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Analysis of science textbook recommendations provided for students with disabilities.

Today, schools are increasingly educating students with disabilities in general education classrooms, and more and more students are finding themselves mainstreamed (Hallahan & Kauffman, 1988). Simultaneously, educators are being urged to increase the quality of instruction in regular classes so that U.S. students will be first in science and mathematics achievement worldwide by the year 2000.

Current estimates are that approximately 70% of all special education students spend a substantial amount of school time in the general education setting, and 26% spend a majority of their time in regular classes (Ysseldyke & Algozzine, 1990). Officials of the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs indicate that more than half of all students with disabilities receive instruction in science and mathematics in regular classes (U.S. Department of Education, 1991).

What constitutes appropriate instructional practice for special education students in the mainstream? The field has not taken a firm, proactive stance to set standards for the nature and extent of instructional adaptations required by mainstreamed students with disabilities. As a result, decisions regarding instructional recommendations have frequently been left to personnel in other areas of education. On occasion, educators have made recommendations with little thought concerning the long-term needs of the students. In many instances, these recommendations have little or no relevance to the needs of the students.

Very little information is available regarding the appropriateness of the science instruction that students with disabilities are receiving in general education or special education settings. We know that students with disabilities do not perform satisfactorily in this important subject area. For example, researchers have found that between 50% and 70% of the letter grades in science received by high school students with mild disabilities were "D" and below (Cawley, Kahn, & Tedesco, 1989; Donahoe & Zigmond, 1986). Hamisch and Wilkinson (1989) reported that the relative performance of children with disabilities was lower for science and mathematics than it was for reading, vocabulary, and writing at the secondary school level. Gregory, Shanahan, and Walberg (1985) reported that science test scores for normally achieving students were significantly higher than those of students with learning disabilities in the 10th grade.

The state of New York administered a Program Evaluation Test in science to all fourthgrade children (N = 197,861) and to many ageeligible children with disabilities (N = 18,032), regardless of their educational placement. It was found that the students with disabilities scored about 20% below the normally achieving group in content and skills areas and 10% below in manipulation activities.

Researchers have yet to determine the extent to which performance in science is a reflection of the quality and quantity of the educational experience. For example, Coble and Mathias (1982) found that not one student with disabilities was enrolled in a general education, secondary science class in one large state. In examining the science instruction provided in the general education setting, Raizen (1988) reported that the average amount of time spent per week was 18 min in Grades K-3 and 29 min in Grades 4-6. For students with mild disabilities in general education settings, the class time devoted to reading education was greater than that devoted to science education by a factor of nearly 200 (Ysseldyke, Thurlow, Christenson, & Weiss, 1987).

Very little information is available regarding curricula and instruction for students with disabilities in special education settings. Patton, Polloway, and Cronin (in press) surveyed special education teachers concerning their practices in science. They found that 38% of the teachers of self-contained classes provided no science instruction. Of the teachers who provided instruction, nearly half reported spending less than 60 min per week on the subject. The survey also revealed that 42% of the special education teachers received no preservice training in science education, and nearly 60% reported using the general education textbook as the basis of their instruction.

The science textbook is a key element in science instruction in general education, as well. Hashweh (1986) showed that teachers who had only minimal knowledge of physics followed the textbook structures quite closely. Elliott, Nagle, and Woodward (1986) noted that the science textbook was the pivotal element in general science instruction. Raizen (1988) found that teachers used the textbook in 70% of instructional activities, findings that parallel those of Wood and Wood (1988) and Patton et al. (in press) for special education teachers.

Dependency on the text is understandable; such practice is efficient, if not effective (Champagne & Bunce, 1989), and it provides a crutch for the teacher who has only minimal background in science (cf. Lovitt & Horton, 1991). At the same time, dependency on the text is questionable for students with mild disabilities, because one of their main limitations is reading (Lovitt & Horton). Parmar and Cawley (1992) compared the reading fluency rates of children with mild disabilities and students who were normally achieving. Across the grade levels, normally achieving students read about twice as many words as did the students with disabilities. The reading rates for both groups were significantly lower for science than for prose. Cawley, Miller, and Carr (1990) showed that the reading rates for 13-year-old students with mild disabilities was about 65 words per minute, comparable to rates for normally achieving second graders (cf. Rodden-Nord & Shinn, 1991). Further, Cawley et al. reported that their subjects answered only 4 to 7 of the 18 comprehension questions following the science reading.

