Written during a period of reexamination and change in the field of special education, this book was developed in order to provide a better understanding of the contexts in which children receive their formal education. The movement toward the "least restrictive environment" for the education of children with disabilities is weathering a wave of reinterpretations including mainstreaming, the regular education initiative, and inclusion. While each interpretation has its proponents and critics, limited theory and few data are available to guide these important policy decisions.
Focusing specifically on classrooms -- the settings where educators can have the most immediate impact and where research is most needed -- this volume's goals are:
* to establish what is known about classroom ecologies from both general and special education perspectives,
* to integrate the perspectives of researchers and practitioners, and
* to chart directions for further research specifically related to children with learning disabilities.
The construct of classroom ecology is defined as three interrelated domains: instruction, teacher and peer interaction, and organization and management. This scheme provides the structure for the book. Taken as a whole, the content of the volume underscores the limits of current knowledge and at the same time provides directions for needed changes in both research and practice.
"The edited text comes highly recommended as a library of professional purchase or for use in courses dealing with inclusion. I would also recommend its use for a graduate class covering learning environments for children with learning disabilities or who are at-risk for academic failure."
—Research and Reflection
"This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the debates and major issues relating to special needs education which have parallels in British research, policy and practice."
—Centre for Education Development, Appraisal and Research
"This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the debates and major issues relating to special needs education which have parallels in British research, policy and practice. The authors raise fundamental questions and put forward suggestions for further research which could influence change in special education."
—British Journal of Educational Psychology
Contents: E. Zigler, Foreword. B.K. Keogh, D.L. Speece, Learning Disabilities within the Context of Schooling. Part I:Classroom Instruction. K.H. Au, J.H. Carroll, Current Research on Classroom Instruction: Goals, Teachers' Actions, and Assessment. C.R. Greenwood, Research on the Practices and Behavior of Effective Teachers at the Juniper Gardens Children's Project: Implications for the Education of Diverse Learners. J.E. Sayre, The View from a Montessori Classroom: A Response to Au & Carroll and Greenwood. L.S. Fuchs, Models of Classroom Instruction: Implications for Students with Learning Disabilities. Part II:Classroom Interaction. F. Erickson, Inclusion Into What?: Thoughts on the Construction of Learning, Identity, and Affiliation in the General Education Classroom. S. Vaughn, J.S. Schumm, Classroom Ecologies: Classroom Interactions and Implications for Inclusion of Students with Learning Disabilities. E.I. Reyes, Constructing Knowledge in Inclusive Classrooms: What Students Know and Teachers Need to Know. A.S. Palincsar, Reconfiguring Professional Communities on Behalf of Students with Special Needs. Part III:Classroom Management. D.H. Cooper, L. Valli, Designing Classrooms for Inclusion: Beyond Management. N. Zigmond, Organization and Management of General Education Classrooms. M. Elrich, Order and Learning, Individuals and Groups: A Regular Education Teacher's Response. A.C. Schulte, Remediation and Inclusion: Can We Have It All? Part IV:Research Perspectives. G.R. Lyon, Methodological Issues and Strategies for Assessing Developmental Change and Evaluating Response to Intervention. R. Gallimore, Classrooms Are Just Another Cultural Activity. C.A. Stone, Bridging the Gap Between Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches to the Analysis of Instructional Innovations for Students with Learning Disabilities: A Commentary on Gallimore and Lyon. Epilogue. D.L. Speece, B.K. Keogh, Classroom Ecologies and Learning Disabilities: What We Learned and What We Need to Know.