My Personal Research Journey

I have chosen a special subtopic of Exceptional Education in which I am employed. I teach twenty students with exceptional needs and it is not an easy task. Educators must be well-equipped with knowledge about the different disabilities and disorders that affects each child’s life. We must constantly participate in professional training, improve our learning and skills to accommodate these children. The topic below will explain some aspects of teaching and supporting exceptional children.

What are Some Appropriate Educations for Exceptional Students?

Exceptional students are more like their peers than they are different. So, why are they classified as “exceptional” with special needs?  According to Heard 2014, some exceptional students share certain physical characteristics and/or patterns of learning and behaviors; such as developmental and learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, autism, and gifted/special talented. I have worked with exceptional students in an inclusive classroom for many years. They are the most unique group of students I have ever been around. It is  a challenge but enjoyable to see them strive to be their own person and to become a part of a normal society.

Reference: Heard, W.L. (2014). Who are exceptional children. Pearson Allyn Bacon. Prentice Hall. Retrieved from https://www.education.com/reference/article/who-are-exceptional-children/

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Education for children with special needs: Appropriate special education programs are designed to benefit their special needs and early intervention services to acquire a fair and equal education to succeed in learning and skills. My personal belief based on co-workers’ opinions, many are not well-trained and lack the appropriate resources to accommodate their students’ special needs. Therefore, additional professional training in early education is required to advance teachers in attaining more knowledge and skills in special education. Teaching exceptional students also requires patience, time, and dedication from teachers and administrators. Getting to know your students, learning about their abilities, and learning styles can help teachers make amends to lesson plans. I have received a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences/ majoring in Childhood Development/ minor in Special Education. This is why I am interested in teaching children with disabilities and disorders.

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By engaging in open-ended activities/games, modified curriculum, art, educational technology, music, and participating in open discussions and/or reading, I believe exceptional students achieve expectations. These educational activities help them to express their capabilities more visible. I know that keeping exceptional students on a routine schedule help them to stay organized and maintain behavioral management in the classroom. My advice is to keep parents involved in their children’s learning and progress on a daily basic. Exceptional students are individuals who are a part of our families, schools, and communities. In society, it takes the whole village to teach and support all children to fulfill their life potentials.

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My personal journey in research has began fair I can truly say that constructing a research chart is my favorite project. Right now, I am trying to figure out how to start the assignment before due date. I have little to none experience in research simulation or literature reviews. I feel like I am “lost” in a maze. I an just not getting it!  Do any of my colleagues have any suggestions or advice to help my gain more insight in this course?

 

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International Awareness: “Transforming Our Entire Education Enterprise by Establishing Teaching and Learning Environments that Inspire all Students and Teachers “-E. Foster

A major consequence of international educators is that childhood education has been a reality call for everyone in this field. The key to children achieving and exceeding their full potential is how we help them learn. Three fundamental factors that promote skillful brain development are: quality interactions, quality environments, and quality teachers. As early educators across the world, quality continuing professional development is an essential to ensure that we are able to meet the demands of diverse children’s needs, engage parents, and become active advocates of our own professional and personal growth.

As this session comes to a close, my knowledge and experiences in early childhood has been deeply enlighten and enhanced through issues and trends that affect children, families, educators, and others around the communities and nations aboard. I have learned an array of knowledge from my colleagues and mentors through weekly discussions, blog posts and comments that have made a tremendously impact on my professional and personal growth in the early childhood field. The interconnections  across the internet are a great advantaged for each individual. What would we do if you had to walk miles to the nearest school or to a classmate house to get information about classwork?

One major research knowledge I have acquired is that so many organizations have combined together in an effort to support and provide educational and health services to as many children and families they can reach, globally. I would hate to imagine Americans being in the horrible situations that some countries are enduring, today. Although we are blessed to have such support systems in place,  the government and policymakers still take it for granted when it comes to providing funds for adequate healthcare and equity education. This is a significant gap in our knowledge as to what specific interventions structure work in the demand for and the provision of services.

Another knowledgeable thought is that each country and/or nation has something to offer and learn from each other in the educational field. The goals must be for all children to learn and acquire the needed skills. There is not a country or nation greater than others, they are just more advanced, spend the necessary monetary funds to implement and promote their educational and healthcare programs.  According to Ross, 2013, “Educators across the world are focused on ensuring high-quality learning for all children. Other nations have surpassed American levels of educational achievement by spending enough to provide high-quality teaching and a robust curriculum to all students. Wide disparities in school performance in America have persisted since the 80’s and educational progress has stalled because our policymakers are not committing enough resources to close the gap to excellence and equity for American schools.” Although, there has been many advancement and improvement to the care and education field,  global nations still have a long journey in providing support and accumulated resources to children, families, and the early childhood field.

