Category: special education

Benefits of Music Education

Three Powerful Reasons why children benefit from music education as part of their Curriculum, especially at a young age. There has been plenty of research done about the benefits of music education for young children.

1. Playing music improves concentration, memory and self-expression

One two-year study in Switzerland run with 1200 children in more than 50 classes scientifically showed how playing music improved children’s reading and verbal skills through improving concentration, memory and self-expression.(1) Younger children who had three more music classes per week and three fewer main curriculums made rapid developments in speech and learned to read with greater ease.

Other effects revealed by the study showed that children learned to like each other more, enjoyed school more (as did their teachers) and were less stressed during the various tests, indicating they were better able to handle performance pressure.

2. Playing music improves the ability to think

Ongoing research at the University of California-Irvine and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (2) demonstrate that learning and playing music builds or modifies Neural pathways related to spatial reasoning tasks, which are crucial for higher brain functions like complex maths, chess and science.

The first studies showed that listening to a Mozart sonata temporarily improved a child’s spatial abilities. Further studies compared children who had computer lessons, children who had singing lessons, children who learned music using a Keyboard and children who did nothing additional. The children who had had the Music classes scored significantly higher – up to 35% higher – than the children did Who had computer classes or did nothing additional.(3)

3. Learning music helps under-performing students to improve

Researchers at Brown University in the US (4) discovered that children aged 5-7 years who had been lagging behind in their school performance had caught up with their peers in reading and were ahead of them in math’s after seven months of music lessons. The children’s classroom attitudes and behavior ratings had also Significantly improved, and after a year of music classes were rated as better than the children who had had no additional classes.

1. E W Weber, M Spychiger and J-L Patry, Musik macht Schule. Biografie und Ergebnisse eines Schulversuchs mit erweitertemMusikuntericcht. Padagogik in der Blauen Eule, Bd17. 1993.

2. Various studies by Dr. Gordon Shaw (University of California-Irvine) and Dr. Fran Rauscher (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh), with others.Including those published in Nature 365:611 and Neuroscience Letters 185:44-47

3. E L Wright, W R Dennis & R L Newcomb. Neurological Res.19:2-8. 1997

4. M F Gardiner, A Fox, F Knowles & D Jeffrey. Learning improved by arts training. Nature 381:284. 1996.

Top Career Web Sites for Children and Teens

Career assessments and tests help you explore who you. Career books and web sites give you a glimpse of the world of work. Free career information is available on web sites. Some writers have written facts for children and teens. We would like to share some information with you. These web sites use graphics, multimedia presentation, activities, and other techniques to expand our knowledge of careers. We have written information on seventeen (17) web sites. Here are the four different types of exploring careers web sites:

Curriculum
General Career Information
Science Career Clusters
Specific Science Careers

Curriculum Web Sites

Curriculum web sites provide activities, tests, guidelines, as well as career information.

Resource One: Career Cruiser
Source: Florida Department of Education

The Career Cruiser is a career exploration guidebook for middle school students. The Career Cruiser has self assessment activities to match personal interests to careers. The Career Cruiser has information on Holland Codes. Careers are grouped into 16 career clusters. The Career Cruiser has information on occupational descriptions, average earnings, and minimum educational level required for the job.

Teacher’s Guide is also available.

Resource Two: Elementary Core Career Connection
Source: Utah State Office of Education

The Core Career Connections is a collection of instructional activities, K to 6, and 7 to 8, designed by teachers, counselors, and parents. Each grade level has instructional activities that align directly with the Utah State Core. This instructional resource provides a framework for teachers, counselors, and parents to integrate career awareness with the elementary and middle level grade students.

Career Information Web Sites

Some web sites provide excellent career information. Some web sites list facts about job tasks, wages, career outlook, interests, education, and more.

