Naturalistic Curriculum Model Goal: to increase the infant/young child’s control, participation, and interaction in natural social and physical environments. This is a process model with content and instructional techniques derived through environmental analysis. Content of instruction: goals are developed on an individual basis, reflecting the sill demands of natural, age-appropriate environments. The content is responsive to the requirements of the increasing number of environments that children will participate in. - Noonan & McCormick p. 134
Naturalistic Curriculum Models • Reference curriculum to the unique needs and lifestyles of the child, family, peers, and community. • Plan instruction that can be implemented naturally in daily family routines. • Emphasize skills that are functional now and in the future. • - McDonnel & Hardman (1988)
Content of Instruction • Age-appropriate skills • Skills for participating in present and future environments: • Ecological inventory • Survival skills
Instructional Focus • Newborns: parent-child interaction • Procedures: observation and specific descriptive feedback • Infants: parent-child and broader social experiences (including objects) • Procedures (Dunst, et al. 1987), : • Sensitivity to child behavior • Interpretation of “intent” • Responsiveness • Encouraging initiations • Supporting and encouraging competence
Instructional Focus • Focus: appropriate social-communication interactions in natural environments, self-help skills, cognitive development • Procedures: • Promoting socialization within and outside of family context • Responsiveness to child’s interests and communicative attempts • Developing routines around everyday tasks • Promoting problem solving abilities
Instructional Methods • Environmental arrangement • Guided learning • Violating expectations • Responsiveness to child initiations • Encouraging ongoing activities • Supporting and encouraging competence
Approaches to Naturalistic Teaching Milieu : focuses on bridging the gap between the training environment and the natural environment Nurturant-naturalistic: moves from direct instruction to education in which the child takes the interactive lead and to naturalistic contexts. Joint-action: establishes structured interaction routines through which to teach skills Transactional intervention program: focuses on the quality of the interactive behavioral match between children and their primary caregivers Natural language teaching: developed for children with autism
Environmental Adaptations • Design: amount and arrangement of space • Materials: smaller manipulative items • Equipment: furniture and large items • Grouping • Scheduling
Environmental Systems 1. Physical setting 2. Temporal characteristics 3. Social context 4. Activity system 5. Relationships 6. Child 7. Adult/teacher
Time Routine/Activities Adult Goals, Communication & Behavior Child Goals, Communication, & Behavior
Perspectives of Time Time of Day Individual Child’s Schedule Group’s Schedule Adults’ Schedules Preceding Activities/ Scheduled Activity/ Subsequent Activities
Map the Child’s Day • Describe the flow of activities in which the child participates across the day. • Identify the times when he/she is available for teaching in conversation alone or in small groups. • Identify group times when language goal might be embedded in a larger group activity. • Identify key conversation partners and assess their availability as language teachers or conversational partners.
Analyze the Child’s Day • Identify highly preferred activities and partners. • Analyze identified teaching times in terms of the child’s communication goals. • Examine the child’s day in terms of the child’s communication goals. • Examine the child’s day in terms of supports for communication (models of language, access to listeners, support for total communication and emergent literacy).
Map the Adults’ Days • Begin with your daily schedule. Note who you talked to, what you do, what your teaching and classroom management agenda looks like. • Note group sizes, goals of activities, support provided by others in the classroom, transitions, etc. • Think about goals and priorities for each activity. Use your intentions as well as what you accomplished in mapping the day.
Analyze the Adults’ Days • Identify the times in which skills are currently being taught formally or informally. • Identify additional times for teaching that emerge as you analyze the day from the teacher and child perspective. • Note the strategies the teacher currently uses to teach language skills including specific target language, concepts, social interaction skills, emergent literacy skills, direction following, etc. • Note the types of talk the teacher generally uses in the classroom.
Activities & Skills Children: Setting: Date:
Steps in Naturalistic Curriculum • Ecological assessment • Set priorities • Determine present levels of performance • Establish instructional objectives • Develop instructional plans • Establish an instructional schedule • Instruct • Evaluate
References Brown, J., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situate cognition and culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 17, 32-42. Duchan, J., & Weitzner-Lin, B. (1987). Nurturan-naturalistic intervention for language-impaired children. ASHA, 29, 45-49. Hart, B., & Risley, T. (1975). Incidental teachingof language in the preschool. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 8, 411-420. Kaier, A. P., Hendrickson, J., & Alpert, C. (1991). Milieu language teaching: Asecond look. In R. Gable (Ed.), Advances in mental retardation and developmental disabilities, (Volume IV, pp. 63-92). London, Jessica Kingsley Publisher. Koegel, R. & Johnson, J., (1989). Motivating language use in autistic children. In G. Dawson (Ed.) Autism (pp. 310-325). New York: Guilford Press. Mahoney, G. & Powell, A. (1984). The transactional intervention program. Woodhaven, MI: Woodhaven School District. Mcdonald, J. (1989). Becoming partners with children. San Antonio, TX: Special Press, Inc. • McDonnell & Hardman (1988). A synthesis of best practice guidelines for early childhood services. Journal of the Division for Early Childhood, 12, 328-341. Noonan, M. J., & McCormick, L. (1993). Early intervention in natural environments: Methods and procedures. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co. Odom, S. L. & McLean, M. E. (1996). Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education:Recommended Practices. Austin, TX: Pro-ed. Warren. S., & Kaiser, A. (1986). Incidental language teaching: A critical review. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 51, 291-299.