Toby Karten Discusses Inclusive Teaching

Toby Karten Discusses Inclusive Teaching

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    • 00:03

      TOBY KARTEN: Full inclusion has to do with the factthat I can say it best by--I've been putting this quote on the cover of each workshopand professional development experiencethat I've been involved with.--that inclusion doesn't begin and ends in the classroom.But it is a philosophy that continues throughout life.

    • 00:24

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: That's what full inclusion is about.It's not legislatively-mandated.But it's more of a philosophy thatsays all students belong in the general education classroom.In full inclusion, the student isin the classroom for the entire time.

    • 00:44

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And then with other mandates, theythink about, how can we have the student receive services?So it might not be the setting of the general educationclassroom.So perhaps the child goes out for a resource room,or that child might receive speech and languagewith a SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist.

    • 01:09

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: It all depends upon what the student needsin partial inclusion as well.Whereas in full inclusion, we're saying,we're going to make this environmentwork for the student.And we're going to put the servicesand supports here in the general education classroom,instead of having that student leave that classroomand face some stigmatization, be that studenthave an intellectual disability or even if that student ison the other spectrum of exceptional learnerand have gifted abilities.

    • 01:41

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Because sometimes the pull-out programs,although they concentrate on individual students' needsas well within smaller settings, they, not intentionally,but at times, target students.And I'm not saying that one is better than the otherbecause I think that these decisions haveto be made on individual basis.

    • 02:06

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Full inclusion is effective when it is delivered appropriately.And that is something that has to becarefully planned and prepared for within the classroom.How effective is it?Research, long term studies are not always in jivewith what people's inner thoughts are about inclusionthat it is a way of life, and that when you go to the foodstore when you're 25 no one says,I'm going to stand on the self-contained line.

    • 02:39

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: It's the general line of life.How effective is inclusion?Research has shown that is very effective in certain areas.One of them being communication skills.Another is academic skills.Another is peer relationships.And another has to do is social skills and the modeling that'sinvolved within it.

    • 03:03

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I think I can best describe this if I give you a vignette.I was teaching my grad class at Monmouth University.And I was showing a slide of the continuum of servicesunder LRE, which is the least restrictive environmentunder IDEA.And as I was showing this continuum of services,I realized that I did work in each of these settingsin my career.

    • 03:29

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: But the one thing that stood out the mostis when I went from teaching a self-contained classroomto a resource room, and then I went from that resource roomto the full classroom, and the perceptions that I myself hadof what the Gen Ed classroom was doingwas so different from when I actuallywas physically in that classroom,co-teaching with another general education teacher.

    • 04:01

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And also the perspective of the student is very different.I had one student that turned to me and said,when he went from a resource room settingto full-time inclusion, he turned to me and said,you know, Mrs. Karten, I hated that short line.

    • 04:21

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I said, what do you mean?And he was talking about, there were onlylike seven or eight of us.And now I'm with a lot more people.I remember one mom I called up to say that her son couldbe included in the classroom just for mathbecause his skills were OK for the math.That was the school of thought that mainstreaming was OKif the student had the skills and the Gen Ed classroomdidn't have to do anything differently.

    • 04:50

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And it took me about 20 minutes on the phonewith this particular mom to let her know that this phone callI was making was a good phone calland that I was saying that her son belonged in the classroom.She was so used to getting the phone callabout things that are going wrong.So I'm giving these vignettes as examplesbecause full inclusion impacts teachers, students, families.

    • 05:17

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I mean, I thought I was doing a great program in the resourceroom, and students were writing wonderful paragraphs.And then I go into the Gen Ed classroom,and I see other examples, and I said, wait a minute.We need to raise the bar.And I think full inclusion does that in the sensethat it has higher expectations, and it figures outhow are we going to make that happenby a process of differentiation within that Gen Ed setting.

    • 05:47

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Full inclusion is important.And I can give you one word.It's called life.Because full inclusion says we wantyou to succeed within the general Ed classroom.And it also raises the accountability.The accountability and the modeling that goes onis incredible.

