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Rationales for Discrepancies Between Abilities and Achievement.

                              

This article offers a review of the adequacy of the term "learning disabilities", the statutory definition, discrepancy between ability and achievement as a component of the definition and/or evaluation, and the legal standard for disability status.

LEARNING DISABILITIES - AN UMBRELLA TERM

In defining learning disabilities, we must recognize at the outset that this term is an umbrella term covering conditions that vary considerably in nature and degree of individual impact, that may appear as a single learning disability or multiple learning disabilities, and that may stand alone or appear in combination with other conditions, such as attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. Learning disabilities appear in individuals who have their own individual strengths, cognitive abilities, and personal characteristics.

IS THERE A BETTER TERM?

One term offered as an alternative to "learning disabilities" is "learning differences." This term may be appropriate in some cases. For example, a person with reading disorder who, as a result of effective educational intervention, reads in terms of comprehension and speed well above the average person may be viewed as having learned to read in a different way and thus as simply having a learning difference. On the other hand, a person with mathematics disorder who has not been able to master mathematics beyond the fifth grade level, despite numerous educational interventions, might be better described as having a learning disorder or a learning disability. For this person, there is a substantive area of learning that cannot be mastered rather than merely a learning area that may be mastered in a different way.

Given that this umbrella term must cover so much, it seems appropriate to use the term "learning disability" in order to suggest that for many individuals there remains some degree of deficit in the area affected. Also, the term "learning disability" has a history both in common usage and in pertinent laws. It is important to note that the "disability" part of the term is used in the practical sense and not in the legal sense. For example, the fact that an individual has a learning disability does not mean that he or she automatically has a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is necessary to meet the disability standard under the ADA.

THE IDEA DEFINITION

Since "learning disability" is an umbrella term, it seems most appropriate to use a broad and inclusive definition. The basic definition in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is set forth below:

(A) IN GENERAL- The term "specific learning disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.

(B) DISORDERS INCLUDED- Such term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

(C) DISORDERS NOT INCLUDED- Such term does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

This IDEA definition is broad and offers a good starting point. It clearly states that a learning disability is a "disorder" in a basic
process which may manifest itself in an "imperfect ability" to perform specified important functions. There seems no compelling reason at this time to move away from the IDEA definition, as it is currently or with minor modification.

DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ABILITY AND ACHIEVEMENT

While the IDEA definition appears adequate, the severe discrepancy standard that was intended to assist school districts in identifying students with learning disabilities should not be viewed as defining a learning disability. Indeed, it could produce odd results. Suppose an individual has an ability in a learning area in the 90th percentile but achieves only in the 60th percentile. There is a severe discrepancy between ability and achievement within the individual but no actual deficit measured against the general population, as performance is well above average. Should this be a learning disability? Suppose an individual with uneven abilities, including an ability and achievement in reading in the 70th percentile and an ability and achievement in mathematics in the 5th percentile. Certainly there is a deficit in mathematics compared to the general population, but no severe discrepancy, within that individual, between ability and achievement in mathematics. Should this be a learning disability?

Rather than use the severe discrepancy standard to define learning disabilities, a better approach may be to start with the broad IDEA definition. Working from that definition, specific diagnostic criteria may be used to determine if a particular individual has a "disorder" in a basic process that manifests itself in an "imperfect ability" to perform one or more of the listed functions. For example, an appropriate professional may review history, administer tests and make clinical observations that establish the existence of a reading disorder, mathematics disorder, disorder of written _expression, or other learning disorder. Some clinicians may refer to criteria set forth in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). In the case of reading disorder, the DSM-IV, Section 315, criteria include (a) that reading achievement is "substantially below" expectation based upon age, measured intelligence, and age appropriate education and (b) that the disturbance "significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require reading skills".

WHEN IS A LEARNING DISABILITY A DISABILITY UNDER THE LAW?

