SPED 250 Introduction to Troubled Children and Youth by moti


									              SPED 250 Introduction to Troubled Children and Youth
                                    Fall, 2007
                         8:30-9:50 Tuesday and Thursday
                               Madsen Center 253
Dr. Steve Van Bockern
Office: 274-5491
Cell: 201 3728
Email: vanbock@augie.edu

Course Description and Overview
“A study of the social, behavioral, emotional and educational characteristics of children
and adolescents who are experiencing conflict in home, school or community.”
(Augustana General Catalog, 2005-2007).

This is an introductory course on working with children with social and emotional
problems. These youth have been referred to by a host of labels including emotionally
disturbed, behaviorally disordered, youth in conflict, delinquent, deviant, wayward and
maladjusted. Most labels are pejorative and fail to elicit empathy for these children at
risk. Augustana’s education department has selected the title troubled because it is
somewhat more neutral and portrays the intrapersonal and interpersonal difficulties in the
lives of these children; and for that matter, by all of us at times. This course will be
useful for educators and special educators, youth workers, social workers, psychologists,
youth ministry and others who have a special interest in these children and adolescents.

In contrast to many courses in this field, this course seeks to emphasize strengths that
might compensate for weaknesses, health instead of illness, normality instead of
pathology, and hopefulness instead of professional cynicism. This population is
particularly threatening to untrained adults who are regularly lured in counter aggressive
or avoidant behavior with these children. The course will emphasize the unmet needs
that characterize troubled children and the powerful changes that can occur when adults
are able to provide corrective human relationships. The troubled child presents a
challenge that does not yield to simple answers. Since no single approach holds all the
answers, it is necessary to bridge various concepts of education and treatment to offer the
best opportunity for positive change and growth.

“In the final analysis, those who succeed with troubled children cannot rely solely on
theory or techniques. The adult must develop qualities of openness, personal maturity,
emotional stability, warmth, persistence, and optimism. To see the hurt behind the
hostility, to be able to continue to reach out when rebuffed, to believe in children who do
not even believe in themselves, to reach children others see as unreachable… there are
few challenges as great in the universe of professions. Or as rewarding.” (Dr. Larry
Brendtro, Professor Emeriti, 1990).
    Relationship to the Circle of Courage
    The mission of the Education Department is to empower its students to create learning
    environments that ensure belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. The Circle
    of Courage, developed by Augustana professors Brendtro, Brokenleg and Van Bockern,
    provides a unifying theme for understanding the needs of youth. SPED 250 takes the
    perspective that when the child’s needs are met, their Circle of Courage is built and youth
    have a greater opportunity to live respectful and responsible lives. The philosophical
    perspective of the Circle of Courage is fully integrated into this course.

    Program Competencies
    Knowledge of multiple instructional strategies
          The concept of working with the “whole” child and the child’s family
          Various philosophical perspectives of working with troubled youth
          Different programs for troubled youth including behavioral and strength based or
          resiliency perspectives
    Knowledge of human development and learning
          Specific characteristics that define troubled children
          Needs that all children have and the result when those needs aren’t met
          Attitudes and behaviors that help a child survive
          The effect of racism and other “isms” that effect children
          Establishing environments of respect and rapport
    Knowledge of base information
          Local, state, and national standards
          Introductory understanding to I.D.E.A. ’97 legislation and the functional
          behavioral assessment
          Print material, conferences, OJJDP, national consultants, organizations
    Meaningful connections to schools and related settings (partnerships)
          Building safe and reclaiming schools
COURSE OBJECTIVES               LEVEL              RELATED                    RELATED                 ASSESSMENT
       and                   1=Introduced         PROGRAM                      DECA                        TOOL
    RELATED                  2=Applied or        COMPETENCY                  STANDARD               (*indicates portfolio
   THEORIST(S)               Practiced                                                                    artifact)
Etiology and                        1                   1,2           24:16:08:45 #1                -Test
characteristics of ED                                                                               -Developmental
Assessment, evaluation              1                    8            24:16:08:45 #2                -Test
Instructional strategies             1                   3,4           24:16:08:45 #4abc            -Test
Communication skills and             1                    6            24:16:08:45 #5bcd             -Test
use of resources
Basic knowledge of laws,             1                  8,10           24:16:08:45 #6                -Test
policies, procedures
     Theorists: Bowlby, Ainsworth, Brendtro, Erickson, VanBockern, Brokenleg, Dreikurs, Hoover, Benson, Nodding,
     Coopersmith, Coleman, Goodlad, Elkind, Pipher, Whelage, R. White, Garbarino
    Learning Experiences
    Text and supplemental readings, video, lecture; discussion, field trips, case studies and
    role-playing will be used to convey the content of the course.
The Augustana Institute for Reclaiming Students entered into an agreement with
Volunteers of America, Sioux Falls. Our collaborative effort involves working with kids
who find themselves placed at risk. The Institute helps with finding adult mentors for
these elementary and middle school children. There are two middle school programs
(Axtel Park and Whittier) and two elementary programs (there are two sites for the Laura
B. Anderson school). The programs generally meet from 3:30 until 5:30.

