There are several practices in support of children with disabilities or suspected interruptions through embedded learning. This paper discusses the four objectives as presented in the webinar.
Consider Where and When Infants and Toddlers Learn
Infants and toddlers require specialized trained professionals or extremely experienced individuals to understand their learning process. According to the webinar, toddlers learn virtually everywhere. They learn at home while with their parents or caregivers. Here, the parents observe them well and can easily tell a learning toddler. They also learn at the childcare center or home-based programs. Childcare centers ensure toddlers learn the basics in life. They teach them how to recognize simple objects and humans who might be in their lives for long. They teach toddlers how to talk but starting with simple words (Fettig). In addition, home-based programs provide the best environment for infants and toddlers to learn.
Young children learn when they receive care that is responsive, high-quality interactions between the children and adults and predictive routines. They learn when the caregivers offer responsive attention and care. This ensures that the children grasp concepts well, thus ending up as having understood everything well. Besides, the infants and toddlers yearn for high-quality interactions between them and adults. Because most of them cannot express themselves well verbally, they prefer a high level of interaction. This ensures there is proper learning and thus grasping several concepts. Children at this age also prefer predictive routines where they repeat most of the things to which they are used. The repetition routine ensures that the infants and toddlers learn and grasp concepts (Fettig). For instance, an infant who is used to having breakfast at a specific time would not be well receptive if the routine changes.
The What, When and How Components of Embedded Learning Opportunities
Embedded instruction involves the provision of intentional and systematic instruction on priority learning targets. It happens during typically occurring activities, routines, and transitions to support child engagement and learning. Embedded learning, therefore, involves functional, meaningful, and measurable learning goals that ensure there is a proper rapport between the child and the adult. The goals involve ensuring the child grasps the concepts properly in a measurable and meaningful manner. Teaching through embedded learning opportunities occurs during planned and unplanned learning activities, routines, and transitions. Planned teaching happens during organized programs at the caregiver centers and home (Fettig). Unplanned teaching mostly takes place during family outings to parks, visiting the libraries, among others.
The process of teaching involves planning experiences that promote engagement, learning, and mastery. The teachers and providers of care to toddlers and infants conduct work through properly planned experiences. The engagements may occur due to the parents, caregivers, or teachers’ participation in planning if it is a school setting. They provide opportunities for disabled students to undertake learning ordinarily with other students. The teachers assess the student’s ability and decide how best to embed learning in the regular teaching program. The progress of such a program can be well tested through evaluating outcomes. The assessors can understand how the program has impacted disabled children in their process of learning. Trained caregivers implement several strategies in understanding the level and quality of learning the infants and toddlers are undergoing (Fettig). Outcomes are used in preparing for future teaching and finding out which area needs improvement.
Ways to Plan for Embedded Learning Opportunities
There are several methods through which planning for embedded learning opportunities occurs. Such learning opportunities should be well planned because of the challenges of dealing with disabled and other abled differently children. Planning for embedded learning involves clarification on learning objectives and determination of the criterion to be used. Such a step is important as it helps to understand which criteria can well suit the learners. This way is followed by gathering baseline information that assists in determining the child’s current performance and comprehension level (Fettig). The caregiver or teacher who takes care of the infant or toddler should assess the disability type or level of the child so that they understand well how to perform the teaching process.
Another way of planning is periodically checking with other caregivers to handle children with such disabilities. This works in the way of helping the teacher provide the best content without having any major issues. Many teachers and caregivers roll out embedded learning opportunities without properly understanding the best way of handling such conditions. There is also the designing of instructional interaction, which is significant in comprehending what will happen during the teaching process. The caregiver will understand beforehand the best actions which will occur during the teaching process. Such is critical in ensuring the teachers begin the process while well prepared for what awaits them ahead. Therefore, it is significant for everyone involved in embedded learning to plan before commencing the learning process (Fettig). Such a move is critical in ensuring the process lacks any major challenges.
Strategies to Support Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities or Suspected Delays across All Learning Settings
There are several strategies which can support children with disabilities during their learning process. First, teachers can physically accompany the children to play to enjoy equal opportunities like other children. This occurs because most children would also like to play but find it difficult due to the disabilities. Second, there should be physical access opportunities and facilities such as lifts, ramps, toilets, and proper classroom layout. The access to places should be in a manner that allows the children to access without any problems properly. There should also be constant compliments, especially on appearances (Fettig). For instance, compliment the children’s hair or new outfit from time to time increases their confidence.
Another strategy is discouraging any rude or disparaging remarks from other toddlers or infants. Such ill-mannered children should be taught the importance of appreciating everyone the way they are. The teacher should discourage rude remarks against disabled children by anybody, including members of staff. Also, the teachers should keep their expectations high of the children. They should be encouraged to do something that the other children thought they could not. It is a significant measure that improves the child’s belief in themselves. The children also need special attention even during class activities that include running, dancing, and singing. They should also be assisted whenever they answer the call of nature, eat or want to behave like the rest (Fettig). Such gestures will work miracles in assisting the infants and toddlers grow and develop well at home and in school.
Fettig, Angel. “Practices to Support Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities or Suspected Delays Through Embedded Learning Opportunities.” National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning, 2019. Webinar.