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To prepare diverse learners for various roles in life, teachers should develop contextualized learning environments that enable students to develop individual skills while contributing to the knowledge of the classroom community. This is accomplished by integrating various subject matter domains with interdisciplinary themes that incorporate real-life roles and contexts. This paper provides a framework for designing and implementing integrated units that address the needs of all students. The challenge is to promote learning and inclusiveness by engaging and scaffolding students with varying abilities. This is accomplished through thematic, integrated lessons that utilize various media and technologies. Experts in the fields of learning, cognition, and instructional-design suggest approaches that serve as guidelines for tailoring instruction to meet the needs of all students so that they may participate to the fullest extent possible and progress to increasingly higher levels of expertise. Drawing upon theory, such instruction may be designed by utilizing the following steps, each of which is discussed in this paper: determine broad goals; establish an enriched context; develop domain-specific goals related to the context; use multiple, authentic assessments as a base line for developing individual learning experiences; use a variety of strategies and activities that address diverse learning styles; provide a variety of media and technology to individualize learning; scaffold through constant monitoring and guidance; allow time for student work to be self-paced; encourage a learning community that values the input of individuals; and extend learning and transfer in subsequent themes. (Contains 25 references.) (Author/AEF)

Descriptors: Computer Assisted Instruction, Guidelines, Individualized Instruction, Instructional Design, Instructional Effectiveness, Instructional Innovation, Interdisciplinary Approach, Learner Controlled Instruction, Learning Strategies, Teaching Methods

Autor: Tate, Kathleen J.; DeBroux, Margie L.


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