    • 06:08

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I mean, I coach a lot now in inclusive settings.And I notice that some students, when they are partiallyincluded and they're pulled out to do other work,their behavior changes when they'rein that smaller setting.They're different students.And it's important to always givethe instruction on the level that the student can succeed.

    • 06:36

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: So if the student's in the Gen Ed classroom and the student isbeing frustrated just because they're physicallyin the classroom, that's--OK, technically, it's inclusion.But it's really exclusion because the student's needsare not being met.But within that Gen Ed classroom,there's so much modeling going onwith social skills, communication skills,academics.

    • 07:02

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: The bar is raised.The students are working cooperatively with peers.Another awesome thing about full inclusionis not only for the students with disabilities,but for the students without disabilities,who hopefully one day will be coworkers.You know?And it's how they view things.

    • 07:22

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: It's wonderful to have it to be a natural environment.Inclusion needs to be determined on an individual basis.And that's something that is essential.There's no--I have this little cookie cutter that I usuallyshow in some of my PD Sessions.There is no cookie cutter.OK.Here's what it looks like.

    • 07:43

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: The child looks like this.And we could do stamp, stamp, stamp.It doesn't work that way with inclusionbecause each student comes with a different skill set.And the environment has to be preparedto deliver the supplementary servicesand aids that that student would need within that Gen Edclassroom for that student to be successful.

    • 08:07

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: It's determined through collaboration.It's determined by the data.The data has to drive it in terms of the students' levels.And what benefits does that Gen Edclassroom have for the students?The legislation says that as the first option,we need to look at that inclusive environment.

    • 08:30

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: But perhaps, if it's not appropriate,we need to consider that too.I'd never say inclusion is a blanket.And you know that old one size fitsall, because it doesn't even fit most.It looks differently on everyone.IDEA is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

    • 08:52

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And it was initially called PL 94-142.It had even the word handicapped in it,which is no longer in vogue because itused to think that people with their cap in hand were begging.And that's very silly.But IDEA is a very vital piece of legislationbecause it identifies 13 different disabilitycategories.

    • 09:18

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: An acronym that I used to remember it,it's All Very Determined.Students deserve infinitely more opportunitiesthan schools have ever offered.And it stands for different things, such as autism,visual impairments, multiple disabilities.It has other health impairments, where a student with ADHDmight be under.

    • 09:40

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: It has ones that have specific learning disabilities.It also has--Now, I stands for intellectual disabilities, otherwise knownas mental retardation.But there are also 13 different classificationsunder IDEA, traumatic brain injury.And these classifications, if studentsreceive one of these classifications,they are entitled to programs in the schools thatwould service their needs under what is known as the LREcontinuum, the Least Restrictive Environment.

    • 10:20

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And that is done, again, which is very important,on a case by case basis.And the LRE is a little bit different than full inclusionbecause the LRE kind of says havingto do with what the student needs before the where,while the full inclusion has to do with the factthat students need to be placed within the classroom,that philosophy first, and let's do everythingto make that appropriate for that particular student.

    • 10:56

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And it's a little bit of juggling.Inclusion involves good juggling and planning and preparation.There are many different strategiesthat proactively prepare that general educationclassroom to help students succeed.And some of the strategies I have always propagatedhave to do with establish prior knowledge.

    • 11:23

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And I think that that is essential.It goes back to research of Lev Vygotsky,the zones of proximal development.You want the learning to be on a levelthat the student can succeed, not be frustrated.So there are independent, instructional,and frustration levels.And you never want to present the materialon a level that is frustrating for the student.

    • 11:47

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And with the inclusive strategies is--Forgive me for the acronyms in special Ed, but there are many.And this one I love.It's UDL, Universal Design for Learning.And it came out of architecture, whereit was saying that we are going to set upan environment that is prepared.

    • 12:08

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I'll give you an example.You go in a hotel, and you see Braille in the elevator.No one says, oh my goodness, someonewho's blind is coming in.Let's feverishly put Braille in because they'llbe here in five minutes.But that Braille is there in case a person who's blindneeds it.Same way at the airport, you know.How many people who are not in a wheelchairhave used that ramp with a suitcase, a stroller?

