Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Calm Down or Else from NY Times

What are the impacts on the teacher and instruction et al. when mainstreaming is increased in some situations????? This is seldom considered.

Dave Orbits sent the following comment to this article HERE.

Dave writes the following:

The time burden of a disruptive child on the teacher can be enormous. The cost in terms of the effect on teaching the rest of the students does not seem to bconsidered when choosing to mainstream these children. The lack of trained personnel to deal with these children, the negative effects on the child when inappropriately managed, and the emotional effects on the other children when witnessing one of these episodes must all take a toll. I’m sure there are benefits to “mainstreaming” some or many of these kids but as with most “schemes in education” I doubt the full costs were ever considered.

Teachers must just dread having these students in their classes, especially since they will be on the hook if something bad happens.

I wonder how widespread these problems are?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having done all sorts of supervision, I agree its a handful of students, mostly with emotional or learning disabilities, who cause the majority of major classroom disruptions (e.g. fighting which sort of gets used as a last resort for settling a minor disagreement).

However, there is more than one type of disruptor - I have to resort to my model and I reread my manuals every year.

1. Turtles
2. Lions
3. Monkeys
4. Bears

When in doubt, the disruptor is a bear. You need to approach each type of disruptor with a different strategy. For monkeys its as simple as chalk-talk (extrinsic reward/group behavior).

For bears it has to go much deeper - you are working with a kid that is in self-denial (intrinsic reward/individual behavior). Its hard for anyone to admit they are a bad kid. The trainers name was Marilyn Dikeos - Lake Oswego.

With lions you reward the group for the lion's good behavior.

Turtles fit the profile for mainstreamed students. First off, they don't want to be noticed in class. Also, if they take medication, it might make them lethargic or they just don't feel well. They might need to use the bathroom alot if they have ADHD. This could be a very depressed kid with only a few friends. Usually, when they fight - they'll scratch and bite and close their eyes. At the other end of this spectrum are chokers. One wants to be in control, while the other loses all self-control. It helps later to be able to distinguish between the two.

Main idea: Turtles don't know how to be sociable (they have to be taught explicitly), so everything they do is antisocial to avoid being social - e.g. playing with saliva. They will violate social taboos particularly cleanliness to avoid the difficulty of having to make friends. The fear of rejection later is also a factor. Child abuse victims fall into this category. I won't go there, because it can be very disturbing. But knowing what I know, I find it hard to see how teachers can function very effectively. I think most of the time they try to ignore the problem, because where would you even begin unless you were working with a psychologist and even then most psychologists don't get the privilege of observing their patient operating in a classroom.

Kids with hearing disabilities (parents for religious/ economic/ social reasons won't get their child a hearing aid dominate conversations because that way they can control what they can't understand - so its another avoidance behavior.

In California, they do have classrooms for Severely Emotionally Disturbed - I did not see this in Washington. We also have SDC and RSP.

SDC and SED were classifications that kept students in one classroom all day, usually with two instructors present and specialized training (usually reading). SED used token economies.

RSP did some mainstreaming, depending on the student's disability.

So in conclusion, the article is misleading and demands more explanation.