Once it is determined that a person has a learning disability, the next step often is to determine if that person meets the relevant statutory standard. Under the IDEA, the question is does the student, by reason of the learning disability, need special education and related services. Under, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (RA) and under the ADA, the question is does the learning disability (impairment) substantially limit one or more of the person's major life activities. The substantial limitation determination is made by comparing performance to that of the average person in the general population.

Let's examine a few illustrative examples under the ADA.

Suppose that Harry has an ability that would suggest he should read at the 90th percentile but in fact he reads at the 60th percentile. As a child he received special education services to address reading disorder and now compensates well. He required no special services after elementary school. He took the SAT timed and scored above the average. He is now in medical school and wishes to request extra test time for his medical licensing examination. A professional has diagnosed him as having a well compensated learning disability, referring to the discrepancy between ability and achievement in reading. While Harry still has some impact as a result of his reading disorder, he most likely would not meet the DSM-IV criteria for reading disorder because there is no disturbance that significantly interferes with academic achievement or with daily activities that require reading. He also would not meet the ADA standard of substantial limitation in learning compared to the average person. Note that, if a person has deficits compared to the average person in decoding or in reading speed and does not have a record of high achievement on timed tests such as the SAT, he may be able to demonstrate that he has a reading disorder for which he has not compensated well. For example, he may be able to show that his compensatory techniques cause him to read far more slowly than the average person. Thus, he may have been able to meet the ADA substantial limitation standard. There are many students with learning disabilities in professional and graduate schools who have met the ADA standard and have received accommodations.

Suppose that a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation shows that Sally has well above average ability in most areas but her ability and achievement in mathematics are well below average. She has received special education services for her mathematics problems but there has been little improvement. She took the SAT and scored in the 70th percentile in verbal and in the 5th percentile in mathematics. She repeatedly failed mathematics courses in high school and has problems even understanding mathematics needed in daily life. Sally entered a community college that has a policy of allowing students with documented disabilities and needs for accommodation to substitute certain courses to meet the mathematics requirement. Sally has asked her community college to recognize her learning disability in mathematics and to allow her to substitute a philosophy course for the mathematics requirement. Sally has a learning disability and meets the ADA test of substantial limitation in learning compared to the average person, though her ability and achievement in mathematics are not severely discrepant.

CONCLUSION

It is useful to start with a broad definition and then use specific diagnostic criteria to diagnose learning disabilities. Severe discrepancy between ability and achievement should not be an essential component of the definition or the evaluation. Hallmarks of a learning disability are: uneven ability within the individual, deficit in an ability of the individual compared to the average in that ability, and deficit in the individual's achievement in an area compared to the average achievement in that area. In the case of Sally, discussed above, the uneven abilities within Sally and the deficits compared to most people in mathematics ability and achievement, with no discrepancy between Sally's ability and achievement, amount to a learning disability and a disability under the ADA and RA. On the other hand, Harry, who has a severe discrepancy between his ability and achievement in reading, reads faster and comprehends better than most people, does not meet the DSM criteria for Reading Disorder, and does not have a disability under the ADA and RA.

Thus, some people with a severe discrepancy between ability and achievement may not have learning disabilities, and some people who do have learning disabilities may not meet the legal disability standard. Diagnostic information may be useful, regardless of whether or not it results in a learning disability diagnosis or disability status under the law because individuals, nevertheless, might benefit from strategies, programs, or other methods recommended by clinicians to improve performance.

 

 
  “No Child Left Behind”

  The Secretary of Education has issued policy letters to clarify

the No Child Left Behind statute.  August 2002, the U.S. Department of Education issued proposed regulations.  Additional regulations concerning calculations of AYP using scores for the small numbers of students who take tests aligned with alternate achievement standards were issued in December 2003.  No Child Left Behind (NCLB) covers all states, schools districts, and schools that accept Title 1 federal grants.  Title 1 grants provide funding for remedial education programs for poor and disadvantaged children in public schools, and in some private programs.  NCLB applies differently to Title 1 schools that do not receive Title 1 grants.  However, one way or another, this law covers all public schools in all states.

