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

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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 1.3 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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