Resource Three: Career Voyages
Source: U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education

The Career Voyages web site is a Career Exploration web site for Elementary School students. The Career Voyages web site has information about the following industries:

Advanced Manufacturing
Automotive
Construction
Energy
Financial Services
Health Care
Hospitality
Information Technology
Retail
Transportation
Aerospace and the “BioGeoNano” Technologies

Resource Four: Career Ship
Source: New York State Department of Labor

Career Ship is a free online career exploration tool for middle and high school students.
Career Ship uses Holland Codes and the O*NET Career Exploration Tools. For each career, Career Ship provides the following information:

Tasks
Wages
Career outlook
Interests
Education
Knowledge
Skills
Similar careers

Career Ship is a product of Mapping Your Future, a public service web site providing career, college, financial aid, and financial literacy information and services.

RESOURCE FIVE: Career Zone
Source: New York State Department of Labor

Career Zone is a career exploration and planning system. Career Zone has an assessment activity that identifies Holland Codes. Career Zone provides information on 900 careers from the new O*NET Database, the latest labor market information from the NYS Department of Labor and interactive career portfolios for middle and high school students that connect to the NYS Education Department Career Plan initiative. Career Zone has links to …

Performance Technology and Instructional Design Degrees – Strategies for Graduate School

So, you are contemplating a degree in instructional design. The first thing to know is that there are various instructional design degrees and instructional technology degrees available, but the specific preparation and concentrations may be different depending on what you want to do when you graduate. At present, most colleges and universities only offer instructional design degrees at the graduate level. These are ” MS, MA, MEd, EDS, and PhD programs.

Second, consider what instructional designers to, an how that relates to your professional goals. Also, remember that the instructional designers task is to develop instructional content that is to be used by teachers, trainers, instructional designers, with the goals of enhancing learning outcomes. Hence, instructional technologists make decisions on the effectiveness of delivery methods, instructional outcomes, and learning experiences. It therefore requires the instructional designer to have a good working knowledge of educational psychology, selecting instructional media, and understanding learners.

As a prospective graduate student, it is vital to take into account various factors when selecting your ideal instructional design program. Hence you should keep in mind your future career goals, your area of expertise and professional interests, online learning options, and how much it will cost you to complete your program of study.

Another thing to consider when conducting your research is how the program my be titled in the catalog. Common program names are Educational Technology, Computer Education, Instructional Technology, Instructional Design and Development, Instructional Systems Technology, Instructional Design, Learning Technologies, Instructional Design and Technology, Instructional and Performance Technology, and Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation. It is quite useful to now this as it generally is a good indicator of the coursework that you will be engaged in during the program.

The next important thing to consider is whether the program you select is accredited. Accreditation means that the instructional program has undergone a self-evaluation process, been reviewed by peers, and other accrediting bodies. Accrediting organizations evaluate programs on the conformity to standards, which address mission, goals, and objectives, curriculum, faculty, students, administration and financial support, and physical resources and facilities. Most potential employers require a degree from an accredited university. Also, if you ever have to transfer or join a new programs, your new institution might not accept the credits if the school is not accredited.

Instructional programs prepare graduates for different areas of specialty. Whether the job title is instructional technologist, e-learning specialist, or instructional designer, one can expect to work in higher education, corporation, K-12 schools, government, military or non-governmental organizations.

When feasible pay a visit to the college you are interested in and talk to both faculty and students in the program. Ask questions about internships and future employment. Also ask questions about the programs of study available to you. This will better assist you in making a final decision. Observe what computer, classroom, and library resources are available.  

You will generally have an academic advisor assigned to you to help you develop a good program of study. Various institutions have different course …

Teaching models

                                                        TEACHING MODELS

Dr. N.V.S.Suryanarayana

Teaching is often thought of as something that comes rather naturally to people who know their subject.  In general, it is thought that it is a simple process that produces simple outcomes.1 But teaching is an intriguing, important and complex process.2 It takes place in a complicated social institution, which is filled with diverse people.  It is a fluid interplay of events.  One can just know the subject and teach it, because the subjects themselves are ever changing.  It is true that teaching is a process by which teacher and students create a shared environment including sets of values and beliefs which in turn color their view of reality.3  The teacher must learn to control five processes of teaching; firstly, making and using knowledge, secondly, shaping the school, thirdly, teaching with strategy, fourthly, creating interpersonal climates and fifth and lastly controlling a teaching personality.4  Bruner also emphasized four major features of theory of instruction in effective teaching (i) predisposition toward learning, (ii) structured body of knowledge, (iii) sequences of material to be learnt, and (iv) the nature and pacing of reward and punishment.5  It means that a theory of instruction in teaching is concerned with how what one wishes to teach can best learnt, with improving rather than describing learning.

