Categories
Inspirational

21st Century Entrepreneurial Literacy


21st Century Entrepreneurial Literacy
Kathy Challis
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin



Abstract

Students can become successful entrepreneurs during their middle years of development.

“According to research identified that leading programs for entrepreneurs education in the United States are Network for Teaching Entreprenueir (NFTE), Young Entrepreneurs, and the Kauffman Foundations program. Youth Venture targets students above age 12. In the United States, programs lack intervention at a younger age, but they exist worldwide.”  In the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), non-cognitive and innovative skills are assessed. Giving more opportunities for entrepreneurs to create more job markets and job positions.             Furthermore, children as young as age 4 can be taught the value of the economic and free-market system that we enjoy in the USA, Teaching children as early as 9-12 years old/3rd grade can be productive in determining their successes in school and as a future entrepreneurial or employee.

 Keywords:  21st-century,  ESSA, behaviorist, cognitive psychology, constructivism, social constructivism, experiential learning, multiple intelligence, situated learning theory, a community of practice, entrepreneurial literacy  It is contended that children need to start early as

Contents

Abstract 2

Entrepreneur: 10

Entrepreneurial mindset 11

Cultural mindset 11

Employer perspective………………………………………………………………………………………. 13

·      Initiative & Self-Reliance. 14

·      Flexibility & Adaptability. 14

·      Communication & Collaboration. 14

·      Creativity & Innovation. 14

·      Critical Thinking & Problem Solving. 14

·      Future Orientation. 15

·      Opportunity Recognition. 15

·      Comfort with Risk. 15

Entrepreneurial culture. 17

NFTE’s  Activities to Teach Entrepreneurship: 17

References. 20

Acronyms. 21

What is entrepreneurial literacy? How can entrepreneurial literacy be taught in K-12 and post-secondary educational facilities? Before the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), there was growing interest in identifying and measuring critical “noncognitive” skills, such as grit, conscientiousness, goal orientation, punctuality, ethics, efficacy, and others. Entrepreneurial Literacy is at the forefront of 21st-century education preparation.  Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential to continued business development for the future generation of workers

. 66% of all new jobs haven’t even been invented yet, but with new technologies and innovations, our children need to be prepared to tap into the potential markets and opportunities. These are the theories that lead up to the 21st– century goals: behaviorist, cognitive psychology, constructivism, social constructivism, experiential learning, multiple intelligence, situated learning theory, a community of practice.” 

The hypothesis statement.is presented in this paper as Students can become successful entrepreneurs during their middle 9-12 years of development “A seminal 2004 study of U.S. entrepreneurs, for example, analyzed their impressions of the relative importance of the Big Five personality traits – openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism – which psychologists believe are at the core of every individual’s personality.”  (Westwood 2017).

“Bill J. Bonnstetter, Chairman of Target Training International, researched more than 17,000 working adults, including “serial” entrepreneurs, and concluded that, “in contrast to ephemeral notions that entrepreneurial success comes as a result of perfect timing meeting brilliant ideas in a cosmic moment of alignment, [my] research indicates [that] entrepreneurially successful people are successful for a reason—that many of them highly display certain personal skills.” He further argued that the attributes of entrepreneurs, including goal orientation and interpersonal skills “are not inherent.” Rather, he wrote, “They can be learned and developed, especially early in life, and further honed throughout an entrepreneur’s career.” (Bonnstetter .)

The theoretical framework is the Engagement Theory. Engaged readers are intrinsically motivated, mentally active, and social.  Students that are more receptive to the entrepreneurial mindset have engagement theory qualities.  In recent years,  the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has been working to fill this gap by developing and testing the Entrepreneurial Mindset Index (EMI)—a tool to measure attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs associated with being an entrepreneur. (NFTE 2018)

            With life-long learning and strategic training, students can become entrepreneurial or have an entrepreneurial mindset.  I am entrepreneurial. At age 26 yrs, I started a successful business called Unlimited Software Company that later merged with BobKat Computer Consultants. I operated the company for 13 years, then sold it to relocate to Texas. I mention this experience for a reason. When I was a child my parents had odd jobs as their secondary employment source. It was normal for me to watch them start with nothing; just an idea and that week’s paycheck, and form a company. Some companies had long life while others fizzled and burned out. I can write effective business plans easily and am very creative.

Engaged readers are more likely to succeed at starting a business or writing a business plan than unengaged readers. There is a strong correlation between non-critical thinking skills; accepting things at face value (low level of thought).  and the higher cognitive thinking skills, in areas such as self-control, interpersonal problem-solving, and critical reasoning. The opposite of critical thinking would be unimaginative, evidence-driven, limited, and impoverished thinking that leads to the same old expected solutions: Critical thinking doesn’t always cross over to include imaginative or resourceful thinking..(Thinking Writing,2012).

 Entrepreneurial in the teaching world. The hypothesis, “Students can become successful entrepreneurs during their middle years of development,“ is supported by the following conditions. Students as young as four years can be taught economic skills such as money management and free enterprise in their classrooms, though higher order of reasoning occurs at about 9-10  years of age, (third grade) whereas students can learn how to add to their bank account or save a portion of their earned monies for different purposes.

These middle years 9-12, can be fertile ground for inquisitive minds to germinate. Soft skills or non-cognitive skills such as being a team player, negotiating, prioritizing, problem-solving, and ethics, to name a few should be taught along with STEM classes (History, Mathematics, English, Science). We must ask ourselves, “What is entrepreneurial literacy? And How can entrepreneurial literacy be taught in K-12 and post-secondary educational facilities?” TO answer these questions we must first define theories associated with learning. The Office of Learning and Teaching (herein: OLT,2014) outlines them as follows: presents these theories of learning. “Learning theories develop hypotheses that describe how this process takes place. The scientific study of learning started in earnest at the dawn of the 20th century. The major concepts and theories of learning include behaviorist theories, cognitive psychology, constructivism, social constructivism, experiential learning, multiple intelligence, and situated learning theory and community of practice.” (The Office of Learning and Teaching 2014)

Behaviorism 

“Skinner, another influential behaviorist, proposed his variant of behaviorism called “operant conditioning”. In his view, rewarding the right parts of the more complex behavior reinforces it, and encourages its recurrence. Therefore, reinforcers control the occurrence of the desired partial behaviors. The basic idea of behaviorism is that learning consists of a change in behavior due to the acquisition, reinforcement, and application of associations between stimuli from the environment and observable responses of the individual. Behaviorists are interested in measurable changes in behavior.” (The Office of Learning and Teaching 2014)

Cognitive Psychology 

“In cognitive psychology, learning is understood as the acquisition of knowledge: the learner is an information-processor who absorbs information, undertakes cognitive operations on it, and stocks it in memory. Therefore, its preferred methods of instruction are lecturing and reading textbooks; and, at its most extreme, the learner is a passive recipient of knowledge by the teacher.) (The Office of Learning and Teaching 2014)

Constructivism 

“Learners are therefore viewed as sense-makers, not simply recording given information but interpreting it. This view of learning led to the shift from the “knowledge-acquisition” to the “knowledge-construction” metaphor. While there are different versions of constructivism, Jean Piaget and Jerome Bruner, what is found in common is the learner-centered approach whereby the teacher becomes a cognitive guide of learner’s learning and not a knowledge transmitter”. (McLoad, S. 2019)

Social learning theory 

“A well-known social learning theory has been developed by Albert Bandura, who works within both cognitive and behavioral frameworks that embrace attention, memory, and motivation. His theory of learning suggests that people learn within a social context and that learning is facilitated through concepts such as modeling, observational learning, and imitation. Bandura put forward a “reciprocal determinism” that holds the view that a person’s behavior, environment, and personal qualities all reciprocally influence each other.”  (The Office of Learning and Teaching 2010).  

