Research in Secondary Schools: Volume 17


Table of contents

(15 chapters)

This chapter presents a quantitative and qualitative review of research on the use of behavioral self-management (BSM) procedures with adolescents with learning disabilities or behavioral disorders (LD/BD). These procedures included self-monitoring, self-evaluation, self-reinforcement, self-instruction, and packages containing two or more BSM techniques. Twenty studies published from 1981 to 2002 were identified and analyzed. The analysis centered on a series of questions addressing overall effectiveness of the procedures, whether BSM produced socially valid changes, where the changes occurred (i.e. special education or general education setting), whether maintenance and generalization of the target behavior(s) occurred, and if students began to use BSM procedures on their own. Results showed a mean percentage of nonoverlapping data (PND) of 80 indicating that BSM procedures are, overall, an effective approach to behavior change. It also appears that in some instances, these changes are socially valid in that the performance of students with LD/BD can be improved to the level of nondisabled peers. Interventions consisting of a combination of self-management procedures appear to be the most effective, however self-monitoring alone has similar impact. BSM also appears to be effective with a wide variety of behaviors, albeit with relatively discrete behaviors (versus more complex chains of behaviors used in strategic problem-solving). While there is some evidence that target behaviors were generalized and maintained, many of the studies reviewed did not measure it. Also of concern was the apparent lack of student involvement in selecting target behaviors, goal setting, forms of recording etc as well as the fact that no study measured student ability to apply BSM procedures after intervention. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

This study was intended to determine the effects of self-instructional training on algebra problem solving performance of students with learning disabilities, students for whom English is a second language and students who were at risk of failing algebra. Four high school algebra classes consisting of 74 students, of whom 17 were classified as having learning disabilities, 37 had English as a second language, and 20 were considered at-risk for math failure, were assigned randomly to either a self-instructional training condition or a traditional instructional condition. All students were administered pretests, immediate posttests, and delayed posttests of algebra problem solving, pre and post strategy usage questionnaires, and attitude measures. After training, results indicated that both groups’ performance increased from pretest to immediate posttest and pretest to delayed posttest, but no statistical difference was found between groups. The self-instruction group significantly outperformed the traditional instruction group on independent strategy use. Significant correlations were obtained between strategy usage and immediate and delayed posttest scores, indicating that students who successfully learned the strategy had better performance on the math problem solving tests. No significant differences were found across groups in attitude change. Future research issues are discussed with respect to strategy instruction for at risk learners.

This naturalistic observation study sought to identify the activities undertaken by the special education co-teacher in co-taught high school content subject classes in urban, rural, and suburban high schools, and to understand the contributions of the special education teacher, the value-added, to the educational experiences of the students in the class. The work focused on what is accomplished when ordinary special education teachers go about doing their assigned co-teaching jobs. We found that, as a group and across subject areas, special education co-teachers spent more time in contact with students than not, and most of their contact time helping individual students or small groups of students through an assigned task. There were substantial differences in the distribution of co-teacher activities across subject areas.

The purpose of this chapter is to present a summary of the literature related to homework. First, information on the search procedures is provided, including the criteria for inclusion in this review. Second, a historical overview of homework in the United States is provided, including definitions and major changes in public opinion over time. The third section addresses the difficulties experienced by students with emotional disabilities in regard to homework. The fourth section reviews the homework policies presently in place at local school districts across the U.S. The fifth section discusses the effects of homework when basic classroom strategies, cooperative homework teams, self-management and goal setting, and assignment completion strategies are used. The sixth section describes the homework practices used, as reported by teachers and students. The seventh section describes the problems experienced by students with disabilities, from the perspective of teachers, parents, and students. A final section describes the kinds of problems associated with home-school communication.

The transition from elementary to secondary school involves major changes for students that are reflected socially, academically, and environmentally. Increased emphasis on social interactions, school procedures, and academics make high school potentially stressful. For students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), these new academic and social challenges may be particularly anxiety-producing as they reluctantly leave familiar surroundings and friends and transition to high school.

Many of the characteristics of students with ASD may be incompatible with the demands of life in high school. This paper examines the skills that are required for students to be successful in high school and compares them to the skills of many adolescents with ASD. Following a description of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, the paper presents an overview of curriculum analysis and possible curricular changes to assist these students in high school. To enhance the support of the curriculum, subsequent information in this chapter includes the use of visual supports and the implementation of technology. Additional strategies are then presented including information on peer tutoring, and the use of social scripts and social stories. The final section discusses components of high school that may prove challenging, such as block scheduling and the use unstructured time. It concludes with a description of the effective secondary teacher and a look at future directions for this topic.

