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IES Grant

Title: Math and Science Teaching that Promotes Clear Expectations and Real Learning across Years for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
Center: NCSER Year: 2008
Principal Investigator: Browder, Diane Awardee: University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Program: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3/01/2008 to 2/28/2011 Award Amount: $1,232,114
Goal: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324A080014
Description:

Purpose: Students with significant cognitive impairments often have difficulty participating in key aspects of the math and science learning processes. Many of these students have not had access to the general education curriculum. Recent education policy has encouraged instruction and assessment efforts to focus on grade level content for all students, including students with significant cognitive impairments. In order for these students to be evaluated on grade level content, new alternate assessments and alternative achievement standards have been used. Even with alternate assessments and alternative achievement standards, however, educators of students with significant cognitive disabilities have little guidance for how grade level math and science content can be adapted for instructional purposes with this population. The purpose of this project is to develop high quality mathematics and science instruction for students who participate in alternate assessments judged against alternate achievement standards.

Project Activities: Teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities will be recruited from five states for this study. Researchers will develop and conduct an initial evaluation of an intervention to train teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities. Each teacher will implement the instructional lessons with two students and conduct ongoing behavioral assessments for progress monitoring. Researchers will observe fidelity, conduct monthly classroom observations, collect teacher feedback, and conduct teacher interviews. A qualitative multiple case study approach will evaluate how the targets for learning and model lesson plans are related to student learning. The researchers will also develop and conduct an initial evaluation of instructional strategies for the math and science learning targets and develop and evaluate a teacher training intervention to assist teachers in creating lesson plans that link to state math and science standards.

Products: The products of this project include a conceptual framework for the development of mathematics and science curriculum for students with significant cognitive disabilities, an evaluation tool to assess alignment to content standards, and targets of learning for math and science for students at different symbolic communication levels. The project will also develop model lesson plans and present findings in published reports and presentations.

Setting: The research takes place in primary, middle, and high schools in North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

Population: Participants are 70 students in Grades 3–10 with significant cognitive disabilities and their teachers. To qualify, students must currently be taking an alternate assessment based on alternative achievement standards.

Intervention: The researchers will develop a framework for creating math and science learning targets for students with significant cognitive disabilities and develop model lesson plans to be used by teachers. The intervention also includes the development of an instructional alignment evaluation checklist, sample learning targets in six strands of science, and model lesson plans.

Research Design and Methods: A qualitative, multiple case study will be used to determine how the targets for learning and model lesson plans relate to student learning in authentic classroom contexts. In subsequent phases of the research, a quasi-experimental single group pretest-posttest design will be used to conduct an initial evaluation of the teacher-generated lesson plans with the instructional alignment checklist as the dependent variable.

Control Condition: There is no control condition.

Key Measures: The researchers will use principles of applied behavior analysis to develop behavioral checklists and repeated trial assessments for math and science progress monitoring. In addition, the team will develop and validate the Instructional Alignment Evaluation Checklist to assess how well instructional plans align to the target curricular content.

Data Analytic Strategy: Content experts will score pre/post lesson plans using an instructional alignment checklist to see if the training produced improvements in creating well-aligned math and science lessons and to determine how well teachers implemented the lessons. Researchers will also examine differences between students' pretest and posttest performance. Researchers will also observe fidelity, conduct monthly classroom observations, collect teacher feedback, and conduct teacher interviews to provide formative data to inform revisions of professional development materials. Qualitative data will be analyzed using code development with triangulation of data sources and multiple expert reviewers with inter-rater reliability checks.

Publications

Book

Jimenez, B., Browder, D.M., and Saunders, A. (2013). Early Numeracy Skills Builder: A Skill Building Math Program for Students With Moderate and Severe Disabilities. Verona, WI: Attainment Company.

Jimenez, B., Knight, V., and Browder, D.M. (in press). Early Science: An Inquiry Based Approach for Elementary Students With Moderate and Severe Disabilities. Verona, WI: Attainment Company.

Jimenez, B.A., Knight, V.F., and Browder, D.M. (2012). Early Science Curriculum. Verona, WI: Attainment Co.