Socio-constructivism 

“The essence of this criticism was that the information-processing constructivism saw cognition and learning as processes occurring within the mind in isolation from the surroundings and interact with it. Knowledge was considered as self-sufficient and independent of the contexts in which it finds itself. In the new view, cognition and learning are understood as interactions between the individual and a situation; knowledge is considered as situated and is a product of the activity, context, and culture in which it is formed and utilized. This gave way to a new metaphor for learning as “participation” and “social negotiation”. (The Office of Learning and Teaching 2010)

Experiential learning  

“Carl Rogers is an influential proponent of these theories, suggesting that experiential learning is “self-initiated learning” as people have a natural inclination to learn; and that they learn when they are fully involved in the learning process. Rogers put forward the following insight: (1) “learning can only be facilitated: we cannot teach another person directly”, (2) “learners become more rigid under threat”, (3) “significant learning occurs in an environment where threat to the learner is reduced to a minimum”, (4) “learning is most likely to occur and to last when it is self-initiated.” ((The Office of Learning and Teaching 2010) 

Multiple intelligences 

Gardner argues that every person’s level of intelligence consists of many distinct “intelligence”. This intelligence includes (1) logical-mathematical, (2) linguistic, (3) spatial, (4) musical, (5) bodily-kinesthetic, (6) interpersonal, and (7) intrapersonal.” (The Office of Learning and Teaching 2010)

Situated learning theory and community of practice

“They are developed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger. Situated learning theory recognizes that there is no learning which is not situated, and emphasizes the relational and negotiated character of knowledge and learning as well as the engaged nature of learning activity for the individuals involved.” (The Office of Learning and Teaching 2014) 

21st-century learning or skills 

“The current discussion about 21st-century skills leads classrooms and other learning environments to encourage the development of core subject knowledge as well as new media literacies, critical and systems thinking, interpersonal and self-directional skills. One main learning method that supports the learning of such skills and knowledge is group learning or thematic projects, which involves an inquiry-based collaborative work that addresses real-world issues and questions.” (The Office of Learning and Teaching 2014)

Entrepreneur:

            Dr. Robert Hisrich at Kent State University described an entrepreneur as “someone who demonstrates initiative and creative thinking [and] can organize social and economic mechanisms to turn resources and situations to practical account and accepts risk and failure” (Hisrich, R.D.1990)

Entrepreneurial mindset

            An entrepreneurial mindset refers to a specific state of mind that steers human conduct toward entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation, and new value creation (Lexicon, n.d.). “Furthermore, an entrepreneurial mindset is a set of skills that enable people to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings. Research shows that an entrepreneurial mindset is valued by employers, boosts educational attainment and performance, and is crucial for creating new businesses.” (NFTE white paper 2018)

 

Cultural mindset

This study defines culture as the behaviors beliefs, mindset, and values within specific community groups. An entrepreneurial culture is the principles, values, and mindset within [the] framework of the entrepreneur’s business practices. The definition of an entrepreneurial culture aligns with Ernst & Young’s definition (2015, p. 6): “Entrepreneurial culture is not just about starting a startup. It is about culture, mindset, values, principles, etc.,” and it stems from the entrepreneurial mindset.” (Aigerim Mukhambetova, Asa Maria Camnert and Ariane Williams) [A Design Approach to Teaching an Entrepreneurial Mindset]

A collaborative approach can help build communication and team-building skills, encourage students to accept each other, and approach, validate, and engage with the material more effectively (Johnson et al., 1981; Steiner and Posch, 2006).

Teachers in particular understand and accept that 66% of all new jobs will be created/ invented by 2045, and society will need entrepreneurs to see it through. (Dept. of Labor Job Statistics, 2019) and therefore the  Entrepreneurial mindset is formed. An entrepreneurial mindset refers to a specific state of mind that steers human conduct toward entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation, and new value creation (Lexicon, n.d.). “Furthermore, an entrepreneurial mindset is a set of skills that enable people to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings. Research shows that an entrepreneurial mindset is valued by employers, boosts educational attainment and performance, and is crucial for creating new businesses.” (Mukhambetova Camnert, et al.2019)

“For example, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) defines the following as key: core subjects (e.g. English, math, geography, history, civics) and 21st-century themes (global awareness, civic literacy, health literacy, environmental literacy, financial, business and entrepreneurial literacy); learning and innovation skills (creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration); information, media and technology skills (e.g. ICT literacy, media literacy); and life and career skills (flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, social and cross-cultural skills,” (The Office of Learning and Teaching 2014)  

Non-cognitive skills can be taught an example is the “Year Up program, which provides low-income youth with internships and training, has demonstrated that young people can learn noncognitive skills like time management, teamwork, problem-solving, and conflict resolution, and that these attributes, in turn, positively impact their experiences in the labor market.”  (NFTE white paper, 2017)

“If the job of [a] school is to prepare students for college and career, then it is essential for educators to teach entrepreneurship. According to Millennial Branding, a Gen-Y Research & Management Consulting Firm, one in three employers seek entrepreneurial experience in its hires” (Dawson, 2017)

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) notes that “An extensive body of literature suggest[s] that entrepreneurial skills such as creative problem solving and collaboration are important for academic success.” In other words, even for students who never want to launch a startup, entrepreneurial education is beneficial. When students hone their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, they prepare for college, career, and 21st-century success.

The Problem we have in hiring youthful entrepreneurs are as follows:

• Youth are not prepared to seize the opportunities of the 21st century.
• New businesses account for nearly all net new job creation and almost 20% of gross job creation. [Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 2015]
• Entrepreneurs age 20-34 have been on the decline, down from 34.3% of all new entrepreneurs in the 1997 Kauffman Index to 25% in the 2016 index.
• 71 million youth are unemployed. [International Labour Organization]
• 1 in 3 U.S. employers seeks entrepreneurial experience in its hires. Millennial Branding]
(Aigerim Mukhambetova, Asa Camnert, et al.)

The Solution = Mindset: Success starts here. Teaching entrepreneurship changes mindset. The following are a list of non-cognitive skills that are used every day by entrepreneurs. Our Entrepreneurial Mindset Index (EMI) measures eight core domains that we have identified, through our own research and that of others, as critical to becoming entrepreneurial.

The power to take ownership of a project without input or guidance and work through obstacles independently.

The ability and willingness to change actions and plans to overcome present and future challenges.

The ability to clearly express ideas to an intended audience, including persuading others to work towards a common goal.

The ability to think of ideas and create solutions to problems without clearly defined structures.

The capacity to apply higher-level, process-oriented thinking, consider an issue from a range of possible perspectives and use that reasoning to make decisions.

An optimistic disposition with a focus on obtaining the skills and knowledge required to transition into a career.

The practice of seeing and experiencing problems as opportunities to create solutions.

The capacity to move forward with a decision despite inevitable uncertainty and challenges.(NFTE-EY Research Brief, 2019)  “Under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states are now required to build into their accountability systems at least one additional measure of school quality and student performance, beyond traditional academic outcomes.” (NFTE-whitepaper 2017).

LEARNINGS FROM NFTE’S ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET INDEX

“To help more students, in the U.S. and around the globe, develop an entrepreneurial mindset, policymakers, funders, and education leaders should consider the following strategies:

 • Incorporate entrepreneurship into mainstream education. A focus on entrepreneurial skills should not be unique to career and technical education or business education programs. Teaching these skills can and should be built into mainstream classrooms and curricula. There are currently a number of efforts in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere to make entrepreneurship education mandatory for young people. It will be important to evaluate the implementation and impact of these initiatives and apply lessons learned to the development of new entrepreneurship education efforts around the world

• Redefine entrepreneurship as a fundamental part of the learning process. The evidence is clear: Entrepreneurial skills are valuable in many spheres. Entrepreneurship is not just about owning a business, but about developing a suite of practical skills that can help people set and achieve goals, overcome and learn from setbacks, and maximize opportunities, throughout their lives

 • Bring entrepreneurs into the classroom. One way to help students learn entrepreneurial skills is to expose them to experienced, successful entrepreneurs. Policymakers should support mentoring programs and innovative partnerships that bring entrepreneurs into the classroom.

• Build entrepreneurial skills into accountability systems. As policymakers rethink the skills that schools and systems will be held accountable for imparting, the entrepreneurial mindset should be part of the conversation, with the understanding that specific Entrepreneurship is not just about owning a business, but about developing a suite of practical skills that can help people set and achieve goals, overcome and learn from setbacks, and maximize opportunities, throughout their lives. performance benchmarks should only be considered based on further research and evaluation of methods for teaching and measuring entrepreneurial mindset

. • Invest in relevant and rigorous research.. More research is needed to crystalize the links between entrepreneurial mindset and other important outcomes—and to identify the most effective practices and tools for helping students develop entrepreneurial skills.” 

  • Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation, and new value creation (Lexicon, n.d.). For this analysis, an entrepreneurial mindset is defined according to the Entrepreneurial Mindset Index by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and consists of the following traits:

• Opportunity recognition

• Comfort with risk

• Creativity and innovation

• Future orientation

• Flexibility and adaptability

• Initiative and self-reliance

• Critical thinking and problem solving

• Communication and collaboration

Entrepreneurial culture.

This study defines culture as the behaviors that cultivate innovative thinking outside of the box.

NFTE’s  Activities to Teach Entrepreneurship:

1. Turn class participation in speaking events.

Instead of standard class discussions, give students a chance to practice public speaking. Teachers can make this shift by integrating Ignite Talks or pop-up debates. These work in any subject area. With these activities, kids feel positive pressure as they speak to an audience. Entrepreneurs do this when pitching to investors or speaking to customers.

 2. Introduce project-based learning (PBL).

When entrepreneurs launch a startup, they often begin by attempting to solve a narrowly defined problem. For example, companies like Uber and Lyft solve a transportation problem by facilitating immediate access to reliable car rides, so that people can travel more cheaply and conveniently. Teachers can launch a PBL initiative that empowers students to define real-world problems and create solutions for those problems.

