MODULE/UNIT SUMMARIES

NASET / AASEP - Board Certified Inclusive Education Specialist (BCIES) Program

The NASET and AASEP Board Certified Inclusive Education Specialist (BCIES) Program is comprised of a comprehensive compilation of 30 Units of study broken down into 5 specific Modules. Each Unit contains video lectures, PowerPoint presentations, supplemental videos and supplemental readings. At the end of each Module, there is a multiple choice examination which must be successfully completed with a grade of at least 80% to move on to the next Module.  Upon successful completion of each Module, you will immediately be able view/save or print a professional certificate of recognition. Modules are enabled for review one at a time in a sequential order, per the listing below.


MODULE #1

Overview of Special Education


Unit 1.  Special Education Today: Basic Principles of Special Education

Video Lecture and PowerPoint Presentation - Special education is instruction that is specially designed to meet the unique needs of children who have disabilities. It is provided in public schools at no cost to the parents and can include special instruction in various types of educational setting. Special education is mandated for students with disabilities by a federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (or IDEIA). This law gives eligible children with disabilities the right to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). More than 6 million children ages 3 through 21 receive special education and related services each year in the United States. This lecture focuses on an overview of terms and concepts of importance in special education.  

Areas covered include:

  • Definition of Special Education
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Exceptional Children
  • Disability Classifications
  • Prevalence of Children Receiving Special Education
  • Gender Issues in Special Education
  • Overview of Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education
  • The 10 Basic Steps of the Special Education Process
  • Using Appropriate First Person Language

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: IDEA Parent Guide, Job Outlook - Special Education Teachers, Key Terms to Know in Special Education, Overview of Special Education Law, Special Education Literature Review, The Special Education Process under IDEIA 2004, and Understand Special Education Process.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned: Introduction to Special Education, What is Special Education, A Day in the Life of a Special Education Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Career Video, and Introduction to Special Education.


Unit 2.  History of Special Education and the Law

Video Lecture and PowerPoint Presentation - Generally, over the years, special education has been restructured and transformed by legislation. Today, we have a federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA was originally enacted by Congress in 1975 to ensure that children with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education, just like other children. An “appropriate” education differs for each child with a disability because it is based on his or her individual needs. IDEA specifies in some detail how school systems and parents are to plan the education that each child receives so that it is appropriate—meaning, responsive to the child’s needs. The plan that parents and school staff develop is documented in writing through the individualized education program (IEP), which the school is then responsible for carrying out.  IDEA has been revised many times since 1975 and it remains the cornerstone of special education. But how did we get to this law? The path was not an easy one. This lecture takes teachers through the history of special education and how state and federal laws were enacted.

Topics covered include:

  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
  • 14th Amendment of the US Constitution
  • 1960s—What happened during that time regarding special education?
  • Parc v. Commonwealth of PA
  • Mills vs. Board of Education of D.C.
  • Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act
  • P.L. 94-142
  • Six key provisions of P.L. 94-142
  • Key points about P.L. 99-457
  • IDEA
  • Definition of Reauthorization
  • Today under IDEIA—What do we know?

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  IDEA - 35 Years of History and Legislative and Litigation History of Special Education.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Brown vs Board of Education (PBS), Digital Storytelling: PARC vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Celebrating 35 Years of IDEA.


Unit 3.  Making Sense of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

Video Lecture and PowerPoint Presentation - The centerpiece of IDEIA is the requirement that each student receiving special education and related services has an individualized education program (IEP). The contents of the IEP are designed to provide a road map for the child's educational programming during the course of the coming year. The IEP is the primary mechanism for ensuring that students receive an appropriate education. An IEP summarizes all the information gathered concerning the student, sets the expectations of what the student will learn over the next year and describes the special education and related services the student will receive. The development of an IEP is a collaborative effort between the LEA and parents to ensure that a student's special education program will be appropriate and meet his or her individual unique needs. IDEIA spells out very clearly the required components of an IEP. This course will address the required components of an IEP under IDEIA.

Topics covered include:

  • The child's present levels of educational performance
  • A statement of measurable annual goals
  • A description of how the child's progress toward meeting the annual goals will be measured
  • A statement of the special education placement, related services, and assistive technology services to be provided.
  • An explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with children without disabilities
  • A statement of any accommodations or modifications in the administration of state or district-wide assessments of student achievement
  • The projected date for the beginning of the services and modifications, and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of those services and modifications.
  • Transition Services
  • Transfer Rights at the Age of Majority

Finally, the course will address issues involving early intervention and the requirements of Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs).

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: Individualized Education Programs (IEP) and Understanding Individualized Education Programs.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  What is an IEP, The IEP Team Process: A Framework for Success, Developing the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and Assistive Technology in the Classroom.


Unit 4.  Related Services in Special Education

Video Lecture and PowerPoint Presentation - Related services help children with disabilities benefit from their special education by providing extra help and support in needed areas, such as speaking or moving. Related services are defined in IDEIA as: “transportation, and such developmental, corrective and other supportive services….as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.” Related services must be provided to all eligible children in special education. But, just because a child is in special education doesn’t mean he/she will be eligible for related services. IDEIA includes a long list of related services that schools must provide to students who need them to receive a meaningful education. It is important to note, however, that this list does not include all of the services which a school district may be required to provide. The focus of this course will be to address some of the most common related services offered to children with disabilities. After taking this course you should understand the following:

  • Overview of related services
  • Transportation
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Psychological and Counseling Service
  • Occupational and Physical Therapy (OT/PT)
  • Orientation and Mobility Services
  • Medical Services
  • School health service
  • Parent counseling
  • Travel training

Supplemental Readings In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Overview of Related Services

Supplemental VideosIn addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Speech and Language Therapy in Special Schools, Occupational therapists enable children to participate in activities at home and in school, PT in Schools, Orientation & Mobility-Lighthouse Central Florida, and Travel Training.

