Katz, J., Mirenda, P., & Auerbach, S. (2002). Instructional strategies and educational outcomes for students with developmental disabilities in inclusive mulitple intelligences and typical inclusive classrooms. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 27(4), 227-238. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2511/rpsd.27.4.227
The purpose of this study was to look at the engaged behaviour and social interactions of students with developmental disabilities in multiple intelligence (MI) inclusive classrooms and to compare them to those of students in more traditionally inclusive (TI) classrooms.
This was an exploratory descriptive study that used a case study model and involved 10 students with developmental disabilities. Five students attended elementary schools whose teachers used an MI approach to instruction and assessment. Five other students attended elementary schools whose teachers used a traditional approach to inclusion (TI). Observations took place over a period of three months. Each participant was observed for a total of 4-5 hours of instruction time.
- Experiences of participants in both groups were more alike than different.
- Overall no major differences were observed for the participants across the different measures.
- Both groups were mostly engaged in whole-class, independent seatwork, and traditional classroom activities.
- Students in MI classrooms spent slightly more time engaging with peers.
- Students in TI classrooms spent slightly more time engaging with adults.
- Students in MI classrooms participated twice as much in multiple response mode activities than students in TI classrooms.
- MI participants spent significantly more time engaged in same activities as their peers.
IMPLICATIONS FOR CHANGE PROJECT
This exploratory study highlights the need for more research. It was unclear throughout the study, to what degree the whole-group activities were adapted to meet the needs of students with disabilities. The fact that there were no significant differences noted between the two groups may suggest that implementing MI such as with the Respecting Diversity Program needs to be done, as well as adapting whole-group activities to make them accessible to all students.