PSYC 3850 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Errorless Learning, Intellectual Disability, Learned Helplessness

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PSYC 3850
CHAPTER 11
INSTRUCTIONAL PROCEDURES
What Assumptions Guide Instructional Delivery?
Making decisions on how to teach students with CIDs requires that educators
organize and deliver instructional lessons in a very effective manner. Organization
for instruction refers to the process of getting ready to teach. Delivering instruction
involves the instructional interactions that teachers provide that produce student
action. There are three common assumptions:
- Students with CIDs share similar patterns of schooling with most students
who do not have disabilities
- Most students with CIDs require explicit instruction if they are to master the
knowledge and skills for the future
- Students with CIDs will make remarkable learning gains when provided with
powerful instruction
A common assumption in general education classes is that most students will make
academic progress even if they do not receive precise instruction. Most systems of
direct and explicit instruction have the following features:
- A clear objective is provide for the day’s lesson
- The lesson begins with an advance organizer
- The teacher provides information and a demonstration
- The students participate in activities that show they are learning the
objective
- The teacher fades the amount of guidance as students increase their
independent practice
- Student accuracy is strengthened; correction is done if they have made
errors
- A post organizer is used at the end of the lesson and prepare students for the
transition of the next lesson
- Instructional materials are carefully designed to promote student
engagement
Few fields demonstrate this as clearly as the field of cognitive and intellectual
disability. In the early days, educators taught in a manner of trial and error. Prior to
the federal requirements for special education in 1975, there was little expectation
that schools would be responsible for student learning. When they increased
attention, other areas of education also increased their sensitivity toward their
teaching methods. Discoveries in technology were helpful as well.
How Do Teachers Organize Instructional Programs?
Organizing lessons includes evaluating the strengths of the student, arranging and
structuring the classroom environment, and deciding how the task could involve
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other tasks that the student will learn. There are three sets of decisions that
teachers will make for it to be effective:
1. Delivering Isolated, Integrated, Thematic or Unit-Based Instruction
When organizing a lesson, a teacher must ask whether the outcome of the lesson
will stand alone or will only make sense when it is combined with other skills.
Isolated Skill: advantages include giving the teacher maximum control over the
lesson and giving opportunities to practice the lesson throughout the day.
Integrated Skill: includes linking the skill to its natural routine which is a strong
motivator for many students.
Thematic Instruction: cross reference student outcomes to various subjects or
content throughout the day. In many schools, embedded and thematic instruction
have been used to reorganize the entire general education curriculum resulting in
large time blocks where students learn interrelated subjects.
Unit Approach: typically structures lessons around a common theme. Often the
theme is derived from a current event or topic of interest.
Students with CIDs have a hard time applying what they learn to everyday routines.
They learn “Splinter Skills” – skills that are strong in some developmental areas but
not others. When planning for instruction it is important to decide how the lessons
will be organized to avoid further splintering. It is also best that you construct the
instruction based on their knowledge and skills during daily activities and routines.
It is best when one actively integrates the learning. Instructional integration has
become a preferred practice in many general education classes and is an evidence
based best practiced for those with CIDs.
2. Adding Physical and Personal Structure
In special-education-only classes teachers commonly use a variety of overt and
obvious organizational modifications, same goes within the general education
classroom, the settings must fit for the students. They use strategies that are similar
to those who have autism. Strategies used to accommodate these learning problems
often include adding physical or personal structure to the way the tasks are
organized. They increase structure by the following:
a) Adding visual cues to tasks and routines
Lessons that add visual organization or provide visual structure and cues often help
the student attend to the lesson. Visual structure involves positioning and
organizing furniture, materials, and information so that the students can complete
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the lesson and tasks with little to not verbal information. The key is that a student
should know what is expected by going to a learning area or by looking at a task.
They should address the following questions
- Where should I go
- What should I do there
- How will I know when I am done
- What should I do next
- What will happen if I do it
- What will happen if I don’t do it
- What should I do if I do not know how to do it
Visual structure helps students determine which stimuli in a classroom or lesson are
most and least important. It is most effective when it highlights the most important
information in the room or the task. Visual cues may help as well. However, for
general education classes, the visual structure should be subtler.
b) Developing personal schedules for individual students
Personal schedules help students sequence their daily activities and many students
with disabilities can increase in their levels of independence when using them. A
personal schedule uses objects, labels, or pictures to provide representation of their
day or activities. In a special education class, their schedules may be located in a
common transition area where they go to begin their day by picking up their
planner. Many students need to be taught how to use their own personal schedules.
They increase the predictability of daily activities and reduce dependence on
teachers for directions.
In turn, predictability increases task completion and accuracy and reduces
disruptive behavior often associated with uncertainty and breaks. They were first
developed for students with autism but teachers have realized the valuable tool it is
for everyone. Any sequence of activities can be part of their schedule. They are also
examples of “Permanent Prompts” for those who need them. If it deteriorates
performance then it should be considered a necessary assistive device.
c) Establishing work systems
Work systems establish visual clarity in tasks so that students can manage their
assignments, complete their tasks accurately and minimize requests for assistance.
Academics: might involve a list of written assignments in a labeled folder or a
prepared assignments with problems highlighted.
Self Care Skill: list of activities to check off once completed
Prepare for School Sequence: turn alarm off, wash face, brush teeth, etc.
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Document Summary

Making decisions on how to teach students with cids requires that educators organize and deliver instructional lessons in a very effective manner. Organization for instruction refers to the process of getting ready to teach. Delivering instruction involves the instructional interactions that teachers provide that produce student action. Students with cids share similar patterns of schooling with most students who do not have disabilities. Most students with cids require explicit instruction if they are to master the knowledge and skills for the future. Students with cids will make remarkable learning gains when provided with powerful instruction. A common assumption in general education classes is that most students will make academic progress even if they do not receive precise instruction. Most systems of direct and explicit instruction have the following features: A clear objective is provide for the day"s lesson. The lesson begins with an advance organizer. The teacher provides information and a demonstration.

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