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Unit 5.  Least Restrictive Environment and Extended School Year Services

Video Lecture and PowerPoint Presentation - Placement decisions for students with disabilities are to be based on an existing IEP, and therefore must be made after the development of the IEP. IDEIA contains several requirements governing the location of the educational placement. Perhaps most important, IDEIA requires that children with disabilities must be educated with those without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate. This requirement applies to nonacademic activities and extracurricular activities, for example, lunch and recess, as well as academic activities. The requirement that “children with disabilities must be educated with those without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate” is referred to as the Least Restrictive Environment or the LRE. The least restrictive environment is composed of various continuums of placements that range from least restrictive to most restrictive. This NASET course will focus on the least restrictive environment (LRE). After taking this course, you should understand the following:

  • Overview of LRE
  • Inclusion Classrooms
  • Resource Rooms
  • Special Education Classroom (Self-Contained Classrooms)
  • Residential Facilities
  • Hospital and Homebound Instruction
  • Determining Placement of a Student
  • Annual Reviews
  • Changing Educational Placements
  • Extended School Year Services

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Least Restrictive Environment and Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT): The Definition and Benefits.

Supplemental Videos -  In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  The Least Restrictive Environment, What does the IDEA say about the Least Restrictive Environment?, Extended School Year, IDEA Basics: (LRE) Least Restrictive Environment, Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).


Unit 6.  Identification, Referral, Evaluation, & Classification of Students with Disabilities

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - The identification and evaluation of a child with a suspected disability is a critical step in the special education process. Under IDEIA 2004, each local education agency (LEA) must establish procedures by which children in need of special education and related services are identified. These are known as “Child Find” efforts. States are left to develop their own identification procedures, but IDEIA requires an active effort to identify children in need of special education services. Evaluation procedures determine “whether the child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs.” The evaluation of a child for a suspected disability must be individualized, meaning that the procedures and methods of evaluation must address a student’s unique needs, rather than be a general assessment that can be used interchangeably with all students. The focus of this course will address the step-by-step process in the identification and evaluation of a child with a suspected disability. After taking this course, you should understand the following:

  • Overview of the evaluation of a child with a suspected disability
  • Indicators of Children Who May Have a Suspected Disability and Need an Evaluation
  • How Students Are Identified For An Evaluation For A Suspected Disability
  • Child Study Teams (CST)
  • Parental Consent
  • Consent v. Agreement
  • Evaluation Standards Under IDEA
  • Multidisciplinary teams (MDT)
  • Validity
  • Reliability
  • Components of a Comprehensive Evaluation
  • Eligibility Meetings
  • Parent Refusal to Consent
  • Annual and Triennial Reviews

Supplemental ReadingsIn this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Evaluating Children for Disability, Parental Consent for Evaluations in Special Education, and Identification and Evaluations in Special Education.

Supplemental Video - In addition to the extensive video presentations in this Unit, the following supplemental video is available to enhance the concepts presented : "Assessments and Special Education". 


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MODULE #2

Overview of Children with Special Needs


Unit 7.  Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and in adaptive behavior, which covers a range of everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18. Intellectual disabilities are disorders that are usually present at birth and that negatively affect the trajectory of the individual’s physical, intellectual, and/or emotional development. Many of these conditions affect multiple body parts or systems. This lecture focuses on students with intellectual disabilities.  Topics covered include:

  • definition of intellectual disabilities
  • adaptive behavior
  • IQ
  • prevalence
  • levels of intensities and support
  • degrees of intellectual disabilities
  • causes of intellectual disabilities
  • Down Syndrome
  • phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • drugs and fetal alcohol syndrome
  • perinatal and postnatal causes of intellectual disabilities
  • characteristics of children with intellectual disabilities
  • classroom management strategies.

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Frequently Asked Questions on Intellectual Disability, Intellectual Disabilities, and What are Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs)?

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Intellectual Disabilities, Intellectual Disability: SEARCHing for Employment, Let's Talk About Intellectual Disabilities, College - possible for students with intellectual disabilities, and How much do you know about intellectual disabilities?


Unit 8.  Learning Disabilities

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations “Learning disability” is a general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems. A learning disability can cause a person to have trouble learning and using certain skills. The skills most often affected are: reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning, and doing math. Many children have trouble reading, writing, or performing other learning-related tasks at some point. This does not mean they have learning disabilities. A child with a learning disability often has several related signs, and they don’t go away or get better over time. The signs of learning disabilities vary from person to person. Research suggests that learning disabilities are caused by differences in how a person’s brain works and how it processes information. This lecture focuses on students with learning disabilities.  Topics covered include:

  • definition of learning disabilities
  • processing disorders
  • visual processing
  • auditory processing
  • processing speed
  • types of learning disabilities
  • discrepancy formulas
  • causes of learning disabilities
  • characteristics of children with learning disabilities
  • teaching strategies

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  The State of Learning Disabilities - 3rd Edition, Dyslexia in the Classroom, Learning Disabilities- NICHCY, and Overview of Learning Disabilities.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Common Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, What Are the Different Types?, Learning About Learning Disabilities, What is dyslexia?, The True Gifts of a Dyslexic Mind, What Is Dyscalculia, and Strategies for Teaching Students with Processing Disorders How to Read.


