Bethune, methodologies that take into account the specialized

                                           

 

 

 

Bethune, K. & Kiser, A. (2017) Doing more with
less: innovative program building in ABA and              
special education in a rural setting, Rural
Special Education Quarterly, 36(1) 25 –30,                    
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/8756870517703395.                                                                                  This
study highlights the need to grow a board certified behavioral analysis (BCBA)               program for graduate students on
limited university resources, with collaboration                                 between both the psychology and
education schools at James Madison University. As                   pointed out by this study, rural Virginia offers
limited opportunities for internships, and                  
graduate cohorts are typically groups of only four students in JMUs evolving
program.                   Essentially,
they need to produce “both special education teachers and Board Certified                      Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)
who are trained to work in rural school settings with                        
students with disabilities and problem behaviors.” Rural communities have less
access to              resources and
lower numbers of community partners. The purpose of the article is to              explain the partnership of
existing resources, adding credibility to the program and                  likely outcomes from the
innovations of an interdisciplinary approach. By                        intermingling masters programs in schools of
psychology and education, where there are                  usually
two masters candidates from each discipline matriculated each year, the faculty             and community partners have
assembled a functional program. The desired result is to                  have “…a master’s degree program leading to
certification in special education and                      
completion of the requirements to sit for the BCBA exam.” Of note, in following
my             annotated bibliography
topic is the fact that JMU is insisting on maintaining ABA                 methods in internship work
within community partner programs. Candidates are                               expressly discouraged from using
practices that draw away from ABA methods.                                
Moreover, special education and BCBA programs must maintain practices centered
in an                    ABA styled
approach. In application to classroom practice, there is an accepted and                    
uniform approach to teaching special education students, with methodologies
that take                 into account
the specialized needs of individual special education students.

Roane, H. Fisher, W. and Carr, J. (2016), Applied
behavior analysis as treatment for autism                     
spectrum disorder. The Journal of
Pediatrics, 175, 27-32.                                                                    The
incidence of autism spectrum disorder has increased, and since there are
differing                     
manifestations, various educational and medical therapies to treat it are being
developed.                  Notably, ASD it is a neurodevelopmental disorder.
Healthcare practitioners such as                      pediatricians needed to be made
aware of treatments and appropriate terminologies. The                   article
explains various treatment strategies, and lays out an index of acronyms for                       
common terminology which is included in the following: ABA Applied behavior                          analysis, ASD Autism spectrum
disorder, BACB Behavior Analyst Certification Board,               BCBA
Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, DTT Discrete-trial teaching, EIBI Early and               
intensive behavioral intervention, ESDM Early Start Denver Model, FBA
Functional              behavior assessment, NLP Natural language paradigm, PECS
Picture Exchange                                
Communication System, and PRT Pivotal Response Training. The pediatrician’s
role is                to be aware of symptoms and make referrals to qualified
BCBAs and practitioners. This                 article in Medical Progress gives
deference to EIBI, such as ABA treatments that                        
“…have shown benefits in some children with ASD.” Additionally, “…one treatment                  
may not be appropriate for all children,” essentially indicating the need for
adaptability                        in providing individualized
educational programs (IEPs). ABA and BCBA qualified                 professionals
play a pivotal role in adaptively aiding ASD identified recipients in the                       
generation of appropriate IEPs to be implemented by properly supervised                                     
paraprofessionals.      