Buck Institute for Education (BIE), an organization that supports PBL in schools, describes this process as a way for students to “gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.” ( Encouraging Future Innovation, n.d.)

3. Integrate high-quality, nonfiction texts into the curriculum.

By bringing in relevant, contemporary material to the classroom, teachers can engage students with the issues they care about. Students can research a cause that matters to them.

For example, let’s imagine that your students read five articles throughout the semester about environmental issues. Next, ask students to vote on the issue that feels most important to them. Go further by helping students reach out to experts in the field. Lastly, help students organize a fundraising or volunteering activity that helps students to make an impact in this area outside of the classroom.

 4. Work with authentic tools and platforms.

With the proliferation of 1:1 device, there is a flood of communication and classroom tools geared towards students. But these tools, which often have a narrow use case confined to the classroom, shelter students from the authentic digital world.

“Free sites like WordPress, SoundCloud, YouTube, GoFundMe, and Instagram, however, are used by entrepreneurs to establish platforms and grow audiences. By using these same tools in a lesson or project, students can practice the same methods that modern entrepreneurs use to share their work with the world. Of course, mind your district policies and consider student age when using these tools

Not many students will launch a startup from their classroom. But with the right mindset and a few well-chosen strategies, teachers can help students develop the skills they need to succeed in our increasingly entrepreneurial world. Rooted in Social Cognitive Career Theory, the Entrepreneurship Education Project data initiative is the largest, most comprehensive study of students across the globe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Brandstaetter,1997:160 New Entrepreneurial Traits: Cattell’s 16PE, to 16PA and situational characteristics P.128. https://books.google.com/books?id=135_AgAAQBAJ&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128&dq=Brandstaetter,1997),+for+extraversion&source=bl&ots=GNNml9-PR5&sig=ACfU3U2aJ-lRack3XnYYIGak8NXg3lfeRg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiM98rTwabqAhXUGc0KHTV1BIcQ6AEwAHoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=Brandstaetter%2C1997)%2C%20for%20extraversion&f=false 

Caliendo, M., Fossen, F. & Kritikos, A.S. Personality characteristics and the decisions to become and stay self-employed. Small Bus Econ 42, 787–814 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-013-9514-8 (Herrmann, 1989) Viewed June 15, 2020

Dawson, Gerard, Ideas & Best Practices:  How to Teach Entrepreneurship to Students, December 15, 2017. Reviewed June 15, 2020. https://blog.thinkcerca.com/how-to-teach-entrepreneurship-to-students

Entrepreneurial Mindset Resources, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship: What is an Entrepreneurial Mindset? Reviewed June 17, 2020, https://www.nfte.com/entrepreneurial-mindset/

Gautam, Manish Kumar, Entrepreneurship Education: Concept, Characteristics, and Implications for Teacher Education March 2015. Reviewed June 16, 2020.  http://knowledgecommissionarchive.nic.in/downloads/documents/NKC_Entrepreneurship.pdf

Gold, Thomas, and  Rodriguez, Sophia. MEASURING ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET IN YOUTH: LEARNINGS FROM NFTE’S ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET INDEX. Nov. 2018. Reviewed June 16, 2020. http://www.nfte.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NFTE-Whitepaper-Measuring-Entrepreneurial-Mindset-in-Youth-November-2018.pdf

Howell, Ryan, and Donnelly, Grant, 2012 Journal of Economic Psychology 33(6):1129-1142 Project: The Big Five personality traits, material values, and financial well-being of self-described money managers review June 15, 2020. DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2012.08.001

The Impact of Entrepreneurship Education: Introducing the Entrepreneurship Education Project. Retrieved  Jun 17, 2020, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264679239

International Bureau of Education, (n.d.) Most influential theories of learning Retrieved June 15, 2020, http://www.ibe.unesco.org/en/geqaf/annexes/technical-notes/most-influential-theories-learning

(Jackson.1994,conscientiousness) International Journal of Development and Sustainability  ISSN: 2186-8662 – http://www.isdsnet.com/ijds Volume 7 Number 10 (2018): Pages 2385-2402 ISDS Article ID: IJDS18041303 (1) (PDF) Entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial behavior. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330006170_Entrepreneurial_self-efficacy_and_entrepreneurial_behavior [accessed Jun 15 2020].

McLoad, S. (2019). Constructivism as a theory for teaching and learning Teaching of Psychology. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 18(2), 212-217. doi:10.1177/1475725719835385

Mukhambetova, Aigerim.  Camnert, Åsa Maria,  Williams, Ariane, Design Management A Design Approach to Teaching an Entrepreneurial Mindset First published:08 December 2019   https://doi.org/10.1111/dmj.12053

NFTE Blog (2019). “Want young people to succeed in work and life? Lead with entrepreneurial skills and mindset.” https://www.nfte.com/world-youth-skills-day-young-people-succeed-in-life-and-work-with-entrepreneurial-skills-and-mindset/

NFTE-EY Research Brief (2019). “Supporting the next generation: The entrepreneurial mindset and the future of work.” https://www.nfte.com/

NFTE white paper (2018). “Measuring Entrepreneurial Mindset in Youth: Learnings from NFTE’s Entrepreneurial Mindset Index.” http://www.nfte.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NFTE-Whitepaper-Measuring-Entrepreneurial-Mindset-in-Youth-November-2018.pdf

NFTE white paper (2017) On Ramp to Opportunity https://www.nfte.com/entrepreneurial-mindset/

(NFTE)  Entrepreneurial Mindset https://www.nfte.com/entrepreneurial-mindset/The Office of Learning and Teaching, 2014. Department of Education and Training; OECD, 2010. Most Influential Theories of Learning, http://www.ibe.unesco.org/en/geqaf/annexes/technical-notes/most-influential-theories-learning  

The Office of Learning and Teaching, 2004. Melbourne: Department of Education and Training; OECD, 2010. Nature of Learning, Paris: Author; http://www.p21.org/

Office of Disability: Encouraging Future Innovation: Youth Entrepreneurship Education (n.d.)- Employment Policy – United States Department of Labor, Reviewed June 15, 2020.  https://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/entrepreneurship.htm

Prokopowicz, Dariusz, Business Administration: Entrepreneurial Skills – Science topic Reviewed June 15, 2020, https://www.researchgate.net/topic/Entrepreneurial-Skills

Thinking Writing.” Non-Critical and Critical Approaches | Thinking Writing, University of London Queen Mary, 2012, www.thinkingwriting.qmul.ac.uk/non-aritical/critical#:~:text=Non%2Dcritical%20approach.,is%20not%20treated%20as%20contestable.

Westwood, R. (2017, January 10). The Traits Entrepreneurs Need To Succeed. Retrieved from Management Decision, Vol. 42 Iss 2 pp. 243 – 258 https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanwestwood/2017/01/09/the-traits-entrepreneurs-need-to-succeed/.

Acronyms

Buck Institute for Education (BIE)

Entrepreneurial Mindset Index (EMI)

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) 

Categories
Inspirational

How Hearing Impairment Affects Children in Public General Education Classrooms


How Hearing Impairment Affects Children in Public General Education Classrooms

Kathy A. Challis

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Contact Information

Email: katchallis2010@hotmail.com

Cell: (682) 313-2192

Abstract

We will discover the effects of deafness or hearing impairment has a direct impact on learning in a general education classroom. We will discuss accommodations that a teacher can make. The need for educating parents about the three civil rights laws and enabling them to be advocates for their child. We will explore socialization issues for deaf or hearing-impaired students. Real-life examples will be provided where needed from the side of a parent or teacher perspective.

Keywords:  IDEA, 504,  ADA, Deaf, hearing impaired, socialization,  

Contents

Abstract. 2

How Hearing Loss Affects Children in Public General Education Classeooms . 3

Interventions. 5

Hearing Loss in childhood. 7

Sound Identification. 11

An example of phonics interruptions:: 12

Different forms of Americanized Sign Languages. 15

American Sign Language (ASL) 15

Pidgin Signed English (PSE) or Signed English. 15

Signing Exact English (SEE) 16

Teaching Strategies. 17

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 22

What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?. 22

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504 Plan) 23

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) 24

References. 26

I have decided to do an introduction on “ What is Hearing Loss in Children”   defined by The Center for Disease Control (CDC) article in the following excerpt:

“The signs and symptoms of hearing loss are different for each child. Even if a child has passed a hearing screening before, it is important to look out for the following signs.

  • This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss. (misunderstands)
  • Seems to hear some sounds but not others.
  • Signs in Children’s Speech is delayed. The speech is not clear.
  • Does not follow directions. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
  • Often says, “Huh?” 
  • Turns the TV volume up too high.
  • Children should reach milestones in how they play, learn, communicate, and act.