Unit 9.  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition with symptoms such as inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. The symptoms differ from person to person. ADHD was formerly called ADD, or attention deficit disorder. Both children and adults can have ADHD, but the symptoms always begin in childhood. This lecture focuses on teaching students with ADHD.  Topics covered include:

  • definition of ADHD
  • types of ADHD
  • inattention
  • hyperactivity
  • impulsivity
  • diagnosis of ADHD
  • problems associated with ADHD
  • prevalence
  • treatment recommendations
  • medications
  • behavioral therapy
  • educational interventions.

Supplemental ReadingsIn this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  ADHD Fact Sheet, Identifying and Treating Children with ADHD, and Teaching Children with ADHD.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Walk In My Shoes: ADHD, Everything You Need to Know About ADHD, Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment of ADHD in Children, ADD/ADHD | Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD in the Classroom: Management Strategies and Student Supports, and Helping Teens With ADHD Succeed After High School.


Unit 10.  Emotional Disturbance (Emotional or Behavioral Disorders)

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations -

Identification of students with emotional disturbance is not a simple, clear-cut task. Many variables enter into the identification process. Any or a combination of the behaviors listed may characterize a student with an emotional disturbance, but may also be exhibited by students in other disability categories. Emotional disturbance is an umbrella term for different, but related, social-emotional deficits and disorders. These significant mental health and/or behavior issues manifest as dysregulation in thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors. Simply put, students with an emotional disturbance demonstrate extreme ranges of emotions and/or behaviors that, without the extreme nature, would be considered normal in all children and adolescents. Students with an emotional disturbance have less ability to regulate their emotions and/or behaviors.  A great deal of research goes on every day, but to date, researchers have not found that any of these factors are the direct cause of behavioral or emotional problems. This lecture focuses on students with emotional and behavioral disorders.  Topics covered include:

  • overview of emotional disturbance (ED)
  • definition of ED
  • social maladjustment
  • prevalence controversy
  • gender features of students with ED
  • age of identification of students with ED
  • education of students with ED

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Emotional Disturbance Evaluation Guidance, Emotional Disturbance from CPIR, Emotional Disturbance, and a Possible Emotional Disturbance Checklist.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Individuals with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Presentation, The IDEA's Special Education Categories: Emotional Disturbance, Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and Referral to Special Education - Emotional Disturbance.


Unit 11.  Autism Spectrum Disorders

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability defined by diagnostic criteria that include deficits in social communication and social interaction, and the presence of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities that can persist throughout life. Children with autism or one of the other disorders on the autism spectrum can differ considerably with respect to their abilities, intelligence, and behavior. Some children don’t talk at all. Others use language where phrases or conversations are repeated. Children with the most advanced language skills tend to talk about a limited range of topics and to have a hard time understanding abstract concepts. Repetitive play and limited social skills are also evident. Other common symptoms of a disorder on the autism spectrum can include unusual and sometimes uncontrolled reactions to sensory information. This lecture focuses on students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Topics covered include:

  • definition of ASD
  • prevalence of ASD
  • possible causes of ASD
  • educational programming for students with ASD
  • characteristics of students with ASD
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • teaching students with ASD.

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Autism and Autistic Disorders, Autism Fact Sheet, Autism Spectrum Disorder Comparison Brief, Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and a Comparison of the Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder Across DSM-5, 1 DSM-IV-TR, 2 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Apps for Autism, Animated Explanation of Autism, Autism — what we know (and what we don't know yet), The world needs all kinds of minds - Temple Grandin, and Autism Awareness Video: Diagnostic Criteria for Autism.


Unit 12.  Communication Disorders

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - There are many kinds of speech and language disorders that can affect children. These areas are reflected in how “speech or language impairment” is defined by the nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, defines the term “speech or language impairment” as follows: “Speech or language impairment means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.” Speech and language skills develop in childhood according to fairly well-defined milestones. Parents and other caregivers may become concerned if a child’s language seems noticeably behind (or different from) the language of same-aged peers. This may motivate parents to investigate further and, eventually, to have the child evaluated by a professional. This lecture focuses on students with communication disorders (speech and language impairments). Topics covered include:

  • definition of a speech and language impairment
  • differences between speech versus language
  • types of speech disorders
  • characteristics of speech disorders
  • language disorders
  • characteristics of language disorders
  • causes of communication disorders
  • teaching strategies for students with communication disorders

Supplemental ReadingsIn this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Specific Language Impairment, Speech and Language Impairments, and Voice, Speech and Language.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Speech Language Pathology: Speech and Language Impairments, Understanding language disorders, and Expressive and Receptive Language. Speech and Language Disorders. Childhood Speech and Language Delays, and Teachers TV: Speech and Language Strategies.


