used in general education (e.g., constant time delay, token rein-forcement, self-monitoring)•incorporates variety of instructional materials and supports—bothnatural and contrived—to help student acquire and use targetedlearning objectives•related services (e.g., audiology, physical therapy)•assistive technology (e.g., adapted cup holder, head-operatedswitch to select communication symbols)Intensive•instruction presented with attention to detail, precision, structure,clarity, and repeated practice•“relentless, urgent” instruction (Zigmond & Baker, 1995)•efforts made to provide with incidental, naturalistic opportunitiesfor student to use targeted knowledge and skillGoal-directed•purposeful instruction intended to help individual students achievethe greatest possible personal self-sufficiency and success in pre-sent and future environments•value/goodness of instruction determined by student attainment ofoutcomesResearch-based methods•recognizes that all teaching approaches are not equally effective•instructional programs and teaching procedures selected on basisof research supportGuided by student •careful, ongoing monitoring of student progressperformance•frequent and direct measures/assessment of student learning that inform modifications in instructionFIGURE 1.Dimensions and defining features of special education. Source: From W. L. Heward.(2003). Exceptional Children: An Introductory Survey of Special Education(7th ed., p. 40). UpperSaddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall. Used with permission.
188THE JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION VOL. 36/NO. 4/2003Research Has Produced a Useful and Reliable Knowledge Base for Special EducationContrary to the conclusions of some critics, special educationresearch has produced a significant and reliable knowledgebase about effective teaching practices (Greenwood, 2001;Lloyd, Weintraub, & Safer, 1997). Empirical research hasyielded a substantial body of knowledge consisting of strategicapproaches (e.g., mediated scaffolding [Coyne, Kame’enui, &Simmons, 2001], functional assessment [Horner & Carr, 1997])and tactical procedures (e.g., “think alouds” [Swanson & Hos-kyn, 2001], constant time delay [Kratzer, Spooner, Test, &Koorland, 1993]) that special education teachers should knowhow to select and apply with professional expertise. The re-search base is not flawless, and it is far from complete. Manyquestions remain to be answered, and the pursuit of those an-swers will lead to still more questions.Research-Based Instructional Tools AreUnderused in Special EducationAlthough a significant gap exists between what is relativelywell understood and what is understood poorly or not at all,a more distressing gap may be the one between what researchhas discovered about effective instruction and what is prac-ticed in many classrooms. For example, research has discov-ered a great deal about topics such as features of early readinginstruction that reduce the chances of children developingreading problems later (Coyne et al., 2001; National Reading
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