Learning Modalities, Environment, Curriculum and Personnel in Early Childhood Education

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This paper is written to explore the elements needed when collaborative skills in the classroom meet and intermingle within the regular design of educational programming and other services related to the special needs child in the early childhood education environment. Learning modalities will be defined. The importance of a spectrum of modalities in the way children learn will be addressed, with special attention given to the needs of a special needs child in the classroom. The question of why changes in curriculum, environment and personnel are necessary when dealing with a special needs student in a typical classroom will also be addressed. Sometimes referred to as “learning modalities”, operating in a classroom according to “teaching modalities” is a method of approaching education from a number of perspectives in order to provide a well-formed learning experience for the individual student. A learning modality refers to the way a student concentrates on, processes and retains information or skills (Hutinger, 2001). While noted education specialist Howard Gardner (Hermanns, 2010) has theorized that there are far more intelligences from which one may draw conclusions about the way children learn, for purposes of this paper, three main modalities will be discussed, Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (de Sa & Ballard, 1998). Within the scope of the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP), a written plan of action to support the growth and development of a child ages birth through 3 and his family, or the Individual Education Plan (IEP), a plan for the child entering the school system, a child’s special needs will be documented and goals established. In some cases, the modality of the child can begin to be recognized and establishe... ... middle of paper ... ... North Carolina, . (2011). What is autism?. Retrieved from http://www.autismsociety-nc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=341&Itemid=675 de Sa, V., & Ballard, D. (1998). Category learning through multimodality sensing. Neural Companion, 10(5), Retrieved from http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/089976698300017368?journalCode=neco Emma, S. (2010, June 8). Learning in a different way. Illawarra Mercury. p. 31. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Hermanns, K. (2010, December 9). Good study skills habits: activating multiple intelligences [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://info.knowledgepointslearning.com/bid/56203/Good-Study-Skills-Habits-Activating-Multiple-Intelligences Hutinger, P. (2001, November). Learning modalities: pathways to effective learning. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/teachers/earlychildhood/articles/learningmodalities.html

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