A delay in any of these milestones could be a sign of hearing loss or other developmental problems. (CDC)  

An example of hearing loss in children, I submit the following: When my elder daughter Rose was two years old, my parents came from Oklahoma to Arizona for a visit. They noticed that my daughter would make sounds and I would correctly identify what her need was and give it to her. My parents told me that this was not normal behavior that something was wrong with her, she should be talking well by now. My daughter had significantly chronic inner ear infections and practically lived on antibiotics. My pediatrician never told us about the possibilities of hearing loss that could occur due to infections, in fact, he said I was a hysterical over-anxious mother. I spent the next three years doctor shopping for treatments, different diagnosis, audiological appointments, there were a lot of quacks that called themselves doctors. We finally got a breakthrough– a school for the hearing impaired pilot program, “Ready, Set, Go!”

Rose always had difficulty hearing until about age ten, when the ear infections went away. One explanation was that the auditory tube had not developed correctly and fluid stayed in her ears. We were told that tubes in her ears would not resolve the issue, she would have to grow-out-of-it or drastically they could make a forensic flap surgery for a submucous cleft pallet in the third quadrant of her mouth, the latter of which we declined.

“There are various ways to define hard of hearing. As you plan for each student, keep in mind the following:  You may see hearing level measurements from a hearing test that correspond with describing a student as hard of hearing (e.g., mild, moderate). However, these levels do not tell you about a student’s ability to listen and understand.  The most common definition of hard of hearing is functional, an individual who relies on and uses listening and spoken language for communication (regardless of measured hearing level).  Hard of hearing individuals may identify themselves in different ways. Some may identify as hard of hearing, others as Deaf, and still others may choose not to identify themselves related to their hearing abilities.’ (Center,8).

Interventions

When a hearing test is performed, the sound volume ranges are noted as decibels (dB), and in pitch or frequency measured in Hertz. Hearing loss measures: Slight/mild 26-40 dB, Moderate 41-60 dB, Severe 61-80 dB, and Profound 81 dB and higher. The range for normal hearing is defined as hearing thresholds of -10 to 15 dB at all frequencies. (Victory).   

Intervention in hearing loss may mean; medicine and surgery, cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing systems, hearing aids, and speech therapy,  learn sign language may be needed in addition to family support. (ASHS, Impact) The age of onset hearing loss, degree of hearing loss, age at intervention, and child’s environment are all contributing factors of determining hearing loss in a child. Causes for hearing loss can be genetic, conditions at the time of birth, infections, diseases, noise, and unregulated medicines. (Victory)

After Rose was finally diagnosed with being hearing impaired she was eligible for The Kindergarten pilot program. The pilot program led to a transitional first grade, then regular classes in first grade through sixth with private speech therapists. In the Kindergarten group, Rose was at the lowest level upon entrance, whereas she could make one-word sentences or sounds Mom was ‘m-w’ and Dad was a ‘d’ sounds. She was taught sign-language and to read lips. We provided pictures for people with their names printed beneath to expand her world’s attention.  However,  Rose continued to fail audiology tests for years, her loss was moderate to severe randomly.  We were never informed about laws that helped children with disabilities nor that I could have an advocate in the IEP, and 504 meetings.

Hearing Loss in childhood

Generally, speech and language skills can be underdeveloped that results in lower academic achievement. Communication skills can lead to isolation and poor self-esteem and may restrict vocational choices in the future. (ASHA, WHO)  For a child, difficulties in communication may result in feelings of anger, stress, loneliness, and emotional or psychological consequences which may have a profound effect on the family as a whole. (Victory). Families should be offered counseling to help guide them through the process of getting services for their child and to deal with the added pressures of having a child who is deaf or hearing impaired.

The World Health Organization1 (WHO) says that there are approximately 32 million children in our world’s population are living with hearing loss which is considered a disability.  (WHO)  Hearing affects learning the spoken language, performing academically, and engaging socially. “WHO estimates that 60% of childhood hearing loss could be avoided through prevention in children under 15 years of age.”  Estimates of causes of preventable hearing loss is due to infections 31%, birth-related causes 17%, unregulated “Ototoxic” medicines  4% and 8% other, and non-preventable is 40%.  (WHO)

Infections like Meningitis & Congenital Rubella causes 19% of childhood hearing loss, other infections are mumps, measles, and whooping cough (WHO & Impact). Genetics are autosomal recessive hearing loss- 70% recessive gene in both parents- not preventable, and autosomal dominate hearing loss 15% of hearing loss gene in one parent, and genetic syndromes, like Downs syndrome, Usher syndrome, Treacher Collins syndrome, Waardenburg syndrome, Crozun syndrome, and Alport Syndrome and other rare syndromes.  (Impact).

“Birth-related causes herpes, rubella cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, lack of oxygen, or blood transfusion and premature births.” A nervous system or brain disorder, use of drugs called ototoxic medications (unregulated antibiotics and pain relievers in foreign countries [affects ELL’s]), maternal infections, diabetes, drug or alcohol use. The

other 8% causes perforated eardrum, serious head injury, loud noise, untreated or frequent otitis media (ear infections), exposure to second-hand smoke, (Impact)

Interacting Access with others- socializing

Interacting socially helps develop language skills, build vocabulary, and provides physical and psychological well being. The hearing challenged child will have difficulty distinguishing chatter from background noises; overhearing or listening in on other people’s conversations, lip-reading, context,  and background knowledge to fills-in-the-blanks as background noises that make up one’s surroundings. “If a child does not have access to all the speech sounds they will mishear sounds and words. The words walk, walked, walks. Talk, talked, talks, top, topped, tops may all sound the same.” One will have to use context clues and considerable effort to infer meaning.  (ADECT)  “The teacher should set up their classroom so that all students can see each other; this often means seating on a U formation.” (Center3)

An example: “As a student with a hearing loss Andrew will require lip-reading, context, and background knowledge to ‘fill in the blanks’ in an attempt to comprehend what was heard.  Similar sounds are often confused or missed altogether. For example, the words ‘mother’ and ‘brother’ could be easily mistaken for each other in a sentence and Andrew would have to use the context of the sentence to figure out which word was used.  For example, during an English lesson regarding Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It, the teacher could say:

“Let’s think about Duke Senior’s brother and his usurper, Celia’s father. Who here can tell me what roles these two characters have on Duke Senior? How have they helped shape his character?”  

If Andrew is having to use context to figure out whether the word ‘brother’ or ‘mother’ was used (he has to relate it to the book and decide which of the two makes more sense in this instance), he cannot be actively listening to the rest of the question. Additionally, a student with reduced background knowledge due to a hearing loss is also unlikely to have been exposed to a word like ‘usurper’ and will expend energy attempting to identify the word. By the time the teacher has finished providing instructions, Andrew is likely unable to participate in the discussion.” (ADECT) 

One way a teacher can assist students with hearing issues is to pre-vocabulary keywords like “usurper” and identify the main characters before the actual story being read aloud. Listening effort- Straining to hear and make sense of what is being said is extremely draining on a hearing-impaired child. Non-hearing impaired children use auditory cognitive closure to figure out meaning. 

Energy expended on listening

“Students with hearing disorders must spend much of their energy simply identifying the speech sounds as illustrated in the ‘mother vs. brother’ example above. The extra energy required for the identification of speech sounds is a source of fatigue.(ADECT)

 Eg: “I stir my coffee with a ( __)oon.” Because of our background knowledge and experience we don’t actually need to hear the /sp/ sound to know that “oon” was actually the word “spoon”.  This is called auditory cognitive closure and it occurs without our thinking about it. As previously mentioned, students with hearing loss often have reduced background knowledge with then impacts their ability to repair the auditory message and they are therefore unable to auditorily close the message accurately.”

“Conversely, students with hearing loss use the majority of their cognitive energy on identifying the speech sounds, leaving little for processing and storage. Katherine Bouton, a journalist with hearing loss who publishes in the New York Times, describes cognitive load as “ the brain is so preoccupied with translating the sounds into words that it seems to have no processing power left to search through the storerooms of memory for a response.” (ADECT) .  

Sound Identification

 Additionally, this increased cognitive load also becomes a source of fatigue.  Low self-esteem and other factors in academics and social interactions can stem the growth of those with hearing impairment or deafness.

An example of phonics interruptions: “The inability to hear certain sounds can most certainly impact understanding this will have an impact on a student’s spelling, reading, and/or phonemic awareness skill development. Not hearing the quieter and higher-pitched sounds /s/, /sh/, /th/, /f/, /t/ will have an impact on plurals, possessives, ordinals, verb-noun agreement and the subtle nuances of speech (e.g. the cat drinks vs. the cat’s drink).”   “Because students with hearing loss use speech reading (lip-reading) cues to fill in gaps of missed information multiple processes must be in place when taking notes, which also increased cognitive load:

– listening to the teacher speak through their personal FM system

– Ignoring even small amounts of background noise

– lipreading

– looking at the board

– processing new information

– writing notes

“This is a challenging if not impossible feat. While students with normal hearing are able to look at their papers and write while listening, students with hearing loss must watch their teacher’s lips and face for supplementary visual cues and then write down what was heard (which may or may not be accurate). However, this requires diverting visual attention from the teacher (for reading lips) and the student may then miss what is being said. By the time the student is writing the initial piece of verbally presented information, the teacher has already moved on to the next piece or topic. Students with hearing loss often state that they miss large pieces of information as they are always trying to ‘keep up’.” (ADECT)

Because of the difficulty with lip reading and writing notes, I would recommend using the FM system and/or providing an aide for academic work.  The teacher could also prepare the student with copies of the main highlighted text that she will be covering that day if not the entire lesson notes.

