About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 10249-10252
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0093

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

ENHANCING PRESERVICE SPECIAL EDUCATORS' LITERACY INSTRUCTION THROUGH EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING EXPERIENCES

M. Tejero Hughes, G. Braun

University of Illinois at Chicago (UNITED STATES)
Preparing preservice special education teachers to meet the diverse literacy needs of children with disabilities can be challenging. In this session, the findings of a qualitative content analysis examining a series of lesson plans, reflections, and case study reports, of preservice special educators, are discussed. The purpose of the study was to identify the extent to which over time, students built a strong knowledge base through coursework paired with experiential learning, and how students deepened their understanding of best practices for children with disabilities who have difficulties in literacy.

Students enrolled in a special education preparation program at a large university in the United States participated in the research. Students were enrolled in a literacy course to develop knowledge of literacy instruction for children with disabilities. The course emphasized the components of designing, implementing, and assessing literacy instruction for elementary children with disabilities (ages 6-12). Students worked individually with students with a disability to assesses their literacy development and provide individualized instruction. Through the course, students developed knowledge and skills around evidence-based practices for literacy, choosing high-quality children’s literature and determining text complexity to support individuals with persistent reading struggles. Following the instruction of each lesson, students wrote reflections on their instruction and concluded the course with a written case study report. All lesson plans, reflections and case studies were collected for each of the students and analyzed using a qualitative content analysis approach. Specifically, each data source was analyzed using a systematic process of open-coding to derive themes.

Findings consistently identified the changes students were making to improve their instruction and success for children. Changes related primarily to an improvement in instructional strategy selection. For example, at the beginning of the semester, students were more likely to choose a worksheet or a strategy that lacks evidential support. As the semester progressed, students began to make informed and knowledgeable decisions about the strategies they choose, including strategies for literacy as well as engagement, motivation, and behavioral, showing connections back to the content and skills from their coursework. It was evident across all students that there was a change in mindset towards planning, specifically over time they realized the importance of building a relationship with the children and understanding their strengths and weaknesses help to design more engaging and successful lessons. By the end of the semester, through their progression in lesson development and personal reflections, most of the students developed their competency in designing and delivering literacy instruction to children with disabilities.

The findings indicate that through coursework paired with experiential learning experiences, students changed over the course of the semester by increasing their skills, knowledge, and confidence in making instructional decisions for children with disabilities. The findings indicated that the students were able to grow over time using all the strategies learned, by reflecting on their lessons. Reflection after a lesson and during class time helped them make positive changes towards their development as a literacy educator.
@InProceedings{TEJEROHUGHES2018ENH,
author = {Tejero Hughes, M. and Braun, G.},
title = {ENHANCING PRESERVICE SPECIAL EDUCATORS' LITERACY INSTRUCTION THROUGH EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING EXPERIENCES},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0093},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0093},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {10249-10252}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Tejero Hughes AU - G. Braun
TI - ENHANCING PRESERVICE SPECIAL EDUCATORS' LITERACY INSTRUCTION THROUGH EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING EXPERIENCES
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0093
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 10249
EP - 10252
ER -
M. Tejero Hughes, G. Braun (2018) ENHANCING PRESERVICE SPECIAL EDUCATORS' LITERACY INSTRUCTION THROUGH EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING EXPERIENCES, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 10249-10252.
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