For the last week I have been struggling to communicate how I feel about special education, pull-out instruction and more inclusive small-group instruction. I've been fairly clear that I don't like pull out but that I can see how some is necessary for a very limited number of kids (counseling, PT, OT, speech). I'm also not a fan of RTI models that have kids working on the perimeter of the room in a group separated from their peers on a regular basis. I'm also not a fan of station teaching where students are placed in leveled groups. I'm actually not a fan of station teaching when it is used on a regular basis even when the groups are not leveled. I believe that it robs kids the opportunity to benefit from a whole class conversation that raises the bar for all learners.
I hope I've done a decent job of articulating why I'd prefer to use high-quality whole class instruction paired with whole class workshop time where learners receive "just-in-time" support. When it comes to offering support, I'm stingy. I really do want students to realize that there is a real benefit from learning to struggle though. I want them to be able to analyze a solution that doesn't work and to make an attempt to revise their thinking. When support is offered, I want it to be the kind of support that pushes their thinking versus the kind of support that leads them through a problem step by step. Anyway, I've been thinking deeply about all of these issues lately. Then, all of a sudden...BAM! There is Mark Chubb's blog post titled, "Rushing for Interventions" perfectly summing up what I've been thinking.
I can't help but agree with Mark on the following points:
He does an excellent job of defining what Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruction should look like and he has some great links to videos from the likes of John Hattie and Jo Boaler.
His post is far more comprehensive and articulate than anything I've said on the topic. It is definitely worth the read!