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Twyman, J. & Heward, W. (2016) How to improve
student learning in every classroom now,                    International
Journal of Educational Research,                                                                                
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2016.05.007                                                                                       Janet
S. Twyman and William L. Heward, attempt to help teachers throughout the world                   who may ask, “What can I do
right now to improve learning in my classroom?” Using                    methods found to be applicable from other
studies, guided by applied behavior analysis,            
they explain three teaching tactics consistently yielding “measurably superior learning             outcomes”. As I speculate in
analysis of Wang, X. Hwang, G. Liang, Z. and Wang, H.                     (2017) above, Twyman, J. & Heward, W.
(2016) find in this study that there are three                  tactics that can be applied across
various types of curriculum content, and to students’                 differing age and skill levels. They also discuss
the use of new digital tools and                                
technologies to employ the same “low-tech” methods. Among three highlighted
low-tech                methods is the
use of             choral responding (CR,
P3) where students are required to respond                       
to lesson questions or complete spoken
phrases by providing the needed responses by                      
voice and in unison. Additionally, the authors discuss response cards (RCs,
P3-5) which                  are “cards,
signs, or items that students hold up to display their answers to teacher-posed                    questions or problems.”
Preprinted RCs, allow students to select a card with the answer                   that they choose. Some RCs
include “yes / true and no / false”, or “colors, traffic signs,               
molecular structures, and parts of speech.” The authors go on to explain that
“a single                   RC with
multiple answers printed on clearly marked sections can also be used, such as                     the ‘Parts of a Story,’
and multiple-choice cards…” with sections to mark that correspond                    with various correct or
incorrect answers. And lastly, there is an explanation advocating                       the use of guided notes,
where a majority of the information required to convey the                lesson is already included on
handouts. Class members fill in the missing information                during class lecture or discussion periods, thus
limiting note taking errors and possible                       
omissions by less skilled note takers (P5-6). Some discussion is given to
electronically                  
delivered “instructional apps” showing marginal levels of improvement over the
low-         tech methods. The authors’
literature review shows attention to other studies that draw on                   ABA methodologies. Thus,
data used in the authors’ analysis of these low-tech methods                    is based on actual
classroom practice, leading to a greater degree of confidence in                               specific and
available methods of instruction in nearly all world classrooms. Moreover,                        the materials used are
almost universally available, or can be produced by instructors at a             minimal cost, even as instruction
on making these teaching aids is included in the study. Wang, X. Hwang, G.
Liang, Z. and Wang, H. (2017), Enhancing students’ computer                                programming
performances, critical thinking awareness and attitudes towards                                programming: an
online peer-assessment attempt. Journal of Educational Technology
&                     Society, 20(4), 58-68.                                                                                                             In
fostering student skills and concepts toward computer programming, scholars
look to                    see if
computer programming can promote higher order thinking. Noting the difficulty
of       teaching computer programming,
the incorporation of online peer-assessment is used to                        facilitate learning. In this study students
provide comments and review the feedback and             scores of others in four Taiwanese
junior high school classes. Two classes used peer-         review and feedback, while two remained in the traditional
teaching format as the control                  
group. Findings indicated “better programming knowledge and skills as well as
more               positive learning attitudes
and critical thinking awareness than those in the control                group.” This study strengthens
arguments for a hybrid of instructor based teaching with                interactive peer supplementation, over learning from
the instructor to student alone. It is                     
likely that the study could benefit from an expanded size and number of test
and control             groups to make
inferences, demonstrating a greater degree of randomness in selection,                  and improved measures of
reliability. Even so, the concept of peer collaboration in                        learning style has wide
application in many colleges in the United States, using such                  online applications as
Blackboard, where online class forums have become an accepted                   and demonstrably beneficial
tool for peer collaboration in the learning process. Though                      there are differences
between Taiwanese junior high students and American college                        students, both age and
level of education, it is likely that the concept may be seen as                    universal. Where student
collaboration is incorporated as an additional method for             learning, advances are regularly
demonstrated over instruction from traditional methods                alone. Most importantly, applied behavior analysis (ABA),
as used in this study, allows a                  
scientific approach in designing, implementing, and evaluating two methods of
teaching                    to describe
working relationships demonstrated between events in         the learning                            
environment. Much as seen in this Taiwanese junior high study, the authors’                                   
assessments of students learning computer programming are likely to be applicable
in                   
the larger framework of various educational environments, and are likely to be                              repeatable
elsewhere as demonstrated using an ABA styled approach.

Wright,
P. Prescott, R. (2017), Utilizing technology for professional learning in the                                   
dissemination of evidence-based practices to paraprofessionals working in
public                          
education. International Electronic
Journal of Elementary Education, 10(3),                            
http://dx.doi.org/10.26822/iejee.2018336191.                                                                        This
study discusses how paraprofessionals play a pivotal role in the educational
success                     of learners
with autism. However it also demonstrates that limited professional learning                     opportunities are provided
for paraprofessionals. Specifically, there is “inadequate                    application of
evidence-based practices in their work.” Researchers used “Rethink”,                      which is known as a
commercially available professional learning platform. Rethink aids                  paraprofessionals to develop
confidence in delivering services to students in public and                private school systems.
Selected paraprofessional participants were used to conduct the                 study, where measures of
confidence in delivering teaching interventions to exceptional              students showed remarkable
improvement. Learning methods used on paraprofessionals              included “video-based modeling and applied practice activities
in the classroom.” With                 
the use of evidence-based practices, professional teachers employed in
observational                  roles
noted “improved paraprofessional performance…” in interactions with exceptional                  students. Learning with
web-based video models and traditional professional learning                 
methods improved the use of evidence-based practices in the classroom for the                             paraprofessionals.
This study serves to highlight the conditions of preparedness that                      paraprofessionals find
themselves working in. Moreover, most professional teachers               have higher teaching credentials
than the paraprofessionals under their supervision. Yet                       because of the special needs of exceptional
learners, needing more teacher-to-student                   
attention, paraprofessionals, with even fewer professional qualifications, are
central to                the vast
majority of exceptional learner to instructor interactions. Without            such                            
interventions as the Rethink learning platform to aid paraprofessionals, the existing                        practices seem to be somewhat
counterintuitive. However, it is noteworthy to recognize               that many schools have limited funding for exceptional
learner programs. Another             consideration
is the fact that the Rethink learning platform is a commercial product,              where promoters and staff may
likely have economic motivations. Such monetary factors                       could be
seen as drawing away from measures of integrity in this study. Even with the             possibility of these detractors,
by using these contracted services, learning would likely              improve for special education
students in schools with similarly low levels of confidence                  amongst the ranks of
paraprofessionals.