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The paper describes the research report on " What happened in a sequential order in a classroom that created the most learning Academic Standard required during teaching". The teacher combined Treatments and Education of Autistic and related Communication Children Handicapped (TEACCH) methods in the classroom. These were a combination of techniques in action researches involving the participants. The teacher was filmed taking a class of 8 students using work stations, visual cues/timetables and reward sheets with the students that are autistic, having high and low functioning, ADHD, behaviour problems and communication difficulties. Two supply teacher were introduced to follow the lesson plan and the same resources were used to teach the same students. The resources noted above worked and the students were rewarded for their hard work and efforts. . The students worked and remained focussed as much as they did in the real teacher's lessons. Investigates purpose was to discover if the teachers that used these resources at different times to teach were actually the ones that made a positive difference to behaviour and learning. In addition, the possibility of adopting this model for use by various subject teachers throughout the school is being considered and the model described in the report is being suggested. In arriving at this, the paper gave some details into the theoretical and conceptual frameworks about action research and TEACCH. Some related literatures were reviewed in line with the action plan, research methods and procedures, implementation and follow-up plans, assessment and Evaluation techniques etc. Justifications and inherent benefits of the research work and the new model being proposed for use throughout the school were also highlighted in the report.
To date, many attempts have been made to support those with educational challenges within a classroom setting. One approach which has been widely and successfully used within both mainstream and special education classrooms is that of TEACCH (Mesibov & Howley, 2003). For the person of all ages and skill levels through autism spectrum disorders, TEACCH is a whole program of service, guidance, and study programs. It makes utilization of several methods and techniques in different combination, based upon the person's requirements and rising potential. Over the last 30 years it has become increasingly well recognised that many children with autism have a strong preference for visual instruction over verbal (McClimon, 2007). Hodgdon (1998) describes individuals with autism as being 90% visual learners and 10% auditory learners. Structured teaching utilises a combination of physical structure, schedules, work systems, routines and visual structure to support the person with autism to engage and learn as effectively as possible. In 1966 TEACCH begun as a division of USA's Department of Psychiatry for School of Medicine at the North Carolina's University. In the whole world TEACCH is increasingly becoming famous for the very good facilities provided to people of autistic nature and is regularly called of as model or sometimes as result.
Some confusions extended and this looks to give some basic information that can result in very reliable details for the programs of TEACCH. According to the central deficit theory, children with autism (AU) require increased structure and task-analyzed goals in order to learn (Erba, 2000). Providing structure and organization in the learning enviÂ¬ronment on a student's level of understanding can help to alleviate or moderate challenges students with AU otherwise encounter. By Autism one aims to help out the people in preparation of lives or works with more efficiency at schools, or at homes and in the communities, are the major goals of the TEACCH programme . For all the individuals Education programmes are planned based on abilities assessments.
Children related to autism are found gaining most due to structured educational environment than from free approaches. The techniques used through TEACCH does not proceed on the activities directly, but work on the circumstances that can help in the process of learning as it is a structured teaching approach designed for individuals with AU and communication disabilities and their families. The approach calls on a wide range of techniques to attain the requirements that are there for families and children.
Ultimate goal is to foster independence and understanding while providing individuals with AU the tools they need to successfully interact in the environment..It helps to understand the surrounding world, to acquire communication skills which allows one to correlate with others and provide the required competency to make them choose the lives as much as achievable,.
A technique, a set of techniques even a method cannot be minimized by TEACCH. For autistic people this is a program of services, which uses number of ways, in different combinations based on the one's wants and capabilities. The principle of modifying the environment to accommodate the needs of students with AU is the foundation for structured teaching (Schopler, Mesibov, & Hearsey, 1995).
Four main components are connected to this process:
1 .Physical organization . Physical organization refers to the physical layout of the classroom or the area for teaching. student's independent functions and recognitions and compliance with rules and limits to be helps or acts against by Physical organi-zation . It is designed to provide students with visual information to direct their activities in a predictable manner
2. Scheduling . Since students with AU have problems with se-quential memory and organization of time, they need schedules.Visual schedules let the students know what activities will take place and in what sequence (Shopler et al., 1995) and assist them in predicting events, lessening their anxiety.
3 .Work systems .Work systems tell the students what activities must be completed in independent work areas by visually specifying what and how much work must be done and indicating when each task and the work session are complete (Schopler et al., 1995).
4. Task organization . Similar to work systems, task organization determines what work students do independently, what needs to be done within a task, how many items must be completed, and final outcomes (Schopler et al., 1995).
Structured teaching uses materials frequently found in educational, home, vocational, and residential settings for individuals with AU, and it may be administered by anybody who works with this population. Nevertheless, structured teaching training is highly recommended; it is available through Division TEACCH
However, TEACCH is one of the component parts of action research in educational fields. Action researches are described by Carr and Kemmis (1986):
the rework on practices for improving them;
to improve the practice's understanding;
to improve the whereon there are regular practices.
