Community Based Instruction Translates to Adult Education
All three RKS Associates state-approved special education schools are always focused on the transition to adulthood. Take our recent beach volleyball game between Harbor School and Colts Neck High School, for example. Never mind how much fun our students had. They were also learning the soft skill of team work. Soft skills are everyday interpersonal skills that job seekers need to succeed on the job. These include communicating clearly and appropriately, remembering work directions, working well with others, and knowing how to solve problems. Most importantly, the students were getting out into the community, which is a crucial aspect once they transition into a 21 and older program such as the PrimeTime Centers, where community-based instruction is a critical component of that adult program.
Now, community-based instruction might not be quite as fun as a beach volleyball game. The community, however, is where they will have to function independently as adults and use the skills acquired in the classroom. So, what is community-based instruction, exactly?
What is Community-Based Instruction?
Instruction for skills needed in the community, taught in the community, is community-based instruction. The special education resource, Miss Lulu, defines it as “regular and systematic instruction in meaningful, functional, age-appropriate skills in integrated community settings, using naturally occurring materials and situations.” This is not a field trip.
Community-based instruction (CBI) is sustained and repeated instruction. A field trip is a one-time experience. The best part is that it provides students with the opportunity to interact with people in the community, such as employees and customers.
The Benefits of Community-Based Instruction
There is nothing vague, general or abstract about CBI. When student can only perform a task in one setting, or with one person, that is unacceptable. They need to learn how to perform the skill in the real life setting from the start. It is like a martial arts student who can execute techniques while sparring with protective gear but freeze in an actual fight.
Accessibility is a word that never leaves our lives, right? We are always making sure that our children are provided access to the community locations that we get to enjoy on a regular basis. Using CBI provides the access that all individuals deserve. Who knows what their experience in community settings has been thus far? Some students may have been difficult to take out into those settings. Community-based instruction allows us to teach the expected behaviors and hopefully make their families’ jobs easier and increase community access overall.
Nothing motivates a student like real life activities that are relevant to them. This instruction is driven by their strengths and needs. Imagine getting to see the rationale for learning the skills you worked on when you were in school. It would have made quite the difference.
Awareness is another word that follow us around, mostly because we want the world to be aware of just how special our children are. Getting the world ready for them is just as important as getting them ready for the world. Community-based instruction allows us to model to the community how to interact with people with disabilities.
Don’t forget the Individuals with Disabilities Act! CBI adheres to IDEA legislative mandates. That means it is research and evidence based. We plant the seeds for CBI early on because we know how instrumental it will be for their transition into adulthood.
Harbor School a private special education school in Monmouth County, New Jersey
Our mission at Harbor School is to help all of our special needs students with learning, social, language, behavioral, and other disabilities. Our highly skilled staff are committed daily to helping each student reach their full potential.
We would be more than happy to discuss your child's specific needs and challenges, so please call us at 732.544.9394, or request a tour at Harbor School in Eatontown, NJ. We are located just minutes off of the Garden State Parkway at exit 105 and conveniently located off of Route 35 and Route 36 in Monmouth County, NJ.
Principal-Harbor School, Eatontown, NJ