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One goal of international awareness, I am going to stay connected to a numerous of organizations that provide services and support to children, families, and communities around the world. I intend to join and contribute to as many as I can to support the efforts that they are making to improve the lives of children, families and early educators around the world. Without children there will be no educators.  If I can help make a difference in one child’s life to begin, motivation will keep me moving until I can reach many young lives beyond my surroundings.

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Now as I close this session, my aspiration to teach and support many disadvantaged children and families has set my thoughts on a more adventurous and exciting path. I want to travel to different countries starting in the United States, to help organizations provide and support the vast diverse of children and families in urgent need of services whether it been education or healthcare. Partnerships produce mutual benefits, but the greatest of all are benefits to the children for whom we care. Supporting families and the Children are the Winner.

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I would like to thank my colleagues, instructors, and the school’s administration staff for another glorious semester. Best of success and many blessing in the upcoming NEW YEAR!!!!!

 

Reference:

Foster, E. (2016). Equity in education: When equal is not enough. AdvancED. http://www.advanc-ed.org/source/view-issue-library

Ross, F. (2013). Why equity is the key to excellence for American schools: Basic facts. Scholars Strategy Network. (SSN). http://www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/sites/default/files/ssn-basic-facts-ross-on-equity-and excellence-in-our-nations-schools.pdf

Professional Goals, Hopes, and Dreams

In Mississippi, an issue regarding quality and early childhood professionals discussed is establishing e-Learning programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education Ready to Teacher Grant to provide an effective and sustainable model for online professional development that will help address state-wide teacher quality needs and will have an impact on students achievement. Mississippi will have a state leadership team consisting of staff from the State Department of Education and partner public broadcasting station. The Mississippi e-Learning programs will provide high-quality, research-based, online professional development collaborated by creditable Mississippi educators. The online learning programs will build capacity for technology integration and help school districts meet the challenges of providing professional development for teachers and administrators notable effects on classroom teacher practices. Participants learn and share best practices and instructional resources through interactive communities.

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Mississippi requirements for professional development: In-service training is required for teachers to include an emphasis on reading methods for K-3 in public schools. Pilot programs for low performing schools or districts may use data coaches to determine the effectiveness of data focused on professional development, to help teachers and districts leaders build skills in using data to disclose instruction.

1My professional goals: I want to instill a love of learning for all students to find early childhood education more interesting, school is a place of committed passion that provide comfort, and stability to continue their journey for achieving lifelong dreams and goals. I would like to continue developing a safe environment of nurturing, creativity, and fun-filled activities where young children can feel free to express themselves, develop social/emotional, physical, and intellectual skills, grow healthy and establish a sense of belonging. Another goal is to enhance my instructional skills to stay updated on news and innovations teaching practices and resources through networking with others teachers and professional organizations in the early childhood field.

13166682-School-girls-Stock-Photo-cartoon-mistressMy dream and hope for professionalism in early childhood education is for teachers to be recognized as professionals just as doctors, lawyers, and others are in society. I hope that the contributions educators make to society are appreciated and known to have a valuable impact in the lives of all children, families, and communities around the world. I hope that one day, all diversity of children will have access to high-quality education and health care. I hope that politicians, globally, see how important early childhood education is to young children and their families. So, keep Early/Head Start funded in an effort to provide adequate services and resources for schools and keep the doors open for children to develop learning, growth, and skills needed to survive in an ever-changing world.

 

 

References:

Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB). 2017. Mississippi e-Learning for educators.www.mponline.org/educations/e-learning/Retrieved on 10/21/17

Education Commission of the States.(2016) Your education policy team: 50- states comparsion: Mississippi.ecs.force.coom/mdata/mbquestRT?rep=K0304/Retrieved on 10/21/17

 

 

 

Sharing Web Resources

 

bto-logoThe Children’s Defense Fund is committed to improving outcomes for children in school and in life by working to transform education and set the path toward equity and excellence for all children in the South and around the world. Inequities funding and resources place poor children in low-performing schools with inadequate facilities, too often, ineffective teachers. Practices such as tracking, retention, out-of-school suspensions, and one-size-fits-all zero tolerance policies continue to contribute to the discouragement, disengagement, and eventual dropout of countless children in America. Instead of serving as “the great equalizer,” American public education has served as a portal to the Cradle to Prison Pipeline crisis, leading poor minority children to lives marked by school dropout, arrest, and incarceration (Wright-Edelman, 2017).” Early childhood is a once-in-a-life time of opportunities for every child. High quality early childhood development and learning interventions has been proven to buffer the negative effects of poverty and provide lifelong benefits for the poorest and most vulnerable children but few children today benefit from high-quality early childhood development and learning supports.

