Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effectiveness of the Constant Time Delay Procedure in Teaching Pre-School Academic Skills to Children with Developmental Disabilities in a Small Group Teaching Arrangement

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effectiveness of the Constant Time Delay Procedure in Teaching Pre-School Academic Skills to Children with Developmental Disabilities in a Small Group Teaching Arrangement

Article excerpt

Pre-school education has significant effects on children's learning abilities and their academic achievements, and thus they provide great contributions with their transition to educational environments (Diken, 2009; Gürkan, 2006; Güven & Efe-Azkeskin, 2010; Lerner, Lowenthal, & Egan, 2003). Preschool education contributes to a child's mental development. As is already known, cognitive development is defined as the development of mental activities which enable children to learn and understand their environment (Senemoglu, 2001). Cognitive development is related to and cooperates with all developmental areas. Moreover, cognitive development covers mental development as well (Yücesoy-Özkan, 2008). One of the cognitive skills included in the pre-school education program is functional academic skills. With the teaching of academic skills, one aim is to determine and teach the skills which are functional for the children (Batu, 2003).

Different teaching arrangements are used to teach the skills that children with developmental disabilities need. The common teaching arrangement for children with developmental disabilities is the oneto- one teaching arrangement (Collins, Gast, Ault, & Wolery, 1991). One-to-one teaching is a structured arrangement in which the child has the chance to react with the teacher and be reinforced when they respond correctly (Duker, Didden, & Sigafoos, 2004). It is widely accepted that children with developmental disabilities need early education and one-to-one teaching (Colozzi, Ward, & Crotty, 2008). However, the one-to-one teaching arrangement has some limitations. For instance, this arrangement has high costs in terms of personnel and time. Additionally, it does not offer opportunities for positive peermodel and observational learning. Thus, the oneto- one teaching arrangement can also cause some limitations in terms of instructional and social integration/interactivity. In this context, for the child who does not need one-to-one teaching urgently and whose education needs can be satisfied in a small group, a small-group teaching arrangement can be offered (Collins et al., 1991; Ledford, Gast, Luscre, & Ayres, 2008; Tekin-Iftar, 2009).

Small-group teaching is an effective and efficient arrangement for children with developmental disabilities (Collins et al., 1991; Colozzi et al., 2008; Gürsel, Tekin-Iftar, & Bozkurt, 2004, 2006; Ledford et al., 2008; Taubman et al., 2001; Tekin-Iftar & Birkan, 2010; Parker & Schuster, 2002; Wolery, Ault, & Doyle, 1992). This arrangement can offer different learning opportunities such as the acquisition of instructive feedback and observational learning (Collins et al., 1991; Colozzi et al., 2008). Moreover, in a small group teaching arrangement, children have the chance to learn in a more natural classroom environment as well as to improve their social and behavioral skills in this environment (Schoen & Ogden, 1995; Taubman et al., 2001).

The constant time delay procedure is one of the nearerrorless teaching strategies used to teach discrete tasks and chained skills to children with different ages and disabilities (Kircaali-Iftar, Ergenekon, & Uysal, 2008; Roark, Collins, Hemmeter, & Kleinert, 2002; Rogers, Hemmeter, & Wolery, 2010; Yildirim & Tekin-Iftar, 2004). In literature, there are some findings which indicate how effective the constant time delay procedure can be when used with different teaching arrangements such as one-to-one teaching (Bozkurt & Gürsel, 2005; Kircaali-Iftar et al., 2008; Koscinski & Gast, 1993) and small-group teaching (Campbell & Mechling, 2009; Ross & Stevens, 2003; Wall & Gast, 1999).

Additionally, there are some studies on teaching discrete and chained skills using the constant time delay procedure within small observational learning groups. In those studies, teaching skills such as pronouncing letters, telling the time, recognizing art and geography terms, reading functional words, writing the spelling of dictated words, giftpackaging, preparing drinks, cleaning, folding clothes, and preparing envelopes was examined. …

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