As per the researchers such as McNiff et al. (1996) the important feature of the method, highlighted by connecting action terms: making efforts to incorporate ideas in real in order to improve and add to the knowledge.
The following characteristics are shares by researchers with others due to the reason that thist:
helps in supporting this awareness for provision of evidences
makes the processes as explicit ones for various enquiries making use of the awareness that generates
establishes a link between newer and existing ideas
there are quite a number of reasons because of which action research is different from other ones, as stated below:-
These necessitates the response as the crucial factor for the process of research
Focuses based on the profession of research's values instead of the considerations of a being
Is importantly a part of the inside of the research by means of the research for practitioners using self profession and the actions.
Supporting the above terms, the researchers such as Carr & kemmis in the year 1986 had argued that, the profession of teaching can be elaborated further only making use of the procedures for the ideas related to the ones which makes some sort of meaning. The process of teaching can even not relate to the practice until the proper knowledge of the scenario at hand whereon the operations take place and the ideas that exist thereon.
It is important to use action research for the real life situations. The scenarios, which demand changes whereon it is stiff to have a proper command over the variables due, toe the reason that the scenario thereon is tough and is an ongoing process. These actions act as the main reasons for amendments in the understanding process. Researchers named as Atwen et al. in the year 1998 referred these action methods as the fuzzy questions because of which one can answer these questions. These action research programs are quite notably useful in the learning programs such as the education program for teaching and mentorship.
Â Why the choice of TEACCH over other approaches for the study?
I am eager to change my practice because of my concern that things are not going as i wish with the teaching and learning and also, the need to implement a new innovation to teaching in my school. It should be borne in mind that practice is always influenced by context. In the light of the above, I chose TEACCH as the main intervention because I have a class of eight students with high and low functioning, autistic in nature, ADHD, complex/ moderate learning difficulties and other behaviour issues.
The TEACCH approach is very adaptable and can be used along side other interventions. By altering the students environment one can compensate the pupils autism, making it autism friendly.
TEACCH also provides:
A schedule or structure to the day that is predictable and easily communicable to each student.
Clear expectations of what is expected to complete their individual work assignments.
An adapted environment to remove sensory distractions.
An understanding that unstructured 'free time/ choosing time', and the organised chaos of some group activities is hard work for autistic students and more help may be needed at these times.
Theoretical and Conceptual frameworks
The theoretical and conceptual frameworks for this study are based on the common theories associated with action research and the underlying principles of which TEACCH is a component
Learners face various forms of educational challenges ranging from autism, high and low functioning, ADHD, behaviour problems , communication difficulties etc in a classroom setting. The situations of these nature pose enormous challenges to the teachers in finding the most appropriate method or a combination of methods to impart knowledge to the students. Teaching and learning activities involving the participation of the students and the use of work stations, visual cues/timetables and reward sheets etc take more of the attention of the students and also give them maximum attention during learning in the classroom.
In this context, a student;s brain can use the visual information derived from the person's (teacher) face and lip movements to help with the interpretation of what is heard in a classroom setting. The methodology used by Kurt Lewin along with others has had an impact in real. It was also made so due to the post-war community troubles. Teacher researchers adopted the program of educational research during the 1960s and 1970s. this was done at the times of movement for teachers and researchers. This acted to effect the classroom practice of teacher to the process of research as an important factor for problem identification and solution to the problem at hand. This strategy offers quite a strategic solution for introduction of innovative and different learning process. This is also supported by the teacher's double role as the user of educational theory and the producer as well.
Action research basically aims at:-
cyclical --same stages occur at same steps;
involved - informants and clients get into the task together, and work as energetic ones, in research task;
qualitative - this entails increasingly with language rather than with quantitative terms
reflective - thorough reflection from the procedure and the returns are crucial for any process (Dick, 2000).
MODELS TO ADAPTED FOR THE RESEARCH WORK
Image 1: Model for the Process of Action-Research
This model extended by Kolb (1984) for offering a beginning as learning of the action research cycle, knowledge created by people is critically reflected on the self experience, resulting in the creation of abstracts and test them for implying the concept into real situation. Practitioners can work further to add to their knowledge for better understanding of situations and respond in the required way for better practices and advanced expertise in the subject.
According to the McKernan, (1991), and Lewin's change process for description of two models above are discribed into three steps;
:Unfreezing/cycle 1 Faced with a problem, one understands the need for change
Changing/cycle 2: The condition is analysed and different models of activities are elaborated further
Refreezingcycle 3: New behavior's application are assessed, the procedure for planning also changes using the action research by summarizing them. Action research is also called upon as the process in cyclical manner.