    • 12:34

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: It's there because it's needed.And no one's feverishly saying, OK, someone in a wheelchairis coming.We're going to have to quickly build a ramp.Well, if we can do the analogy in the classroom,I know that I'm going to have students in different levelswithin the classroom.So I am going to have my environment set upthat I am going to have the same content on different readinglevels.

    • 12:56

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Perhaps I'm going to have a strategy table.What's on my strategy table?I don't know.What am I teaching?Maybe I'm teaching students to skip count in multiplication.6, 12, 18, 24.But maybe they need to have a hundreds chart to look at.Or maybe they need a color transparencybecause that stops the letters on the pagethat they're reading from jumping around.

    • 13:21

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Or maybe they're going to be using an iPad.Or maybe I need to do low tech.Maybe I need to tape it, the paper,and have it because a child with dysgraphiamight have difficulty, and it might be moving around.So the strategies that I've just mentionedincorporate VAKT elements, visual, auditory, kinesthetic,tactile, varying the instruction,the type of engagement.

    • 13:50

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: All of these are strategies that help studentsto succeed because we're not goingto do the same for each student because we're all individuals,whether we have an IEP or not.The one strategy that I think is essentialfor inclusive classrooms to work is collaboration.

    • 14:11

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And that is the mindset that it's not my students,it's not your students, it's our students.And the collaboration is multifacetedbecause it has to do with not only,perhaps if you have a co-teacher or a paraprofessional,instructional assistant.But the collaboration also has to dowith related staff providers, whether--A student with autism might need to collaborate with the OTto help with structures, routine.

    • 14:43

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Or perhaps a student who might have selective mutismmight need help from the speech and language pathologistor the behavioral therapist for anxiety that's going on.And perhaps you have a student with emotional differencesthat you want a behavioral interventionist.Or perhaps collaboration with the administration,and giving the resources, the planning time.

    • 15:08

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And most of all, the families, and of course,the first and foremost collaborationis with the students because we don't wantlearned helplessness.We want students to not only use the strategies, but own them.And that's when it's the most effective is when--I always say to students when they say, I like this,but I'm going to do it this way, Mrs. Karten.

    • 15:34

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And I say, fly baby, fly.You go with it.Working with families is essentialbecause you might think, as an educator or administrator,you understand.You've heard a couple of things before.But it's not a 24/7.And the emotions that families go through are enormous.

    • 15:56

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And educators might meet familiesat different levels of acceptanceof a student who has a disability.Some parents might be in the denial stage.Some parents might be in the acceptance stage.Some people might be hostile.And it's not directed toward you,but it's a stage that they're in because the dynamics affectso many others.

    • 16:20

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I love one parent, who turned to me--And I was introducing her to her son's casemanager in the school.--and she turned to me and she said, you know what?She's not the case manager.I am.I'll be with him his whole life.And I think it's important.I think Emily Perl Kingsley summed it up best.

    • 16:41

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: She wrote something from called Welcome to Holland.She was a screenwriter for Sesame Street.She also had a child with Down syndrome.And she was asked to describe her experience.And she said it was kind of like planning a trip to Italy.Only you get on the plane, and the flight attendantsays, welcome to Holland.

    • 17:03

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: You must read it.It's a wonderful read.But it kind of gives the perspective that families haveand the idea that it's very, very important to appreciatethe wonderful things about Holland,that Holland has two lips and Rembrandts.And it might not have the same kind of things that Italy does,but it's still a wonderful place.And I think families have to be our collaboratorsin the educational field for thisto work and for the learning to be capitalized upon.

    • 17:32

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Inclusion has gone through a lot of stages.And some people are cheerleaders of inclusion.And some people, I hate to use this,but maybe want to throw some eggsbecause they say it's not going to work.And the research says that the one reason inclusion will notwork are people's attitudes.

    • 17:53

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: It's the self-fulfilling prophecy.If you think it's not going to work,you become like an energy vampire, and it doesn't work.And you'll think of different waysthat it's not going to be successful.The criticisms of inclusion have to do with the factthat sometimes it's thrust upon educators in a waythat they haven't had the training,the professional development experiences, the resources,the funding.