NCLB emphasizes accountability and teaching methods that work.  A large focus of this law is on reading achievement.  Only 32% of fourth graders are proficient readers who read at a fourth grade level.  Schools that receive Title 1 funds may apply for Reading First grants to pay for classroom-reading instruction for grades K-3.  These Reading First grants are only available for reading programs that are proven successful based on independent research.  Reading First grants will fund classroom-reading instruction for 90-minute blocks, 5 days a week.  Schools may use part of this money to train K-3 teachers in these research-based methods.  They may also use a portion of this money to train K-12 special education teachers.

This law raises the requirements for teachers.  Because all states have accepted Title 1 funds, this quality standard applies to all public school teachers in all states.  Any new teacher, working in Title 1 program, must meet the criteria for being “ highly qualified.”  That means they hold at least a bachelors degree and have passed a state test of subject knowledge.  Elementary school teachers must demonstrate knowledge of teaching math and reading.  Teachers in higher grades must demonstrate knowledge of the subject they teach, or have majored in that subject.  Other teachers have until 2005-2006 to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree, licensure and or certification.  Teachers with license and certification waivers, even if for an emergency basis, will not meet this standard.  New paraprofessionals who assist in Title 1 programs must have completed two years of college or pass a test.  The test will assess their ability to support teachers in reading, writing and math instruction.  Paraprofessionals already employed have until 2006 to meet these requirements.  If your child attends a Title 1 school, you are entitled to information about your child’s teacher.  You are entitled to know whether the teacher is certified and qualified to teach the particular subject and grade.  You entitled to information about the teacher’s college degree and major.  If your child receives any services from a paraprofessional, the school is required to provide you with information about the paraprofessional’s qualifications.

By the 2013-2014 school year, NCLB requires that all children will be at the proficient level on the state testing.  To help states and districts accomplish this, NCLB gives more flexibility in combining federal grants and expenditures.  States and districts may use federal money for research-based programs that are proven effective.  Beginning in the fall of 2002, your district must report the scores for statewide testing to parents.  This is the district or school’s report card.  Your district will report scores for each school as a whole.  The scores will also be broken out into four subgroups: children with disabilities, limited English proficiency, racial minorities and children from low-income families.  This information will tell you if your school has been successful in teaching all groups of children.  You will be able to compare the report card from your child’s school to the report cards from other schools in your district and state. 

Beginning in 2005, your school must test all children in grades 3-8 every year in math and reading.  By fall, 2007, science assessments are required.  These test scores will determine if your school is making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) towards the goal of proficiency for all children by the 2013-2014 deadlines. Proficiency means the child is performing at average grade level.  All subgroups of children, as well as the school as a whole, must meet the AYP goal or the school will fall.  If your Title 1 School fails to reach its AYP goal for three years, your school will provide supplemental services to the children remaining there.  These supplemental services include tutoring, after-school programs, and summer school.  If the school fails to make its AYP goal for four years, the school may replace school staff responsible for the failure.  The school may hire an outside expert to advise the school on how to make progress toward its AYP goal.  If all these options are unsuccessful, the state will take over management of schools.

Assessment and Reliability

All tests contain error. The goal of assessment is to keep errors down to levels that are appropriate for the purposes of the test. High-stakes tests, such as licensure examinations, need to have very little error. Classroom tests can tolerate more error because it is fairly easy to spot and correct mistakes made during the testing process.

Reliability is the extent to which the measurements resulting from a test are the result of characteristics of those being measured. Reliability can also be viewed as an indicator of the absence of random error when the test is administered. When random error is minimal, scores can be expected to be more consistent from administration to administration. Reliability of any one test varies from group to group.

There are three major sources of error: factors in the test itself, factors in the students taking the test, and scoring factors. Most tests give certain questions to see how well a student can answer it. If the majority of the students answer them, then they will be presented questions that they assume the students can answer. Students can also make mistakes by not eating and getting enough rest before the test. One of the major mistakes is when they do not follow directions. The scoring errors of a test are a source of error. On objective tests, the scoring is mechanical, and scoring error should be minimal. On constructed-response items, sources of error include clarity of the scoring rubrics, clarity of what is expected of the student, and a host of rater errors. Raters are not always consistent, sometimes change their criteria while scoring, and are subject to biases such as the halo effect, stereotyping, perception differences, leniency/stringency error, and scale shrinkage.

