Question Two: What instructional methods will help to ensure that all my students learn?

No one single method of instruction will work well with every learning objective and for every student in your classroom. Fortunately, recent research in education has demonstrated that some strategies are more effective than others for bringing about student learning.

When considering the instructional methods you can use that will lead to greater success for all students, it is important to keep in mind:

  • Good teaching brings about the desired student learning. Methods that are not effective with general education students are not likely to be effective with students who have disabilities.
  • Not all students will learn the same content at the same rate. This is true for all students and not just students who have disabilities.
  • Students who have disabilities, as well as some other students, may require specific types of experiences to maximize their ability to learn.
  • All students need time and practice to consolidate what they have learned. The amount of time needed and the amount of practice varies from student to student.
  • Knowing how to locate research-based teaching strategies can make your search for effective teaching strategies more efficient.

Collaborating with the student's special education teacher can help you in your search for effective strategies. He or she can provide you with information about the student and particular instructional strategies that may be more effective for that particular child. Using this information along with your personal knowledge about the student and the content you are teaching can help you figure out what types of instructional strategies may be most effective. As is true with general education students, one size does not fit all, and using a variety of research-supported methods will undoubtedly lead to success for the greatest numbers of your students. By frequently monitoring the student's progress and by talking with a student, you can make accurate inferences about whether or not a teaching strategy is helping a student to learn the desired learning outcomes.

The responses to the questions below will help you learn more about the types of instructional methods that will help you ensure that all students in your classroom are successful learners.