Research on Teaching

            Research on teaching styles demonstrate vigorous changes during the past decade.  As with any developing field all stages of the movement are visible simultaneously, but there appears to be a clearly discernible pattern to the development.

Phase I Validation of Theoretically Derived Teaching Construct

            In the first phase during the 1960s and early 1970s, a flurry of studies attempted the validation of theoretically derived teaching construct, usually dichotomous variables that carried on implicit, if not explicit, value preference.  Several instrumentation break through (Medley and Mitzel 1958,6  Flanders 1960) allowed the dominative versus integrative construct of Anderson (1939)7 and the teacher centered versus learner centered notion of Withall (1949)8 to be examined in classrooms.  The research for the most effective teaching style was pursued with much excitement during this period.

Phase II Specific Behaviour of Pupils

            The next phase focused on specific behaviours that are related to learning outcomes of pupils rather than on global teaching styles.  This phase continues actively today as specific teacher  variables are tested in various settings to determine the utility.

Phase III Research-Based Teaching Pattern

            A third critical, bur rather rudimentary, phase has just begun to emerge from the research base.  The development of research derived teaching patterns or styles has started to occur, at least for children of a particular age in particular settings.  Only a few patterns have been identified, but the ones that have emerged are firmly rooted in empirical research rather than derived from theory.  Within this phase, there is an attempt to develop generic patterns or styles that have broad utility as well as the possibility of synthesizing specific patterns effective for particular Children in specific settings.

            The research on teacher effectiveness has been …

Homeschooling and State Approvals

Since the last few years, homeschooling has become the preferred way to educate children. It gives parents the ability to offer tailored and individualized education to their children, in the comfortable atmosphere of their homes.

The child is under no pressure and the parent is free to set the study schedule according to personal preference. However, every state has certain guidelines for homeschooling and it is essential for you to know of these legal requirements, before you start homeschooling your child. Homeschooling is legal in all the fifty states of the US, but the requirements of each state may be different. Hence, it is necessary for you to know the legal requirements of your state.

For example, in the state of California, there are three different options for home schooling. In the first option, a homeschooling student can be a part of any independent public home schooling program. The other option is that the student could undergo home schooling under the guidance of a certified home schooling tutor. The last option is to get the child admitted into a private school. In case there is a large home schooling community in your locality, it is possible for the community to form a private school for homeschoolers.

Most states in the U S require parents to notify the state about their intentions to homeschool their child. But there are some states like Alaska, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas that let you go ahead with home schooling, without prior intimation to the state.

When you start homeschooling your child, some states may require you to submit a periodical performance report, evaluation scores and test scores. Some states require the tests or evaluations for homeschoolers to be conducted by qualified teachers only. The state may require that these tests be taken once every year. However, generally these tests are not compulsory, but recommended and are aimed at maintaining the quality and standard of education provided via home schooling.

Some states may require attendance records, since they prescribe a minimum number of days for attending the home school. Some states require parents to file a letter of intent with their local community school, if they want to homeschool their child. Some states require parents to undergo a series of lessons organized by the school, before they can start with the home schooling.

Another reason for you to find out the legal requirements involved in home schooling in your state is to make sure that the education you provide your child with is recognized by the state. If there is no state approval, the home schooling of your child may be officially disregarded and he may face serious set backs while planning on a university or a college, later on.

Many states provide the forms and guidebooks, designed to aid in home schooling your child. In order to qualify for a university, a homeschooler is probably required to perform differently than a regular student. A visit to the local education authority will help you to …

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