    • 18:20

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: It's not a way to save money.It's a way to educate students in a naturalist environmentthat is advocating individual skills within a classroomwith grade level peers that would be,hopefully, one day side by side in their community together.

    • 18:40

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Inclusion can only be successful if teachers are given the toolsthat they need to make this happen.And I'm going yo say the word tools very broadly.The resources that teachers need caninclude umbrellas of time, planning, high tech, low techtools, and also the resources in terms of emotional supportas well for planning.

    • 19:09

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And this is something that, in some districts,they have been in such haste, maybe because they'vebeen declared non-compliant, that they just tell teaches,we need to get this done.And I've done coaching situationswhere the one resource that the teachers didn't haveis the knowledge.

    • 19:30

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And that frightens me.Like when I was asked what is important strategies,we have to establish prior knowledge.That's huge with your staff as well.And it's not going to work well if teachers don'thave prior knowledge about specific disabilities.Although each disability is unique,it says it best on the autism site,if you've met one student with autism,you've met one student with autism.

    • 19:57

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: That's why they call it a spectrum.And it's the same thing for a specific learning disability.It's the same thing for a child with a hearing impairment.Students are different even within disability categories.But you sometimes need to have the knowledgeof effective strategies,--The What Works Clearinghouse is a wonderful place to go to.

    • 20:19

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: --being knowledgeable, and belongingto professional organizations.And the one resource that teachers needis knowledge about their students,knowledge about effective strategiesin special education, and knowledgeabout how to make it happen, to turnthe rhetoric into practical classroom applications.

    • 20:42

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: So you have a term like differentiation of instruction.OK.That's wonderful, representation, engagement.But what does that mean?That means that I'm going to have centers in my room.That means that I am going to have sponge activities.That means that I'm going to compact and figureout what students know ahead of time because I want to advancethe level of all students, whether or not they have IEPsbecause the critical people of inclusionare the ones that are saying, we'resacrificing one group of learners for the next.

    • 21:18

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And if it's done appropriately, everybodyis advancing their levels, includingthe staff, which I think is essential.Technology is a wonderful tool in inclusive classrooms,only to remember one important point.It's the tool.It's not the lesson.It assists.And sometimes technology can offer scaffolding.

    • 21:40

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And sometimes technology can advance the learningin a way that wouldn't be possible for a studentwith a certain disability.Let me give you specific examples.For a student with autism, maybe he or shewould prefer to interact in a virtual environment.That's pretty high tech.

    • 22:01

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I am at the Council for Exceptional Children.I've been active in that for many years.And I attended a session on 3D printers.That's incredible.And I say, who is that good for?Perhaps a student who needs that type of learning,a student with ADHD, or maybe a student whois gifted, who could create other artifacts,whether they're doing a project in history or science.

    • 22:25

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: It could have wonderful possibilities.That would be considered a high tech tool.But you know what?I once had a student who couldn'tunderstand place value.And I had wonderful virtual manipulativesfrom NCTM, National Council for Teacher of Mathematics.And it wasn't doing it.But then I had something called an abacus,which has been around for a few centuries.

    • 22:51

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I took out my little Judy Instructo abacus,and suddenly she got place value.And that would be low tech.Is it more valuable or less valuable than high tech?You know what?It depends on the student.But we need to use technology as a tool for differentiation.And it has to be used appropriately.

    • 23:14

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I recently did a session where I was talking about QR codes.They're wonderful.But my next slide said, how could weuse this in the classroom?We could connect it to literature.I showed them examples, where we actually placed them in books.And students went off, and they didother things, instead of saying, I'm finished with my work.

    • 23:34

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: What do I do now?It's proactive.Inclusion, I think, for it to work,we have to set up with that mindset,we're not going to be reactive.We're going to be proactive.We know that not everybody's goingto be learning the same thing at the same time.We'll establish baseline levels.We'll have students working on some skills at a certain level.