Unit 13.  Traumatic Brain Injury

Video Lectures and PowerPoint PresentationsThis Unit will provide teachers with an overview of TBI. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain caused by the head being hit by something or shaken violently. This injury can change how the person acts, moves, and thinks. A traumatic brain injury can also change how a student learns and acts in school. The signs of brain injury can be very different depending on where the brain is injured and how severely. Although TBI is very common, many medical and education professionals may not realize that some difficulties can be caused by a childhood brain injury. Often, students with TBI are thought to have a learning disability, emotional disturbance, or an intellectual disability. As a result, they don’t receive the type of educational help and support they really need. Topics covered in this lecture include:

  • educational Definition of Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Types of TBI—Open Head Injury
  • Types of TBI—Closed Head Injuries
  • Causes of TBI
  • Deficits Resulting from TBI
  • Educational Concerns for Students with TBI
  • Classroom Management Strategies.

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Guide to Writing about TBI in News and Social-Media, Pediatric TBI, TBI in Children, TBI - A Guide for Patients, and TBI - Report to Congress.  

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Introduction to Traumatic Brain Injury, Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI or Traumatic Brain Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Kids, and A brain injury is like a fingerprint, no two are alike.


Unit 14.  Orthopedic Impairments

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations Children with orthopedic impairments (OI) are those whose physical limitations interfere with school attendance or learning to such an extent that they require special services, training, equipment, materials or facilities. Under IDEIA, these are children classified with Orthopedic Impairments. Orthopedic impairments are also referred to as “physical disabilities”. Orthopedic impairments involve physical disabilities which could affect the academic process of a student. The specific characteristics of an individual who has an orthopedic impairment will depend on the specific disease and its severity, as well as additional individual factors. The primary distinguishing characteristic of children with physical disability is physical limitations or health problems. Orthopedic impairments are characterized by physical disabilities that significantly affect a student’s academic functioning in the classroom. This lecture will focus on stuents with orthopedic impairments. Topic covered include:

  • overview of OI
  • definition of OI
  • prevalence
  • neuromotor impairments
  • cerebral palsy
  • spina bifida
  • muscular dystrophy
  • other types of OI
  • the impact of learning on students with O
  • teaching students with OI.

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Orthopedic Impairments - Eligibility, Orthopedic Impairments – Overview Orthopedic Impairment - Fact Sheet, Teaching Strategies Orthopedic Impairments, and Teaching Students with Orthopedic Impairments.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  The IDEA's Special Education Categories: Orthopedic Impairment, TALK TOME | Physical Disability Awareness, Orthopedic Impairment Video, Orthopedic Impairments, Orthopedic Impairment Presentation 6Orthopedic Impairment Video, A brain injury is like a fingerprint, no two are alike.


Unit 15.  Special Topic: Gifted and Talented Students

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - According to the National Association for Gifted Children, “children are gifted when their ability is significantly above the norm for their age. Giftedness may manifest in one or more domains such as; intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership, or in a specific academic field such as language arts, mathematics or science…It is important to note that not all gifted children look or act alike. Giftedness exists in every demographic group and personality type. It is important that adults look hard to discover potential and support gifted children as they reach for their personal best.” There is no standard global definition of what constitutes a gifted student. Multiple definitions of giftedness are used by different groups. Most of these definitions select the students who are the most skilled or talented in a given area, e.g., the students with the most skill or talent in music, language, logical reasoning, or mathematics. Being gifted and talented does not fall into one of the 13 classifications of special education, however, these children are still considered “exceptional children”. The focus of this NASET video lecture will be on learners with special gifts and talents. Topics covered include:

  • Definition of gifted and talented
  • Insight
  • Creativity
  • Genius
  • Prevalence
  • Bright versus gifted students
  • Key points on giftedness
  • Teaching strategies for gifted students

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Definitions, Models, and Characteristics of Gifted Students, Gifted Students, Gifted Students and Perfectionism, and the term "gifted child" from teachers' view.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Example in the classroom, Gifted, creative and highly sensitive children, Why gifted may not be what you think, The stigmas of giftedness, Gifted children documentary, and Common characteristics of gifted children.


RETURN TO THE BCIES MAIN PAGE

MODULE #3

Foundational Concepts of Inclusive Education and Co-Teaching


Unit 16.  Basic Principles of Inclusive Education

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations -

Inclusive education is educating students in age-appropriate general education classes in their neighborhood schools, with high quality instruction, interventions and supports so all students can be successful in the core curriculum. Inclusive schools have a collaborative and respectful school culture where students with disabilities are presumed to be competent, develop positive social relationships with peers, and are fully participating members of the school community. It means that students with and without disabilities learn alongside one another, in the same classroom setting, with lessons that are accessible for all. The term “inclusion” captures an all-embracing societal ideology. Inclusion secures opportunities for students with disabilities to learn alongside their non-disabled peers in general education classrooms. This lecture will provide you with an overview of basic principle in inclusive education. After watching this lecture, you should understand the following:

  • Inclusive Education
  • Inclusion
  • Inclusion Classroom
  • Mainstreaming
  • Brief History of Inclusion
  • Integrated Co-Teaching
  • Benefits of Integrated Co-Teaching
  • Rationale for Co-Teaching
  • Benefits (Pros) of an Inclusive Education
  • Drawbacks (Opponents/Cons) of an Inclusive Education
  • Barriers to Inclusive Education
  • Students without Disabilities in the Inclusion Classroom
  • Indicators of a Successful Inclusive Program.