In addition to their difficulties with reading text materials, students with mild disabilities also experience difficulties with text structures (Parmar & Cawley, 1992). Studies have shown that textbooks are often poorly organized in terms of their structure, coherence, unity, and audience appropriateness (Kantor, Anderson, & Annbruster, 1983) and may even be inaccurate (Champagne & Bunce, 1989).

Considering the push for world-class standards in science, increasing enrollment of students with disabilities in general education, and the emphasis on textbook-based instruction in these classes, we investigated what efforts have been made by textbook publishers to provide teachers with strategies for accommodating students with disabilities. We asked:

* Do textbook authors address the needs of students

with disabilities?

* If so, what is the range of disabilities they address?

* What types of accommodations are recommended

for teacher use?

In any given set of materials, some problems may be identifted, no matter how much care is taken in their development. Therefore, we discuss considerations teachers should have when adapting materials. In this article, we provide information for special education personnel on the characteristics of several textbook series and their utility for mainstreamed students with disabilities.


We identified two elementary science series that provided specific instructional recommendations in their teachers' manuals for students with disabilities. These series were selected because they were widely marketed nationwide and were also the only ones that provided specific recommendations for students with disabilities. In both series the recommendations were provided in the teacher's manual in a separate section at the end of each chapter. In addition, we found another series that provided recommendations for adaptations in the instructional guide for each program segment.

The three series were Silver-Burdett-Ginn (S), Merrill (M), and Full Option Science System (F). For Series S and M, we analyzed topics from Grades 1-6. For Series F, only selected materials for Grades 3-6 were available. Additional materials are in the process of development. The Series F materials were representative of the entire series in the aspects considered for this study, however. Series F groups Grades 3 and 4 and Grades 5 and 6 together in topic areas.

For each topic, the following information was gathered from the teacher's manual:

1. Number of disability areas addressed.

2. Types of disability areas addressed.

3. Nature of the instructional recommendation.

Because each of the topics had a separate designated section where recommendations for students with disabilities were provided, we analyzed these sections. We found no evidence of special needs being addressed in the body of the lesson. The frequency of occurrence of recommendations was tabulated. The categories described in Tables 1-4 are derived from the exact language used by the publishers. For example, if they mentioned that the recommendation was for students with learning disabilities, it was counted as such. If they advocated a field trip, that was how it was coded. No attempt was made to interpret any statement, and no interpretation was necessary.

For some topics, more than one disability area was addressed; and for some topics, more than one recommendation was provided. Therefore, some percentages in Tables 1-7 are distorted. Each area addressed received a credit of 1 count, as did each of the multiple suggestions, where they occurred. Anecdotal information is included for illustration and discussion.


Public Law 94-142 defines special education as "specially designed instruction ... to meet the unique needs ... of children who require special education." With this definition in mind, we had several questions about the needs of children and the types of categorical instructional recommendations built into the science programs analyzed here. First, to what extent is it appropriate to state the name of a category (e.g., visually impaired) and assume that the same generalized recommendation would be appropriate for all students under this category, or inappropriate for students with other categorical labels?

Second, to what extent can these programs be adapted or modified to meet the needs of students with disabilities? In some extraordinarily fine work, Lovitt and his colleagues (e.g., Lovitt & Horton, 1991) made program modifications to textbooks despite being limited by schools' wanting to adhere to a print format. This was accomplished even though their work showed that students with disabilities did not attain levels of reading sufficient to make the textbook a viable instructional medium.

Third, how can these programs be modified for classrooms having two or more students with different types of disabilities, when the teacher's manual may provide only one recommendation for modification? Such may be the case in many general as well as special education classrooms. Even self-contained classes for, say, students with learning disabilities may be composed of students with a variety of learning needs.

Limited Number of Disability

Categories Addressed

Although many classrooms include students with a variety of categorical labels and an even greater variety of educational needs, this heterogeneity was not addressed in the teaching recommendations analyzed. Table 1 shows the number of recommendations by grade and category of disability for each series. In some cases, the same recommendation was provided for use with more than one disability category. In the S series the most common form was to provide the same recommendation for students with visual impairments (VI) and those with learning disabilities (LD), in the M series for students with LD and developmental disabilities (DD), and in the F series for students with VI and orthopedic impairments (OI). The latter may be attributed to the fact that the roots of the F program are in activities designed to meet the needs of students with visual impairments and physical disabilities. It is unclear on what basis these groups were clustered, because vast differences exist among children categorized as LD, VI, DD, and OI in terms of their abilities and learning needs.


