Using Principles of High Quality Instruction in the General Education Classroom to Provide Access to the General Education Curriculum

Authored by: Diane M. Browder , Melissa E. Hudson , Leah Wood

Handbook of Effective Inclusive Schools

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415626057
eBook ISBN: 9780203102930
Adobe ISBN: 9781136242434


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Historically, educators assumed that students with severe disabilities needed an entirely different curriculum than their peers who were non-disabled. When the first public school programs were established in the 1970s, educators made adaptations from early childhood curricula and classified some students as “trainable” (not able to learn academics) and others as “educable” (able to learn academics). When the focus shifted to teaching curricula derived from activities typically performed at home or in the community, addressing these “functional life skills” often created a school day that differed greatly from that of students without disabilities. While other students were learning to read or compute mathematics, students with severe disabilities were learning to brush their teeth, cross the street, and make a purchase at the store. Even when students were included in general education classrooms, the content of their instruction was often an IEP goal unrelated to what the rest of the class was learning. For example, while other students learned to identify parallelograms in geometry, the student with severe disabilities might be practicing communication skills or counting money.

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