Book chapter

Saunders, A., Lo, Y.-y., and Polly, D. (2014). Building Numeracy Skills. In D.M. Browder, and F. Spooner (Eds.), More Language Arts, Math, and Science for Students with Severe Disabilities (pp. 149–168). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Spooner, F., McKissick, B.R., Knight, V., and Walker, R. (2014). Teaching Science Concepts. In D.M. Browder, and F. Spooner (Eds.), More Language Arts, Math, and Science for Students With Disabilities (pp. 215–236). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Browder, D.M., Jimenez, B., Spooner, F., Saunders, A., Hudson, M., and Bethune, K. (2012). Early Numeracy Instruction for Students With Moderate and Severe Developmental Disabilities. Research and Practice for Persons With Severe Disabilities, 37(4): 308–320.

Browder, D.M., Jimenez, B.A., Mims, P.J., Knight, V.F., Spooner, F., Lee, A., and Flowers, C. (2012). The Effects of a "Tell-Show-Try-Apply" Professional Development Package on Teachers of Students With Severe Developmental Disabilities. Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, 35(3): 212–227. doi:10.1177/0888406411432650

Browder, D.M., Jimenez, B.A., Spooner, F., Saunders, A., Hudson, M., and Bethune, K.S. (in press). A Conceptual Model and Pilot Demonstration of Elementary Mathematics Instruction for Students With Moderate and Severe Developmental Disabilities. Research and Practice in Severe Disabilities.

Courtade, G., Spooner, F., Browder, D.M., and Jimenez, B.A. (2012). Seven Reasons to Promote Standards-Based Instruction for Students With Severe Disabilities: A Reply to Ayres, Lowrey, Douglas, and Sievers (2011). Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 47(1): 3–13.

Jimenez, B.A., Browder, D.M., Spooner, F., and DiBiase, W. (2012). Inclusive Inquiry Science Using Peer-Mediated Embedded Instruction for Students With Moderate Intellectual Disability. Exceptional Children, 78(3): 301–317.

Jimenez, B.A., Lo, Y., and Saunders, A. (2014). The Additive Effects of Scripted Lessons Plus Guided Notes on Science Quiz Scores of Students With Intellectual Disabilities and Autism. Journal of Special Education, 47(4): 231–244. doi:10.1177/0022466912437937

Jimenez, B.A., Mims, P.J., and Browder, D.B. (2012). Data-Based Decisions Guidelines for Teachers of Students With Severe Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 47(4): 407–413.

Knight, V.F., Smith, B.R, Spooner, F., and Browder, D.M. (2011). Using Explicit Instruction to Teach Science Descriptors to Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(3): 378–389. doi:10.1007/s10803–011–1258–1

Knight, V.F., Spooner, F., Browder, D.M., Smith, B.R., and Wood, C.L. (2013). Using Systematic Instruction and Graphic Organizers to Teach Science Concepts to Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 28(8): 115–126. doi:10.1177/1088357612475301

Saunders, A., Bethune, K.S., Spooner, F., and Browder, D.M. (2013). Solving the Common Core Equation: An Approach to Teaching Common Core Mathematics Standards to Students With Moderate and Severe Disabilities. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 45(3): 24–33.

Smith, B.R., Spooner, F., Jimenez, B., and Browder, D.M. (2013). Using an Early Science Curriculum to Teach Science Vocabulary and Concepts to Students With Severe Developmental Disabilities. Education and Treatment of Children, 36: 1–31. doi:10.1353/etc.2013.0002

Spooner, F., Knight, V., Browder, D., Jimenez, B., and DiBiase, W. (2011). Evaluating Evidence-Based Practice in Teaching Science Content to Students With Severe Developmental Disabilities. Research and Practice for Persons With Severe Disabilities, 36: 62–75.

Spooner, F., Knight, V.F., Browder, D.M., and Smith, B.R. (2012). Evidence-Based Practice for Teaching Academics to Students With Severe Developmental Disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 33(6): 374–387. doi:10.1177/0741932511421634


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