The cycle starts in a sequence of planning , that are asked by the agent of change and the client who work with each other .Then teacher and the supply teachers will use same lesson plan and resources to teach specific subject in all levels of the school. This stage's basic elements contain a beginning analysis, followed by gathering of data an getting back the feedback, planning in joint. As a teacher in the system I am aware of the teaching and learning problems of the various groups of students that we teach.
This stage is the stage of transformation. This includes learning process (such as the analysis of roles), followed by planning, and execution of changes is behavior in the organization of clients- i.e the school as a whole. In Image 1, feedback at the step would go via Feedback circle A which would make use of the changes of earlier planning to make the learning process for system of clients to make better alignments. Activities for planning action are handled jointly in this stage by the subject teacher and members of the client system.- the supply teachers. Following this the actions and steps are processed further in a job as an important and integral section of the stage of alteration
The output is found at this stage. The phase covers the changes made in actual in the system and its behavior due to the action steps taken in a corrective manner after the 2nd stage. Details are collected from various systems of clients in order to ensure that the progress is tabulated in a right manner. This helps in making required changes in the system and its learning processes. Small changes can also be made using the Feedback loop of B type. There can also be the requirement of notable changes and re- evaluations can result in the OD projects for the initial stages of the program.
Research Action Plans
These are the methods and procedures. There are number of procedures for any action research in real. However, these have some of the components which are common. These ones are termed as the bottom ones for the description of any action research due to the reasons as follows:-
this is related to the teachers and their strive for learning the improvement of practices
moves forward using the plan of process, and the actions and reflections
practice's evidences are collected as well
teachers make an effort to visualize the impact of changes in planning in any practice
tries to be rigorous in practice
thorough analysis of the research action relates with the practitioners.
As a researcher and teacher, I will carry out the followings which are adapted from Barrett and Whitehead (1985)
Recognise and appreciate my real concern - which in this case (a) to find out if the teachers that used these resources at different times to teach were actually the ones that made a positive difference to behaviour and learning. and , (b) for the adoption of this model for use by various subject teachers in the school.
Articulate and clarify why I am concerned- as a school teacher, I am concerned about what I teach in terms of the contents, how I teach, and the level of understanding and comprehension by the students.
Decide on what to do about the situation- I have decided to use TEACCH which is a complete program for servicing, researching and training of the program for anyone, no matter their skill and age, or their disorders in spectrum. This utilizes the ways and combinations based on person to person, their likings and their capabilities. It should be borne in mind that practice is always influenced by context.
Decide on what kind of evidence i should collect in helping me make some judgements about what is happening -- the situation as it is presently in the school will allow for this. The steps taken to attain the modest achievement in my class will be followed. This will involve the filming of the main teacher as well as the "imported and supply" teachers during lessons and then observe the level of reward for hard -works and efforts on the part of the students..
Decide on how to collect such evidences and possible intervention options - The use of main and supply teachers to teach and for activities to be recorded and then observations on the level of reward for hardwork and efforts on part of the students will be appropriately made. The possible interventions should be;
ABA, applied Behaviour Analysis, which is very intensive and objective orientated.
-The Options Approach, which is equally intensive, but totally child centred.
-Daily Life Therapy, which emphasises group work, music and rhythmic exercise.
-TEACCH, with its emphasis on the structure of the learning environment.
Broadly speaking, below are some approaches to collect the information of such a kind:-
Documentation of photographs and videos
Music songs, and paintings
Description of details of student's census
Information related to participants, their sheets and work books and or other papers
Various sheets of feedback and other details
Survey details and statistics
Box sheets, and books, emails or websites, blogs where one can comment
Comparison of the skills of involvers in any program and noticing the program afterwards to evaluate the changes, if any are made in the process (Lienert, 2002).
How will i check that my judgements about what happened are reasonable, fair and accurate (evaluation)- Â
A five day TEACCH training course will be required for all TA's. This will require a lot of extra work and time needed and above all, a good budgetary allocation for resources required during the training sessions. At the end of the training workshop on TEACCH, the teachers will not only be well trained in modern teaching strategies, they will be instrumental in helping to make visual learning resources and also to have a better understanding of the autistic students and their individual needs. In addition, they will have;
Practical benefits- increases understanding of the way students with autism learn, Why visual forms are so important in class lessons, Physical structure of the classroom, the importance of scheduling and timetables to reduce anxiety. How learning resources can be developed and improved etc.
Personal Confidence- Feel more empowered to suggest changes and structures to the classrooms. Helps to encourage progression, and observation techniques are sharpened.
Social rewards such as praise may not be sufficiently motivating to children with autism, who generally don't crave for social attention. For example spinning on a chair maybe far more rewarding and a stimulant for an autistic child.
"A reward is only a reward if it changes the behaviour, and it therefore has to be motivating to the person whose behaviour you want to change" (Imray. 2008). Such will include;
A settled classroom,
a happy, relaxed and calm classroom.
Improved behaviour management,
organized class session,
real routine and structured participatory lesson etc. .