Chapter 1: The Teaching-Learning Process


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Notes and Concepts



Chapter 1 sets the stage for our study of assessment, curriculum and instruction. Foundation concepts are reviewed for the reader. It describes the characteristics of students with special needs, the range of learning environments (AKA continuum of services) and the teaching-learning process. Features of effective instruction and strategies for evaluating and monitoring progress, including individual educational programs as reflected in the 1997 reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are presented.

Look for the following key concepts/ideas as you read:


  • characteristics of students with learning and behavior problems

  • factors to be considered when determining how serious a a learning or behavior problem is
  • learning environments for students with learning and behavior needs

  • teaching-learning process

  • features of effective instruction

  • designing instruction


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Part 2: Study Questions

Fifteen to 25 percent of all students have some type of learning or behavior problem.


Read Chapter 1. Use the following questions to guide your reading and find meaning in this chapter:

  • Describe the characteristics of students who have learning and behavior problems.

  • How can specialists determine the severity of a student’s learning and/or behavior problem(s)?

  • Distinguish between "least restrictive environment" and "mainstreaming".

  • Explain the teaching-learning process.

  • Examine the importance of knowing your student, his/her knowledge, attitudes, academic levels, and learning strategies.

  • Describe the instructional cycle.

  • Outline the components of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and describe its purpose and function.

  • List ways to effectively evaluate student progress.

  • What are the features of effective instruction?

When you finish studying this chapter, please go to the class interactive pages and take the self test for Chapter 1.


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World Wide Web Resources



Examine the following World Wide Web links and consider their perspectives based on information from Chapter 1.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Learn about the law and new regulation. Ask questions about the law, effective practices, and ideas that work. Connect to relevant Web sources and sites. Great resource to learn about the most important legislation regarding students with disabilities.

Council for Exceptional Children
This is the Website for the Council for Exceptional Children. It provides general information about CEC along with a listing of training and events. Also, a clearinghouse on disabilities and gifted education and a clearinghouse for professionals in special education can be found at this site. There is also a CEC discussion forum and information on public policy and legislative information.
IEP Individualized Education Program The Process
This Website provides an overview of the Individualized Education Plan.
Your Child's IEP: Practical and Legal Guidance for Parents
This Website provides guidance for parents regarding the Individualized Education Plan.
Learning Disabilities Association (LDA)
Provides position statements, legislative updates, parental rights, and tips for parenting children with learning disabilities.
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
CHADD works to improve the lives of people with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder through education, advocacy, and support.



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