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Peer Support Strategies for Improving All Students' Social Lives and Learning / Edition 1

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Overview

Peer supports really work: they're a great, efficient way to help all students learn, make the most of teacher/ paraprofessional time, and increase the achievement level of challenging students. This is the concise, practical guide every middle and high school needs to implement peer support strategies—including cooperative learning and peer tutoring—to benefit students with moderate to severe disabilities and their peers.

With this reader-friendly, step-by-step planning guide from the foremost authorities on peer supports, educators, paraprofessionals, and other school staff will

  • discover how peer supports are a "two-way street," boosting the academic outcomes, social skills, and self-esteem of students with disabilities and the peers who support them
  • determine which students might benefit most from peer supports
  • recruit and match the students most likely to form mutually beneficial relationships
  • develop effective support plans that promote access to the general curriculum
  • work peer supports into IEP goals to meet state and national academic standards
  • give students the training and guidance they need to approach their support roles with confidence and enthusiasm
  • clarify the responsibilities of everyone involved in a peer support system: students, general and special educators, paraprofessionals and other school staff
  • provide peers with constructive ongoing feedback
  • extend peer supports to school activities and extracurricular events
  • evaluate the social and academic impact of peer support arrangements

A complete, start-to-finish guide to peer supports, this book is packed with photocopiable planning, implementation, and evaluation tools; evidence-based strategies; and vignettes that illustrate successful peer supports.

With this must-have book on one of the hottest topics in inclusive education, educators and paraprofessionals will create schools where all students—with and without disabilities—help each other reach their academic goals, make new friends, and live full and meaningful lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael F. Giangreco

"Convey[s] a hopeful perspective and genuine excitement about our opportunities to improve the quality of life for students with disabilities."
University of Wyoming - Martin Agran
"Soundly based on research, the book provides practical recommendations and presents clear demonstrations on how peers can serve as an invaluable support in general education."
University of New Mexico - Susan R. Copeland
"An exciting and practical book! A &#39must-have' for middle and high school educators wanting to enhance their students' learning outcomes."
Professor Emeritus from California State University, Northridge - June E. Downing
"A very practical how-to guide . . . truly comprehensive and well researched."
Professor, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville - Marti Snell
"A tested road map for getting to peer support in real schools. This book is a winner!"
Instructor, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque - Nitasha M. Clark
"Bridge[s] research and practice by outlining the practical, step-by-step strategies for establishing Peer Support arrangements in inclusive settings."
The Midwest Book Review
"A recommended read especially for school administrators."
Education Reviews
"Fills the gap as far as peer support mechanisms are concerned and provides hands on techniques for a teacher or administrator seeking to implement inclusive policies in the here and now."
Inetellectual and Developmental Disabilities
"If used well, this work has the potential to change the face of adult support in inclusive education today."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557668431
  • Publisher: Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 12/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Erik W. Carter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Special Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 432 East Campus Mall, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

Dr. Carter’s research, teaching, and writing focus on effective strategies for including youth and young adults with disabilities meaningfully in schools and communities. He is the author of Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities: A Guide for Service Providers, Families, and Congregations (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2007) and co-author of Peer Buddy Programs for Successful Secondary School Inclusion (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2008) and The Transition Handbook: Strategies High School Teachers Use That Work! (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2000). Prior to receiving his doctorate from Vanderbilt University, he was a high school transition teacher in San Antonio, Texas.

Lisa S. Cushing, Ph.D., BCBA, Associate Professor, Department of Special Education, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), 3233 EPASW, 1040 West Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607

Dr. Cushing holds a doctorate in special education from the University of Oregon. Before her tenure at UIC, Dr. Cushing served as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education of Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and an Assistant Research Professor at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at the University of South Florida. She has published more than 20 journal articles and book chapters in the areas of peer supports, social interaction, instructional supports, access to the general education, transition, secondary education, inclusion, technical assistance, and positive behavior supports. She sits on the editorial board for The Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. Prior to working in academia, Dr. Cushing was a special educator for students with significant disabilities in Hawaii.

Craig H. Kennedy, Ph.D., BCBA, Chair, Special Education Department, and Professor of Special Education and Pediatrics, Box 328, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37203

Dr. Kennedy is Chair of the Special Education Department and Professor of Special Education and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and is a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Investigator. He also is Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Behavior Analysis Clinic. Dr. Kennedy received a master of science degree in special education and rehabilitation from the University of Oregon and a doctorate in special education with an emphasis in quantitative sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Dr. Kennedy has published more than 140 scholarly works, including the book Single-Case Designs for Educational Research (Allyn & Bacon, 2005). He has served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, Journal of Behavioral Education, and Journal of The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps.

