Transactional learning for learning-disabled (LD) adolescents: Facilitating teacher change and curriculum development
This study, based on Freire's pedagogy, evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of introducing transactional teaching for learning disabled (LD) adolescents. The transactional approach, based on interaction between teacher and active learner, has been effectively employed in regular education classes, but minimally with LD students. In the current study, a structured intervention to enhance transactional teaching was employed with a teacher and her seventh- and eighth-grade LD students during 1994-1995 in a New York City public school. Classes included 11 seventh-grade language arts and 8 eighth-grade social studies students. Investigator fieldnotes, teacher and student interviews, video tapes, audio transcripts, and the Class Activities Questionnaire (CAQ) were obtained before and after a 3-month period during which the investigator worked closely with the teacher to develop her knowledge and techniques in transactional teaching.
Results of the study indicated that the transmission oriented teacher moved toward a student-centered transactional approach (P $<$ 0.05) with the eighth-grade class, but showed (P $<$ 0.05) effect only on the audio recordings with the seventh-grade class. The intervention was associated with greater improvements in student attitudes and learning behaviors in the eighth grade than in the seventh grade. Eighth-grade students found the classwork performed during the transactional environment more interesting and participated more than in the pre-intervention phase (P $<$ 0.01), and student learning behaviors improved (P $<$ 0.01). While seventh graders found the transactional environment relevant and participatory (P $<$ 0.05), there was no change in learning behavior for the class overall.
The findings in the study suggest that a transactional intervention can modify teacher attitudes and behavior, as well as student attitudes and learning behaviors in LD adolescents. Efficacy of the intervention may be influenced by several factors such as classroom behavior, limited classroom discussion, and teacher reflection, capacity, and insight.
0529: Special education
0530: Teacher education