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Case study 

Chapter Two Assignment Case Study

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This chapter discussed the growing number of students with disabilities you may encounter in your classroom and presented data about these students´ culturally, economically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Also discussed was the incongruence between the cultural differences of teachers and students and the authors presented one major consequence of this incongruity: the disproportionate representation of these diverse students in special education. Read the case study below about Santiago and answer the questions that follow.

Student: Santiago

Santiago is a Mexican-American migrant student who is in the 3rd grade. He is an 9-year-old male whose second-grade teacher referred to him as possibly being “mildly intellectually disabled.” The second-grade teacher stated that she was unsure because Santiago had transferred into the school and was placed in her classroom in the last month of that school year. However, she told his 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Smith, that she was sure that Santiago has “some sort of” disability because he isn’t “keeping up with the other students”. Ms. Smith noted that he is reading below grade level, and that it does takes him longer to grasp concepts than other students. Although Santiago gets frustrated in class, he is determined to do his best at every task assigned and seems to make the most of learning opportunities and activities. Also, it is obvious that he thoroughly enjoys working on the computer. Ms. Smith often wonders why Santiago was considered to be intellectually disabled by his 2nd grade teacher because he excels in other subject areas. She does, however, become frustrated at times with the wait time needed for Santiago to answer questions, read, or make classroom choices for literacy centers. He also seems to be withdrawing a bit from the class and peers. Because of these behaviors, Ms. Smith is thinking about referring him for special education.

1. What are your initial observations about Santiago? Considering the chapter, what are some factors that may be influencing Santiago’s behaviors and actions in the classroom?

2. What are Santiago’s strengths and weaknesses (obvious and implied)?

3. Given the facts and statistics presented in the chapter, what are some barriers that Santiago and his family may be experiencing (in school and out) as a CLD learner?

4. Which colleagues in your school could you reach out to in order to discuss Santiago, his unique challenges, and ways to support his learning prior to considering a special education referral?

5. What is disproportionate representation? Provide some factual/statistical information from the chapter. How does this case study and brief sketch of Santiago seem like it could perpetuate the construct of disproportionate representation?

6. Please provide five examples/scenarios/illustrations of culturally responsive teaching. You may find that using the internet will help you with answering this question. If you pull examples from the internet, please do not plagiarize (don’t direct copy and paste) and please be sure to cite your sources.

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