    • 23:56

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Then we'll advance it for others.And then we'll even give more enrichment.And it has to have that mindset of whole-part-whole.Maybe this is what the whole class is going to be learning.We'll break up into parts.We'll get back together as a whole.And no one says in whole-part-wholethat you can't do direct skill instruction either.

    • 24:17

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: But it's kind of like figuring outthe variables that are involved in gettingthe right formulas to make that happen.And that's done collaboratively.Differentiation of instruction is a wonderful waythat you could also use technology,high tech or low tech.And it used to be that teachers had to feverishly thinkof ways that they're going to differentiate.

    • 24:39

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And there are wonderful resourcesthat teachers could use while stamping their own creativitythat individualizes for small groups and specific learners.One example I actually stumbled across online--This is a more high tech tool, but it was a great tool.

    • 24:59

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: --it was Newsela, N-E-W-S-E-L-A. And what they had was,with one click of a button, you could change the Lexile readinglevel of what students were doing so they could all readthe same topic.But one might be reading that on a fourth grade level.One might be reading it on a seventh grade level.

    • 25:22

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: One might be reading the same text on a 12th grade level.I, myself, use several programs that create rebus storiesfor students because students love in pictures.Social media is a wonderful way to connect as well.And some students might like blogging.I've used, even with my graduate class,we created an Edmodo page.

    • 25:46

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Students love that.It's a safe community.They're familiar with Facebook.It would be a high tech way for them to do it.But it would be a way that we couldget them to invite them to communicate.So maybe a student with autism might notlike saying it face to face to somebody,but they're OK with posting their fileor their thoughts on Edmodo because thatwould be different.

    • 26:08

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Does that mean that's the only demand we have on them?No.But we're going to think of ways to beef it up in other ways.So differentiation of instruction, I think,is a wonderful tool that we have studentslearning the same concept.But we think, like the word differentiation,alternate ways to have them engaged in that content.

    • 26:34

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And that is something that students need.I mean, I'll tell people I'm on Facebook.I'm on Twitter.I'll tell them I'm on Pinterest.I suddenly, during that PD session,I have like 20 followers.Why?Some students love visuals.Well, just think about that.And that's adults too.So students respond to that.

    • 26:54

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And I might have that same material availablein different formats.My favorite way to differentiate,--And it comes from one of my publications,Inclusion Strategies That Work.--I set up classroom centers, very generic ones.One is called the word station.And this particular one, the students create acrostics.

    • 27:17

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: They might go online.And they go ahead, and they create a crossword puzzle,or perhaps they're going to pantomime a word.Another station is the performance station.They create a skit or a commercial.All right?Another station is the teacher station.They create their own test.And I've had students say, well, Mrs. Karten,can I use the textbook?

    • 27:40

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I don't tell them to go into the textbook, but they go ahead,and they want to go and do all the reading skills involved.Another station that they're involved withwould have to do with the research station.And they can go online and do WebQuest or answerother things that are involved.The picture this station, they create a picture.

    • 28:01

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: So there are ways to differentiate.And these centers are set up as ongoing.It's not like the flavor of the month,but having a classroom set up that prepares learners.And while at the same time inclusion strategiesare going to work, not only if we connect to the standards,but if we connect to the students and their interests,their likes.

    • 28:22

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And we motivate them in a way that says,you can be successful.And full inclusion says, but let'sfigure out how that's going to happen.I definitely think that teachers need to kind of like justrearrange their mindsets a little bitand be a little more accepting of different waysof instruction.We are so married to the curriculum sometimes.

    • 28:45

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And I love the fact that we do have a set of standardsthat all students, whether they have disabilities or not,are going to be connected to.But we need to, sometimes, teachers, and myself included,we need to think about other ways we are going to instruct.

    • 29:05

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Direct instruction has value.No one wants to take that away.But how could we infuse that instruction in different ways?And centers and stations are wonderful ways for thisto happen.But it has to be in a way that we're notcreating more work for teachers, but in a waythat it's going to be used to, one, instruct, and--You know what?

