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Accessing Academics: Unique Learning System

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Jessica Galloway

on 19 December 2015

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Transcript of Accessing Academics: Unique Learning System

Framework
Access to academic content enhances the quality of education for students with intellectual disability by increasing expectations for learning, promoting positive adult outcomes, enhancing educational equity, and promoting self-determination (Karvonen et al. 2013)
Introduction
What is the mod/profound field?
Historical focus life skills only
1997 IDEA access to academics
Lots of research on functional skills, limited research on academics skills
> 90% in self contained classrooms
How are students being provided with meaningful access to the CCSS?
Purpose
The purpose of this study is to evaluate how a county office of education utilizes Unique Learning System (ULS), “an online, interactive, standards-based curriculum specifically designed for students with special needs” (Clark 2015, p. 1) as a tool for providing students with moderate to profound disabilities access to the state standards.
Methodology
Design
Participants & Setting
Instrument
Procedures
Analysis
Participants & Setting
1. Nonrandom, purposive sampling
2. Target COE serves 19 districts within county plus 1 outside, 86 classrooms, 24 school sites
3. All K-12 teachers, moderate-profound
Literature Review
Focus on academics
Lack of research on ULS
Least dangerous assumption
Not going to debate whether this population should receive academic instruction, rather, it is a debate about where and how much instruction they should receive.
Accessing Academics: Unique Learning System
Research Questions
1. Does the use of Unique Learning System provide students with moderate to profound disabilities meaningful access to the California Common Core State Standards?
2. What is the relationship between the use of Unique Learning System and teacher characteristics?
3. What is the relationship between the use of Unique Learning System and student characteristics?
4. What are the content areas in which students are receiving the most/least access to the general curriculum?
Hypotheses
1. Yes, students will receive meaningful access.
2. Teachers with more years of experience will implement the curriculum less. Teachers with the most amount of PD hours around teaching academics and common core will use the curriculum the most.
3. Classrooms with students who have less communicative competency and a greater level of involvement will have less access. Students will receive less access as they age.
4. Students will receive less access to the math standards as opposed to reading.
Visual Schedules
Cause and Effect Switch Work
Sensory Integration
Writing
Reading
Math
Where?
Functional
Vs.
Academic
functional
well established
easier to measure
students "not gen ed"
academic
limited research
difficult to measure/spiral
teachers resistant?
Curriculum Criteria
1. the content is judged to be academic
2. the student’s assigned grade level serves as the initial point of reference
3. the achievement expectation is linked to this grade-level reference but differs in breadth or depth
4. there is some differentiation in achievement expectations across grade levels or grade bands.
- Browder 2007
Houghton Mifflin

K-2 = kindergarten
3-5 = 1st grade
6-8 = 1st grade
9-12 = 2nd grade
Current Curriculum
Supplementary Curriculum
Unique Learning System

Comprehensive reading program
Comprehensive math program
Monthly themes in science/history
6 different grade bands
Standards based
Differentiated materials to meet cognitive functioning
LRE is the general education classroom
Studies show great gain through imitative and incidental learning
Kleinert et al. (2015) did an inventory of 39,833 students, and found that, “the vast majority (93%) of students [are] served in self-contained classrooms, separate schools, or home settings, whereas only 7% [are] served in regular education or resource room placements” (p. 312).
Get them back through best practices
Design
quantitative - descriptive data
cross-sectional
can examine current attitudes, beliefs, opinions, or practices” (Creswell, J.W., 2012, p. 377)
Online Survey
large amount, less time
removes bias
Curriculum Indicators Survey
Developed by Drs. Flowers, Wakeman, Browder, and Karvonen from the NACC at UNC Charlotte
Instrument: Survey
Adapted from/influenced by the Curriculum Indicators Survey (Flowers et al., 2007) which can be found in its entire form through the National Alternate Assessment Center at UNC Charlotte webpage.
Cresswell (2012) found that, “Instances where surveys are most suitable are to assess trends or characteristics of a population; learn about individual attitudes, opinions, beliefs, and practices; evaluate the success or effectiveness of a program; or identify the needs of a community” (p. 403).
I. Teacher demographics
years teaching
credentials
PD hours
II. Student demographics
communicative competency
ULS Levels
eligibility
III. ULS Familiarity
Likert-type scale
differs from CIS
assessment of teacher competency
IV. Reading/Math Scope and Intensity
Procedures
1. Director of special education
2. Principals
3. Intermediary
4. Consent 1st page
5. One month
6. Three week follow up
Analysis
SPSS
Means, medians, modes
Correlational data
Generalization to COEs in California using ULS
Why?
Communicative competency (Kleinert)
Lowest academic skills (Kleinert)
California special ed (Galloway)
non existant research on academics (Browder)
Quality Of Life
happiness
self-determination

Challenges
identifying research to guide practice
cognition and communication
alignment between standards and assessment (Browder 2007)
Full transcript