In these settings, instructional approaches such as cooperative groups and one-on-one teacher-student sessions are adopted to help students with LD to learn. Students can complete their learning task such as responding to a book by drawing, discussing, performing or writing a book report. Nonetheless, especially in the classes of mainstream or inclusion settings, teachers who have to address the learning needs of many students will still require students with LD to adhere closely to the learning standards and curriculum (Baglieri & Knopf, 2004).
In contrast to the aforementioned learning programs and settings in the school districts, alternative schools focus primarily on the needs of the student. As defined by the U.S. Department of Education (2002), an alternative school is "a public elementary/secondary school that addresses the needs of students that typically cannot be met in a regular school, provides nontraditional education,… or falls outside the categories of regular, special education or vocational education" (qtd. in Lehr & Lange, 2003, p. 59). Alternative schools are designed specifically to customize their education to meet the needs of the students because the latter has not been able to succeed in traditional classroom settings offered in the home school district. They are characterized by: a) low enrollment; b) one-on-one instruction and support; c) nurturing environments; d) curriculum and learning opportunities that are customized in accordance with the students' interests; e) lack of rigidity in scheduling and learning requirements; and f) opportunities for students to make decisions about their learning program (Lange & Sletten, 2002).
Based on the emphasis on the unique needs of the students and ensuring their success within the classroom setting, teachers typically adapt and individualize the general education curriculum to capture the students' interest in learning. Several instructional strateg...
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