A reliability of a test can be measured by retesting. If scores of a test given twice, turn out to be the same, then you know the test can be reliable. It is not recommended to do this, because of its problems and limitations. It requires two administrations of the same test with the same group of individuals. This is expensive and not a good use of people's time.

Test would have less random measurement error if it were developed better. Writing items can reduce measurement error clearly, making the instructions easily understood, adhering to proper test administration, and providing consistent scoring. Because a test is a sample of the desired skills and behaviors, longer tests and larger samples are reliable. A one-hour end-of-unit exam will be more reliable than a five-minute pop quiz.

Teachers want students to learn to follow directions, to think through their work, to check their work, and to be careful. This article comments that in the elementary grades, a miserable test due to careless mistakes should not dramatically lower a student's grade for the semester. The semester grade should reflect what the student has achieved, since that is the meaning it will convey to others.

In concluding, the education of to day is all about taking test. It has been witnessed where students just write anything on tests. That just lowers their score and they do not realize it and that makes people think they do not know the materials. Teachers need to try to teach the importance of these tests. Believe or not it is getting where teachers are going to have to teach these test.

 

Position Paper on "No Child Left Behind"

 

Under the "No Child Left Behind" Act, there is going to be assessments require to measure what children know and what they have learned in reading and math in grades 3-8. Their achievement will be measured through these tests every year. I believe that these assessments can be a useful tool to better education for students of today and of the future. Increasing the quality of education a student gets in the earlier years of his or her education will provide a strong educational foundation. However, while teachers help students get ready for these tests, they should not put such attention on the test performance of students that they over look other important aspects of education. The data from these tests can also be used to keep schools updated in improvements needed in teacher’s skills and knowledge as well as the schools curriculum.

This new law also gives the parents a right to take their child out of a failing school. Every parent wants his or her child to receive the highest quality education possible. By allowing parents to remove their child from a failing school to a school with better performance can help parents achieve their goals of providing a quality education for their child without feeling that their hands are tied when it comes to education options. Supplemental services sound like a good idea, but if a student is required to spend time after school or attend summer school the student may actually be sacrificing because of the poor performance of the school. I feel more attention needs to be given to improving the schools performance from the start.

There is an important part of this law I do like and that is to put reading first. The president wants every child to read by third grade. In my opinion, reading is the most important part of a child’s education. If a child cannot read proficiently his or her quality of education will never reach its full potential. More reading programs is a positive move toward better education.

To better education, the president want to make sure all teachers are highly qualified. Teachers are the backbone of education. The quality of education provided to students will only be as good as the quality of teachers in out schools. Providing more programs for teachers to further improve their education and skills will ensure a high quality education for students both in the present and the future. The freedom of making spending decisions given to local schools will allow schools to offer incentives for qualified teachers again improving the quality of education for students.

Position Paper on Education

Education is a proven weapon in the fight against poverty, opening up access to knowledge and skills and helping to break down barriers that exclude poor people from political and economic life. Public education benefits the poor and the non-poor equally. It is a w widespread access to quality education and is necessary before the full poverty-reducing impact of other social services, such as improved health care, can be unlocked.

I believe every child is unique. Because experience in the world so powerfully affects early development, no two brains grow and mature in the same way. Children are individuals right from the start, even if they are raised in the same culture, locality, or even household. Even the brains of identical twins develop differently, based on their early surroundings and interactions with the adults who care for them.

As anyone who has ever raised a child can attest, no parent can completely plan or predict how a son or daughter will grow and develop. The settings and experiences that parents provide are crucial, but many other factors are also at work, and parents cannot regulate (or take responsibility for) every aspect of their children’s development. Newborns arrive with different temperaments, strengths, and needs. Many children are born with abilities or disabilities that present them and their families with special challenges. Some boys and girls encounter difficulty despite their families’ love and commitment; others show remarkable resilience, growing into hearty children and able learners despite circumstances that overwhelm other young people.