 

In an e-letter from the Children’s Defense Fund, “Healing the Gaping Open-Wound: An Urgent Call for More Aid and Fair Treatment for Puerto Rico, a school Principal addresses the needs for support and aid after the effects of Hurricane Maria right behind Hurricane Irma left to their school and the rebuilding process. She quotes, many of the children are not present due to a lack of communication about the reopening of the school. Many of the children and families are still dealing with the devastation of the storm after losing everything, to better fulfill the potentials of children, the school is open with power but no water. This is a sure effort that all children are reaching their goals and still having fun, healthy meals, and a safe environment to continue learning and developing. Puerto Rico is a rural area like many areas in Mississippi and people are likely to live below the poverty level. The article states, child poverty rates in Puerto Rico 2016 almost double that of Mexico and Mississippi, the two states with the highest child poverty rates. More than three-quarters of Puerto Rico’s children who were eligible for Head Start were not enrolled in the program and nearly 100 percent of students in 4th and 8th grade performed below grade level in math. So, you see there is an urgent need to reopen schools for equity and excellence in children’s lifelong progress.

 

Some say that the federal and President Trump has treated Puerto Rico as, “America’s stepchild and that the country should be grateful for the crumbs received from the table of federal disaster relief.” I say that is the most disgusting thing people can say about a country devastation from the natural elements. Puerto Rico’s children and families who are a part of the U.S. do not know where their lives will restart. Where will this devastation left many children without a path to equity education in the future? On the Cradle to Prison Pipeline. Wright-Edelman (CDC) states,  “it is absolutely critical that we let children and families in Puerto Rico know that their country (U. S.) will not abandon them and will act with urgency and adequacy.”

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References:

Wright-Edelman, M. (2017). Healing the Gaping Open Wound: A Urgent Call for More Aid and Fair Treatment for Puerto Rico. Children’s Defense Fund. htpps://www.childrensdefense.org/Retrieved on 10/14/17

Wright-Edelman. M. (2017). Early childhood: The state of America’s children 2014 report. Children’s Defense Fund. https://www.childrensdefense.org/library/state-of-americas-children/documents/2014/_SOAC_early-childhood.pdf/Retrieved on 10/14/17

Equity and Excellence in Education

“Achieving equity and excellence in education requires sufficient resources that are distributed based on students needs not zip codes and that are efficiently used. Universal access to high quality early learning programs must be a matter of the highest national priority with special priority in the poorest communities. Government at every level should implement a multi-year strategy for advancing nations equity and excellence goals using a combination of incentives and enforcement for better students outcomes (U.S. Dept. of Education, 2013).”

Current Issues in Comparative Education

The podcast video of Global Children’s Initiative: Brazillan is part of the Global Initiative on out-of-school children. An access, permanence, and learning conclusion of Basic Education at the right age for all children and adolescents. Brazil’s partnership with the National Campaign for the Right to Education to discuss the deep issues of the regional, ethic-racial and socio-economic inequities. The mission is to contribute to the huge efforts of a country that has reached particular level of economic, social/political development and produce all conditions to create effective solutions to face educational exclusion, secure access to public Basic Education with quality for all population in school-age above all children and adolescents. The main challenge: Reducing inequities. An educational policy was adopted in the 1990’s with emphasis on the decentralization of resources through the Maintenance and Development Fund for Primary Education and Valorization of Teaching (FUNDEF). The educational policies also invested in the training of teachers and in programs and intervention services to stimulate the permanence of  children in school and help secure the right of children and adolescents in Basic Education involving families. Barriers to universalization of access and permanence school have negative effects on Brazillan’s children ability to secure a right to keep studying, making progress, and finishing Basic Education at the right age. Necessary path to secure the rights to learn: Educational policies and funding for education; assistance, health, culture, sport, and leisure. Inclusion: permanence, learning of children and adolescents with disabilities, living in shelters, socio-economical, regime, out of school and risk of child labor.

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Another interesting podcast: Education Through the Eyes and Work of a Libyan Exile by Drew Perkins (The Teaching Thought Podcast) Mr. Perkins interviews Shahrazad Kablan, an activist and ELL teacher who was exile from the country of Libya because she believed that the educational system was a part of what happened in Libya. She made an effort to overthrow the Libyan regime to help establish a working education system. The podcast network provides insight exploration of how teaching and learning are changing in a connected world, from the project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and personalized learning experiences, to modern knowledge demands, emerging technologies, tools and shifts that characterize the 21st century learning.

