Contextual Factors In Education

Section 1:  Contextual Factors 

Purpose for Step 1:

Consider the learning environment and contextual factors that may have an impact on the teaching-learning process. Discuss characteristics about the school, classroom, and individual student needs that should be considered as instructional plans are developed. List accommodations/modifications that will be made to instructional planning and implementation based on contextual information of the assigned classroom.

Task:

Discuss the relevant contextual factors including community and school information, classroom information, student characteristics, and accommodations/modifications for planning, instruction, and assessment/s. Include any supports and challenges that impact instruction and student learning. Discuss any implications and accommodation/modifications needed for instruction based on contextual factors.

Prompt:

In the discussion on contextual factors, include the following:

  • 1. Community and school information
    • Discuss the community and school information: 
      • geographic location
      • community/school population (diversity, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, etc.)
      • socio-economic status (SES; ex: free/reduced lunch, Title I school, etc.)
      • type of school (locale, grade levels, and any other pertinent characteristics)
    • Consider additional areas for discussion, which could include but are not limited to stability of the community, political climate, community support for education, and other environmental factors. 
  • 2. Classroom information
    • Discuss the classroom information: 
      • physical features and arrangement of the classroom
      • availability of technology, equipment, and resources
      • extent of parental/guardian involvement
      • grouping practices (whole group, small group, pairs, etc.)
    • Consider additional areas for discussion, which could include but are not limited to how groups were determined, classroom rules and routines, scheduling, and additional teachers/students that enter or leave the room on a regular basis.
  • 3.  Student characteristics – Related to the Students and Learning Environment
    • Discuss the following required areas for student characteristics: 
      • grade/age level
      • gender
      • race/ethnicity/culture
      • special needs
      • achievement/developmental/skill levels
      • language (English, ESL, ELL)
      • interests/learning differences, and any other pertinent information
    • Consider additional areas for discussion, which could include but are not limited to background information and/or characteristics of specific students that should be considered when planning and implementing instruction.
  • 4.  Accommodations/Modifications for planning, instruction, and assessment/s
    • Choose 3 or more of the contextual factors described above from 1.Student Characteristics and discuss how these factors influenced planning instruction, implementation of instruction, and assessment/s. 
    • Describe, based on those contextual factors, what accommodations/modifications for planning, instruction, and/or assessment were made. 
    • Provide a chart/table to illustrate the relationship between contextual factors (3 or more) and accommodations/modifications for planning, instruction, and assessment/s. Include a thorough description of each accommodation/modification in the chart. An example is provided below.
    • Consider additional areas of discussion, which could include but are not limited to how the accommodations/modifications improved learning for individual students.
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