“Feilner and her colleagues found that hard of hearing students reported that hearing their teachers (when using the FM/DM system) and working individually to be the least challenging listening activities during the school day. The most challenging of the listening situations were reported to be group/partner work, interactive lessons, and class discussions – which made up about a 1/3 of the listening day.” (ADECT)

Listening to the PA system of schools can be a challenge to hearing abled persons, and almost impossible to hearing-impaired persons. Having a copy of notes ready for students to follow along with and be able to spotlight key ideas will help students navigate a lesson easier.  Sharing the mic, allowing peers to speak directly into the FM System microphone or the teacher re-stating what was said is critical to a hearing-impaired student.

Before the Ready Set Go! Program. I created phonic books with the beginning, middle, and ending sounds. I programmed our TI4/99A computer to speak the sounds and words and show a picture of the word when possible. Rose could practice her speech lessons with the computer and with me. (I had a high-pitched southern accent- and wanted Rose to be able to hear in deeper pitches; hence computer). I worked on reading, mathematics, and natural science with Rose and her baby sister.  Fast forward 20+ years I am pleased that hearing-impaired students have more options for hearing devices.

Accommodations

Visual and Auditory Learners: Ensure materials such as videos, computer programs, lectures, and, when appropriate, class discussions are captioned. (Center 3) Teachers should:

  • set up their classroom so that all students can see each other; this often means seating in a U formation.
  • be sure to face the students when talking.
  • repeat and rephrase the information.
  • identify who is speaking during class discussions.
  • check-in with students to confirm understanding.
  • pre-teach new concepts to students prior to classroom use.
  • ensure they have the attention of their deaf and hard of hearing students before they begin talking or presenting the information. (Center 3)

Keep in mind that you may observe challenges in the following areas, suggesting that the student may need support:

  • Language and speech (e.g., reduced vocabulary or missing tenses/plurals/contractions due to not hearing certain sounds)
  • Auditory load (e.g., struggling to understand from the brain doing double duty in trying to hear, understand, and quickly respond)
  • Socialization and inclusion (e.g., becoming stressed from missing information and then withdrawing from both academic and social interactions)
  • Access to the curriculum (e.g., falling behind from missing key information shared while the teacher faces the board or walks around the classroom)(Center8)

Different forms of Americanized Sign Languages

Signs of Life- Bridging the gap between the Deaf World and the Hearing World. Posted on February 27, 2013, by signsoflifeasl. There are three major forms of Sign Language currently used in the United States: American Sign (ASL), Pidgin Signed English (PSE), and Signed Exact English (SEE).

American Sign Language (ASL)

ASL is used by many deaf in the United States, thus its use promotes assimilation into the Deaf Community. ASL is a visual language, and speech-reading or listening skills are not needed to learn ASL fluently. Because of its visual nature, ASL is very graphic, and understanding of concepts can be promoted more easily. It has developed over time through usage by deaf individuals and is a free-flowing, natural language. ASL is a language complete in itself. It is not usually written or spoken, but can be translated, just like French or German, to English and vice versa. ASL has its own syntax and grammar. It does count as a language credit at University level because it is a separate language. ASL usually follows the TIME + TOPIC + COMMENT structure.

Pidgin Signed English (PSE) or Signed English

PSE is probably the most widely used communication mode in the United States among deaf and hearing persons who work with them. Many teachers use PSE or Signed English. The vocabulary is drawn from ASL but follows English word order. Words that do not carry information (e.g. to, the, am, etc.) are often dropped, as are the word endings of English (e.g. -ed, -s, -ment, etc.). This means that the signer can easily speak while signing since it is possible to keep pace with spoken English. It is simpler to learn than ASL or SEE, since one does not need to include all English endings, nor does one to master the structure or idioms of ASL.

Signing Exact English (SEE)

SEE is based upon signs drawn from ASL and expanded with words, prefixes, tenses, and endings to give a clear and complete visual presentation of English. The ASL sign for the concept of “pretty, lovely, beauty, beautiful” and other such synonyms is retained for beauty, initialized with P for pretty, L for lovely, and the suffix -ful is added for beautiful. The child thus has an opportunity to develop an expanded vocabulary. The learning of this English based sign system may be more comfortable for English-speaking parents. Maximum use of residual hearing and speech-reading is encouraged since the signs match the elements of spoken English. SEE encourages the incorporation of ASL features to show intonation visually. SEE does require more signing time that PSE, because of the word endings and prefixes, etc. Over-concentration on signing every word may lead to “colorless” signing.” (Forms)

When Rose was in the Kindergarten pilot program, “Ready, Set, Go!” the method of sign language used is now obsolete. As an adult, Rose learned American Sign Language so that she could communicate with her hearing-impaired students in her SPED Robotics/Technology classrooms.

Teaching Strategies

How a hearing impaired or deaf student can be accommodated in the classroom. Teaching Strategies by the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training offers Teachers the following guidelines:  “There is a range of inclusive teaching strategies that can assist all students to learn but there are some specific strategies that are useful in teaching a group that includes students with a hearing impairment:

  • Encourage students with a hearing loss to seat themselves toward the front of the lecture theatre where they will have an unobstructed line of vision. This is particularly important if the student is using an interpreter, lip-reading, relying on visual clues, or using a hearing aid which has a limited range. Be aware that some students may not be comfortable with this suggestion or have alternate strategies. Respect their choices.
  • Use assistive listening devices such as induction loops if these are available in the lecture theatre. Hearing aids may include transmitter/receiver systems with a clip-on microphone for the lecturer. If using such a microphone, it is not necessary to change your speaking or teaching style. (Hearing Loops are an assistive listening technology for people with hearing loss. At the push of a button, most hearing aids can wirelessly receive the sound from a public venue that has a hearing loop installed via it’s internal t-coil or telecoil.)
  • Ensure that any background noise is minimized.
  • Repeat clearly any questions asked by students in the lecture or class before giving a response.
  • Do not speak when facing the blackboard. Be aware that mustaches, beards, hands, books, or microphones in front of your face can add to the difficulties of lip-readers. Students who lip-read cannot function in darkened rooms. You may need to adjust the lighting in your teaching environment. If a sign interpreter is employed, follow the hints for working with a sign interpreter.
  • It is difficult for a student watching an interpreter to also take notes from an overhead or blackboard. An interpreter is unable to translate concurrently both your words and any information given on an overhead. It is important therefore that all information should also be available as handouts.
  • Provide written materials to supplement all lectures, tutorials, and laboratory sessions. Announcements made regarding class times, activities, fieldwork, industry visits, etc, should be given in writing as well as verbally.
  • Allow students to record lectures or, preferably, make available copies of your lecture notes. Flexible delivery of teaching materials via electronic media is also particularly helpful for students who have difficulty accessing information in the usual ways. For students with a hearing loss, new technology – and the internet in particular – can be used to bridge many gaps.
  • Ensure that lists of the subject-specific jargon and technical terms which students will need to acquire are made available early in the course. If interpreters or captioning are being used as an adjustment, make this list available to the professionals providing the service as early as possible.
  • Any videos or films used should, where possible, be captioned. When this is not possible, you will need to consider alternative ways for students with hearing impairment to access the information.
  • In tutorials, assist students who lip-read by having the student sit directly opposite you and ensure, if possible, that they can see all other participants. Control the discussion so that only one person is speaking at a time.
  • Students with hearing loss, especially those with associated speech issues, may prefer to have another student present their tutorial papers.
  • Language abilities are often affected by hearing loss, depending on the age of onset. Students who acquired their hearing loss early in life may have literacy issues. In some cases, providing reading lists well before the start of a course for students with a hearing loss can be beneficial. Consider tailoring these reading lists when necessary, and guide key texts.
  • Allow assignments or reviews to be completed on an in-depth study of a few texts rather than a broad study of many.
  • Where live remote captioning is provided, a transcript of the session can usually be assessed within 24 hours. It is recommended that these be emailed directly to the student as an accurate record of reference.” (Forms)

The above Australian guidelines are cross-culture to the USA teachers. Until COVID-19 distance learning, I didn’t know that live streaming with closed captioning even existed for everyday non-technical persons. I thought a lot of expensive equipment needed to be purchased, thankfully, I was wrong. The last point: “ Using interpreters and live remote captioning may require some adjustments in teaching styles, particularly the pace of the learning. Consult with the providers of the service early to identify any potential changes” caught my attention. Both my teacher daughters are creating pre-recorded videos of lessons for the Fall 2020 school term because schools will be shut down for face-to-face interaction, leaving virtual learning in its place. When I did my first-grade student teaching practice in 1992, I recorded video and used the closed captioning settings to record most of what was being said accurately. All students benefitted from my videos of me and themselves doing assignments on film.

