Teaching Students with Learning Problems in the Inclusive Classroom

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9780130287724: Teaching Students with Learning Problems in the Inclusive Classroom

For the K-12 special education methods course for future teachers of students with learning problems. Knowing that no one approach to teaching is right for all children all of the time, this comprehensive, yet accessible, case-based text presents current "best practices," with the aim of helping prospective teachers learn to tailor instruction to the diverse needs and abilities of students with learning problems. The authors explore the entire inclusion movement and the theories of teaching and learning that inform it; discuss the nature of students with learning problems and the characteristics of effective teachers; and, describe a broad spectrum of proven instructional strategies for all curriculum areas. Finally, they examine the unique challenges and opportunities that transitions create for students with learning problems.

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From the Back Cover:

From the title of this text, Teaching Students with Learning Problems in the Inclusive Classroom, you could assume that the authors utilize their extensive teaching experience to demonstrate how students with learning problems can gain access to the general education curriculum. However, the authors give their readers much more than that. This accessible and comprehensive text presents "best practices"—tested instructional methods and strategies—designed to help preservice and practicing teachers differentiate instruction so that all students in diverse teaching and learning environments can succeed.

Features: Focus on Real-World Applications and Diversity
  • Case-based. The cases at the beginning of each chapter and integrated throughout the text show a range of students of differing ages, abilities, and cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • Instructional Methods-at-a-Glance. These tables fat the ends of the instruction chapters) summarize the methods described in each chapter with examples and suggestions an when to use them.
  • Teacher Feature. A different teacher is featured in each chapter; discussions range from the teachers' own experiences in school to challenges they face in the classroom and how they create solutions.
  • Diversity in Action. This narrative extends the experience of the featured teacher and describes haw these teachers encounter cultural and linguistic diversity in their classrooms and what they do in response to these changing issues.
Focus on Transitions
  • Two separate chapters and content throughout the text on transitions. Chapters 14 and 15 are dedicated to the topic of transitions from high school to college, and from school to employment, community, and personal life.
Focus on Standards
  • Standards Connection. Specific chapter content is connected to the 3NTASC and CEC standards throughout the text.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

THE AUTHORS' STORIES

Lisa Freund

From my first day in my first graduate education course in 1972, my career has been witness to the wildly swinging pendulum of educational practice. The coursework in my graduate program was heavily skewed toward behavioral theory, and focused on the methodology of precision teaching. We task analyzed reading, math, and writing skills, counted behaviors, graphed, charted, and conducted single-subject research. We became proficient in applied behavior analysis, and the students we tutored in our practica and fieldwork made clear and measurable progress toward their objectives.

When I accepted my first teaching job in September 1973 in a self-contained class for children with learning disabilities, I felt nervous but confident that I had been well prepared for this position. For two weeks before school opened, I decorated, organized, labeled, studied, and prepared what I thought was at least a week's worth of activities and lessons. After nervously greeting the children, I began my first day of teaching. Within one hour, I had finished the entire first day's instruction, the children were running wild, and the spitballs were flying. In my entire teacher-education program, I had never been expected to teach more than two children at a time, for more than one hour at a time.

Rebecca Rich

I entered the teaching field in 1968, having completed a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's in remedial reading. As an undergraduate student, I learned how to use basal readers, and accompanying workbooks, with large groups of students. In my graduate program, basals were forgotten and replaced by multisensory materials. I worked with readers experiencing difficulty, on a one-to-one basis, teaching them to decode words by tracing letters in the sand.

I came to my first teaching job, a second grade general education classroom, armed with basals and sand, but was informed that I must use programmed workbooks (and only programmed workbooks) to teach reading. So, I directed my class of 28 children to match words with pictures, place checks in boxes, and move from page to page in their workbooks. Like Lisa Freund's early experiences, my instructions were met with jeers and hoots and my classroom was soon filled with children running wild, books flying, desks falling, and arms and legs engaged in fierce battles.

EXPERIENCE LEADING THE WAY: A MULTIFACETED APPROACH

We have never forgotten those first days of teaching. Each of our programs had prepared us thoroughly in only one branch of educational theory and philosophy. Ironically, the courses that had focused so much on teaching individual children left us unable to individualize instruction.

Since that time, we have held the philosophy that there is no single approach to teaching that works for all children all of the time. And yet, the history of educational practice shows that we allow the pendulum to swing from one extreme to the other. We don't take enough time to explore the enormous area in between, where the ingredients and "flavors" from different philosophies can blend together in delicious and complex recipes. This multifaceted approach is the basis for our book.

We have written this book for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for special and general education practicing teachers who work with students who have a range of abilities and disabilities. The title indicates that we are writing about how to help students with learning problems effectively access the general education curricula and thus perform successfully in inclusive classrooms. In fact, this book is about much more. This book presents best practices and is designed to help the preservice and practicing teacher differentiate instruction to facilitate the learning of all students in diverse teaching and learning environments.

ORGANIZATION AND SCOPE OF THE TEXT

This book could be viewed as having three sections. The first (Chapters 1-5), we would label the foundation. These chapters explore the nature of students with learning problems, the inclusion movement, inclusion practices for students with learning problems, characteristics of effective teachers, and theories of teaching and learning. The second section (Chapters 6-13) deals primarily with instructional techniques. In Chapter 6, we cover organizing for instruction and continue with Chapters 7-13, where we present a wide range of instructional strategies across curriculum areas. The last section (Chapters 14 and 15) is devoted to transition issues for students with learning problems: transition from school to college, and transition from school to employment, community, and personal life.

SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE TEXT

We have a number of features within each chapter to help convey the concepts and content discussed in the chapter narrative.

Focus on Real-World Application

  • Case-based. In each chapter, we introduce the reader to two or more children or teachers who will be followed throughout the chapter. Each chapter has its own set of cases. These cases, integrated throughout the text, show a range of students of differing ages, abilities, and cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • Instructional Methods at a Glance. These tables (at the ends of the instruction chapters) highlight key techniques described in each chapter with examples and suggestions on when to use them.
  • Theory to Practice Margin Notes. Margin notes throughout the text encourage the reader to consider how specific pedagogical techniques relate to theories of teaching and learning presented primarily in Chapter 5.

Focus on Diversity

  • Teacher Feature. A different teacher is featured in each chapter; discussions range from the teachers' own experiences in school to challenges they face in the classroom and the solutions they create.
  • Diversity in Action. This narrative extends the experience of featured teachers and describes how these teachers encounter cultural and linguistic diversity in their classrooms and what they do in response to the challenges and opportunities this diversity presents.

Focus on Technology

  • Technology in Action. These features in the instruction chapters describe technology applications or give valuable tips for teachers on how they can effectively use technology in their classrooms to enhance student learning.

Focus on Standards

  • Standards Connection. Standards for teachers are criteria that define accomplished teachers—what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do in authentic teaching situations. We present INTASC and CEC standards. INTASC (Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) established a task force to create standards that embody the types of knowledge, skills, and dispositions teachers need to practice responsibly. CEC (the Council for Exceptional Children)—the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptional needs—established standards for the preparation and licensure of special educators. Specific chapter content is connected to the INTASC and CEC standards with the integration of boxed notes throughout the text. These standards are also highlighted on the Companion Website at http://www.prenhall.com/freund.

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Lisa Freund, Rebecca Rich
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