Ecological Assessment Term Paper

Pages: 3 (987 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 13  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

Ecological Assessment - Origins, Definition, Examples

According to the book Young Children with Disabilities in Natural Environments (Noonan & McCormick, 21) the theory of ecological assessment was launched in 1979. It was at a time when goals and objectives were sorely needed for students with "severe and multiple disabilities," and so Brown and his colleagues drew procedures from ecological theory and called it ecological inventory, Noonan writes. In these past 27 years, the ecological inventory process has been "especially helpful in terms of creating "individualized instruction" along with developing "functional goals and objectives"; the process of creating worthwhile teaching strategies that adapt to the special needs of those severely disabled students.

Ecological inventory helps address the issues fundamental to the process, like "what" are the intervention goals and objectives; where, how and when should intervention be provided; and how will intervention be evaluated?

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On page 103, the Noonan reports that at the time (1934) anthropologist Ruth Benedict was carefully studying the relationship between humans and their "social-cultural environment," she was using the term "cultural relativity" in describing the fact that human behavior needs to be seen in the larger cultural context to be "properly understood." And hence, the idea was born - and later polished - that the social behavior of people (in this case, young people), which may be viewed as inappropriate in one cultural context might on the other hand be totally appropriate in another cultural context. "...Ecological psychologists [have in the meantime] insisted that the only way to get a valid picture of a child's functioning" is by closely monitoring that child's behavior "in the context of normally occurring routines in familiar settings."

TOPIC: Term Paper on Ecological Assessment Assignment

As to implementation of ecological assessment in an inclusive framework (paradigm), authors Noonan & McCormick (104-110) offer a six-step strategy. Step #1, "list the daily activities and routines" of the student; Step #2, list "major behavioral expectations" (this will take time, but it's vital); Step #3, score "Can do" or "Needs to learn" (observe the child for a day or so to determine strengths and instructional needs); Step #4, "formulate goals and objectives"; Step #5, "plan instruction" (detailed lesson plan based on steps 1-4); Step #6, "plan data collection" (this must be a comprehensive evaluation / monitoring strategy).

A key to the big picture of ecological assessment - with reference to Steps 1 through 6 - is to view "each a singular ecosystem in which the physical arrangement of the room," the materials on hand, the individual children "and their competencies" and the teachers with their competencies "continuously interact to form a unique environment" (Odom & Karnes, 224), according to the text, Early Intervention for Infants & Children with Handicaps.

In the journal Topics in Early Childhood Special Education (Haney, et al., 1996), the authors assert that "inclusion is more than the physical placement of a young child with disabilities into a mainstream preschool setting." Indeed, "inclusion," actually refers to "assisting that child to participate as… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Ecological Assessment" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Ecological Assessment.  (2006, June 2).  Retrieved September 21, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Ecological Assessment."  2 June 2006.  Web.  21 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Ecological Assessment."  June 2, 2006.  Accessed September 21, 2021.