ERIC Number: ED347729
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr-24
Reference Count: N/A
Instructional Conversations Out of the Mainstream: Issues and Accommodations for Special Education Students.
Ratleff, Jana Echevarria; McDonough, Renee
An instructional approach that promotes an interactive or experiential model rather than a reductionist model in special education is discussed. The approach, called instructional conversations, encourages students to use meaningful language without focusing on the correctness of form. The teacher's role is one of facilitating genuine dialogue between the student and teacher, as well as student-to-student collaborative talk. The teacher presents provocative ideas or experiences, then questions, prods, coaxes, or keeps quiet, clarifying or instructing only when necessary. A study implemented instructional conversations in a special education class of 10 to 12 students (ages 6-10) with learning handicaps. Results indicated that instructional conversations provide a holistic context for learning, particularly when a theme is used to guide discussion, and they also promote oral participation and student-to-student interaction during reading lessons. Results also indicated that the special education teacher is required to make adaptations for learning handicapped students. The paper concludes that while instructional conversations do not replace teaching that emphasizes the acquisition of skills and knowledge, it does appear to provide additional avenues for learning within a meaningful context. (22 references) (JDD)
Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Dialogs (Language), Disabilities, Group Discussion, Holistic Approach, Instructional Effectiveness, Interaction, Intermediate Grades, Language Acquisition, Language Handicaps, Learning Disabilities, Mental Retardation, Primary Education, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods, Thematic Approach
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 24, 1992).