Every day, many children are born with disabilities, and they really need our care. For this reason, ESCE programs are very important. During my learning process, I got a lot of useful skills and necessary information about the assessment and observation methods in Early Childhood Special Education programs. In this essay, I would like to summarize what I have learned and share with you some observations and conclusions I have made.
First of all, it would be appropriate to notice that all the lectures were composed in a perfectly understandable way. For example, “Standardized Assessment” is not an easy subject, but the lecture contained everything I need to know. The learning process was systematic, and I am strongly assured that it is the main advantage of this class.
During the lessons, we have learned not only the basics of assessment in ESCE. There were a lot of additional information about legal basis, assessment requirements, types, methods of assessment, and other useful content.
As for me, the most informative and useful lesson was “Individualized Education Plan”. I learned all the key points of creating a really good and effective IEP. Furthermore, I got a chance to understand how it works in America. It is very important for me to know how this system should look like. In my country (Saudi Arabia), we have some problems with it, and it is essential for us to improve the situation as quickly as possible. In my opinion, we can use your experience of creating a right Individualized Education Plan.
Besides, there were three other lessons I would like to define as very useful. The first one is “Communication with Parents”. It is obvious that parents play a great part in the educational process of handicapped children. As a rule, they are quite afraid when we start working with their children; thus, we should be very kind to parents as well. Sometimes, it is not an easy task to explain them how they should take care about their children. This lecture explained me how we should communicate with parents in a proper way.
Next lesson I found very weighty was “Observation Skills”. From this lesson, I have heard about all the factors I can face. Also, it was very good to know what is important to observe in handicapped children’s behavior and what I should pay attention to. Although, I would like to know more about self-awareness of a child with deficiency. It is quite hard to understand the level of awareness, so it would be good to include some additional information about this.
The third lesson I would like to write about is “Transdisciplinary Play Based Assessment”. Despite the fact that it was the hardest lesson, I liked it. I got a lot of information pack about TPBA model. It is important to know everything about this model in general and each part of it in particular. TPBA is one of the most useful models. It is holistic, flexible, developing, and team-based. All of this is very effective. To my mind, it was the most interesting lesson at all.
This class gave me the total understanding of formal and informal assessment. I made the conclusion that an informal assessment could be much more objective and clearer then formal assessment. In addition, it is really interesting to observe students “in action” and offer them new activities on spot. Also, it is better to observe children without any strict plans, because we can suddenly “catch” their ordinary behavior. However, we have to keep formal assessment in our observation plan too. It is necessary if we want to analyze the dynamics of our students’ progress.
If I had to take this class again, I would ask you to change and add something. The first advice will be to use more visual content in the lessons. I think that the information could be learned easier when it is supported by images and videos, for example, it would be nice to see some useful infographics. Also, it would be a pleasure for students to watch some documental videos or interviews with parents.
Another good idea is to add more case-study projects. It could be a great practical experience for students. I think it is possible to run little workshops after lectures (just for 15 minutes). It is more interactive, so students will stay active much longer. Some points of lecture, which are not clear, could be discussed in groups.
Your presentations are very informative, but you can make them even better using other platforms for creating presentations. I would recommend “Prezi” – www.prezi.com. There are a lot of different templates for educational projects that are much more convenient. In addition, you can easily share your presentations with your students online using a link.
American Early Childhood Special Education system became a good example for me to follow in my country. Our ESCE system is quite different, but now I know what we can do to make it better.
Finally, I would like to say that this class was really helpful for me. The question of ECSE is very actual now as it is essential for everyone who works with handicapped children to know about them as much as possible. Now, I have enough skills and knowledge for better handling the assessment and observation of students.
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