Students may elect to take SPED 250 and SPED 315 (Classroom Behavior Management)
in a mentoring cohort. Instead of doing the class assignments, the assignments would be
tailored to fit the needs of the students. In addition, students would mentor at the sites, a
minimum of two days per week for one year. Reading and writing requirements would
be done independently. The cohort group would meet on a monthly basis (minimum).
Participating students would receive 5 hours of credit for the two courses. In addition, a
monetary stipend would be awarded based on hours mentored. Please see the instructor
for more information.

Two exams, a mid-term and a final, will cover the readings and all other material covered
in the course. Active class participation is a goal for all. Other documentation will
consist of a research project/oral report and book readings and reflections.

Suggested portfolio outcomes
The student’s educational philosophy can be enhanced through this course.

Course Information
Required texts:
1. Brendtro, L., Brokenleg, M., & Van Bockern, S. (1990) Reclaiming Youth at Risk:
Our Hope for the Future. Blooming, Indiana: National Education Services

2. I would like you to select another book of choice, fact or fiction that deals with some
aspect of at-risk youth. For example, No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death At
Columbine, written by Brooks Brown (Brown, B. & Merritt, 2003) would work well. I
can make other suggestions if you have trouble selecting a book on your own.

Course requirements:
Midterm       100 pts
Final         100 pts (covers semester)

Research project/oral class reports 100 pts.
Students will partner to create an oral report (25 minutes) on some topic of interest
related to troubled children and youth. Each partnership will construct a handout for their
peers, due on the day of the presentation. Grading criteria:
     Relevancy and usefulness of content                                   50%
     Useful and informative handout; limit to three or less pages          30%
     Use of one audio or visual aid that is relevant and meaningful        10%
     Demonstration of a collaborative effort/delivery/ preparation         10%
             Ideas for this research project: (you may develop you own ideas)
                  Talk to teachers and have them tell you their stories about troubled kids in their
                     classrooms. What were the behaviors of the kids? What reasons do the teachers
                     attribute to the behaviors?
                  Mentor a troubled youth. Share your experiences.
                  Watch a movie that “features” troubled children. Check out the formal reviews.
                     Explore the movie in relationship to what you are learning and studying.
                  Talk to a troubled youth over a period of the semester.
                  Do a search on the history of working with troubled and troubling youth.
                  Talk to adults who survived a troubled childhood. Share the insights given.
                  Determine the process that kids go through when they get in trouble with the law.
                  Study school shootings.
                  Study and report on the Hip Hop culture

             Book Reflection         50 pts
             Students are asked to submit a written two-page reflection and a visual or alternative
             response (i.e. art, music, poetry) to the book of choice. Students will be given an
             opportunity to discuss a small part of the book while the other class members listen and
             ask questions.

