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Assessment Task 2: Case Study

Jarrod Regan

All students require support from their teachers in order to excel in the classroom. Some
students, however, demonstrate distinct behaviours that may affect their ability to learn and
require additional support by teachers in order to achieve their goals in the classroom. This
case study will develop a teaching method which will support one particular student that has
demonstrated a range of additional needs as well as strengths within the classroom. Both the
learning needs and strengths of this student will be harnessed in order to create a lesson plan
that will directly cater to their needs.

This student was observed during the Professional Experience One and was also taught
during the six week teaching period within the English classroom.

Age: Year 9
Sex: Male
Possible Primary Causes of Behaviour: Supervisor describes traumatic experience from
home life and diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Other notes/observations: Student has a small group of friends with minimal connections to
the school community.

The primary disruption that he displayed within classes, was a frequent need to test his
teachers for their content knowledge or the reasons behind the choice of work or texts. This
would often lead to the student finding flaws within the class discussion or lesson content,
leading to a dialogue between himself and the teacher as to why he believed it was not
relevant. This caused multiple disruptions to the class for both the teacher demonstrating the
content and the concentration levels of the other students. This student would also have
frequent, heated episodes with one male student due to a personal history that they shared.
Finally the student would also engage in unauthorised use of technology, despite multiple
warnings, in order to avoid the work that he deems boring and inconsequential.

This students personal strengths however, also lie within his disruptive tendencies. The
student possesses strong ICT skills and uses this ability to research sources for his various
tests. A further strength is the ability of this student, when motivated, to analyse portions of
texts or concepts. Furthermore, he displays the ability to successfully test and challenge
portions of classroom content because of his self-motivated research. This is particularly
relevant for the development of subsequent tasks that may engage or harness these skills in
all classroom syllabus content.

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The Research (Causes of Behaviour, Learning Needs):
This students learning needs may stem from a possible trauma in his personal situation and
may draw from the Oppositional Defiant Disorder diagnosis. Research into these fields
outlines the behaviour of the student and measures what tools a teacher may use to further
include this student into the classroom activities and learning.

This students continuous questioning of the teacher and negative behaviours may correlate
with the known trauma that has been identified by his teacher. Students that have undergone
family traumas, or have experienced other forms of trauma or dysfunction, tend to have a
minimal development in terms of connecting to the school community and classroom
activities (Basic, Bezinovic, & Rovis, 2015, p. 672). Students that experience trauma have a
particular lack of trust towards others, which results in small friendship groups and minimal
desire to complete classroom activities and actively avoid their class work (Simpson). Their
inability to trust the motives of others around them (Basic, Bezinovic, & Rovis, 2015, p. 672)
relates directly to the students attitude towards his fellow cohorts and towards the teacher
when given direction. The research continues to emphasise this lack of connection as students
with experiences of physical trauma, from a parent or close relative, may develop aggressive
or passive aggressive behaviour towards adults during normal interaction (Arnett, 2014, p.
216). These described behaviours do match some of the observed behaviours of this student
such as how he acts with the teacher, fellow students and the minimal interactions he has with
other students outside of his trusted entourage of friends.

The research on Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) also demonstrates another explanation
of the observed behaviour of this student. The need to consistently test and establish a sense
of classroom dominance over his teacher is outlined within research on ODD as the typical
classroom behaviour that students display with this additional need (Australian Government,
2013). This diagnosis also explains the students behaviour in refusing to carry out requests
or conform to rules (Australian Government, 2013) that are conveyed by adults and displays
a confrontational behaviour towards the particular students that may display reliant behaviour
on adults (Australian Government, 2013). The ODD diagnosis also pairs with the trauma
presented through the consistent need to gain the attention of the teacher by frequently posing
questions, however, he approaches teachers in a confrontational manner in order to oppose an
authority figure (Bell, Limberg, & Robinson III, 2013, p. 141). The teacher may approach the
ODD aspect of the students behaviour with particular activities that harbour a positive
relationship with the teacher but also allow some independent time for the student to give
them space from an authority figure and limit any negative behaviours that may build with
ongoing interactions with the teacher.

