What Is The Difference Between The “Pull-Out” And “Push-In” Model In Special Education?

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A curriculum without adaptations generally is one-size-fits-all

Most teachers have to adapt instruction for their disabled students, but they usually don’t have a say in choosing the curriculum or designing the study materials before they are expected to use them. While this may sound idealistic, it could actually be a reality, in future classrooms with Individualized Education Program (IEP). When a teacher adapts a curriculum, she or he works to accommodate as many student needs as possible by developing an array of potential supports.

A curriculum without adaptations generally is one-size-fits-all. However, adapted materials can be tailored to the students. It is a new way of thinking for many schools and it allows teachers to figure out specifically what teaching approaches might be most effective for students and gives them the tools to monitor their effectiveness. That way, if a teaching method isn’t working as well as the teacher would like, they can make appropriate course corrections and try something else. Following are the two important models of school-based interventions in special education:

1. Push-In
With this approach, the general education teacher and the special education teacher work together in close collaboration. The focus is to ensure students are receiving full access to the general education curriculum while limiting any disruption to their daily schedule (such as pulling students out of a classroom). This also includes the implementation of specially designed modifications within the classroom setting.

To implement this approach in the classroom, teachers can form small groups of two or three students, grouped according to their level. This can help with personalizing the teaching without sacrificing class instruction time. For example, in Math class, one group could be working on the basics while a more advanced group could be working on their geometry skills. Students would be grouped together according to similar skill levels and objectives along their educational pathway.

2. Pull-Out
Depending on the student’s education needs, he or she may require to also receive small group or individual instruction with the special education teacher in another setting outside of the general education classroom (Resource Room). Instruction will focus either on reading, language arts, and/or mathematics, according to the student’s needs. In addition, when deemed necessary and appropriate, a student may be pulled out of a general education setting for assistance with completing an exam, benchmark exams, progress monitoring probes, and other assignments (both long and short-term) as assigned by the general education teachers and the Special Education teachers.

In the classroom, students severely lagging behind in their language skills can be given a daily 30-minute lesson in a separate “resource room.” This lesson could incorporate a variety of reading and writing experiences designed to help them develop effective strategies for reading and writing. Each day, children could move through a lesson sequence that involves the reading of familiar materials, the composing and writing of a story, and the introduction and reading of a new book.

Specially designed instruction may be provided in a regular classroom setting and/or within a resource room “pull-out” setting depending on the student’s individual needs. The ultimate goal is to ensure full access to the general education curriculum and programming to students with special needs.

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