He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He is a member of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Association for Behavior Analysis, Society for Neuroscience, and TASH. He also serves on the editorial boards of many highly respected peer-reviewed journals.

In 1991, Dr. Kennedy received TASH’s Alice H. Hayden Award, and in 1993, he received the B.F. Skinner New Research Award from the American Psychological Association, Division 25. He was also recognized in 2003 for his research excellence by Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Peer Support Strategies for Improving All Students' Social Lives and Learning
By Erik W. Carter, Ph.D., Lisa S. Cushing, Ph.D., & Craig H. Kennedy, Ph.D.
©2009. Brookes Publishing. All rights reserved.

WHAT ARE PEER SUPPORT ARRANGEMENTS?

Peer support arrangements are a promising approach for promoting access to rigorous, relevant learning experiences; expanding opportunities for students to establish new relationships with their peers; and helping educators and paraprofessionals to support inclusive education more effectively. Put simply, these intervention strategies involve arranging for one or more peers without disabilities to provide ongoing social and academic support to their classmates with severe disabilities while receiving guidance and support from paraprofessionals, special educators, and/or general educators (Carter, Cushing, & Kennedy, 2008; Carter & Kennedy, 2006; Cushing & Kennedy, 1997). Recognizing that peers are an underutilized—but widely availabl&emdash; source of natural support in every school, peer support arrangements draw upon the involvement of other classmates to assist in helping students with disabilities participate more fully in the social and learning opportunities existing in inclusive classrooms, extracurricular clubs, and other school activities.

Peer-mediated approaches—in which students assume instructional or other support roles with their classmates—have been a staple intervention strategy in classrooms for as long as there have been schools (Harper & Maheady, 2007). Indeed, countless variations on these approaches exist—ranging from informal, casual pairings of students to more structured, intentional systems (Gillies, 2007). As these strategies have been tested in the classroom and refined through research, a powerful and effective set of techniques have emerged for use with students with disabilities (e.g., Goldstein, Schneider, & Thiemann, 2007; Heron, Villareal, Ma, Christianson, & Heron, 2006; Maheady, Harper, & Mallette, 2001). Although peer support arrangements share the strong theoretical and empirical support of other peer-mediated strategies, they also differ in important ways. First, in peer support arrangements, somewhat greater emphasis typically is placed on exchanging social support, encouraging peer interactions, and promoting social connections. Social goals are often prominent in the IEPs of students with severe disabilities, and general education participation frequently is advocated for as an avenue for meeting these goals. Second, unlike other peer-mediated interventions in which all participating students assume very structured or static roles (e.g., Classwide Peer Tutoring [Greenwood, Arreaga-Mayer, Utley, Gavin, & Terry, 2001], Peer Assisted Learning Strategies [McMaster, Fuchs, & Fuchs, 2006]), educators are encouraged to individually tailor peer support interventions so that they reflect the unique support needs, strengths, and characteristics of participating students with disabilities and their peers. Third, peer support arrangements usually are not implemented as classwide interventions and thus involve a smaller number of peers. Fourth, most peer-mediated interventions were developed primarily for students with highincidence disabilities such as learning disabilities or emotional or behavior disorders (Gardner, Nobel, Hessler, Yawn, & Heron, 2007). Recognizing that the academic and social support needs of students with severe disabilities may be more intensive, peer support arrangements typically offer a more sustained and focused source of support. Finally, peer support interventions are designed to be implemented in inclusive contexts. Self-contained classrooms or segregated school activities simply do not offer the same depth of natural support available in inclusive environments.

Core Components

Because peer support interventi

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Table of Contents

About the Authors

Preface

Acknowledgments

  1. Social Relationships, Inclusion, and Access to the General Curriculum
  2. The Practice and Promise of Peer Support Interventions
  3. Crafting Effective Support Plans
  4. Identifying Peer Support Participants
  5. Equipping Students to Provide Academic and Social Support
  6. Implementing Peer Supports in the Classroom
  7. Evaluating Student Progress
  8. Epilogue: How Far Can We Go?

References

Appendix: Photocopiable Forms

Index

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