Danielson and special education

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Culturanta, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Culturanta

    Culturanta Rookie

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    Oct 26, 2015

    Just curious to hear from other high-incidence special education teachers/admins regarding the Danielson model, specifically whether or not you believe the Danielson model is appropriate for students with special needs.

    My answer is "it depends" and "not every day."

    My first of two Danielson based observations went really well, so I'm not here to complain, but I do believe that students with disabilities require greater scaffolding (ie; teacher directed learning) than those without disabilities. In Danielson's world this means an Excellent rating would be off the table as to reach this distinction, the teacher basically gets out of the way and entrusts the students with running the procedures of the classroom.

    Unless I am misunderstanding Danielson which is possible.

    I learned today, BTW, that Danielson is not a teacher by trade but an economist.
     
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  3. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Oct 26, 2015

    It's possible for them to fake it, but the discussion of my kids just never goes very in depth. For example, I had an observation where my self-contained kids legitimately annotated a poem and discussed a question posed by another student, only the question was "Why is his sandwich so dry?" They are always SO literal....and miss bigger themes or inferences.

    However, the rubric does not say they need to be discussing in depth....just discussing. In my observer's eyes, everything was awesome because my kids mastered a routine and led 90% of class. Whatever!
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Oct 27, 2015

    The Denielson framework really isn't appropriate for any teacher in how it's being used, and Danielson herself never intended for her work to be used for evaluative purposes, until districts started backing Mack Trucks full of cash outside her door.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Nov 1, 2015

    And a rich one, at that. Although a NJ resident, many are not happy with the wholesale move to adopt her methods, but that never stops administration from jumping in with both feet.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Nov 2, 2015

    I'm going to say "no". I had my first observation under the Danielson model today. I was teaching a Wilson Reading System lesson to a group of three students with special needs in a resource setting (which is the only part of the day where I actually do any real teaching, but that's another topic for another day...). Given the fact that WRS is almost fully teacher-directed instruction, I'm not expecting any superior scores. That said, I don't care. I know I'm doing what is right for kids, and I know I'm good at it. They can slap a label on me and call me whatever kind of teacher they like. All I need is my own integrity.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Nov 2, 2015

  8. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Nov 3, 2015

     
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  9. Culturanta

    Culturanta Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2015

    Thinking about this some more, it occurs to me that in certain settings - high school, special education, perhaps others - the STUDENTS themselves need to be taught to assume responsibility for their learning. My largely disenfranchised, low SES, overage -for - their - year 9th and 10th grade students with learning, sensory, and behavior disabilities sometimes want me to tie a bib around their necks and play airplane with them, spoon-feeding the information into their mouths. I get outright resistance from some whenever I ask them to take a shred of accountability for developing those skills that can't be spoon fed - higher order thinking skills that stretch them out intellectually.

    With that said, I have been reflecting on my practice of late and I can see many opportunities for student-directed learning that I miss. I am working on capitalizing on those - for example letting a student with a great question lead the discussion of said question, or a student who suggests a learning activity actually design the activity (with my help) and roll it out to the class. My students will frequently come up with stuff like this. My challenge is ensuring things don't devolve into social time, especially once the novelty wears off and\or they get startled by the increasing rigor and back off saying "this is too much work."

    I am trying also to keep my lessons fresh and engaging by weaving in at least two activities per class session along with student choice ie; dictionary work if a kid is overwhelmed and cranky. I teach English in the self contained special education setting. I am just now starting to turn into a semi-competent English teacher. I am a great special ed teacher but content pedagogy has come second to other considerations such as behavior management, differentiating, IEPs etc.
     

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