Study Guide

Field 013: Early Childhood Special Education
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Competency 0001
Understand typical processes of human growth and development.

Which of the following language behaviors typically emerges when children in the preoperational stage begin to engage in social play?

  1. echolalic speech
  2. mimicking intonation patterns demonstrated by others
  3. metaphorical speech
  4. taking turns in conversation
Answer
Correct Response: D.
This question requires the examinee to understand typical processes of human growth and development, including typical characteristics and progressions relating to young children's communicative and social development. In conversational turn-taking, conversational partners engage in a reciprocal pattern of speaking and listening: one partner speaks while the other listens, and vice versa. This pattern is commonly observed in preoperational children (i.e., children between approximately two and seven years of age) as they engage in social play. Social play, which combines pretend play with social interaction, consists of a variety of complex behaviors that demand conversational turn-taking (e.g., goal-seeking, joint planning, role-taking, and negotiation). Social play thus supports the emergence of conversational turn-taking, and vice versa; the two are mutually reinforcing.

Competency 0004
Analyze the significance of disabilities for learning.

A student with a moderate cognitive disability is likely to respond most similarly to a regular education student during which of the following sequencing events?

  1. following multistep verbal commands
  2. recalling classroom routines over time
  3. assembling designs from written directions
  4. retelling the details of a story read the previous week
Answer
Correct Response: B.
This question requires the examinee to analyze similarities and differences between children with disabilities and their nondisabled peers with regard to learning processes. Like their nondisabled peers, children with cognitive disabilities benefit from going over routines repeatedly and consistently. Children of all abilities can forget new information if they have not practiced it numerous times. Therefore, it is helpful to provide children with visual prompts, reminders, ample time, and recurrence of events in order to learn necessary schedules and classroom routines. Children with moderate cognitive disabilities, like most children in general education classes, are usually able to recall classroom routines after having participated in them in a predictable, repetitive manner over time.

Competency 0005
Understand assessment procedures for evaluating individual differences and making placement and programming decisions for young children with disabilities.

A behavioral assessment instrument that allows a teacher to indicate a student's level of mastery of specified target behaviors under the headings excellent, good, fair, and poor is an example of:

  1. a behavioral rating scale.
  2. durational recording of behavior.
  3. a behavioral checklist.
  4. anecdotal recording of behavior.
Answer
Correct Response: A.
This question requires the examinee to understand types and characteristics of informal and formal assessments used in placement and programming decisions for young children. A behavioral rating scale is an assessment instrument designed to measure a child's behavior using a standardized format. This type of assessment includes descriptive statements regarding a particular child's behaviors with columns in which the teacher may rate a child's progress in each category (e.g., excellent, good, fair, poor). Behavior rating scales are often used as screening devices to identify children who may benefit from a more detailed assessment, and they can also provide preliminary information on children who may be at risk for developing more serious problems and may benefit from early interventions.

Competency 0007
Apply procedures for structuring space and time to create safe, stimulating, and developmentally appropriate learning environments for children with disabilities.

Which of the following physical features is most important to include in a classroom designed for young students with cognitive disabilities?

  1. video camera and monitor
  2. built-in learning stations
  3. direct access to bathrooms
  4. wall-to-wall carpeting
Answer
Correct Response: C.
This question requires the examinee to apply strategies for structuring the physical environment for children with disabilities. Students with cognitive disabilities often have difficulty recalling information. For example, they may have trouble remembering where to find things in the classroom from one day to the next. Students with cognitive disabilities also often have attentional difficulties, as well as trouble generating and using strategies that facilitate short-term memory. If students with cognitive disabilities have to remember where in the building to find the bathroom, it can create extra work and increase stress. Providing direct access to bathrooms will help reduce anxiety that may be associated with having to recall important information quickly and can also help students avoid embarrassment and maintain self-esteem.

Competency 0009
Apply procedures for establishing a positive and supportive classroom climate that promotes all children's self-esteem and sense of competence.