Furthermore, Teachers should:

  • model effective interactions with deaf and hard of hearing students by engaging them in personal conversations, communicating directly with them, and using respectful and inclusive language about them.
  • create icebreaker opportunities that encourage interaction between deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students.
  • develop team-based activities and projects for which deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students collaborate.
  • encourage deaf and hard of hearing students to develop self-advocacy skills and to be responsible for communicating their needs. (Center 2).

Middle school and high school are difficult for teenagers because of social interactions through small group identity or peer packs (a personal network of friends). Sign language classes or clubs at school will help all students become more tolerant of different student abilities. Teachers can foster self-esteem in students with sincere praise on work achieved for all students, but especially those who are deaf or hearing impaired.

Regardless of a student’s hearing levels, it is important to think about the following planning considerations:

  •  Don’t overlook a student’s need for an IEP or 504 plan because the student “appears to hear.” Ensure the student has the accommodations and services to effectively access and participate in the school environment.
    • Get everyone on board to facilitate access to “incidental” information that is shared informally throughout the school day (e.g., announcements, school news, social activities, schedule changes).
    • Keep in mind that the planning needs of a student with a cochlear implant may be similar to a student who is hard of hearing.
    • Closely monitor students who have a hearing in only one ear (unilateral hearing) to determine the need for possible support. (Center8).

Legal responses to Hearing Impaired Disabilities

Working with parents to advocate for their child’s civil rights is critical to the development of a hearing impaired or deaf students’ education and life opportunities. It’s sad but, true that if you are not the advocate for your child, no one else will push for the best services or all the different types of services available for your child. The reason behind this is money- or lack thereof, The squeaky wheel gets the oil is the same as the parents who advocates the loudest (not in volume) gets the attention required to make a difference for their child.

“A teacher’s role in the IEP, 504 plan, and/or ADA process is to: participate in any meetings in which IEP, 504 plan, or ADA auxiliary aids and services may be discussed.be ready to supply pertinent data and documentation, such as test scores, discipline referrals, and observational information. implement the provisions of the IEP, 504 plan, or ADA auxiliary aids and services accommodations that apply to the classroom or school environment.”(Center 1)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA requires schools to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the child. This is a written description of the special education and related services needed to help the child access the general education curriculum as well as extracurricular activities.

What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?   Date Updated: 04/30/2019

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that supports special education and related service programming for children and youth with disabilities. It was originally known as the Education of Handicapped Children Act, passed in 1975. In 1990, amendments to the law were passed, effectively changing the name to IDEA. In 1997 and again in 2004, additional amendments were passed to ensure equal access to education.

This federal legislation is designed to ensure that children with disabilities be granted a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). IDEA does the following:

  • Ensures that all children with an identified disability receive special education and related services to address their individual needs.
  • Ensures that children with disabilities be prepared for employment and independent living.
  • Ensures that the rights of children with disabilities and their families are protected under the law.
  • Assesses and ensures the efforts of institutions providing services to persons with disabilities.
  • Provides assistance to states, localities, federal agencies, and educational service agencies in providing for the education of children with disabilities. (IDEA)

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504 Plan)

“The goal of a 504 plan is to remove barriers and allow students with disabilities to participate freely in public education or schools that receive public funding. It seeks to level the playing field so those students can safely pursue the same opportunities as everyone else.“ (Mauro, T)

504 plans support a wide range of accommodations that may include preferential seating, amplification, interpreting, notetaking, captioning, and/or others in order to assist the student in accessing educational programming. Accommodations may be implemented and monitored by a case manager.

 (4)  All qualified persons with disabilities within the jurisdiction of a school district are entitled to a free appropriate public education. The ED Section 504 regulation defines a person with a disability as “any person who: (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of such an impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment.” 3

For elementary and secondary education programs, a qualified person with a disability is a person with a disability who is:

  • of an age during which it is mandatory under state law to provide such services to persons with disabilities;
  • of an age during which persons without disabilities are provided such services; or
  • entitled to receive a free appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

In general, all school-age children who are individuals with disabilities as defined by Section 504 and IDEA are entitled to FAPE. 

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Under the ADA, schools must provide auxiliary aids and services, such as qualified interpreters, captioning, and assistive listening devices, to ensure communications with deaf and hard of hearing individuals are as effective as communications with others. Teachers should work with principals to ensure students have complete access to educational programming. (Center5)

Title II – Public Services: State and Local Government

• Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by “public entities” such as state and local government agencies.

 • Requires public entities to make their programs, services, and activities accessible to individuals with disabilities.

• Outlines requirements for self-evaluation and planning; making reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination; identifying architectural barriers; and communicating effectively with people with hearing, vision, and speech disabilities.  Regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. http://www.ada.gov (ADA).

Advocating by family engagement in knowing what the above laws mean for their children is essential for a disabled child to receive services and free education in the least restrictive environment (FAPE).

 “By welcoming the contributions of parents and working with them to support their deaf or hard of hearing child, you will be helping your students succeed.
Talk to parents about their child’s strengths, abilities, likes, and dislikes.

Ask parents what strategies they use at home for communication.

Keep a communication notebook to discuss the school day or events at home.

Seek out parents’ opinions on strategies to involve their children in classroom activities.

Ask parents to volunteer in the classroom or on a field trip.

A student will have many teachers, but parents are with their child throughout his or her educational journey.” (Center4).

References

  1. (ADA) New on ADA.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from http://www.ada.gov/
  2. (ASHA) ASHA-AIS-Hearing-Loss-Development-Effects. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/AIS-Hearing-Loss-Development-Effects.pdf
  3. (CDC) What is Hearing Loss in Children? (2020, June 08). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hearingloss/facts.html
  4. Center, G. U. (n.d.). Accommodating Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in School. Retrieved from https://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/tips-to-go/tips-to-go-bookmarks—supporting-educational-success/accommodating-deaf-and-hard-of-hearing-students-in-schools.html
  5. Center, G. U. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/tips-to-go/tips-to-go-bookmarks—supporting-educational-success/different-abilities-unique-needs-supporting-learning-in-the-classroom.html
  6. Center, G. U. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/tips-to-go/tips-to-go-bookmarks—supporting-educational-success/educational-success-for-your-students—and-you.html
  7. Center, G. U. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/tips-to-go/tips-to-go-bookmarks—supporting-educational-success/fostering-social-connections-teachers-make-a-difference.html
  8.  Center, Gallaudet University, and Clerc. “Tips to Go Bookmarks.” Tips to Go, 17 July 2020, www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/tips-to-go.html. https://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/tips-to-go/tips-to-go-bookmarks—supporting-educational-success.html
  9. Center, G. U. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/tips-to-go/tips-to-go-bookmarks—supporting-educational-success/reaching-out-parents-as-partners.html 
  10. Center, Gallaudet University, and Clerc. “Tips to Go Bookmarks.” Tips to Go, 17 July 2020, www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/tips-to-go.html/TIPSTOGO1.pdf  
  11. Center, Gallaudet University, and Clerc. “Tips to Go Bookmarks.” Tips to Go, 17 July 2020, www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/tips-to-go.html/tipstogo-2.pdf)
  12. FAPE- Free Appropriate Public Education under Section 504. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/edlite-FAPE504.html
  13. (FORM) Forms of Sign Language: ASL vs. PSE vs. SEE. (2013, February 28). Retrieved from https://signsoflifeasl.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/3-forms-of-sign-language-asl-vs-pse-vs-see/
  14. (IDEA) What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act? (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www.washington.edu/doit/what-individuals-disabilities-education-act
  15. (Impact) The Impact of Hearing Loss. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://successforkidswithhearingloss.com/for-professionals/impact-of-hearing-loss-child/
  16. Inclusive Teaching: Deaf and Hard of Hearing. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www.adcet.edu.au/inclusive-teaching/specific-disabilities/deaf-hearing-impaired/
  17. Mauro, T. (n.d.). Could Your Child Benefit From a 504 Plan? Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-is-a-504-plan-3104706
  18. Victory, J. (2020, May 01). Hearing loss in children: Everything you need to know. Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www.healthyhearing.com/help/hearing-loss/children
  19. (WHO) Pbd/deafness/world-hearing-day/WHD2016_Brochure. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www.who.int/pbd/deafness/world-hearing-day/WHD2016_Brochure_EN_2.pdf

Categories
Inspirational

Effects of Covid-19 Pandemic on Three Independent School Districts in North Central Texas


As Covid-19 continues to plague our nation and 179 other nations of the world. I present to you the following paper.

