How to develop authentic skills in vocational education for MRDD Students

From KNILT

link to my course Project pages: Career Development for MRDD Adults using Authentic Learning

I have changed the name to include inquiry but if I change the link above it dose not connect to the course.

My idea for this project is to create a mini course on certain vocational skills which include authentic or real life skills. I am thinking the end user would be people who work with Mentally Retarded/Developmentally Disabled young adults in helping them obtain/retain employment. I feel there is a need for this short curriculum as the population I work with is increasing. The goal of many of the consumers or clients is to get a job. The consumer graduates from some school type program anywhere between the age of 18 to 21. Often their education has not included developing skills to work, socialize in a non-school environment, and work along non-MRDD people who may never have had an exposure to MRDD people. Included in the project would be ideas for authentic learning for all students. The goal is to get teachers to use real/authentic teaching practices to help integrate students and prepare them for the "Big World". Not all students go on to college. My goal is to get teachers to think beyond the box but in their own backyards and communities.

My research will include using the Internet to see what has been done. Interviewing and working with the Transition Department at my job. This is a brand new department which is working towards building a link between school and after school for many of our consumers. Although this program is based on all services including day treatment, I will focus more on the vocational development of the higher functioning young adult. Interviewing and research on VESID

Authentic Learning [1]

VESID [2]

further idea

although I am going to focus on vocational skills, my husband who is also a teacher and I had a discussion on authentic learning. He had a class and the students were so bored that they were coloring in coloring books. (not his class) He asked them why and they said they were bored, bored to tears. They had finished a project before everyone else and they had nothing else to do. This launched a discussion about filling a block period with work for a student to do. This is where I think authentic lessons and more kinesthetic projects comes into play. I explained to him I had 2 classes, each were 2.5 hours and I had to keep the student engaged. It can be done, but it is work. This is part of my focus for this project.




The final idea

I am going to design a project to help people who help consumers(MRDD)obtain and retain work. One of the objectives is to help create a situation for the consumer that is appealing, challenging, but is also something the consumer wants to do for work. Often, consumers are put into positions because they do not have an understanding that there are other opportunities out there and because they have been unfairly categorized as unable to do something. Or, they feel they should be able to do anything that a non-consumer can do, because they do not see their limitations. The process is to create an authentic placement process that works for everyone.


Course (broad)Objectives

Definition: Learner: in this case, the learner is anyone who is taking "this course" (meaning the one I am creating) who has an interest in helping MRDD consumers obtain and retain employment or works in vocational counseling.

  1. The learner will be able to help the consumer define various employment opportunities within a certain career category.
  2. The learner will be able to identify with the consumer careers or a jobs path that a consumer may be suited for.
  3. The learner will apply authentic learning to help the consumer understand the responsibilities and duties of a job.
  4. The learner will apply authentic assessments to help the consumer understand the job.
  5. The learner will research various support associations to help in local and national vocational counseling.


Curriculum Map:File:Curiculum map wiki.doc