A student from an ethnic minority group is most likely to experience academic and social success in a school where many of the students and teachers belong to the predominant cultural group if the:

  1. student is encouraged to de-emphasize his or her ethnic differences and identity while in school.
  2. curriculum materials and activities used in the school promote respect for ethnic diversity.
  3. teacher evaluates the student according to different academic standards because of his or her ethnic differences.
  4. student is generally grouped with other minority students for instructional purposes.
Answer
Correct Response: B.
This question requires the examinee to apply strategies for ensuring that all children develop friendships, feel a sense of membership in a supportive learning community, and develop a sense of achievement and competence. Routinely providing diverse, inclusive curriculum materials and activities sets a tone of respect and appreciation for all, which in turn promotes self-esteem and self-confidence in each individual student. Children are more likely to succeed both academically and socially in classrooms in which inclusiveness and equity are the norm and each individual sees him- or herself reflected in the everyday activities and pursuits of the classroom.

Competency 0013
Understand how to promote young children's expressive language development.

Which of the following strategies would be most appropriate for developing the expressive language skills of a student with limited verbal abilities?

  1. Encourage the student to use verbal communication exclusively.
  2. Provide language models that are at the same level as the student's language.
  3. Reinforce consistently the student's attempts to verbalize.
  4. Provide immediate correction of as many of the student's verbal errors as possible.
Answer
Correct Response: C.
This question requires the examinee to understand how to promote young children's expressive language development. Young children with limited verbal abilities may be at risk for developing academic and other problems, so it is vital for teachers of young children to be aware of effective strategies for building children's expressive language skills. One strategy that has been shown to be effective for this purpose is to provide consistent reinforcement of a child's attempts to verbalize. Responding to a child's verbalizations with encouragement and support (e.g., by showing genuine interest in what the child is saying, by asking questions, by providing scaffolding that builds on the child's utterances), not only helps the child extend and incorporate greater complexity into his or her utterances, but also motivates the child's greater engagement in verbal self-expression.

Competency 0014
Understand emergent literacy and how to encourage the emergence of literacy in young children.

A kindergarten teacher plays an oral language game with students. In the game, the teacher says a familiar word and students respond by repeating and drawing out each individual sound they hear in the word. For example, when the teacher says the word miss, the students says mmmiiisss. This kind of phonemic segmentation oral language activity most directly supports the development of which of the following future literacy skills?

  1. applying word-learning strategies
  2. interpreting print conventions
  3. spelling regular words
  4. recognizing textual structures
Answer
Correct Response: C.
This question requires the examinee to understand foundations of literacy development in English, including development and assessment of phonological and phonemic awareness. The symbolic system of written English is alphabetic. This means that the single letters and complex letter patterns used to represent words in print correspond to the phonemes of the spoken words. Readers who have mastered the phonics patterns (i.e., the grapheme-phoneme relationships) of English and who can determine the component phonemes of a word can apply this knowledge to determine the likely spellings of the word. The phoneme-segmentation activity described enhances the ability of emergent readers to hear and identify the separate phonemes that make up familiar words, which is a foundational skill for spelling regular words.

Competency 0017
Understand how to promote young children's understanding of their world through exploration of content-area skills and concepts.

In which of the following instructional situations would task analysis be the most appropriate approach to use?

  1. A teacher wants to decrease the time a student takes to perform a mastered skill.
  2. A student performs a skill only when provided with verbal or gestural cues.
  3. A teacher is not sure which skill a student is ready to learn next.
  4. A student is having difficulty performing a multistep skill.
Answer
Correct Response: D.
This question requires the examinee to understand how to promote young children's understanding of their world through exploration of content-area skills and concepts, including selection of instructional strategies to individualize content-area instruction, integrate content-area instruction, and facilitate achievement. Some skills are too complex or have too many steps for a young child to learn at one time. When this is the case, teachers use task analysis, which involves breaking the skill into small steps that are taught sequentially. A childís age, attention span, and cognitive abilities are considered when deciding how many steps may be necessary for implementing task analysis and how much support will be needed from the teacher. The process of task analysis allows students to achieve small steps toward a larger goal and promotes the studentís self-confidence in the process.

