decisions, and problem solving as self-determination is defined for adolescents and young adults (p. 39).” They propose a Self-Determination Foundations model with three interactive critical components as foundations for the later development of self-determination for young children with disabilities: a) child opportunities for expressing and making choices or engaging in simple problem solving, b) self-regulation, and c) engagement. Although many music therapists may incorporate skills associated with self-determination into their sessions with young children, no doubt children will benefit from more opportunities to learn and practice these skills. Introducing choices to students, teaching them how to self-regulate (set goals and reach them), giving them increasingly more autonomy, honoring their preferences, giving them problems to solve within their capacity and strategies to solve them, and providing opportunities for them to experience individual achievement require therapists to be aware of the short- and long-term consequences of students’ actions and to make students aware of these consequences as well. Children of all ages and with varying capabilities can learn what questions to ask themselves and what actions to take to accomplish their goals (i.e., academic, social or music). Diﬀerentiated Instruction (DI) Young children come to music sessions, and students later come to the music classroom with diﬀerent educational readiness, learning styles, abilities, and preferences. In addition to these learner diﬀerences, classrooms in the United States are becoming more linguistically and culturally diverse each year. Diﬀerentiated instruction (DI) is an approach to teaching and learning that allows for these individual diﬀerences. Thousand, Villa, and Nevin (2007, p. 9) define diﬀerentiated instruction as “a process where educators vary the learning activities, content demands, modes of assessment, and the classroom environment to meet the needs and to support the growth of each child.” Various accommodations and adaptations are also included as a part of the instructional process. Working with individual children, as music therapists often do, is not the same as diﬀerentiated instruction. Diﬀerentiated instruction involves working with groups of
imagine 5(1), 2014
students, and individualizing the curriculum for those within the group. It shares many of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) goals for teaching and promoting student learning, with both initiatives established to embrace student diﬀerences and to ensure students have every opportunity to learn in ways that best suit their individual needs. Both UDL and DI include built-in supports for students and suggest scaﬀolding instruction. However, DI diﬀers from UDL in how and when instructional adjustments are made for students. DI makes use of formative assessments with accompanying adjustments in the curriculum. Tomlinson (2001) identified three elements of the curriculum that can be diﬀerentiated: Content, process, and products. In brief, curriculum content should be aligned with learning goals and objectives, and the same for all students, with its complexity varied based on students’ abilities to comprehend the material. Content delivery is varied, based on groupings that are flexible and fluid, and beneficial to both students and teachers. In diﬀerentiated instruction, formative assessments are a key feature, and are used to direct the curriculum. Formative assessments are used to evaluate students’ readiness to learn and acquire knowledge. DI operates under the assumption that not all accommodations for learner diﬀerences can be planned proactively. Instruction should be fluid and variable, depending on the changing needs of the learners. A layered curriculum is one of the most salient features of DI. While the focus of the subject matter—the essential concepts—is the same for all students, individual students are learning the curriculum content at diﬀerent levels of complexity, and are expressing what they know at diﬀerent levels of sophistication. Giangreco, Cloninger, and Iverson (1993) suggested four levels of curriculum design: same, multilevel, curriculum overlapping, and alternative. In the first level, Diﬀerentiated students are instruction involves taught the same working with groups of curriculum with students, and only minor individualizing the changes in the amount to learn or the time to
curriculum for those within the group.
The focus of imagine 2014 is on family-centered practice – a trend taking hold in music therapy circles worldwide. While many practitioners...