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Myths About Disabilities that Defy the Research

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  1. Myths About Disabilities that Defy the Research Bill Gustashaw

  2. Bandwagons in Special Education • Used to make academic intervention decisions • Facilitated Communication • Full Inclusion • Modality Training (Learning Styles) Remember: Burton Blatt (1979) warns us that “Bandwagons Also Go to Funerals”

  3. Learning Styles • Arter and Jenkins (1977): • 99% of Special Education teachers thought that a child’s modality strength/weakness should be a consideration for academic interventions • 93% thought that students learned more when instruction was modified to match modality strengths

  4. Why teach to modality strengths? • Logical • Modality instruction is already in place • Is supported by the research

  5. Substance Over Style Kavale and Forness (1987) found that Learning styles were not supported by research • Measures: • Reliability issues • Logical issues • Teaching: • Very little to no improvement

  6. Some Methods Are More Effective Than Others Lloyd, Kavale and Forness (1998) found: • Based on effect size of instructional strategies we should: • Intervene early • Monitor progress • Provide positive consequences for improvement • Use behavioral techniques to teach soc ial and academic skills

  7. References Arter, J.A. & Jenkins, J.R. (1977). Examining the benefits and prevalence of modality considerations in special education. Journal of Special Education, 11(3), 281-298. Blatt, B. (1979). Bandwagons also go to funerals: Unmailed letters 1 and 2. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 12(4), 17-19. Coffield, F. Mosely, D. Hall, E. and Ecclestone, K. (2004). Shjould we be using learning styles? What research has to say to practice. London; learning and Skills Development Agency. Kavale, K. A. & Forness, S. R. (1987). Substance over style: Efficacy of Modality testing and teaching. Exceptional Children, 54(3), 228-239. Lloyd, J.W., Forness, S. R., & Kavale, K. A. (1998). Some methods are more effective than others. Intervention in School and Clinic, 33(4), 195-200.