Competency 0019
Understand how to promote young children's physical development.

A special education teacher physically assists students to perform arm movements by firmly holding their wrists as they begin each arm movement. The teacher gradually reduces the pressure of the grip once the students' arms are in motion. Which of the following techniques is the teacher using in this situation?

  1. modeling
  2. prompting
  3. positive reinforcement
  4. incidental learning
Answer
Correct Response: B.
This question requires the examinee to understand how to promote young children's physical development, including strategies for providing developmentally appropriate experiences and activities to promote physical development. Sometimes an antecedent prompt such as physical guidance is helpful for focusing the attention of a student with special needs and for teaching a skill to the student. Physical prompts, sometimes called graduated manual assistance, involve manipulating the childís hands or body to perform a task. Prompts help the student respond correctly and successfully, and a successful attempt provides positive reinforcement, fostering the student's further interest in attempting the skill again. As the student becomes increasingly able to perform a skill independently, the prompts are systematically faded until the student is capable of performing the skill without assistance.

Competency 0020
Understand how to establish partnerships with other members of the school community to enhance learning opportunities for young children with disabilities.

To work effectively with a physical therapist, the special education teacher of a student with a severe orthopedic impairment should:

  1. modify the student's prescribed equipment for increased adaptability to classroom needs.
  2. help the therapist conduct the student's gross-motor assessment.
  3. ensure that the student uses prescribed adaptive equipment properly.
  4. make recommendations for the appropriate sequence of therapy.
Answer
Correct Response: C.
This question requires the examinee to understand how to establish partnerships with other members of the school community to enhance learning opportunities for young children with disabilities. Collaboration among special education teachers and other service providers is essential to implementing effective curriculum and instruction for students with special needs. It is important for special education teachers to be aware of their responsibilities with regard to each type of service. For example, when collaborating with a physical therapist, the special education teacher would not take on the physical therapist's responsibilities, but should provide monitoring to ensure that the student carries out his or her prescribed physical therapy safely, accurately, and productively.

Competency 0021
Understand how to foster strong school-home partnerships.

When involving parents or guardians in developing an individual behavior intervention plan to use at home with their child, it is most important to:

  1. arrange for the parents or guardians to meet with others who have carried out successful behavior intervention plans at home.
  2. demonstrate how to use a wide variety of behavior intervention to determine parents' or guardians' preferences.
  3. ask the parents or guardians to share their observations and concerns regarding behaviors the child exhibits at home.
  4. encourage the parents or guardians to read research and theories related to the behaviors the child exhibits.
Answer
Correct Response: C.
This question requires the examinee to understand how to foster strong school-home partnerships, including how to work collaboratively with families to solve problems and promote their participation in educational planning and in their child's learning at home. In a family-based approach, professionals view parents as active collaborators in planning and selecting service and behavioral options for the child. Parents and guardians are a child's first teachers, and they know their child well. By asking parents and guardians to share information and concerns about behaviors the child exhibits at home, the teacher is gathering information about what will be most helpful for the child and family. The teacher is also creating a stronger school-home connection by showing the parents and guardians that their opinions and knowledge are valued.

Competency 0023
Understand requirements, responsibilities, and constraints associated with teaching young children with disabilities.

Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the parents or guardians of a minor who is receiving special education services may:

  1. obtain copies of the student's educational records to share with nonschool professionals.
  2. prevent the special education teacher from viewing the student's educational records.
  3. specify that information contained in the student's records be limited to the annual IEP document.
  4. take permanent possession of the student's records if they contain information that the parents or guardians deem inaccurate.
Answer
Correct Response: A.
This question requires the examinee to understand the legal and ethical issues affecting early childhood special education teachers. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. Under FERPA, the parents or guardians of a minor who is receiving special education services are entitled to obtain their child's educational records, and they may share these records with whomever they choose.