A current vision of education in America today is that all students be science literate. To accomplish this, educators and teachers need to be aware of the challenges involved in promoting science literacy: science literacy encompasses a wide range of knowledge, including construction of knowledge, use of that knowledge, and recall of critical facts necessary to apply scientific information in the world today. In addition, teachers and educators need a knowledge of the issues of “inclusion” since students of diverse abilities, including those with disabilities and others at risk for school failure, are being educated, as much as possible, in general education classrooms taught by content experts.

A bridge to span the gap between the challenges of science literacy for all students and the complexities of student diversity is Content Enhancement – instruction that responds to the needs of students of diverse abilities while maintaining content integrity by focusing on the critical information that all students need to know. In Content Enhancement, the teacher helps students learn by organizing information, providing explicit instruction when necessary, and assuring that students are active partners with the teacher and other students in the construction of knowledge. Graphic organizers and instructional sequences have been developed to help teachers organize information at the course, unit and lesson levels; learn to answer large, difficult questions with ideas that can be generalized to other settings; explore and manipulate knowledge by developing analogies and comparisons; and respond to assessments.

Inclusion, state mandated achievement tests, current instructional materials and practice and the academic needs of an increasingly diverse student population have converged necessitating an in-depth review of instructional strategy research accomplished with students with mild disabilities. After confirming the value of social studies content this chapter provides context for the exploration of instructional strategies for social studies instruction by first investigating research on social studies textbooks, teacher use of these texts and some student characteristics that make using these materials difficult. Background and implications of mandated assessments and the inclusion movement is provided. A review of intervention strategy research concludes with a discussion on the implications for instruction. Suggestions on how to embed strategies into ongoing daily instruction are provided.

Self-regulation skills, such as organisation, self-evaluation, personal elaboration, metacognitive attitude and strategic awareness are very important predictors of academic achievement. However, research has not studied in depth the factors that facilitate the use of good self-regulatory skills. The present research was intended to study the role of some factors that could affect these self-regulation skills, in particular depressive attitude and motivational beliefs. A group of 246 adolescents, aged between 14 and 18, were administered self-report questionnaires devised to test aspects underlying self-regulation. A preliminary factor analysis confirmed the centrality of the three-hypothesised aspects: motivational beliefs, depressive attitude, and self-regulation-skills. A path analysis revealed that there are important links between motivational beliefs and self-regulation and between depressive attitude and motivational beliefs. Some educational implications are discussed.

This chapter reviews some of our most recent research as to whether the cognitive performance of reading disabled and poor readers can be separated under dynamic assessment procedures. We describe results related to junior high school students (mean chronological age of 12 years) with reading disabilities, poor readers, and skilled readers. Students were administered intelligence, reading and math tests, and working memory (WM) measures (presented under static and dynamic testing conditions). The results thus far show that: (1) dynamic assessment measures (maintenance scores) contributed unique variance to predicting reading; and (2) poor readers and skilled readers were more likely to change and maintain gains under the dynamic testing conditions than students with reading disabilities. Some discussion was given to developing a valid classification of reading disabilities.

In this chapter, recent research applications in secondary content-area instruction for students with learning or behavioral disabilities are reviewed. Included are research studies in the areas of English, SAT vocabulary, world history, algebra, social studies, and chemistry. Generally, instructional strategies that have included strategy instruction, peer mediation, as well as mnemonics and other verbal elaborations, have been effective in substantially improving learning performance. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

This chapter presents “what we know” about the application of technology to instruction for students with learning and behavioral disabilities. Information is presented on research-based effective practices in technological interventions for teaching specific academic skills, delivering content at the secondary level and using technology as a tool for assessment. The chapter concludes with a discussion on Universal Design for Learning and the promises this paradigm holds for educating not only students with special needs, but all learners. The chapter begins where parents and teachers typically begin: the consideration of technology.

This chapter provides a comprehensive review of research literature on teacher licensure and teacher competence. Since little research is available on teachers of students with learning and behavioral disabilities, a review of the general education literature is undertaken to provide implications for research in special education. Finally, a review of a recent study of special education teachers is provided. Implications are drawn for both elementary and secondary teachers of students with learning and behavioral disabilities.

Publication date
Book series
Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
Book series ISSN