Helping children reach their full potential, while expanding their future opportunities, is an important issue not only for parents, caretakers, and educators, but also for politicians, and business executives.

Finally, I think it is important to educate every child. Parents are the first teachers and they set the stage for the importance of education. Every child deserves caring adults and teachers to show them the value of learning. I believe that every child must have the opportunity to develop academic and life skills to become responsible citizens in our society.

 

 

RATIONALES FOR DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ABILITY AND ACHIEVEMENT

While the IDEA definition appears adequate, the severe discrepancy standard that was intended to assist school districts in identifying students with learning disabilities should not be viewed as defining a learning disability. Indeed, it could produce odd results. Suppose an individual has an ability in a learning area in the 90th percentile but achieves only in the 60th percentile. There is a severe discrepancy between ability and achievement within the individual but no actual deficit measured against the general population, as performance is well above average. Should this be a learning disability? Suppose an individual with uneven abilities, including an ability and achievement in reading in the 70th percentile and an ability and achievement in mathematics in the 5th percentile. Certainly there is a deficit in mathematics compared to the general population, but no severe discrepancy, within that individual, between ability and achievement in mathematics. Should this be a learning disability?

Rather than use the severe discrepancy standard to define learning disabilities, a better approach may be to start with the broad IDEA definition. Working from that definition, specific diagnostic criteria may be used to determine if a particular individual has a "disorder" in a basic process that manifests itself in an "imperfect ability" to perform one or more of the listed functions. For example, an appropriate professional may review history, administer tests and make clinical observations that establish the existence of a reading disorder, mathematics disorder, disorder of written _expression, or other learning disorder. Some clinicians may refer to criteria set forth in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). In the case of reading disorder, the DSM-IV, Section 315, criteria include (a) that reading achievement is "substantially below" expectation based upon age, measured intelligence, and age appropriate education and (b) that the disturbance "significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require reading skills".

It is useful to start with a broad definition and then use specific diagnostic criteria to diagnose learning disabilities. Severe discrepancy between ability and achievement should not be an essential component of the definition or the evaluation. Hallmarks of a learning disability are: uneven ability within the individual, deficit in an ability of the individual compared to the average in that ability, and deficit in the individual's achievement in an area compared to the average achievement in that area. In the case of Sally, discussed above, the uneven abilities within Sally and the deficits compared to most people in mathematics ability and achievement, with no discrepancy between Sally's ability and achievement, amount to a learning disability and a disability under the ADA and RA. On the other hand, Harry, who has a severe discrepancy between his ability and achievement in reading, reads faster and comprehends better than most people, does not meet the DSM criteria for Reading Disorder, and does not have a disability under the ADA and RA.

Thus, some people with a severe discrepancy between ability and achievement may not have learning disabilities, and some people who do have learning disabilities may not meet the legal disability standard. Diagnostic information may be useful, regardless of whether or not it results in a learning disability diagnosis or disability status under the law because individuals, nevertheless, might benefit from strategies, programs, or other methods recommended by clinicians to improve performance.

 

What is an Effective Teacher?"

In order to be an effective teacher, you must want to teach. Because children need our help to learn to move from head start to grade to grade. Children come in different learning styles and behaviors. Teachers need to have a love for his/her students

to be able to deal with anything that comes her way. An effective teacher is a person that taps in to a child’s thoughts and interest and determines the best way to depart information that the student can grasp and build upon. He/She cares for and understands the strong as well as the weak student. He/She has to truly believe that all children can learn and they take different pathways in the learning process. One child may learn slower than another and take longer to grasp concepts than another. A good teacher will be able to diagnose a child’s problem and decide what is best concerning the child’s emotional and academic needs. Next, an effective teacher respects the student as an individual with feelings and needs. Teachers must create a positive relationship and worthiness in order to create a learning community. They actively engage students in task that relate to the children’s interest to make meaningful experiences from which the students can grow.

