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ERIC Number: ED438671
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Dec
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Early Childhood Instruction in the Natural Environment. ERIC/OSEP Digest E591.
Warger, Cynthia
This Digest reviews what is known from recent research about delivering instruction to young children with disabilities in the natural environment. It notes the endorsement of this practice by the Division for Early Childhood Education of the Council for Exceptional Children. Research is reported which has focused on validating specific natural-environment approaches, including incidental teaching, coincidental teaching, time delay, mand-modeling procedures, activity-based intervention, and milieu teaching. Results have underscored the fact that just using the natural environment is not enough; the procedures that are integrated into the setting must be effective ones. Effective principles include the following: (1) review and reinforce requisite skills; (2) present new material incorporating guided practice; and (3) provide opportunities for maintenance and generalization. Procedural and contextual questions are suggested for practitioners to consider when evaluating a recommended approach. The paper concludes that instruction in natural environments promotes child-focused, age-appropriate target skills and, philosophically, is consistent with inclusionary practices. (DB)
ERIC/OSEP Special Project, ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, Council for Exceptional Children, 1920 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1589. Tel: 800-328-0272 (Toll Free); e-mail:; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, Reston, VA.