Shout this one from the rafters!!
Do you ever wonder what successful, inclusive, 21st century education looks like in a public school? Would you know it if you saw it?
Lisa Parisi and Christine Southard, two highly-skilled, dedicated and impressive educators who co-teach a fifth grade class of students in New York have defined success for all in this blog post at Lisa's Lingo.
Here is a model to replicate with very simple guiding principles:
1. Do not separate the children.....Remember inclusion means to be included, not separated.And why is this model note-worthy? Because it recognizes the value of differentiated instruction to help each student succeed in the least restrictive environment. Lisa details the significant results that her students achieved.
2. Don't hide special needs. Point out that we all need assistance at times. Make it available to everyone.
3. Mix the teachers up and allow students to choose their style of learning.
4. Keep students in the classroom as much as possible. Eliminate as many pull-outs as you can.
I am especially grateful to Lisa for including the last point. Too often, pull-out services are believed to be superior to in-class support. And yet, every time a student is pulled out of the class, they are missing something. Will they ever be able to replace the instruction or class interaction they missed? In addition, the frequent transitions are disruptive. How do students feel when they leave the classroom for work in the resource room? It is time to reevaluate the view that pull-out services are best for all students. Lisa points out that her students received more reading service delivery time while remaining in class. And their scores demonstrate the success of this decision.
Is this really so radical or just common sense?
Thank you, Lisa for sharing your success and your guiding principles that respect students. You are an impressive educator and I appreciate all you do for students everywhere.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arlophoto/1818240155/