             Participation (Please note: These points include reading and summarizing a Reclaiming
             Children and Youth Article and sharing that at the time your choice book is shared. The
             summary should be about 1 page long         50 pts)

             Self graded
 FOCUS        Explanation                                                                A             B               C            D/F      RATING
 AREA                                                                                  45+            40 +            35+           20+

Engaged in    There is showing up and then there is “showing up”. When you             Serious      Serious          Serious        Not          ___
and out of    show up as a serious learner you are prepared to participate, share    learner all    learner       enough for       serious
   class      your work, have your readings completed and generally display a       of the time    most of the         my
              with-it attitude and disposition. You don’t miss class when you can                    time        circumstances
              help it if you are a serious learner. You make it fun and enjoyable                                at this time in
              for others. You learn with and from others.                                                            my life

             It is important that you reference borrowed ideas. Don’t cheat.
             Grading scales
             98-100 = A+             87-89 =B+ 77-79 =C+
             94-97 = A               84-87 =B       74-77 =C
             90-93 = A-              80-83 =B-      70-73 =C-
             Any student who feels that he or she may need to discuss individual accommodations for
             a disability, please make an appointment to see me in the next week or two during office
             hours. Students with questions regarding disability services are welcome to contact Susan
             Bies at the Student Academic Support Service Office located in the Madsen Center, room
             140. The phone number is 274-5503 or email her at susan.bies@augie.edu.
                           Sped 250
                       Tentative Schedule
                           Fall, 2007

September 6       Welcome, introductions; assignments

September 11,13   Read Reclaiming Youth: Our Hope for the Future.

September 18,20   Philosophical overview of troubled and troubling children.
                  Guest speaker on Thursday
September 25,27   Philosophical overview of troubled and troubling children.

October 2,4       Philosophical overview of troubled and troubling children.
                  Article from Reclaiming Children and Youth due

October 9,11      Visit to Children’s Home Society and/or Joe Foss Programs
                  On Thursday, work on Research Project with partner.

October 16,18     Share choice books/Reclaiming Children and Youth Article
October 23        Midterm

October 25        Overview of Response Ability Pathways and Life Space
                  Crisis Intervention

October 30        Fall break

November 1        Bullying

November 6,8      Restorative Justice

November 13,15    Programs for troubled children and youth: Starr
                  Commonwealth, Allendale, Woodland Hills, Boys
                  and Girls Town, Children’s Home, etc. Web based

November 20       Share choice books/Reclaiming Children and Youth Article
November 22       Thanksgiving

November 22-24    Diagnosis and Assessment

November 27,29    Project presentations

December 4,6      Project presentations

December 11,13    Project presentations and Review
December 17                   Final, 1:00 Monday
                                        SPED 250
Self-grading: book reads

General Description: Each student will select one book that deals with troubled youth.
Students are asked to submit a written two-page reflection and a visual or alternative
response to the book (i.e. art, music, poetry). Students will informally “share” the book
with others.

This assignment is worth 50 pts.
Grading rubrics                       Name_______________________________

Reflection          Total points possible out of 50 for the   Points given
paper               reflection paper
(you determine)
                    Two pages
                    Interest to others
                    Voice: honest attempt to write what
                    you mean
                    Quality content
                    More than a summary of the book
                                                              subtotal points =

Alternative         Total points possible for the
Response            alternative response

                    Value to you or passion level
                                                              subtotal points =

Discussion          Total points possible for discussion

                    Honest engagement
                    Good group skills
                                                              subtotal points =

                    Total points from reflection paper,
                    alternative report, and discussion
Project grade
Sped 250


Research project/oral class reports 100 pts.
Students will partner to create an oral report (20 minutes on some topic of interest related
to troubled children and youth)

Each partnership will construct a handout for their peers, due on the day of the
presentation:                          Met____________ Unmet_________________

Grading criteria:
    Relevancy and usefulness of content                                   50% _____
   (share your research notes, titles of books read, document time spent, ect)

      Useful and informative handout; limit to three or less pages          30% ______

      Use of one audio or visual aid that is relevant and meaningful        10% ______

      Demonstration of a collaborative /delivery/presentation               10% ______

                                                             Total                 ______


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