Universal Design for Learning, Student Strengths and developing the lesson plan:

The lesson plan of this assessment (Appendix A) is an English content class which has been
used within a professional experience lesson and has been adapted to support the focus
student of this assessment and his class with Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
principles. UDL allows for students with additional needs to be able to be included and
supported within the classroom environment (Council for Exceptional Children, 2005, p. 2),
and catering directly to the students strengths will also be required in order to engage the
student. As aforementioned, the student is extremely apt with ICT and computer skills and
has displayed two further strengths; first is the students ability to discuss content at a

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sophisticated level and second, that the student has the ability to quickly analyse and critique
content that is supplied to him through his critical analysis of content. The three fundamental
concepts of UDL; modes of Engagement, the representation of content and varied methods of
action (Gordon, Meyer, & Rose, 2016, p. 111) have been used in this lesson plan in order to
cater to this students particular needs and of other students in the classroom. This lesson plan
will utilise ICT resources, independent study, group discussion and collaborative work to
support this students additional needs and to develop connections with other students
utilising his personal strengths.

Integrating technology into this lesson plan develops additional methods of engagement and
representation of content for students in this lesson and also directly caters to the strengths
and interests of the students. With the inclusion of a Strategic Reader or other personal
devices being integrated into the introduction of the lesson, a varied representation of content
has been established which may engage the interests of students by displaying a personal
connection between the teacher, the content and the student (Cohen, Ganley, Hall, & Vue,
2015, p. 81). Research also states that technology can develop student-centred learning which
promotes independent learning and increases the engagement of students (Pellerin, 2013, p.
55). Using this research, the lesson plan has included an individual research task which may
support the case study students need for independence from adults, while also incorporating
different methods of engagement that this student and his class may use for the content they
are uncovering. The lesson will use technology to create a personalised experience through
individualised representations of content and personal folders, while also using technology to
allow students, such as the focus student of this case study, to undertake personal work to be
completed and for other students to develop their own methods of engaging with the content
of the lesson.

The students limited connection with fellow students and the school community have also
been addressed within this lesson plan. UDL classrooms allow for students with emotional
and behavioural needs to slowly grow and develop their socio-emotional skills using group
interaction activities, discussion or debate (Adams, 2013). Group debate or discussion may
engage this students analytical strengths to enhance the depth of student learning, while also
addressing his needs and catering to the varied method of actions and tasks as outlined in the
UDL fundamental principles (Courey, Lepage, Siker, & Tappe, 2012, p. 9). This lesson plan
reflects this research by having the primary activity of the lesson being a research task that
combines group interactions and collaboration with technology to moderate this students
possible discomfort and the development of socio-emotional skills. As this class harnesses
two different styles of teaching method, the lesson plan demonstrates the ULD method of
varied action towards classroom content. Students will be able to present their knowledge in
different fashions that allows for their personal strengths to be utilised. As aforementioned,
the lesson plan allows for our focus student to use his personal strength in technology and is
paired with classroom activities that involve social interaction, building the socio-emotional
skills described in the research allowing the student to use his apt for technology to develop
comfort in the material, while also developing through collaborative work.

The development of a professional relationship between the teacher and a student with
additional behavioural needs, like the focus student, will allow the student to feel comfortable
with the classroom teacher and may minimise confrontational behaviour and support positive
behaviour (Ferguson, Naraian, & Thomas, 2012, p. 736). This lesson plan allows an educator
to build a professional relationship through personalised classroom content and Strategic
Readers and the class content allows the focus student to develop an individual opinion, using

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research, which is to be conveyed through a constructive, positive fashion that supports their
learning. Additionally, the lesson will include specific tasks that can be assigned to students
which allow the teacher to demonstrate a personal understanding or care of the students
strengths, which will grow this professional relationship (Allsopp, McHatton, Mihalas, &
Morse, 2009, p. 115). The lesson plan will encourage the focus student to develop the skills
required to form a positive relationship with the teacher by being able to present their
strengths and build methods of addressing their needs in a student-centred lesson that
emphasises personal work within a collaborative task. Furthermore, the teacher will be able
to provide the required focus that each student requires within the classroom and physically
demonstrate the attempt of a professional and caring relationship that they are fostering with
their students through the individualised content folders, selecting students for particular jobs
or tasks in activities and the foresight to allow student to actively participate and control their
own learning experience in the classroom.