Lifelong learning and a love of people are also important ingredients. Teachers, of course, need to be well grounded in the discipline they teach. I think this goes without saying, but it is the combination of belief in the individual with the knowledge of the content and strategies of different ways of teaching that make teaching effective. An effective teacher is a facilitator of learning and provides for meaningful activities that enable students to apply their knowledge to solve a community problem or need. An effective teacher is also a good judge. She or he will have to make decisions in the class concerning classroom management. He/She will have to decide sometimes if children are truthful or not. If a teacher makes a wrong decision, it could cause hurt feelings. This could cause negatives feelings between the students and the teacher, also.

Finally, an effective teacher views the classroom as an ever-evolving opportunity for students and teachers alike to learn together. Good teachers seek ways to connect students to contentment. They also examine their own practice continually to make sure they are being equally committed professionals. I believe a truly effective teacher is always learning.

PIAGET’S LEARNING THEORY

     Jean Piaget was a Swiss biologist and Psychologist from ( 1896-1980 ).

He is renowned for constructing a highly influential model of child

development and learning. Piaget’s theory is based on the idea that the

developing child builds cognitive structures, in other words, mental "maps"

schemes, or networked concepts for understanding and responding to

physical experiences within his or her environment. He further attested that

a child’s cognitive structure increases in sophistication with development

with development, moving from a few innate reflexes such as crying and

sucking to highly complex mental activities.

     Piaget’s theory identifies four developmental stages and the processes

by which children progress through them. The four stages are: Sensorimotor

stage (birth-2 years old). The child, through physical interaction with his

or her environment, builds a set of concepts about reality and how it works.

this is the stage where a child does not know that physical object remain in

existence even when out of sight (object permanence ). Preoperational

stage (ages 2-7). The child is not yet able to conceptualize abstractly and

needs concrete physical situations. Concrete Operations (ages 7-11) As

physical experience accumulates, the child starts to conceptualize, creating

logical structures that explain his or her physical experiences. Abstract

problem solving is also possible at this stage. For example, arithmetic

equations can be solved with numbers, not just with objects. Formal

Operations(beginning at ages 11-15) At this point, the child’s

structures are like those of an adult and include conceptual reasoning.

Piaget outlined several principles for building cognitive structures.

During all development stages, the child experiences his or her own

environment using whatever mental maps he or she has constructed so

far. If the experience is a repeated one, it fits easily, or is assimilated

into the child’s cognitive structure so that he or she maintains mental

"equilibrium". If the experience is different or new, the child loses

equilibrium, and alters his or her cognitive structure to accommodate the

new condition. This way, the child erects more and more adequate cognitive

structures.

     The way in which this theory impacts learning in the curriculum area is

that educators must plan a developmentally appropriate curriculum that

enhances their student’s logical and conceptual growth. In instructions

the teacher must emphasize the critical role that experiences or interactions

with the surrounding environment play in student learning.

 

A Position Paper on Helping Your Child Learn

Most parents, I think, will agree that it is a wonderful experience to cuddle up with their child and a good book. I believe a few people will say that about flash cards or pages of math problems. It is important for-home and school to join hands. By fostering a positive attitude about math at home, we can help our children learn math at school.

It's Everywhere! It's Everywhere! - Math is everywhere and yet, we may not recognize it because it doesn't look like the math we did in school. Math in the world around us sometimes seems invisible. But math is present in our world all the time--in the workplace, in our homes, and in life in general. You may be asking yourself, "How is math everywhere in my life? I'm not an engineer or an accountant or a computer expert!" Math is in your life from the time you wake until the time you go to sleep. You are using math each time you set your alarm, buy groceries, mix a baby's formula, keep score or time at an athletic event, wallpaper a room, decide what type of tennis shoe to buy, or wrap a present. Have you ever asked yourself, "Did I get the correct change?" or "Do I have enough gasoline to drive 20 miles?" or "Do I have enough juice to fill all my children's thermoses for lunch?" or "Do I have enough bread for the week?" Math is all this and much, much more.

