Public Law 94-142, which was established in 1975, insures that children with various learning and/or behavior disabilities will be mainstreamed into the least restrictive learning environment in which their needs will be met successfully. Mainstreaming children who are identified as emotional/behavioral disordered occurs in many music classrooms. Without the benefit of further training, the music educator may have difficulty fostering a positive learning environment for all students.
Factors to consider in designing for success are the basis for this paper. The first topic dealt with is the process which identifies learners with emotional/behavior disorder. A brief description of various strategies utilized within the special education classroom follows. Much of the literature pointed out the close connection between problem behavior and learning problems. Therefore, learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and developmental delays resulting from prenatal exposure to drugs and/or alcohol are described.
Specific teaching strategies to develop a successful learning environment for these students are enumerated as well as suggestions for appropriate disciplinary programs. Typical music teaching scenarios are evaluated and modified to include elements which provide positive experiences for all children.