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including:  Frequently Asked Questions on Intellectual Disability, Intellectual Disabilities, What are Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs)?, Problems with Inclusion in the Classroom, What It Takes to Make Co-Teaching Work, 19 Pros and Cons of Co-Teaching Models and Strategies, & Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-teaching.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts lpresented in this Uint:  A Summary of The Evidence On Inclusive Education, Benefits of Co-Teaching, Co-teaching for Successful Inclusive Education, Educating Students with Learning Disabilities in , Inclusive Classrooms, Inclusion versus Full Inclusion, Inclusion Works!, and Two Perspectives on Inclusion In The United States.


Unit 17.  Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers in Inclusion Classrooms

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - The roles and responsibilities you will face as a co-teacher in an inclusive classroom involve a variety of skills and knowledge that you need before starting the school year. These roles and responsibilities will involve those with your co-teacher, students, parents, related service providers, other staff members, and administration. Other responsibilities will vary depending on the needs of each student. Regardless, being a teacher in an inclusion classroom involves many different responsibilities of which you need to be aware. The focus of this lecture will be on the roles and responsibilities of the teacher in the inclusive classroom.

Topics covered include:

  • Meeting with Your Co-Teacher
  • The Unique Relationship in Co-Teaching
  • Characteristics of Good Co-Teachers
  • Know the Subject Matter Being Taught
  • Adapting the Curriculum
  • Monitor Accommodations and Modifications
  • Hold Parent Conferences
  • Assessments
  • Case Manager for the IEP’s
  • Annual Review Meetings
  • Triennial Evaluations
  • Room Design Options in an Inclusive Classroom

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Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: Co-Teaching: How to Make it Work, What Are the Duties of an Inclusion Teacher?, Documentation in School Settings - Frequently Asked Questions, Methods of Gathering Information, & Evaluating the Cognition, Behavior, and Social Profile of an Adolescent With LD & Assessing the Effectiveness of an IEP

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Teacher perspectives on the inclusive classroom, Teaching In The Inclusive Classroom Using Choices to Teach Responsibility, Teaching In The Inclusive Classroom: Peer Teaching and Group Learning & Competencies for Teaching in Multicultural Classrooms.


Unit 18.  Effective Communication Skills and Active Listening for Co-Teachers in the Inclusion Classroom

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - It is obvious to say that if you have poor interpersonal communications skills (which includes active listening), your ability to co-teach will suffer. Lines of communications must be open between people who rely on one another to get work done. Knowing your own preferred way to receive feedback from your colleagues is a significant first step in determining how you and your co-teacher will give each other feedback about your activities in a shared classroom. Considering this, co-teachers must be able to both give and receive feedback if they are to perform to expectations, avoid conflicts and misunderstandings, and ultimately succeed in and outside of the classroom. The focus of this lecture will be on characteristics of effective interpersonal feedback and active listening in inclusion classrooms

Topics covered include:

  • Characteristics of Effective Interpersonal Feedback in Inclusion Classrooms
  • Co-Teaching Communication Conflicts
  • Personality Styles that Create Conflict Between Co-Teachers
  • Active Listening Skills and the Importance of Effective Listening

Supplemental Readings -  In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: Effective Strategies for Co-Teaching, Let’s Talk About It - Special Education Communication Barriers with General Education Teachers, Cooperative Teaching, & Collaboration Between General and Special Education Teachers

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Effective Communication Leads to Effective Teaching, Effective Strategies for Parent-Teacher Communication, Collaboration of Special Education and General Education Teachers and 
Co-teaching and Collaborative Partnerships for Inclusive Education to be Successful.


Unit 19.  Working with Paraprofessionals in the Inclusive Classroom

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - A paraprofessional is an employee who works under the supervision of teachers and other licensed personnel who have the ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of education and related service programs.  A paraprofessional is an employee whose position is either instructional in nature or who delivers other direct or indirect services to children, youth and /or their parents.“Paraeducator” or “paraprofessional” is currently the most generally accepted and recognized job title. Paraprofessionals provide assistance to a variety of students including those with and without disabilities, with health needs, with limited English proficiency, and others. Typically employed by school districts and area education agencies, they work in a range of educational settings. The responsibilities of a paraprofessional can vary between districts, schools, and even between classrooms. The special education teacher, general education teacher, principal, or other staff members will identify the daily responsibilities of paraprofessionals they supervise. The focus of this lecture will be on working with paraprofessionals in the inclusive classroom.

Topics covered include:

  • What is a Paraprofessional?
  • What Can a Paraprofessional Do?-Responsibilities of a Paraprofessional
  • Role of the Teacher v. Role of the Paraprofessional
  • Paraprofessionals May….
  • NEVER:  What Can Paraprofessionals NOT Do?
  • Successful Paraprofessionals
  • Advice for Paraprofessionals in Your Classroom
  • Being a Team Player as a Paraprofessional
  • Conclusion-Roles and Responsibilities of Paraprofessionals

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: Classroom Partners: How Paraprofessionals Can Support All Students to Meet New Standards, Empowering Paraprofessionals in the Classroom, Paraprofessionals: What You Need to Know & What Do Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms Say About Their Work?

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Working with Paraprofessionals: Classroom Collaboration, Paraprofessionals in Inclusive Classrooms: Increasing Student Learning and Independence, Supporting Paraprofessionals in a Special Education Classroom & Alternative to Over-Reliance on Paraprofessionals in Inclusive Classrooms.


