Inclusion, Law & Policy By documenting teaching practice, observational research will grow and fill an important space in educational systems. It provides insights into the practice of teachers and how skilled they are in enacting these practices, thereby indicating in what areas they may need support to improve. This research also indicates conditions under which […]23 Nov 2023
Observational Systems Used in Teaching Students With Disabilities
July 26, 2023
Inclusion, Law & Policy
By documenting teaching practice, observational research will grow and fill an important space in educational systems. It provides insights into the practice of teachers and how skilled they are in enacting these practices, thereby indicating in what areas they may need support to improve. This research also indicates conditions under which students are more likely to experience effective instruction.
Highlighting the Importance of Observational Research
The authors begin by acknowledging the significance of observation as a research method in special education. They emphasize its role in capturing real-time data and providing a holistic understanding of students’ behaviors and interactions within educational settings.
Pros and Cons of Observational Systems
The authors sought published, peer-reviewed studies from 1975 to 2020, seeking observational research that targeted in-service teachers in K–12 settings serving students with disabilities. 100 studies were identified, and the results of the studies were coded and analyzed. The article emphasizes the importance of observation systems in special education and provides evidence of their validity and reliability. By acknowledging the potential for observer bias and highlighting the benefits of technology-driven approaches, the authors offer valuable recommendations for educators and researchers in the field. As the article suggests, continued research and investment in observation systems can contribute to the advancement of inclusive and effective educational practices for students with special needs.
Research Needs To Continue in This Field
Many of the studies that were analyzed did not report strong evidence that could be used. The authors also noted some small but significant changes over time regarding the information that has been reported in observation research of teachers for students with disabilities. The findings generally suggest room for growth.
“Observation allows us to uncover unique insights into the learning experiences of students with special needs, enabling us to tailor interventions and support accordingly.”
“Investing in comprehensive observer training is crucial to maintain the integrity of the data collected and to minimize potential biases.”
“Integrating technology into observation systems can offer educators valuable insights, facilitate data-driven decision-making, and ultimately improve outcomes for students with special needs.”
I feel that observation systems are quite valuable when working with all students, especially students with disabilities. This could be used as a learning tool for new teachers, or teachers who would like to further their skills of teaching students with disabilities. This system could also be used as a protection tool for students with disabilities, in order to ensure that there are multiple eyes on a teacher.—Shekufeh
Rodgers, Wendy J., et al. “Observation studies in special education: A synthesis of validity evidence for observation systems.” Review of Educational Research 92.1 (2022): 3-45.