For the S series, the teacher's manual provided general recommendations for teachers to assist mainstreamed students. These recommendations were not included in Table 1 because they were not topic or grade specific. The recommendations consisted of management strategies for classroom instruction. Some useful strategies included providing a peer assistant to a student with VI or the use of manipulative materials for students with DD. Some strategies are contradictory; for example, for students with behavior disorders (BD), one statement tells teachers, "Ignore inappropriate behaviors," whereas another states, "Intervene and redirect a student before conflict arises" (p. T32). A total of 26 general recommendations was provided across seven categories of disabilities. In addition, an individualized education program (IEP) goal is provided at the beginning of each chapter.

Table 1 shows that of the 10 categories of disabilities defined in Public Law 94-142, only a few are referred to in each series. Among the categories mentioned, only two (LD and VI) are categories in which 50% or more students are educated in the mainstream (Hallahan & Kauffman, 1988). This is despite the fact that up to 80% of students with speech impairments (SI) spend considerable time in mainstream classes, and up to 45% of students with hearing impairments (HI), OI, DD, and BD spend time there as well (Ysseldyke & Algozzine, 1990). In the category of health impairments, only one suggestion was offered, and that was for the child to explain to his or her peers the effects of the health problem (e.g., asthma) on physical development. The F series has as their primary focus the VI, and secondarily the OI. Students with HI were mentioned only once, and that in the context of the student's explaining to the class his or her special safety rules. Less than 20% of suggestions in the F series were targeted toward other than students with VI or OI.

Poor Match Between Student Needs and


We conducted an analysis of the recommendations provided (see Tables 2-4). In general, the teachers' manuals for the S and M series recommended supplementary activities. That is, the teacher was not provided information on adapting a lesson, but rather something to do after the lesson was presented in which the student with disabilities could participate. In the F series, several suggestions included using adapted materials or specialized equipment. The majority of the latter consisted of Braille-marked devices for students with VI.


The activities listed in Tables 2-4 are defined as follows:

* Discuss: Verbal interaction of the student with

disabilities and the classroom teacher or peer

group. Examples are asking and answering

questions and describing personal observations.

* Examine Materials: An object is presented to

the student with disabilities for visual or tactile

examination. The student's only interaction

with the material is to gain descriptive information

about it.

* Field Trip: The student with disabilities is

taken out of the classroom to another setting.

Some suggested settings are the zoo, a power

plant, or a grassy meadow.

* Manipulate Pictures: The student with disabilities

uses pictures from magazines or

books. Activities involving manipulation of

pictures include cutting out pictures, pasting

them to form a collage, or sorting and matching

pictures on flashcards.

* Manipulate Objects: The student with disabilities

acts on an object or on given materials.

This may be in the form of constructing a diorama

with given materials, making clay models,

or moving objects to observe effects.

* Illustrate: The student with disabilities produces

a drawing as instructed. Examples

would be drawing plant parts, or graphing data

on daily temperatures.

* Describe to Others: The student with disabilities

presents information to classmates regarding

his or her disabilities and the

difficulties they experience as a result. No apparent

educational benefit to the students with

disabilities themselves are derived.

* Taste: The student with disabilities places solutions

or food substances in the mouth to use

the sense of taste for discriminating between

substances. This form of activity is reminiscent

of recommendations made by Seguin

(1907) in his book, Idiocy and Its Treatment

by the Physiological Method.

Use Equipment: The student with disabilities

uses scientific equipment appropriately to

measure or affect phenomena. * Work with Partner: The student with disabilities

uses the assistance of a peer to complete

an activity.

* Feel Sensations: The student with disabilities

uses his or her fingers to feel vibrating sensations.

Worksheet.- The student with disabilities completes

written work on a worksheet. Examples

include matching two sets of lists on a sheet

or writing down words in response to teacher


* Write Letter: The student with disabilities

composes a letter to a specific person requesting

scientific information.

* Tell Story: The student with disabilities invents

a story and shares it with a large or small

group of classmates. Usually the stories are recorded

and transcribed by the teacher; however,

no use is made of the transcription.

* Give More Time: The teacher is asked to provide

the students with additional time, usually

prior to the lesson, to become familiar with the

equipment to be used.

* Use Braille-Marked Equipment: The teacher

is informed that equipment, such as spring

scales, labels, and charts with Braille lettering

may be ordered for students with VI.

* Use Adapted Equipment: Specialized equipment,

such as sorting trays, magnifying

glasses, and plastic tubing, is recommended to

facilitate student participation.