Effects of Covid-19 Pandemic on Three Independent School Districts in North Central Texas

Kathy A. Challis

The University of Texas of Permian Basin

Abstract

The Covid-19 Pandemic Virus had a significant impact on education and communities. On April 17, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to close Texas schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year”. In response, K-12 schools and Universities went to on-line distance learning. We will look at three Independent Schools in the following districts, Burleson, Fort Worth, and Richardson to see how they have handled the pandemic of 2019-2020, With President Donald Trump’s edict to safely reopen the schools in Fall of 2020, we explore the tentative plans tor these three districts to open for the 2020-2021 school terms…

Keywords:  COVID-19, Coronavirus, Abbott,  K-12 School

Current Effects

Why the effects of  CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) is important to school districts.

“On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak. The new name of this disease is Coronavirus Disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for the disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.”

On March 31, 2020, “Governor Greg Abbott ordered Texas schools closed and to not be reopened until May 4 to reduce the spread of COVID-19 Then, on  April 17, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to close Texas schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  

Are there any suggestions on “How To” operate in virtual learning?

Fort Worth ISD offers the following suggestions for virtual learning:

“Stay in touch with your child’s school.

Create a schedule and routine for learning at home, but remain flexible.

Consider the needs and adjustments required for your child’s age group.

The transition to being at home will be different for preschoolers, K-5, middle school students, and high school students. Talk to your child about expectations and how they are adjusting to being at home versus at school.

Look for ways to make learning fun”.

Is distance learning available to all students in the least restrictive environment?

“Helping children understand and follow recommendations, like social distancing and wearing cloth face coverings, can be challenging if your child has intellectual disabilities, sensory issues, or other special healthcare needs.

 Many schools are offering lessons online (virtual learning).

What accommodations will be made for teachers who are high-risk, or who live with a high-risk person?

.

Will regular campus in-person learning be available during the initial pandemic of 2019-2020 school terms?

2019-20 No! Only essential staff will be allowed on campus during the school closure.

The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in school settings as follows:

Lowest Risk: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.

More Risk: Small, in-person classes, activities, and events. Groups of students stay together and with the same teacher throughout/across school days and groups do not mix. Students remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects (e.g., hybrid virtual and in-person class structures or staggered/rotated scheduling to accommodate smaller class sizes).

Highest Risk: Full-sized, in-person classes, activities, and events. Students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities. (CDC)

Will distance learning be available to students during the pandemic of 2019-2020?

 Yes!

How will the following issues be addressed? 

Each school district will be responsible for educating parents and providing loaner equipment. Certain internet providers are providing limited service to school districts

Each school district will be responsible to educating parents on the usage of equipment BISD uses Palm Beach County Library Mousercise. Fort Worth ISD foundational skills can be found at the following: GCF Learn Free, Chrome Music Lab, Jungle Junior Typing for Kids!, Dance Mat Typing, and Typing Club Curriculum. When one goes to http://www.fwisd.edu they can choose links to explain how to access programs.  Under Google, the applications your child is likely using at home including News 2 You, Let’s go Learn, Lexia, Google Meet/(Hangout), and Learning Ally can be accessed via their personalized Class Link page. This is the page that opens when your child logs in to their FWISD account. Students can now simply click on the icons for these programs and login to their account. (fwisd)

Student lessons and instructions should be at their level and capabilities as instructed by their classroom/distance learning teacher. Parents, should not “Do” their child’s assignments. If there are concerns that the instructions are too difficult or easy we ask that the teachers be contacted first in order to resolve the issue.  Students on IEP’s should have adaption or modification as needed by their teacher team.Keeping children at home can lower stress created by social distancing and cloth face-covering recommendations. Reach out to others for help in running essential errands. Behavioral techniques can be used to address behavioral challenges and to develop new routines. These include social stories, video modeling, picture schedules, and visual cues. Try rewarding your child in small ways with his or her favorite non-food treat or activities to help switch routines and to follow recommendations. Many of the organizations you turn to for information and support around your child’s complex, a chronic medical condition may have information on their websites to help families address issues related to COVID-19.

Will home-bound teachers be provided during the initial pandemic school term 2019-2020?

2019-2020 Students who are currently receiving special homebound services prior to COVID-19 will continue to receive services during the pandemic until the school term is exhausted. While learning at home, continue special education services, accommodations, or services received in school through your child’s 504 plan or Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), as much as possible. Many schools are continuing interventions like speech therapy, small group classes, extended time, and more. Learn more about supporting children with distance learning.”

Your child’s therapist(s) and teachers may also have resources to help successfully introduce new routines to your child.

The Teacher Education Agency also has links for Special Learners Education

What extra responsibilities will teachers be tasked with to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the classroom?

For the 2019-2020 school term, the custodial staff has implemented a sanitation practice in line with CDC and OSHA requirements. Teachers have bagged student belongings and delivered them to student parents through a drive-thru method at their school.

 How does social distancing affect student instruction?

All three school districts, 2019-2020 decided it is impossible to host all students and staff at your average brick and mortar school while maintaining a radius distance of  (6’)  six feet apart. In compliance with Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to close Texas schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. For the remaining staff that is deemed necessary, wearing masks and/or gloves and maintaining the six feet distancing has been in effect since school closure. Staff would include, janitorial, kitchen, security, and office personnel. The principal and teachers are not deemed necessary for personal contact situations, therefore they are required to perform virtual distance-teaching- instruction.

How has Covid-19 changed the way that students are taught in the 2019-2020 school term?

Students will sign in and access their assignments through Google Classroom. Within the assignments posted to their classes, there may be instructions to use additional online resources. At FTWISD, BISD, and RISD many resources are embedded within students’ accounts where students can sign in to their accounts inside the resource by using their sign-in credentials. Some assignments, however, will have direct links to the online resources needed to complete the assignments.

Burleson, Ft. Worth, and Richardson all plan to offer in-person teaching with an on-line option for students at enrollment. It is the consensus that students will be taught in the least restrictive environment with safety as the primary concern.

Future Plans for the School term 2020-2021.

Remarks by President Trump on Safely Reopening America’s Schools  EDUCATION  Issued on: July 7, 2020

“So what we want to do is we want to get our schools open.  We want to get them open quickly, beautifully, in the fall.  And the — as you know, this is a disease that’s a horrible disease, but young people do extraordinarily well.  I was with the governor of New Jersey.  We were talking, and he said, out of — and he mentioned a number which is a very high number, but it’s a — it’s a number nevertheless — thousands of people, there was only one person that died that was under 18 years old in the state of New Jersey, and that was somebody, I guess, had a problem with perhaps diabetes or something else.  But one person out of thousands of people — one person died, who was under 18 years old.  So that’s a pretty amazing stat, when you think of it.”

“THE VICE PRESIDENT leader [of]  the White House Coronavirus Task Force. It’s important that we reopen our schools, as you’ve directed, for the academic and the intellectual development of our children, but it’s also vitally important that we remember, as Dr. McCance-Katz told the governors today, that 7 million American children suffer from either mental illness or emotional disturbance, and they principally receive the care from health and mental services at their school.  And so making sure that we’re — we’re meeting the mental and emotional needs of our children, as well as making advances academically, is what brings us here today.” 

The First Lady: The first pillar of my BE BEST initiative is children’s wellbeing.  And taking care of children’s social, emotional, and physical health has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The administration has worked around the clock to protect Americans from the coronavirus, but many challenges for children and families can be just as invisible as the virus and just as dangerous.

When children are out of school, they are missing more than just time in the classroom.  They’re missing the laughter of their friends, learning from their teachers, and the joy of recess and play.

For children with disabilities, without access to technology or whose homes are not a safe place, the situation can be even worse.

As the start of the school year gets closer, I encourage parents, teachers, and school to teach children about the importance of CDC guidelines and to implement them when appropriate.

Children’s mental health and social development must be as much of a priority as physical health.  The same is true for parents.  Many will be forced to make stressful choices between caring for their children and going back to work.  And we must address those needs as well, as their own mental health and wellbeing.

“Today, Mr. President, as you know, we spoke to the nation’s governors on the topic of this summit.  And we reflected on the fact, as now 47 governors and the governors of 2 territories have announced plans to reopen schools across America, that — that it’s important to do so for a variety of reasons.  The First Lady just spoke of this.  We ought to well be concerned about children falling behind academically, and there’s no substitute for in-classroom learning, for in-person learning — and that’s been much discussed at the summit today.”

Dr. Jimerson Burleson Independent School District (BISD) Superintendent states in his July 03, 2020 video to parents that the goal of BISD is to provide clean, safe, classrooms, and structured routines when the student arrives in school for the 2020-2021 school term, and there will be an element of on-line instruction.

Will home-bound teachers be provided during the initial pandemic school term in the 2020-2021 school term?

2020-2021 Students who are currently receiving special homebound services prior to COVID-19 will continue to receive services during the pandemic until the school term is exhausted. Parents will be able to decide for their child whether in-person instruction or virtual instruction will take place upon enrollment in the 2020-21 school terms.