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Yet another resource of interests: Early Childhood Care and Education in Zambia: An Integral Part of Educational Provision? Based on the studies on equity and excellence, many of our nations have been caught in the storm of educational policy reform and have consequently demonstrated a new commitment to educational provision for pre-primary education. Zambia is currently in an educational environment that indicates the creation and continued development of Early Childhood Care Education (ECCE) programs may be premature and potentially harmful to a questionable education system. The purpose of Global Campaign for Education is to interrogate for ECCE programs in Zambia, by using evidence from other existing primary schools across the country as the basis for address equity and excellence as an important ongoing development of the nation.

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According to the Equity and Excellence Commission & U. S. Dept. of Education (2013), “Education is the key to a strong democracy, economic, competitiveness, and a world class standard living. America has lost its place as a global leader in educational attainment in ways that will lead to a decline in living standard for millions of children and loss trillions of economic growth’s dollars.” I read an article about: For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education; Equity and Excellence. The article is published by The Equity and Excellence Commission 2013 which is a federal advisory committee charted by Congress and operated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2. The committee’s role is to provide the U.S. Dept. of Education with information on the disparities in terms of educational opportunities that give rise to the achievement gap, focus on systems of finance, and recommend ways in which federal policies could address disparities.”

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References:

The Equity and Excellence Commission (2013). For each and every child. A strategy for education equity and excellence. U.S. Department of Education. https://www.2.ed.gov.about/bdscomm/list/eec/equity-excellence-commission-report.pdf

Perkins, D. (2016). Education through the eyes and work of a Libyan exile. [Video]. The Teach Thought Podcast. Ep.25.https://www.teachingthought.com/…/ep-25-education-thought-the-eyes-and-work-of-a-libyan-exile/Retrieved on 10/07/17/

Global Children’s Initiative website: https://developingchild.harvard.edu./about/what-we-do/global-work

 

Sharing Web Resources: Poverty

Poverty being the worst form of violence and an important issue all over the world. There are too many families experiencing the horrible effects of poverty in our country (United States). It is our responsibility as a nation to curve/eliminate the tend. Our young generations from birth to five years are damaged the most. In my profession as a early childhood educator, I see each day, many young children coming to school ready to get a hot, nutrition meal, to socialize with peers, and be in a safe environment that offers them an opportunity play while learning, be themselves, and explore many things that they can not do or have at home or in the community which they live. Many are from broken homes, violent neighborhoods,, and below poverty families. Their young parents have low-wage jobs barely affording housing or paying bills, and uneducated which prevent them from getting higher paying employment. Many families rely on the federal government for supplemental assistance to make ends meet to provide for their children. With the new 2017-2018 budget cuts on health care, education, and food security; millions of children will be left without the coverage affordable to get the proper health and interventions services needed to ensure them adequate growth and developmental for life.

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The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and World Health Organizations (WHO) are two of the best that raises issues around the world about inequality for supporting disadvantaged children and families. The CDF’s campaign concern about state and government funding for the Title I programs that provide monetary funding for education to ensure that all children especially those from low-income families meet challenging state academic standards supported by the Department of Education. Children’s Defense Fund is advocating for all children to have a strong start to life that can propel them to a productive life in school and beyond. Both organizations are also concerned about the health care and nutrition services that many children are lacking to maintain a health life around the world. Today, CDF is lobbying for health care and early education for young children to pushed forward and not cut out of the budget. As citizens of the states and nations, we must take the battle into our own hands, advocate and vote to change the policies and laws that want to exclude  the rights of children and families from receiving adequate health care, high-quality education, proper nutrition, and a safe environment to grow and prospect in an ever-changing world.

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The commitment of economists, neuroscientists, and politicians on the issues of poverty has helped promote more intervention services for individuals and an disadvantaged children in and around the world. They have responded in remarkable ways; getting information to the public and advocate to the highest level to keep programs affordable, amending and changing laws and policies to reduce adverse growth and health outcomes, and help ensure that young children reach their full developmental potential. “Investing in young children is a moral, economic and social imperative that affects everyone. Early childhood development will not only benefit the children of today but will have a direct impact on the stability and prosperity of nations in the future ( Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO, 2012).”

