Some basic strategies suggested for use in special education include “ use of graphic organizers or visual displays to organize information, chunking or combining of related elements into units, using mnemonics or language cues to enhance memory” . These are a few strategies explained in Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities. Explanations of the strategies are thorough enough to make a convincing argument as to why they may be effective for learners in special education programs. Graphic organizations can use knowledge statements, purpose statements or a combination of both. Research indicates that using either improves content knowledge in both students with special needs and students without.
“ Similarly, Chang (1986) found that the use of an advance organizer prior to viewing a film facilitated comprehension for students with and without intellectual disabilities, with no differential effect based on disability” . This indicates that many strategies used for students in special education programs are as beneficial to students outside of special education programs. With IDEA legislation and the requirement that students in special education programs are educated in the least restrictive environment, this is positive for those educators who must address the educational needs of both students with and without learning disabilities in the same classroom.
It means that few modifications need to be made for a small group or one student, as other students will likely meet learning objectives as well. Chunking is the act of grouping like ideas together, to help improve memory and recall. Though this strategy was designed for students with learning disabilities, it serves the general student population well. “ Chunking has been shown to be effective in improving word analysis, reading, and recall information for students who are English language learners, students with the attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and gifted students” .
In other words, this strategy is useful in a wide variety of educational settings, including the mainstream classroom.
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