This course provides candidates an overview of two critical areas relative to teaching school-age populations in contemporary schools: (1) creating supportive, healthy environments for student learning, and (2) teaching special populations in general education. A comparative international perspective of the foundations, pedagogy practices and service delivery options for individuals with disabilities and their families builds an understanding of cultural and personal considerations for service delivery within a classroom. Personal, family, school, community
and environmental factors related to students’ academic, physical, emotional and social well-being are addressed as well as the effects of student health and safety on learning. Candidates learn and apply skills for communicating and working constructively with students, their families and community members and how to access site-based and community resources and agencies in order to provide integrated support to meet the individual needs of each student.
Characteristics and service delivery needs of individuals with disabilities from birth through adulthood are also investigated. Legally mandated categorical disabilities are discussed in terms of the individual, family, education, and ancillary service issues. There is a primary focus on how educational, behavioral, social, ecological, transitional, and vocational needs of exceptional students can be addressed in general education settings. Discussion covers a multiplicity of strategies and techniques recommended for integrated service delivery for individuals with special needs in general education and in local communities.
Course requires site visitations to five different types of settings serving individuals with special needs.