PSYC 3850 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Universal Design, Age Appropriateness, Self-Determination

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PSYC 3580
What Do All Students Need To Learn?
Everyone around the student is constantly questioning what the student should
learn. Part of the decision making involves considering the knowledge and skills that
are needed by all students in general. Much focus is on deciding what the students
need to learn grew out of a report known a “a nation at risk”. This report challenged
educators and the public to examine the increasing number of students who are
unprepared for a society that is characterized by its increasing complexity, diversity
and reliance on technology. Reforms have also included several different sets of
national goals and proposals such as changing the way schools are funded and
organized, changes to teacher licenses and lowering the classroom number.
Most agree that students should graduate local schools with the following:
- Basic math competence
- Fundamental knowledge of technology and science
- Positive dispositions involving active citizenship
- Literacy skills
- Practice skills so that students are self-supporting after graduation
- Problem solving skills along with the ability to learn how to learn
- Growing importance of global solutions to historical issues
These skills are considered important for all students to learn and there is the
continuing effort to assess the nation’s progress in meeting these goals. No Child
Left Behind requires periodic assessment for these goals. However to date it is not
clear whether these CCSS will be an expectation for all students with CIDs. Many
have also wondered how students with CIDs fit the standard base reform. Reports
show that there is an increase in drop-out rates after one state decided to increase
graduation requirements. The adoption of national curriculum standards and goals
means that students with CIDs will have an increased access to the general
education curriculum. Many of the skills and outcomes for students outlined in the
CCSS are designed for both students with and without disabilities.
What Do Students with CIDs Need To Learn
They are expected to leave school with the same skills as others learn. They are also
expected to learn more practical routines as a result of their school experience. They
are expected to gain a set of “critical skills” they mirror the skills needed by all
students but their instructional programs are expected to have explicit instructions
targeting these patterned routines. In many local school districts, special education
was not available or desired by school leaders. Once federal legislation required that
special educators become available to all students who needed it many changes
were made to the curriculum and instructional methods. Much focus was on
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developing the functional curriculum. Some created a new organization becoming a
focal point for research and development of this curriculum. It is known as TASH.
(More details can be found on page 272).
The critical skills needed by most students with CIDs may not require a separate
curriculum and sometimes the functional does not curtail to their access to the CCSS
either. Many students with CIDs will require explicit instruction in routines that
students without CIDs acquire on their own.
These skills are grouped into 5 behavioral clusters which will be discussed below:
1. Independent Living Skills
Young children with and without a CID tend to have a major portion of their
instructional program devoted to independent living skills whereas the secondary
students might need less emphasis on these skills. Those with severe disabilities
tend to have goals that target assistance or participation in many self-care routines.
These self-care living skills tend to fall into four categories:
- Hygiene and toileting
- Dressing
- Home Living
- Personal Mobility
An important instructional distinction should be made between independent skills
that need to be taught versus those that need to be strengthened. Younger students
or those with severe CIDs often need direct instruction to learn the routines
involved. Older students or those with mild CIDs might have these skills in their
repertoires but may not use them spontaneously. They may require supports or
accommodations rather than the instructions. Some procedures may follow video
technology to help the parents teach to their children (this is an example of a
support system) while self-evaluation procedures help those who already know it
but never performed these skills independently.
Mobility skills once the domain of educators of students with vision impairments
and blindness have become an increasingly important part within the curriculum. It
has been expanded within the last two decades. Many students with vision or a
physical disability are assumed to need mobility assistance. Others may need
instruction on how to use wheelchairs for mobility for example. These instructions
are often overlooked since many do not require instruction to help them walk, run
or climb the stairs. For students with mild CIDs, mobility goals often include finding
locations within the community then using whatever transportation method is
available to and from that location. This goal may be the same for those with severe
CIDs but may include arranging the community transportation by phoning the
agency for a pick up and drop off location. Thus, for most students their goals are to
be familiar with their school environments and surrounding areas. It is important to
note that a disturbance in the route such as construction may cause a mishap for the
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