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    I am trying to set up a lesson plan, but need help to determine the following:

    1. Which instructional functions are most effective with a target population?
    2. What types of strategies can be used to motivate learners to be engaged in the instructional activity?
    3. What factors contribute to the success of the strategies?

    Thank you.

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    Solution Preview

    Please refer to attached response file (also below). I attached supporting articles as well, some of which this repsonse is draewn, so the references will be listed at the end of the articles, as mentioned in the response below.


    1. Which instructional functions are most effective with a target population?

    It would be helpful if I knew what your target population is and what type of lesson, because both help to determine the type of instruction (i.e., pedagogical, Montessori, child-centered, direct instruction, etc.). For example, if your lesson were for a group who had learning disabilities, direct instruction would be the preferred instruction design. Pre-school and kindergarten fairs best with a variety of teaching methods as listed below. For middle school, course content and learning goals (see four learning goals below in #3) are also important. If the lesson was designed to learn skills, for example, you could employ a systematic approach (see below) in conjunction with a project approach to practice through application of the skills. If learning self-efficacy is the goal, then Montessori learning environment may be appropriate where self-efficacy is promoted (Bandura, 1977) (i.e., through self-direction and accomplishment)--although this environment does not measure variables, it seems to promote internal locus of control.

    I. For unmotivated Student, see page 9 of attached response.

    II. For students with ADHD (direct instruction):

    1. Establishing The Proper Learning Environment
    2. Seat students with ADD near the teacher's desk, but include them as part of the regular class seating.
    3. Place these students up front with their backs to the rest of the class to keep other students out of view.
    4. Surround students with ADD with good role models, preferably students whom they view as significant others. Encourage peer tutoring and cooperative/collaborative learning.
    5. Avoid distracting stimuli. Try not to place students with ADD near air conditioners, high traffic areas, heaters, or doors or windows.
    6. Children with ADD do not handle change well, so avoid transitions, physical relocation (monitor them closely on field trips), changes in schedule, and disruptions.
    7. Be creative! Produce a stimuli-reduced study area. Let all students have access to this area so the student with ADD will not feel different.
    8. Encourage parents to set up appropriate study space at home, with set times and routines established for study, parental review of completed homework, and periodic notebook and/or book bag organization.
    9. Giving Instructions To Students With ADD
    10. Maintain eye contact during verbal instruction.
    11. Make directions clear and concise. Be consistent with daily instructions.
    12. Simplify complex directions. Avoid multiple commands.
    13. Make sure students comprehend the instructions before beginning the task.
    14. Repeat instructions in a calm, positive manner, if needed.
    15. Help the students feel comfortable with seeking assistance (most children with ADD will not ask for help).
    16. Gradually reduce the amount of assistance, but keep in mind that these children will need more help for a longer period of time than the average child.(http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content2/add.html).

    17. Require a daily assignment notebook if necessary:

    1). Make sure each student correctly writes down all assignments each day. If a student is not capable of this, the teacher should help him or her.
    2). Sign the notebook daily to signify completion of homework assignments. (Parents should also sign.)
    3). Use the notebook for daily communication with parents. (http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content2/add.html).

    18. Giving Assignments

    1) Give out only one task at a time.
    2) Monitor frequently. Maintain a supportive attitude.
    3) Modify assignments as needed. Consult with special education personnel to determine specific strengths and weaknesses of each student.
    4) Develop an individualized education program.
    5) Make sure you are testing knowledge and not attention span.
    6) Give extra time for certain tasks. Students with ADD may work slowly. Do not penalize them for needed extra time.
    7) Keep in mind that children with ADD are easily frustrated. Stress, pressure, and fatigue can break down their self-control and lead to poor behavior. (http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content2/add.html).

    III. For the Preschool, kindergarten and primary school: Employ a Variety of Teaching Methods

    Pedagogical method Academically focused curricula for preschool, kindergarten, and primary programs typically adopt a single pedagogical method dominated by workbooks and drill and practice of discrete skills. It is reasonable to assume that when a single teaching method is used for a diverse group of children, many of these children are likely to fail. The younger the children are, the greater the variety of teaching methods there should be, because the younger the children, the less likely they are to have been socialized into a standard way of responding to their social environment.

    In this way, it is more likely that children's readiness to learn school tasks is influenced by background experiences that are idiosyncratic and unique. For practical reasons, there are limits to how varied teaching methods can be. It should be noted, however, that while approaches dominated by workbooks often claim to individualize instruction, individualization rarely consists of more than the day on which a child completes a particular page or other routine task. As suggested by several follow-up studies, such programs may undermine children's in-born disposition to learn-or at least to learn what the schools want them to learn (Schweinhart & Weikart, 1997; Marcon, 1995, see page 12 of attachment)

    Interaction Approach Contemporary research confirms that young children learn most effectively when they are engaged in interaction rather than in merely receptive or passive activities (Bruner, 1999; Wood & Bennett, 1999). Young children therefore are most likely to be strengthening their natural dispositions to learn when they are interacting with adults, peers, materials, and their surroundings in ways that help them make better and deeper sense of their own experience and environment. They should be investigating and purposefully observing aspects of their environment worth learning about, and recording and representing their findings and observations through activities such as talk, paintings, drawings, construction, writing, and graphing. Interaction that arises in the course of such activities provides contexts for much social and cognitive learning (p. 11, attachment).

    Spontaneous and intellectually oriented approach As for the learning environment, the younger the children are, the more informal it should be. Informal learning environments encourage spontaneous play in which children engage in the available activities that interest them, such as a variety of types of play and construction. However, spontaneous play is not the only alternative to early academic instruction. The data on children's learning suggest that preschool and kindergarten experiences require an intellectually oriented approach in which children interact in small ...

    Solution Summary

    By presenting specific strategies applied to specific populations, this solution discusses which instructional functions are most effective with a target population, as well as the types of strategies that can be used to motivate learners to be engaged in the instructional activity. It also examines what factors contribute to the success of the strategies. Supplemented with two supporting and practical articles on instruction design and learning theory. References are provided.