Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Supporting the Inclusion of Students with Moderate and Severe Disabilities in Junior High School General Education Classes: The Effects of Classwide Peer Tutoring, Multi-Element Curriculum, and Accommodations

Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Supporting the Inclusion of Students with Moderate and Severe Disabilities in Junior High School General Education Classes: The Effects of Classwide Peer Tutoring, Multi-Element Curriculum, and Accommodations

Article excerpt

Abstract

A multiple probe across subjects design was used to examine the effects of an instructional package consisting of a classwide peer tutoring program, multi-element curriculum, and accommodations on the academic responding and competing behaviors of three students with severe disabilities who were enrolled in general junior high school classes. The effects of the classwide peer tutoring program on the academic responding, competing behaviors, and performance on weekly subject-area post tests of three peers without disabilities who were enrolled in the same classes were also examined. The instructional package increased rates of academic responding and reduced rates of competing behaviors for the three students with moderate and severe disabilities. The classwide peer tutoring program led to improved rates of academic responding and reduced rates of competing behavior for two of the three peers without disabilities. The weekly post-test scores suggest that the peers without disabilities benefitted academically f rom the classwide peer tutoring program. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for practice and future research.

There is a growing research base on the positive social and educational benefits of serving students with moderate and severe disabilities in general education classes (Giangreco & Putnam, 1991; Halvorsen & Sailor, 1990; Hunt & Goetz, 1997; Lipsky & Gartner, 1997; Snell, 1990). However, practitioners still face a number of significant challenges in providing these students with effective educational programs in these settings. Some of the most critical issues include designing instruction that is tailored to each students unique educational needs, providing a sufficient number of instructional trials to promote efficient learning, and supporting the adoption of validated instructional practices for this group of students by general education teachers (Fantuzzo & Atkins, 1992; McDonnell, 1998). It seems clear that the ultimate success of inclusive educational programs for this group of students will hinge upon the development of approaches that will directly address these concerns.

Proponents of inclusive education have suggested that practitioners use a number of curriculum and instructional approaches to meet he educational needs of students with moderate and severe disabilities in general education classes (Downing, 1996; Fisher, Sax, & Pumpian , 1999; Giangreco, 1997; Jorgensen, 1998; Putnam, 1998; Thousand, Villa, & Nevin, 1994). These frequently include the use of multi-element cu curriculum structures, accommodations, and peer tutoring. Multi-element curriculam allow students to receive instruction on different instructional objectives in the same curriculum domain as their peers without disabilities (Giangreco & Putnam, 1991; Stainback & Stainback, 1992). The instructional objectives are selected to match the student's functioning level and educational needs. Accommodations allow the teacher to adjust insructional activities so that they reflect the learning needs of the student (Downing, 1996; Jorgensen, 1998; Putnam, 1998). Such accommodations can range from modifying the inst ructional materials to the use of alternative behaviors to complete assignments. Peer tutoring programs create alternative teaching arrangements in which students act as instructional agents for one another (Harper, Maheady, & Mallete, 1994). The potential advantages of peer tutoring programs are that they create a structure that allows the teacher to tailor instruction to the needs of individual students and provide a higher number of instructional trials in one-on-one or small group teaching formats.

Support for the use of these strategies comes from research studies carried out with students with mild disabilities enrolled in general education classes (Lipsky & Gartner, 1998) and from studies carried out in separate special education classes for students with severe disabilities (McDonnell, 1998). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.