Unit 20.  Getting to Know Your Students - What to do Before School Begins

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - The very first step in setting up an inclusive room actually involves getting to know the students that will be in your classroom before the first day of school.  It is imperative that you find out as much information about each student as possible, so that you are fully prepared when he/she walks in the room for the first time. This lecture will focus on just that—Getting to know your students before school ever begins.

Topics covered include:

  • History of Educational Enrollment
  • Medical Background
  • Primary Record Folder
  • Prior Teacher Comments
  • Report Card History
  • Group Achievement Test Scores
  • Terminology used to Report Test Scores
  • IEP Information
  • Accommodations and Modifications
  • Related Services
  • Assistive Technology
  • Finding Present Levels of Academic Performance

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: 15 Important Things Every Special Ed Teacher Should Know, 9 Things You Need to Know Before Working with Special Needs Students, 6 Tips for a First-Year Special Education Teacher, What do General Education Teachers Need to Know about Special Education?, Back-to-School Tips for Special Education Teachers & Your Back-to-School Special Ed Classroom Checklist.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Five Steps to an Inclusive Classroom, The Power of Inclusive Education, Teaching In The Inclusive Classroom Collaboration and Team Teaching, Inclusive Learning: Everyone's In - Overview, The Inclusion Classroom: An Inclusive Education Movement, Co-Teaching & Teacher Collaboration, Differentiation Within the Inclusion Classroom Model, What do general and special educators bring to the co-teaching equation? &  Ruby's Inclusion Story.


Unit 21.  Grading Students in the Inclusive Classroom

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - One of the most difficult decisions for teachers working with children with special needs in the inclusive classroom is grading students. This process presents a dilemma for all educators. If we use traditional competitive grading systems then students who try, participate, finish assignments but because of their disability fail tests will receive a failing grade when compared to their peers. This type of approach may lead to frustration, loss of motivation, parent frustration, and a “why bother attitude” on the part of the child. On the other hand, grading students solely on attitude, effort, accountability, responsibility etc., despite failing grades, may mislead both parents and students into setting unrealistic goals. As a teacher in an inclusive setting, you should look outside the box in terms of grading options.  Using a variety of options will take the focus off test or standardized grades, which for many students with disabilities is a problem. This lecture will focus on grading options for students with disabilities.

Topics covered include:

  • Effects of Low Grades on Students with Disabilities
  • Fair Grading Systems
  • Equitable Grading Systems
  • Multiple Areas of Assessment in Grading
  • Purpose of Grading
  • Numerical Letter Grades
  • Checklists
  • Rubrics
  • Portfolio Grading 
  • Pass/Fail Grading System
  • Mastery Level Grading System
  • Progressive Improvement Grading System
  • Multiple Factor Grading System
  • Learning Contract Grading System
  • Reporting to Parents

Supplemental ReadingsIn this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: 9 Tips for Grading Students with Disabilities in the Inclusive Classroom, Fair and Equitable Grading Practices for Students With LD Who Have IEPs, Inclusive Grading and Progress-Monitoring Practices, No F's or D's Allowed? What Does the Law Say About Passing Grades for Students with Special Needs? & The Pros and Cons of Standards-Based Education.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned: Practical Classroom Strategies for Making Inclusion More Successful, Grades 6-12, What does standards-based grading look like with students with special needs?, How to Give Grades in Special Ed with Grading Rubrics AND Use the Grades Functionally, & How are students receiving special education services graded?


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MODULE #4

Understanding and Managing Student Behavior in Inclusive Classroom


Unit 22.  Understanding Student Behavior in Inclusive Classrooms

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - As a special or general education teacher you will come in contact with a variety of personality types in the inclusive classroom setting. For the most part, teachers are put on the firing line with little or no training in why children do what they do. They are expected to help children learn but are not trained in understanding the numerous dynamic obstacles that prevent children from reaching this objective. Most teachers have not taken courses on human nature and dynamics and are not aware of symptomatic behaviors that will be observed in an inclusive setting and what is means. This lack of understanding creates immense frustration which only hinders the teacher’s progress in working with fostering children’s academic success. The inclusive classroom provides a unique experience for a wider range of student behavior patterns than most classes. That is because in an inclusive classroom you have a wider range of issues, problematic experiences, and limited skills in all areas. Further, in an inclusive classroom the general education teacher may not be trained in behavioral dynamics and what a student’s behavior is really communicating. Remember all behavior is a message and understanding what the behavior really means is a crucial part to a more productive inclusive classroom. All teachers who work in inclusive and regular settings need to understand the inner workings of children who are experiencing trouble in school. Understanding what causes children to choose certain behavioral patterns can help reach them sooner and prevent long lasting scars. This lecture will present you with an easy to understand basis of why children do what they do.

Topics covered include:

  • Symptoms versus Problems
  • Examples of Symptomatic Behavior
  • Guidelines to Determine Seriousness of the Problem
  • Energy Drain and its Effect on Behavior and Learning
  • Individuals with Low Levels of Tension and Stress
  • Individuals with High Levels of Tension and Stress
  • How Ego Functions Affect a Child’s Behavior
  • How a Healthy Ego Functions
  • How a Fragile Ego Functions
  • Know Your Audience

Supplemental ReadingsIn this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Students in the Classroom, The Behavior Issues Guide: How to Respond, Prevent, De-escalate Effectively, Disciplining Students with Disabilities & How To Deal With Childhood Problem Behavior.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit,  the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned: Why do students do that? Understanding student behavior, What can we do with disruptive children?, The Biggest Misconception About Behavior, Classroom behavior & 5 Core Ideas of Helping Traumatized Children Learn.