* Inappropriate Activity: The teacher is informed

that the activity suggested is not appropriate

for some students. For example, a

student with VI should not participate in an

activity where students create chromatograms.

* Nothing: It is indicated that the disability is not

severe enough to merit adapted instruction.

The preceding categories were derived directly from the statements contained in the text. The examples provided are also directly from the texts.

Notably lacking in all three series was any attempt to match the specific learning needs of any particular student with instructional methods. At no place was the teacher provided with definitions and descriptions of various disabilities and the unique needs of the students. The teacher had no means to evaluate the effectiveness or appropriateness of the given statements. For example, the manuals did not address how to ensure that the field trip or the given worksheet activity was a learning experience for students with LD.

In the entire F series, only seven different suggestions were provided for adapting lessons for students with four types of disabilities. If instructional adaptation were so easily accomplished, most teacher preparation practices and writings in special education would be defunct. An over-simplification of the needs of mainstreamed students with disabilities is misleading to general education teachers, but is promoted by the information provided in this series.

Lack of Consistency Across Grades

We conducted an analysis of recommendations by topic area (see Tables 5-7). These tables demonstrate difficulties in planning at the school level. For each science topic, normally only one suggestion was provided, targeted usually at students with one type of disability, though sometimes the same suggestion was recommended for students with two or three types of disabilities, as previously described. Therefore, if the teacher was provided a suggestion for students with VI, no information was suggested for providing appropriate experiences for students with HI, OI, or DD on the same topic. If a teacher were to have, for example, a student with OI in the class, he or she would find only about 9% of topics that provided suggestions for educational experiences for the student.


Suppose a child with LD is to be integrated into a general education classroom from Grade 1, and learn about plants. In the S series, recommendations on this topic are provided for children with LD only at Grades 1, 2, 3, and 6. In the M series, recommendations are provided only at Grades 4 and 6 for LD students. In the F series, the topic of plants is discussed only at Grades 3 and 4. The only adaptations suggested are for students with VI. The student with LD would thus receive no assistance in this area of study. What are teachers at the other grade levels supposed to do to enhance their lessons for students with LD?

Inappropriateness of Suggestions

A look at the recommendations themselves raises some interesting questions. Many suggestions do not appear to be related to student needs. For example, for students with HI, there are recommendations to physically manipulate objects. Since the student does not have a visual impairment, it is unclear why physical manipulation is going to be especially helpful.

Another example of an unrelated activity is as follows:

[For students with HI:] Scramble the letters of key terms cited in the lesson - nebula, red giant, white dwarf, nova and so on. Direct students to unscramble the letters and then to draw a picture that depicts the term. Emphasize to students that the drawing should contain the key characteristics of the term, such as "neutron star": small and dense; "nebula": a large cloud of dust and gas.

Since the primary difficulty of students with HI is not spelling or problems with pictorial representations, the value of this recommendation is not evident. The idea of students' being able to draw density or gas, whether or not they are disabled, does not appear to be realistic.

Recommendations for students with BD in the M series are also of questionable assistance to teachers. It is recommended that students with BD "make a collage of the seasons with peers," or "discuss energy conservation." The unique needs of the student in dealing with peers are completely ignored. The teacher is provided with no guidance on how to work with the student to foster cooperative learning if the student is uncooperative, or how to manage disruptive behaviors, should they occur.

In the F series, one of the recommendations for students with OI is to have them push objects off their wheelchair trays by manipulating their chairs backwards. It is unclear how this is possible for a severely disabled student. Were it possible, merely pushing the object off would not produce the desired activity (in this case causing pendular motion of an object).


Some of the recommendations consist of asking students with sensory impairments to explain to the rest of the class how they adapt and the difficulties they encounter. For example:

Have the student with a physical, visual, or hearing handicap discuss his or her special health habits. In the discussion include special safety rules that the student needs to follow.

It is unclear how explaining to others will help the student with disabilities increase mastery of the processes and principles of science. If the student is HI, he or she may be using alternative communication methods. The F series does not mention how the student using manual communication is going to present to the rest of the class. Further, if the student already knows his or her safety rules, what purpose does the instructional unit serve?

The F series mentions several times that all students should be able to participate in a given activity and presumably do not need any adaptation or assistance. In looking at the activities for which this statement is made (e.g., construction of airplanes), the assumption that no adaptation is needed is false. A student with OI may require assistance in the manipulation of parts, a student with LD may require assistance in following directions, and a student with BD may require assistance staying on task.

