There are several school programs or teaching techniques that are used in the school systems which have, as at least as a component, the teaching or increasing of self esteem as one goal. Three different programs will be discussed below: two can be utilized at the elementary through high school level with minor modifications for grade level, and one which is used after high school, in a vocational training program, could be modified and used for lower grades. All, of these approaches, utilize special education teachers in conjunction with the regular education teacher, or job supervisor for the vocational education program.
The first teaching concept that has been shown to help students, with learning disabilities, is the use of team-teaching and cooperative learning groups. In a joint venture, Jones and Carlier (1995), designed a teaching method to increase the time and quality of instruction that learning disabled students were getting in the regular classroom. They were concerned with meeting the federal requirement for least restrictive environment, and the multiple benefits available to all of the students. These benefits included goals that the parents had expressed to the teachers for their child "increased skills in conceptual learning, planning, individual accountability, creative problem solving, self-esteem, oral language proficiency, and socialization" (Jones & Carlier, 1995, p. 23). The use of cooperative learning groups enabled the teachers to focus on identifying individual student needs and abilities and formulate individual expectations for each student.
Each learning group was balanced for strengths and weaknesses. Each group had set jobs for each of the group members: recorder, presenter, participant, facilitator, and timekeeper. The teachers assumed that the special needs students would fill the roll of participant throughout the semester, but the 6th grade students did not allow this to happen; al...
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