Instructional interactions of students with cognitive disabilities: Sequential analysis

Ockjean Kim, Susan C. Hupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We studied instructional interactions through semi-structured observation of 13 student-teacher dyads involving elementary students with cognitive disabilities. Special educators' use of directions and responses of differing modes and types was analyzed. Student task-engagement behaviors (i.e., active engage, disruptive, passive on-task, off-task) provided a context for understanding differences in teacher styles. Results indicate that teacher directions were followed by student active engagement; and teacher responses, by student passive task-orientation. This higher quality feedback from students, together with outerdirectedness of students with cognitive disabilities, is postulated as a mechanism that maintains a high level of teacher directiveness. Sequential relationship patterns changed as student engagement levels varied, suggesting a child-driven model of teacher-child instructional interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-106
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal on Mental Retardation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007


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