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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 2, Lesson 2

Activity #1

Use Felder and Silverman's Index to determine your own learning style. Complete the 44-item online questionnaire and print out the results. This is a free service. To access the questionnaire, go to: The Index of Learning Styles

If this link does not work, go to North Carolina State University and click on 'Index of Learning Styles.' Then select 'ILS Questionnaire.'

After printing your results, please reflect on the following questions:

  1. Do the results accurately describe your learning style? Why or why not?
  2. As a coach, why is it important for you to know your own learning style?
  3. Think about how you typically present information to co-workers and families. Does your method of presentation reflect your learning style? For example, if you are an active learner, do you favor the use of active strategies such as discussing ideas and practicing skills? How can you avoid being biased?

Activity #2

Shannon is a 22-year-old single parent of an 18-month-old son named 'Joey.' Joey is friendly, active and sociable. He is performing well in all areas, with the exception of a moderate delay in speech and language development. Shannon dropped out of high school "because it was boring" and obtained her GED at age 19. She is now working part-time for an insurance company. She is a good problem-solver and is described by her coworkers as "sharp and efficient." She is very interested in helping her son improve his communication skills. On Felder and Silverman's scale, Shannon's learning style is Active, Sensing, Verbal and Sequential. Use your knowledge of adult learning styles and child development to complete this exercise:

  1. Imagine that you are in the process of planning services for this family. The Early Steps team includes Shannon, you (ITDS), a service coordinator and a speech therapist. Given Shannon's learning style and Joey's challenges, how would you begin? What strategies and/or materials might be helpful?
  2. What kinds of activities and/or materials would you avoid using?
  3. How would your approach change if Shannon were a visual learner?
  4. How would your approach change if Shannon were a reflective learner?

Lesson 2 Highlights

Information about the people on early intervention teams was presented, with particular attention to the ITDS's role as 'coach.' An article on effective coaching was assigned, and basic information about adult learning styles was presented. Common team roles (contributor, collaborator, communicator, challenger; task-oriented, group-building and dysfunctional roles) were described and the influence of values, beliefs and preconceptions on team behavior was discussed. Throughout the Lesson, the importance of self-awareness was emphasized.

References

Berger, E. H. (2004). Parents as partners in education: Families and schools working together (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Briggs, M. H. (1997). Building early intervention teams: Working together for children and families. Gaithersberg, MD: Aspen Publishers, Inc.

Florida Department of Health (2004). Early steps: Florida's early intervention system for infants and toddlers and their families. Service delivery policy and guidance.

Harris, K. C. (1996). Collaboration within a multicultural society: Issues for consideration. Remedial and Special Education, 17(6), 355-362.

Hooper, S. R. & Umansky, W. (2004). Young children with special needs (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Parker, G.M. (1994). Cross-functional teams. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Rush, D. D., Sheldon, M. L., & Hanft, B. E. (2003). Coaching families and colleagues: A process for collaboration in natural settings. Infants and Young Children, 16(1), 33-47.

Shelden, M. & Rush, D. (2004). Practitioner as coach: Our role in early intervention. American Association of Home Based Early Interventionists News Exchange, 9(3), 7-9.

Thomas, C. C., Correa, V. I., & Morsink, C. V. (2001). Interactive teaming: Enhancing programs for students with special needs (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc.

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