Is distance learning available to all students in the least restrictive environment?

Yes, the same methods employed in 2019-2020 virtual learning will take place during the 2020-2021 school term, with the added benefit of students a choice to attend in-person instruction or remain on virtual instruction.  Fort Worth ISD (FWISD), Richardson (RISD), and Burleson (BISD) will continue to offer this practice in 2020-2021.

Will regular campus in-person learning be available during the initial pandemic of the 2020-2021 school term? Yes.

Will distance learning be available to students during the pandemic of 2020-2021 school terms?

Yes!

How will the following issues be addressed? 

  1. Lack of internet service or computer system

Each school district will be responsible for educating parents and providing loaner equipment. Certain internet providers are providing limited service to school districts

  • Lack of parental knowledge of using computer/internet

Each school district will be responsible to educating parents on the usage of equipment.

  • Lack of parental ability to help teach/coach assignments, for Regular and SPED students.

Student lessons and instructions will be like the 2019-2020 post-COVID-19 initiative  

As Schools Plan for Reopening, Worried Teachers Say They Have More Questions Than Answers By Madeline Will on June 30, 2020, Teacher Education Week publication.

If a teacher is exposed to someone with COVID-19, will they have to use their sick days of self-quarantine for two weeks? The CDC answers this question as follows.

When a teacher or student is suspected of having CORVID-19, they ought to seek medical attention to confirm or deny the diagnosis of Covid-19.

Follow the CDC’s guidelines for managing COVID-19 at home. Actively encourage employees and students who are sick or who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 to stay home.  According to the CDC one should develop policies that encourage sick employees and students to stay at home without fear of reprisal, and ensure employees, students, and students’ families are aware of these policies.

Staff and students should stay home if they have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.

What accommodations will be made for teachers who are high-risk, or who live with a high-risk person during the 2020-2021 school term? The same accommodations suggested by the CDC, TEA, and WHO are implemented.

What extra responsibilities will teachers be tasked with to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the classroom during the 2020-2021 school term?

For the 2020-21 term an excerpt from Fort Worth ISD website follows:

As the Fort Worth ISD continues to prepare for the option of “in-person instruction” this fall strict new protocols are being put into place for every campus. New rules for the 2020-21 academic year will mean schools are cleaned multiple times during the daytime hours rather than in the evening as has been the practice for many years.  The Independent School Districts are also making a significant investment in both PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) –for both adults and children—as well as cleaning supplies for campuses and other FWISD facilities.  That includes the purchase of cloth and disposable masks, face shields, and gloves.  The see-through face shields will be utilized in situations where facial recognition and cues are essential, especially for younger children and those students who may have special needs. Additionally: Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be a staple in every classroom.

Custodial staff will use EPA-approved disinfectants to regularly and rigorously clean “high-touch areas” during the school day. Each school will be cleaned again when classes conclude. 

Will distance learning be available to students during the pandemic of  2020-2021 school terms?

Yes! The USA wasn’t affected until the Winter of 2020.  In June 2020, the Fort Worth Board of Directors has decided to allow both in-person at school and distance/virtual learning to be available to parents to select for their child for the 2020-2021 school term.  Fort Worth has the Learning at Home Resources for the Parents login page for Distance Learning instructions. (LHRP)

How has Covid-19 changed the way that students are taught in the 2020-2021 school term?

Students will sign in and access their assignments through the school’s main webpage.. At FTWISD, BISD, and RISD many resources are embedded within students’ accounts where students can sign in to their accounts inside the resource by using their sign-in credentials. Some assignments, however, will have direct links to the online resources needed to complete the assignments.  Burleson, Ft. Worth, and Richardson all plan to offer in-person teaching with an on-line option for students at enrollment. It is the consensus that students will be taught in the least restrictive environment with safety as the primary concern.

In conclusion, the CORVID-19 has forever changed the way we view primary education, no longer will K-12th grades be strictly in a brick and mortar building. With Virtual Distance Learning, a child can learn from any location where internet service is provided. One interesting fact about COVID-19 is “ Most people who get COVID-19 recover from it. Most people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms and can recover thanks to supportive care. If you have a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early – call your health facility by telephone first. If you have a fever and live in an area with malaria or dengue seek medical care immediately.” (CDC)

References

BISD- Burleson Independent School District

Chrome Music Lab  https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Experiments

CDC1-  Center for Disease Control (2020) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html

CDC2- The Centers for Disease Control  (2019)  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html

Dance Mat Typing @ https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zf2f9j6/articles/z3c6tfr

Education Service Center for Region XI. https://www.esc11.net/Page/8808 reviewed 07/03/2020. https://www.esc11.net/Domain/1365

Foundational Computer Skills  GCF LearnFree.Org @ https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/

FTWISD1- Fort Worth Independent School District (2020)  www.fwisd.edu

FWISD2- FWISD Plans for New Cleaning Protocols in 2020-21 School Year Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 7/6/2020 9:00:00 AM

GCF LearnFree.Org @ https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CREATIVE RESEARCH THOUGHTS – IJCRT

Jungle Junior: Typing for Kids! (Multilingual) @ https://www.typingclub.com/kids-typing

Learning at Home Resources for Parents https://sites.google.com/teachers.fwisd.org/learnathomefamilyresources/home

Palm Beach County Library Mousercise!@ http://www.pbclibrary.org/mousing/mousercise.htm

Paxton, Kent,  Attorney Generals Office March 25, 2020. https://www.esc11.net/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=14989&dataid=24255&FileName=AG%20Opinion%20March%2025%202020.pdf

Richarson Independent School District (2020)  http://www.richardson.k12.tx.us/

Scholastic Classroom Magazine https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/coronavirus.html

SASS- Special Academic Support Services, go to https://www.smore.com/b9e2z

TEA- Texas Education Agency  www.tea.gov

Will, Madeline  As Schools Plan for Reopening, Worried Teachers Say They Have More Questions Than Answers By  on June 30, 2020, Teacher Education Week publication

Typing Club Curriculum (Multilingual) @ https://www.typingclub.com/ (IJCRT.ORG)

WHO1- The World Health Organization (WHO):  https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

WHO2: “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) advice for the public: Myth busters”: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters  

   Remarks by President Trump on Safely Reopening America’s Schools

 EDUCATION  Issued on: July 7, 2020

Categories
Inspirational

Christian Feelings


Today, I discovered that I had a emotionally scarring series of events 28 years ago while I was in college working on my Bachelor’s Degree. Because I attended a private christian university I allowed more emotional attachment to cloud my thinking processes. I have regret, though it is not my own!

When we hear the word “Christian” we automatically think of a higher moral code of ethics. Afterall, didn’t Jesus tell us to turn the other cheek? Taken out of context like this, it could mean to never get angry or react to someone else’s insults or injury to your soul.

We all made thousands of minute decisions everyday, some are good some are bad and others are unimportant. On the decisions that count we need God’s guidance –God’s Holy Spirit. “This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:19-21.

For those who seek out the Lord and his advice, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”  Psalm 32:8

The scripture tells us that God will be there for us especially in difficult times. We will endure hardships but “for a season” it will not be life long, though sometimes repeating a pattern can cause similar results. But we will also have moments when our hearts are glad and merry. God gave us a wonderful range of emotions and now gives us instructions on how to process them in our psyche’.

In the garden, God sought out Adam and Eve, even though they had sinned, he still wanted a relationship with them. He passed sentence on their guilt but also promised to be there for them in the new struggles they now had to endure. God passes judgement on our guilt and the sentence was death on the cross at Calvary Hill where Jesus the Christ bled and died for our sins, so that we may have abundant eternal life because He wants a relationship with us.

In this relationship with God and Jesus, we have security that he will not fail us. Though people do fail us on occasion– God will not! We allow fellow christians to hurt us more deeply than non-christians because we want them to be perfect, aka, God like. When I think back on my undergraduate college days, I realize that my expectations were higher because the (fallible) people that made up the institution, was suppose to be christians. And I suppose they were Christians in their limited abilities.

But it was my expectation that was faulty, not the church or the university. I set them to too high a standard and sacrificed monetarily for them only to be let down hard. I prayed to God to help me through that rocky and sometimes slippery path that I was on, and he did.

My expectations of the university has foreshadowed decisions regarding higher education institutions. I chose a secular university for my Master’s studies. I chose not to get too involved with my classmates and form intimate contacts with the staff. (except for one really nice professor). I protected my psyche’ at all costs. I didn’t want a repeat performance of my undergraduate season.

I do not think christian or secular colleges are better than one another– you just have to define what your expectations are before you delve into relationships with the professors, staff, and peers. You need to be mature in your decision making. God can help you out there. He can people into your life that will change it forever. Dr. Edythe Leupp was my great “people” that God sent to me in undergrad. She help transform me into the person God wanted me to become. And God wants you to become the best person that you can be.