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Example of Method:

Objective: The primary objective is to introduce the dramatic text Stories in the Dark, by
Debra Oswald, to the Year 9 English class. The study will begin by focusing on two key
concepts of the text (War and Fairy Tales) and how these concepts shape the text.
Lesson plan (Appendix A):

Time Teaching and Learning Activities UDL Adaptions

10 Class will enter the class and settle Students will be asked to collect
The class will be given a set of goals and begin to look at their Strategic Readers, laptops or
the text that we will study. iPads and open their personal file to
a page that outlines the goals of the
lesson and a timeframe for the work
(UDL fundamentals of Engagement
and Representation)
20 Students will adapt a body of work into a dramatic text, then This portion of the class will be
highlight the different language features they have used in dedicated to a visual representation
their own adaption. of the definitions of War and Fairy
Tales and outline of narrative
30 The rest of the class will centre on the introduction of the Students will perform a collaborative
40 text Stories in the Dark and the PowerPoint presentation. research task that will act as an
50 The PowerPoint presentation will cover the following informal assessment for learning.
points: One group will look for statistics,
An overview of the text which includes a reference factoids and examples of children in
to the author warzone. Other groups will look at
Background information of the play through the examples of Fairy Tales that
providing a quick plot summary about key points or developed during war periods and
features. evaluate how this concept may fit
Following this, students will be assessed on their into the narrative of the text.
prior understanding of two concepts War and
Fairy Tales by creating two separate mind maps
Groups are to uncover and record
that plot key phrases or ideas that students already
possess about these concepts. this information and compile their
The next slide will demonstrate how these two knowledge into a presentation,
concepts link in the text. which will be sent to the teachers
Finally students will be asked to make a prediction personal inbox. If time allows,
on the possible narrative. students may present their findings
to the class. (Differing actions and

Class will finish by this point with students being told that If students require additional
we will begin the reading next period and that this will be individualised focus (such as the
the beginning of close textual study of a dramatic text. student in this case study) the
teacher may provide specific tasks
for students to engage in.
If in groups of four, the jobs may be
as follows:
1. Scribe
2. Presenter
3. Researcher 1
4. Researcher 2

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Adams, D. (2013). The application of social-emotional learning principles to a special
education environment. KJEP Journal of Education Policy, 103-118.

Allsopp, D. H., McHatton, P. A., Mihalas, S., & Morse, W. C. (2009). Cultivating caring
relationships between teachers and secondary students with emotional and behavioral
disorders: Implications for research and practice. Remedial and Special Education,
30(2), 108-125. doi:10.1177/0741932508315950

Arnett, J. J. (2014). Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood. USA: Pearson Education Limited.

Australian Government. (2013). About serious behavioural difficulties. Retrieved from Kids

Basic, J., Bezinovic, P., & Rovis, D. (2015). Interactions of school bonding, disturbed family
relationships, and risk behaviors among adolescents. Journal of School Health, 85,

Bell, H., Limberg, D., & Robinson III, E. (2013). Recognizing trauma in the classroom: A
practical guide for educators. Childhod Education, 89(3), 139-145.

Cohen, N., Ganley, P., Hall, T. E., & Vue, G. (2015). Addressing learning difficulties with
UDL and technology: Strategic Reader. Learning Disability Quarterly, 38(2), 72-83.

Council for Exceptional Children. (2005). Universal design for learning: A guide for teachers
and education professionals. Arlington: The Council For Exceptional Children.

Courey, S. J., Lepage, P., Siker, J., & Tappe, P. (2012). Improved lesson planning with
universal design for learning (UDL). Teacher Education and Special Education,
36(1), 7-27. doi:10.1177/0888406412446178

Ferguson, D. L., Naraian, S., & Thomas, N. (2012). Transforming for inclusive practice:
professional development to support the inclusion of students labelled as emotionally
disturbed. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 16(7), 721-740.

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Gordon, D., Meyer, A., & Rose, D. (2016). Universal design for learning: Theory and
practice. Wakefield: CAST Professional Publishing.

Pellerin, M. (2013). E-inclusion in early french immersion classrooms: Using digital

technologies to support inclusive practices that meet the needs of all learners.
Canadian Journal of Education, 36(1), 44-70.

Simpson, J. (n.d.). Understanding the meaning of disturbed behaviour in children and

adolescents. Rivendell: Rivendell School .

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