 

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Insight’s about poverty is that globally over 200 million children do not reach their developmental potential in the fist five years of life because they live in poverty and have poor health services, nutrition and psycho-social care. The disadvantaged children do poorly in school, low-incomes, high fertility/criminality and in adulthood provide poor care for their own children. The life cycle keeps repeating if these children do not get the resources needed to help them overcome poverty.  Nobel Laureate, James J. Heckman, (2012) research has given policy makers important insights into such areas as education, job-training, minimum wages legislation, anti-discrimination law, social supports and civil rights. He has shown that there are great economic gains to be had by investing in quality early childhood development which heavily influences health, economic and social outcomes for individuals and society at large.

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Part 1: Getting to Know Your International Contacts

The UNICEF Ethiopia promotes the rights and well-being of every child in 190 countries and territories with special focus on reaching those in greatest need. http://www.unicef.org/ethiopia

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“It is estimated about 148 million children under age five in developing countries are underweight. According to the Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey, 2011, “Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in Africa and the national rate of undernutrition is 44 percent. The survey shows that girls are slightly less likely to be stunted than boys for nutrition in Africa (Porter 2013 &UNICEF 2012).” Children represent more than fifty percent of Ethiopia’s challenges for survival, development, and protection than in other countries. In developing countries, many children are displaced from parents because of death, divorce, war, or left behind with relatives as their parents look for employment in other parts of the country. There is an urgent need to reduce child poverty and improve other issues including health care, clean sanitation, food, income, shelter, education and protection rights for children in Ethiopia and around the world.

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The Effects of Child Poverty: it does long-term damage to children and societies, it is transmitted across generations, first becoming adults poverty then passed on to the next generation of children, and it has unlimited impacts on societies and economies. According to a report published by UNICEF Ethiopia, “Sub-Saharan Africa has both highest rate of children living in extreme poverty at just under fifty percent and the largest share of the world’s extremely poverty children just over fifty percent. There are thirteen million Ethiopian’s children living in poor households and two million living in extreme poverty. The poorest children live in households whose head is employed in the informal sectors, 13.1 percent live in extreme poverty, and the ones more severely affected by poverty (32.4 percent) and extreme poverty (5.2 percent) than adults (29.6 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively ( NewYork/ADDIS ABABA, 2016)”

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Toward the end of child poverty: “Well managed and sustained investments in people, especially children and the most disadvantaged, yield the greatest returns for poverty reduction. Countries cannot achieve sustained growth and shared prosperity with investing effectively in their people, above all their children. Inclusive economic growth and the development of human capacities depend upon each other (Porter, 2013 & UNICEF, 2012, p.5).” Child poverty should be an explicit part of the global development framework and its implementation. Improve access to quality public services for poorest children. Every countries should ensure that reducing child poverty is an explicit priority on their agenda, and included as appropriate in national plans, policies and laws; an inclusive growth agenda to reach the poorest and most deprived, and expand child-sensitive social protection systems and programmes (UNICEF, 2015).”

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The issue of child poverty is not just seen in my home state: Mississippi but globally. When comparing poverty in the country of Ethiopia and the State of Mississippi, I noticed that the two have the highest rate of child poverty across national and international board; with Mississippi been the poorest state in the United State and Ethiopia been the poorest country in Africa, globally. The issues are small changes to economic well being of households that make a big impact on both current nutrition, future outcomes, and the importance of unemphasized investments. According to the World Bank Group/UNICEF Study 2016, ” nearly 385 million children are living in extremely poverty.”  There must definitely be a solution to put an end to children and families poverty as it is an urgent priority for everyone to get active in overcoming these issues. We are letting down the future generations all around the world. Would you deny your children privileges to have appropriate playing equipment/safe playgrounds and good clean clothes/shoes to wear. Many families are struggling especially our children to survive still today, near and far. Let’s continue to advocate for children’s and families’ rights!

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References:

UNICEF and World Bank Group (2016). Nearly 385 million children living in extremely poverty, say joint World Bank Group-UNICEF Study.UNICEF Ethiopia. NEW YORK/ADDIS ABABA. Retrieved from https://wwwunicefethiopia.org/2016/10/14/nearly-385-million-children-living-in-extreme-poverty-says-joint-world-bank-group-unicef-study/

Porter, C. (2013) & UNICEF, (2012, p.5).Nutrition in Early Childhood: Insights from rural Ethiopia.Child Poverty Insights.Policy Analysis.UNICEF Policy and Strategy. Evidence practice think peace.Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/socialpolicy/index_childpoverty.html/ Retrieved on 09/23/2017

UNICEF Ethiopia (2015).Toward the end of child poverty: Joint Statement by Global Partners. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/socialpolicy/files/toward_the_End_of_child_poverty_joint_statement_by_Global_Partners. Retrieved on 09/23/2017