This course presents an overview of current special education issues as they relate to inclusive practices. Candidates will gain an understanding of the challenges faced by exceptional students and analyze the responsibilities of educational professionals in addressing these challenges by:
- Developing an orientation toward effective instruction in inclusive settings through a study of the history of current special education laws as well as attitudinal issues regarding inclusive education
- Observing, assessing, planning, and evaluating students with instructional, behavioral, and cultural challenges
- Working collaboratively within a team of educational professionals, family members, and the exceptional student for decision making and problem solving
In the course project, Instructional Action Plan: Supporting Students with Exceptional Needs, each candidate provides evidence of his or her ability to (1) utilize human development theory when planning lessons and delivering instruction to students with exceptional needs, (2) seek assistance and guidance from school-based teams to address students’ learning needs, and (3) implement research-based instructional strategies to develop cognitive processes related to critical thinking and problem solving. The project is a key assessment for candidates in the MEd in Elementary Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment programs, and it is designed to demonstrate mastery of the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) professional standards.
There will be 50 hours of field-based activities that must be done at a field-based elementary school. This will provide candidates opportunities to complete assignments that require application of information and knowledge in authentic setting. A description of the activities and reflections on the results will be chronicled in the Reflective Journal that is used in all courses that require field work.
Course Learning Objectives
- Discuss information about special education laws, procedures, and services.
- Develop a philosophical view about inclusive education.
- Identify various learning exceptionalities of students with low-incidence and high-incidence disabilities, students with cultural and linguistic diversity, and students who are gifted and talented.
- Use specific knowledge of students' medical conditions and medications, and their possible effects on student learning and behavior.
- Assess individual students to identify their learning and behavioral needs, and participate in the development of individualized educational plans in collaboration with members of the team including parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and the student.
- Engage in collaboration and consultation with members of the team to support students with disabilities in inclusive settings.
- Design and/or modify standards-based instruction in response to diagnosed student needs, including the needs of exceptional learners and English language learners, to ensure success in inclusive settings.
- Modify methods to evaluate student progress in inclusive settings.
- Develop and implement lessons that involve co-teaching in collaboration with special education teachers.
- Support students in transition from one inclusive setting to another.