Dangerous Procedures

Some recommendations include dangerous procedures. For example, in one unit, the teacher is advised to mix various solutions and have the student with VI taste them. The hazards of such experimentation are not addressed by the textbook developers. Nor are such factors as the use of taste as a first step. It is not clear why students with VI should have to taste the materials and not other students.

Impractical Recommendations

In the S series, it is frequently recommended that the teacher take the student with disabilities on a field trip. No mention is made of what activities the rest of the class is supposed to be engaged in during this time. Special instructional activities that would make the field trip a true learning experience are also not defined, such as indicating key features, elaborating on prior knowledge, and so on.

In recommending that the student work with a peer tutor, the teacher is provided no assistance in preparing the peer to be an effective tutor. Simply working with another student is not sufficient to ameliorate the difficulties experienced by a student with disabilities, especially if the peer is not competent in instructional procedures tailored to the needs of the student with disabilities.

It is not our intent to criticize or support the use of categorical labels in special education. This is a matter for the professional organizations and their numerous subdivisions. What we are questioning is the extent to which the use of labels is an appropriate basis on which to make instructional recommendations. Further, we question the extent to which programs and their accompanying materials can fully address the needs of students with disabilities. Figure 1 shows a list of student needs addressed in a new science program, Science for All Children (SAC) (Cawley, Miller, Sentman, & Bennet, in press). SAC consists of 288 "hands-on" science activities and specifically indicates that reading comes after knowledge of science.


The science learning needs of many students with disabilities are not being met in regular classrooms, as indicated by the failing or borderline passing grades these students are receiving (Cawley, et al., 1989; Donahoe & Zigmond, 1986). Students need instruction and learning experiences that are supplementary to those provided to the average group, as well as entire lessons appropriately adapted to meet their learning needs. An examination of the recommendations provided to teachers in the textbook series analyzed here shows that these teachers' manuals are an inadequate resource for teachers. Even the F series, which purports to provide information on how to work with mainstreamed students with visual impairments in regular science classrooms, does not appear to meet this goal.

Providing lesson adaptations and supplementary activities in major textbook series for mainstreamed students with disabilities has the potential for being very useful to teachers with no special education background, particularly with the increase in numbers of such children. Textbook authors should develop suggestions with caution so that they address the wide range of learning needs a teacher may find in the classroom.

Textbook developers also should focus their recommendations on unique ways to teach students who do not learn through traditional methodologies, these recommendations should be practically applicable. Considering how much teachers depend on the textbook, this valuable resource should be appropriately developed.


Cawley, J. F., Kahn, H., & Tedesco, A. (1989). Vocational education and students with leaming disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 22(10), 630-634. Cawley, J. F., Miller, J. H., & Carr, S. C. (1990). An examination of the reading performance of students with mild educational handicaps or learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 23(5), 284-290. Cawley, J. F., Miller, J. H., Sentman, R., & Bennet, S. (in press). Science for all children. Buffalo, NY: United-Dok. Champagne, A., & Bunce, D. (1989, April). Electricity in 6th grade tests: Too much, too fast. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference, San Francisco. Coble, C., & Mathias, F. (1982). Project to improve science for the handicapped. School Science and Mathematics, 82, 670-692. Donahoe, K., & Zigmond, N. (1986, April). High school grades of urban LD students and low-achieving peers. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco. Elliott, D., Nagle, K., & Woodward, A. (1986, April). Scientific literacy in elementary science textbooks. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco. Gregory, J., Shanahan, T., & Walberg, H. (1985). Learning disabled tenth-graders in mainstreamed settings: A descriptive analysis. Remedial and Special Education, 6(4), 25-33. Hallahan, D. P., & Kauffman, J. M. (1988). Exceptional children: Introduction to special education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Harnisch, D., & Wilkinson, I. (1989, April). Cognitive return of schooling for the handicapped: Preliminary findings from high school and beyond. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Francisco. Hashweh, M. (1986, April). Effects of subject matter knowledge in the teaching of biology and physics. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service ED 275502) Kantor, R. N., Anderson, T. H., & Annbruster, B. B. (1983). How inconsiderate are children's textbooks? Journal of Curriculum Studies, 15, 6-72. Lovitt, T. C., & Horton, S. V. (1991). Adapting textbooks for mildly handicapped adolescents. In G. Stoner, M. R. Shinn, & H. M. Walker (Eds.), Interventions for achievement and behavior problems. (pp 439-472). Silver Spring, MD: National Association for School Psychologists. Parinar, R. S., & Cawley, J. F. (1992). A comparison of story and science reading performance on a curriculum-based reading task Unpublished manuscript. Patton, J., Polloway, E., & Cronin, M. (in press). A survey of special education teachers relative to science for the handicapped. Science Education. Raizen, S. (1988). Increasing educational productivity through improving the science curriculum. Washington, DC: The National Center for Improving Science Education. Rodden-Nord, K., & Shinn, M. R. (1991). The range of skills within and across general education classrooms: Contributions to understanding special education for students with mild handicaps. The Joumal of Special Education, 24(4),441-453. Seguin, E. (1907). Idiocy and its treatment by the physiological method. New York: Teacher's College, Columbia University. U.S. Department of Education. (1991). Thirteenth annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Education of the Handicapped Act. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Wood, T. L., & Wood, W. L. (1988). Assessing potential difficulties in comprehending fourth grade science textbooks. Science Education, 72(5), 561-574. Ysseldyke, J., & Algozzine, B. (1990). Introduction to special education (2nd ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Ysseldyke, J., Thurlow, M., Christenson, S., & Weiss, J. (1987). Time allocated to instruction of mentally retarded, learning disabled, emotionally disturbed, and nonhandicapped elementary students. Journal of Special Education, 21, 23-42.