    • 29:30

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: --also assess because we can assess learning, creatingrubrics for it.And when we think about the centers, the onesI described, so many multiple intelligencesare infused in that.And that's what we need to do is figure outways to differentiate that value, how students learn best,whether they're visual, auditory, kinesthetic,or tactile learners, but thinking about waysthat they're going to be engaged that are meaningful to them.

    • 29:59

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And at the same time, let them step upto the plate to be self-regulated learners,to know how they learn best.The classrooms that are the most successful onesare the ones where students are willing to bepart of their learning.And it's a collaborative process.

    • 30:21

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And usually,--I don't have them with me here.--but I like shake my maracas.Shake it up a little bit.Try to do something a little bit differently.I personally want my first class backso I could formally apologize to them for all the thingsthat I didn't do that I kind of know now.There are ways to creatively do things.

    • 30:42

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And teachers always say, well, there'sone more thing we need to teach thembefore they go out on their own.And that's good.But think out of the box.Let the students play with the learning.I couldn't teach a child or an art studenthow to create a sculpture if I didn't give them the clay.The students need to play with the learning in ways thatare inviting, whether it's academic, emotional,behavioral, social skills.

    • 31:10

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I'll give you an example.Behaviorally, I always want a chart.Data is huge.And you can have co-teachers who are doing parallel lessons.You can have co-teachers who are observingeach other or their students at the same time.And I always have the students keep track of their behavior.

    • 31:30

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Sometimes teachers do it.Sometimes the students do it.So I created a little chart, different times of the day,and how your behavior was.And there was an excellent, a good, a fair, a,what was I thinking part.And one student with autism, he turned to me, and he said,Mrs. Karten, I didn't like your chart.I said, OK.

    • 31:51

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And he created his own.And he drew pictures because he loved cartoons.And you can do that with Comic Life,if you want to do high tech.Or you can use that old-fashioned numbertwo pencil, low tech.And he drew it that way.And he had detailed captions with dialoguegoing in there of his behavior.And he said, is that OK?I said, no.It's not OK.It's incredible.

    • 32:12

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Same thing, as co-teachers or Gen Ed or special Ed teachers,because we're interchanging roles now,we create study guides.I had one on the circulatory system, where I had box.I compartmentalize because too much informationcan overwhelm some students.It can overwhelm some adults as well.So I had gridded sheets that they were doing.

    • 32:33

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And it was of the heart.And I made a nice diagram.And same type of circumstance academically.And a student turned to me and said, I made my own.And she created a flip chart of the heartand the different parts and the valves and what they're doing.And this is where we, not the oneswho disseminate the knowledge, but I thinkwe need to be more of the facilitators of the knowledgeand realize that we don't have all the answers,but we are the ones who set the stage to help the studentsknow how to get the answers because in life it's not--I think Howard Gardner once defined intelligenceas not having all the answers, but knowingwhere to get the information, knowing how to be successful,and to find the resources to do that.

    • 33:24

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And I think the schools that provideongoing professional development materials in terms of training,in terms of resources, in terms of listening to their staff--What do you need?How can we help?And same team, we're on the same team.And that's called learning.Students, families, everyone.

    • 33:46

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Full inclusion is a process.And it takes time, and it takes effort.And if there's ever stagnation, it'snot being done correctly because there's alwaysroom for improvement.Full inclusion is implemented differentlyin different districts across the UnitedStates and different states.

    • 34:07

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And sometimes some districts are cited for noncompliancewith IDEA.And what we have to do is we haveto look at those environments and say,how could they be more inclusive?And it's not a question of whether the students belongwithin that Gen Ed classroom.But it's more of a question of how could we make the studentsnot only belong.

    • 34:31

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: But it's more than including.It has to do with integrating.And now it has to do with elevating.We want to elevate everyone's levels.When I first started with inclusion,it used to be, OK, they don't have to take the assessment.There isn't going to be the same accountability.But now, it's more of a mindset that weneed to have students receive the proper scaffoldingwithin that general education classroom.

    • 35:02

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And I think we need to figure outmore ways that make that happen across the United States.And I've gone into some school districts in the past two yearsthat said, we really haven't been doing inclusion.Ouch.Ouch.Because when I think about the students and--Some teachers are stuck--And forgive me for another initial.