How do you feel about math? Your feelings will have an impact on how your children think about math and themselves as mathematicians. Take a few minutes to answer these questions:

Did you like math in school?

Do you think anyone can learn math?

Do you think of math as useful in everyday life?

Do you believe that most jobs today require math skills?

If you answer "yes" to most of these questions, then I feel like you are probably encouraging your child to think mathematically. If you feel uncomfortable about math, here are some ideas to think about. Math is a very important skill, one in which we will all need for the future in our technological world. It is important for you to encourage your children to think of themselves as mathematicians who can reason and solve problems. Math is a subject for all people. Math is not a subject that men can do better than women. Males and females have equally strong potential in math.

People in the fine arts also need math. They need math not only to survive in the world, but each of their areas of specialty requires an in-depth understanding of some math, from something as obvious as the size of a canvas, to the beats in music, to the number of seats in an audience, to computer-generated artwork. Calculators and computers require us to be equally strong in math. Theft presence does not mean there is less need for knowing math. Calculators demand that people have strong mental math skills--that they can do math in their heads. A calculator is only as accurate as the person putting in the numbers. It can compute; it cannot think! Therefore, we must be the thinkers. We must know what answers are reasonable and what answers are outrageously large or small.

Positive attitudes about math are important for our country. The United States is the only advanced industrial nation where people are quick to admit that "I am not good in math." We need to change this attitude, because mathematicians are a key to our future. The workplace is rapidly changing. No longer do people need only the computational skills they once needed in the 1940s. Now workers need to be able to estimate, to communicate mathematically, and to reason within a mathematical context. Because our world is so technologically oriented, employees need to have quick reasoning and problem-solving skills and the capability to solve problems together. The work force will need to be confident in math.

You need to Build Your Self-Confidence! To be mathematically confident means to realize the importance of mathematics and feel capable of learning to use mathematics with ease, solve problems and work with others to do so, demonstrate strong reasoning ability see more than one way to approach a problem, apply mathematical ideas to other situations and use technology. Everyone needs to do the things I have written about and I believe things will work out better that way.

Position Paper on "Teaching Phonics and Whole Language in Classrooms"

There are two approaches to that have emerged from a debate over how best to teach young children to read. The first approach and one of the oldest is known as phonics, or code-emphasis approach to reading. Teachers who use this approach usually begin by having children associate sounds with individual letters and letter combinations. The children are then taught the strategy of sounding out or decoding words. They are also taught when to use this strategy in combination with various rules in order to overcome certain exceptions to general sounding out principles. The second approach is whole-language procedures. Here the teaching of decoding skills is de-emphasized. Instead, children are taught to recognize words largely by appearance and to focus on the overall meaning of a story together with story context cues such as pictures to help them with words that may be difficult to read.

In my opinion both of them should be used to teach a child to read. It is great when a child can look at a word and recognize it. It is also great when a student can sound out the word. Whole-language may not be appropriate for some children and it might be the best thing for some. If you use just one approach to teach children, then there could be a problem. That is because some children need special help to learn to read. There are children that are very gifted, they can look at a word from memory and recall it later. However, there are students that need to decode words to be able to sound them out before they are able to learn to read. In particular, children at risk for reading failure as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds who lack literacy skills will require mo re structure and greater emphasis on phonics than most whole-language programs provide.

I believe that teachers need to have easy access to whatever materials they need to teach both styles. In every classroom, there will always be a student that can grasp a word very quickly. There are students who can read a word with just a little help. Then you have students that need all the help you can give them. I believe that it does not matter what it takes as long as a child learns to read. All children can learn to read, but it takes caring people to help them. In the "No Child Left Behind Act", President Bush ‘s main concern is for every student in America to be able to read by third grade. Even though I disagree with some of issues in this act, I agree with that one. A child being able to learn to read opens doors that they can’t imagine it all. By using Phonics and the Whole Language approach, teachers will be able to accomplish the NCLB’s goal.

 

 

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All things are possible,Just believe