RENE S. PARMAR (CEC #96), Assistant Professor, JOHN F. CAWLEY (CEC #66), Professor, Department of Learning and Instruction, State University of New York at Buffalo.


Meeting the Needs of All Children: Science for All Children (SAC)

Children with Developmental Delays: SAC recognizes that not all children develop at the same rate and that every classroom contains a variety of children at different developmental levels. The curriculum format of the SAC provides the teacher with all levels of the program at one time. Activities from different levels can be integrated into any lesson to meet a range of learning levels.

Children with Specific Learning Disabilities: In every classroom, there is likely to be one or more children with specific learning disabilities. The instructional format serves to provide teachers with instructional options that will bypass specific learning disabilities and provide equivalent levels of learning experiences. The laboratory format of SAC enables teachers to replicate or expand on a lesson to meet specific needs. For example, for a child with attention problems, the teacher could assign the role of "research assistant" and have the child lead the activity or procure necessary materials.

Children with Social-Personal Needs: A typical classroom is likely to enroll one or more children with social-personal needs. In some instances, we have children who have learned they are failures and accept this depiction of themselves. They seldom engage in the learning activities because they do not see themselves as having any success. Through its use of multiple representations of a concept, SAC provides teachers with a means by which these children can be incorporated into any lesson with a guarantee of success. This can be carried out long term across lessons until the students truly change their perspective about themselves.

Other students might have needs that are less individualized and more group related. The use of the Relational Teaching Strategies that are embedded in SAC provide numerous opportunities for teachers to assign these children responsible and essential roles in the lesson and to engage in cooperative learning activities with each other.

Children with Specific Cognitive Needs: SAC directs attention to the cognitive needs of children by defining specific cognitive acts that teachers can integrate into the lesson and use during the acquisition of the procedural and content knowledge of science. Examples illustrate how any lesson can be adapted to focus on specific acts of cognition, such as analogies, visual reasoning, patterning, conservation, and many others. Because there is such a variety of cognitive acts that can be incorporated into a lesson at different ages to meet specific needs, the final choice as to what to include is left to the teacher.

Children with Specific Organizational Needs: In a typical classroom, several children are poorly organized, lack an understanding of their own role in learning, and fail to monitor and evaluate their own performance and that of the lesson. These children are often passive learners. SAC directs attention to these children with its emphasis on Executive Processes.

Children with Needs for Advanced Study: Classroom teachers often face the dilemma of providing appropriate curriculum and instructional experiences to children with the need for advanced or enriched study. The Multiple Option Curriculum format and the open-ended nature of SAC provides for advanced learning. Teachers can integrate advanced levels of activities or integrate activities from other programs.

Children with Diverse Cultural and Language Backgrounds: In reality, the science content and procedures contained in SAC are relatively culturally and language independent. Nearly every activity can be conducted in any language or combination of languages. The design of the laboratory activities is such that materials and examples relative to their implications for children from diverse cultural backgrounds can be easily adapted. For example, an activity involving different states of matter can be done by examining the viscosity of household items from each child's own home. The few worksheets in which there is a reading requirement can be readily translated because the vocabulary is simple and straightforward.
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Author:Parmar, Rene S.; Cawley, John F.
Publication:Exceptional Children
Date:May 1, 1993
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