Unit 23.  Creating Confident Students in the Inclusive Classroom

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - Without confidence, learning in an inclusive classroom will be so much more difficult for students. No matter how great lessons may be, no matter how great a teacher you may be, a child without confidence is like a glass with no bottom. Trying to build a house on water will not only frustrate the children who lack confidence but confuse and frustrate you as to why they aren’t getting what you are presenting. Building confidence in an inclusive classroom is not smoke or mirrors but is predicated on sound psychological principles. While it may change differently with every child, following the principles we will be discussing closely will increase the probability that the children in your classroom will feel better about themselves and their accomplishments. However it is a process that requires consistency, dedication, predictability, and an understanding that it is not a straight line and may have episodes of regression which need to be dealt with patience, comfort, support and encouragement. But you can get the children there. Many theories of learning usually consider the function of the brain and how information is processed. Further, most theories of learning assume that there is an existing foundation on which to build. While the success of human learning is a result of many factors coming together at one time, there is a major factor required upon which all learning needs to be built; namely confidence.  The focus of this lecture will be on promoting and building self-confidence in your students in the inclusive classroom.

Topics covered include:

  • What is Confidence?
  • Teaching Style and Its Impact on Building Confidence
  • What is Positive Restructuring?
  • Understanding the Foundations of Self Esteem
  • General Principles of Promoting Self-Confidence in the Inclusive Classroom

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: 7 Ways to Foster Self-Esteem and Resilience in All Learners, Success for all Students in Inclusion Classes, 10 Top Ways to Build Your Students’ Confidence, Ten Ideas to Build Confidence in Teens & Building Self-Esteem in Kids

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Strategies to Increase Self Confidence for Children with Special Needs, Helping a Child Deal w/ Low Self-Esteem Child Anxiety, How to build confidence and advocacy skills in children, Building Student Confidence & Classroom Routines Building Confidence in English Language Learners. 


Unit 24.  Classroom Management Techniques for Inclusive Classroom Teachers

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations Classroom management refers to all of the things that a teacher does to organize students, space, time and materials so that instruction in content and student learning can take place.  In all that you communicate, no matter how insignificant or innocuous it may seem, it contributes to your status as a teacher and your ability to manage the classroom. How one manages the classroom is the primary determinant of how well your students learn. Conversely, when students are successful and actively engaged in their work, they tend to be well behaved. Therefore, keep students involved in their work, have students understand what is expected of them, maximize time on task, prevent confusion or disruption, and run a work simulated but relaxed and pleasant classroom. Most teachers have not taken courses on human nature and dynamics and are not aware of symptomatic behavior and what is means. This lack of understanding creates immense frustration which only hinders the teacher’s progress in working with fostering children’s academic success. The goal of this lecture is to present you with an easy to understand basis of why children do what they do and what to do when they do it.  It is our hope that this insight will allow you to work more effectively in your inclusive classroom on the real issues that may be creating problems in and outside of school. We have also provided step by step suggestions on what to do when a specific behavior occurs in your classroom.

 

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: 5 Essential Classroom Management Strategies to Keep Your Inclusive Class Running Smoothly, Creating a Classroom Environment That Promotes Positive Behavior, 11 Classroom Management Strategies for Children with Special Needs, & Creating a Learning Environment- Setting Expectations- Motivational Climate- Maintaining a Learning Environment- When Problems Occur.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned: Classroom Management Styles: What's Your Style?, Making Inclusion Successful: Practical Behavior Management Strategies for the Classroom, K-6, Classroom Management - Organize the , Physical Classroom, Zoom Classroom Management Tips & Classroom Management Tips For Teaching Online.


Unit 25.  Understanding, Developing and Using Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA) in the Inclusive Classroom

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - Educators have long understood that behavior difficulties can keep students from functioning productively in class. Many school personnel have been considering the effects of behavior on learning for some time. The 1997 Amendments to the IDEA take that consideration one step further: the relationship between behavior and learning must not only be considered but acted upon. The requirements specified in the 1997 Amendments to the IDEA that pertain to functional behavioral assessments and positive behavioral intervention plans and supports as they relate to the responsibilities of the IEP team and to the IEP itself are the subject of this part of the lecture. This is the first of 2 parts on developing and implementing functional behavioral assessments and behavior intervention plans. It is intended to be used by school personnel who participate in a student's IEP meetings which will include the inclusive educator. This initial discussion is not intended to provide a complete course of training, but to offer an overview of some of the techniques involved that you as an inclusive educator will face in your role. Further, we do not advocate one philosophical base over another.  Rather, we promote a combination of techniques to address behavioral, cognitive, and affective functions of a student's behavior and advocate the development of positive behavioral interventions and supports that tap each of these areas as well.

