’s help and assistance in learning how to be self-sufficient, independent, and successful adults in society.

References

Christensen, S. L., Ysseldyke, J. E., & Thurlow, M. L. (1989). Critical instructional factors for students with mild handicaps: An integrative review. Remedial and Special Education, 10, 21-31.

Drew, C. J., & Hardman, M. L. (2007). Intellectual disabilities across the lifespan (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Gersten, R. Carnine, D., & Woodward, J. (1987). Direct instruction research: The third decade. Remedial and Special Education, 8, 48-56.

Heward, W. L. (2003). Ten faulty notions about teaching and learning that hinder the effectiveness of special education.The Journal of Special Education, 36, 186-205.

Kame’enui, E. J., Carnine, D. W., Dixon, R. C., Simmons, D. C., & Coyne, M. D. (Eds.). (2002). Effective teaching strategies that accommodate diverse learners (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.