    • 35:23

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: --it's called the TTWWADI syndrome,That's The Way We Always Did It.And change is something that not everyone embraces.But change, if it's done to improve outcomes,is what we want to do.And inclusion is done very, very differently sometimeswithin the same state, 10 miles from each other.

    • 35:48

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: The federal law is set up one way,but the states each have their own vocabulary, terminology,practices that are interpreted differently.And the main point that we want to always make sure ofis that success is within everyone's lap.

    • 36:09

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I think it's absolutely essentialthat we elevate levels of studentswho were taught within inclusive classrooms.It's no longer a question of, I'mphysically in that classroom, I belong,because what we want to do is establish the baseline levelof what students know and then make the learning justa little bit more challenging to getthem to elevate their level.

    • 36:36

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And that's not going to happen unless you offer the supports.That's why now we see many districts doinglearning profiles of our learners.What are their interests?How do they respond best?Are they visual learners?Are they auditory learners?Do I need to teach play tectonics by having them move?

    • 36:56

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: Should I do kinesthetic debates?Should I figure out ways to make this happen?And students with dyslexia, studentswho have difficulty reading, those students arevery capable of learning, but we needto infuse the strategies that are going to elevatetheir reading level because if they're within the general Edclassroom, and they're not improving their reading level,then perhaps we need to look at the supplementary aidsand services that are there and to think about ways that we'regoing to elevate their levels.

    • 37:26

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And it's very important to do this on the tiers,as RTI, Response To Intervention,does because we want the interventions to be on a levelthat the student will be able to exceed, not just walkas fast as they can, but even to run and to trod, and to finish,and when the Olympics in special Edbecause this is what we want.

    • 37:56

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: There should be just one system of educationthat educates all students to learn together, by peers.And sometimes class-wide peer tutoring is the way to do it.Sometimes we need to let go of what we think is the only wayto do it because we need to differentiateour inclusion and our attitudes that inclusioncan elevate the levels of all learners.

    • 38:25

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I have been in the field of special educationfor a couple years, maybe a few decades.And I think the most important takeawayfrom being in the field is that Idon't know everything there is to know.There's always one more thing to learn.And there's always one more studentthat is going to teach me a better wayto teach him or her to learn.

    • 38:50

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And I think it's very important, in the field, to be openand to be open to ideas that are going to get this fieldto move in a way that doesn't isolate people,but includes them not only within the classroom,but within life.And that's an important thing within the fieldthat each time--When I first started out, what was in vogue, it was OK.

    • 39:15

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: I first started working, and therewas a label for one of the school systems.It was called culturally deprived.Seriously?Whose culture were they deprived of?But that was in vogue to say that.The word handicapped was in voguebecause that was something that used to say, my cap in hand.

    • 39:35

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And that got a negative connotation.And then the word disabilities came about.I think that when you are in the field of special education,you need to have plans, but you alsoneed to be open to ideas, and not ideasthat are going to rock the boat, but ideas that are goingto navigate the students to a destinationthat's where they need to be basedupon their individual needs and how we needto scaffold and to offer the appropriate supportswithin a classroom that is alongside their peersin their community that will one day be something that they cansay, I'm OK, and not highlight their deficits,but go with a strength paradigm.

    • 40:22

      TOBY KARTEN [continued]: And that strength paradigm has to do with staff strengths.It has to do with students' strengths.And it has to do with so much with collaboration.And the one takeaway is that we needto be collaboratively looking and reflectingconstantly, reflecting on different ways of doinginclusion and even better than we've done it yesterday,because there's always tomorrow.

Toby Karten Discusses Inclusive Teaching

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Abstract

Toby Karton talks about full inclusion and what it means to really include a child with a disability both in a classroom and in life. Topics include differentiated instruction, collaboration, and families of children with disabilities.

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Toby Karten Discusses Inclusive Teaching

Toby Karton talks about full inclusion and what it means to really include a child with a disability both in a classroom and in life. Topics include differentiated instruction, collaboration, and families of children with disabilities.

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