Topics covered include:

  • IEP Team Role and Responsibilities
  • Why a Functional Behavioral Assessment is Important
  • Conducting a Functional Behavioral Assessment
  • Possible Alternate Assessment Measures
  • Techniques for Conducting the Functional Behavioral Assessment
  • Functional Assessment is a Team Effort
  • A Method for Conducting a Functional Behavioral Assessment

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: Facilitating Inclusion by Reducing Problems Behaviors for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders, How an FBA Can Help Children in the Classroom, 10 Steps to Understanding and Writting a Functional Behavior Assessment & Why Creating a Functional Behavior Assessment for Students is Important.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned: The FBA, Functional Behavior Assessment: Special Education Decoded, The Value of Functional Behavioral Assessments, , Functional Behavior Assessment: Case Study Example, Using a Functional Behavioral Assessment to Understand Behavior & Behavioral Package Functional Behavioral Assessment.


Unit 26.  Understanding, Developing and Using Behavioral Intervention Plans (BIP) in the Inclusive Classroom

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) can be used as a “proactive action plan to address behavior(s) that are impeding learning of the student or others.” It is assumed that lesser interventions have not been successful. If developed for a student with an IEP or 504 plan, this becomes a part of those documents.  A BIP includes “positive behavioral interventions, strategies and supports." Behavior Intervention Plans should focus on understanding ‘why’ the behavior occurred (i.e., ‘the function’ or ‘communicative intent’) then focus on teaching an alternative behavior that meets the student’s need in a more acceptable way. This includes making instructional and environmental changes, providing reinforcement, reactive strategies and effective communication. Not every child gets a behavior plan.  They’re meant for kids who have a lot of trouble behaving appropriately, and only when it gets in the way of their learning. Some kids already have 504 plans or IEPs to help them thrive in school.

For these kids, the 504 or IEP team will decide whether to add a BIP. If added, the plan becomes part of their education program.  But kids don’t have to have a 504 plan or IEP to get a behavior plan.  If kids act out in school and it’s hurting their learning, they might get a BIP. It’s up to the school to decide how to help. The focus of this lecture will be on Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP).

Topics covered include:

  • What is a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)?
  • Who Gets a Behavior Intervention Plan?
  • Why Do I Have to Write One in an Inclusive Classroom?
  • How Does a Behavior Intervention Plan Work?
  • Who Should Be on a Behavior Intervention Team?
  • How Do I Derive the Information Necessary to Write a Behavior Intervention Plan
  • Direct Assessment
  • Scatterplots
  • ABC Charts
  • Indirect Assessment
  • Surveys or Questionnaires
  • The Behavior Intervention Plan
  • Components of a Behavior Intervention Plan
  • Elements of a Positive Behavioral Intervention Plan
  • Strategies to Address Hypothesized Functions
  • Strategies for Dealing with Attention-Seeking Behaviors
  • Strategies for Dealing with Escape Motivated Behaviors
  • Addressing Skill Deficits
  • Addressing Performance Deficits
  • Selecting and Implementing Interventions
  • Implementing Interventions and Reinforcing Behavior
  • Maintaining  Monitoring Behavior
  • Consequences and Punishment
  • Crisis Emergency Plan
  • Progress Monitor and Modify the Plan
  • Possible Issues that may Interfere with Effective Behavioral Plan

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: Behavior plan, does it work? Best Practices for Behavior Intervention Plans, Recommended Procedures and Practices to Reduce the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned: Behavioral Intervention Plans In Special Education: Special Education Decoded, Positive Behaviour Supports in Practice - Developing and Implementing a Behaviour Plan, How Does A Behavior Support Plan Shape Behavior?, Essential Components to a behavior intervention plan, & 4 Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention in People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.


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MODULE #5

Instructional Methods and Areas of Focus in Inclusive Classroom


Unit 27.  Delivery Systems Used in Inclusive Settings

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - As we have discussed in previous lectures, an inclusion class is a regular general education class with some differences: (1) There are two full time teachers instead of one-a general education and a special education teacher; (2) The class consists of a general education students and special education students-usually a maximum of 12; (3) All the students classified in special education have IEP’s and the special education teacher is responsible on a daily basis to monitor their performance and understanding of the work being presented. It is very important for the general education teacher and the special education teacher to have clear understanding of roles and responsibilities so that the class does not become 2 classes in one (special education students and general education students) The harmony between the general education teacher and special education teacher will determine a major part of the success of this type of program. In order to manage this type of setting, the teachers will need to utilize a variety of teaching techniques called “delivery systems”.

Topics covered include:

  • Parallel Teaching
  • Alternative Teaching
  • Station Teaching
  • One Teach/One Assist
  • One Teach/One Observe
  • Team Teaching

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: Instructional Service Delivery for Inclusive Practice, Strategies for Inclusive Teaching, Teachers-Inclusive-Child-Centered Teaching and Pedagogy, Ensuring That Instruction Is Inclusive for Diverse Learners & Teaching Methods: Differentiated instruction.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned: Effective Strategies for Co Teaching in an Inclusion Model, Co-Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms, Part II: Effective Small Group Structures and Strategies, Best Practices: Successful Inclusion — Dea's Story, Team Teaching and Co-teaching in Inclusive Classrooms & One Teach, One Assist.


Unit 28.  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in Inclusive Education

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - Today’s inclusive classrooms are very busy places. They are filled with students who have diverse needs and learning challenges. To meet their needs, inclusive teachers may be equipped with a variety of instructional strategies and have many other tools in their tool boxes. However, even with multiple tools, trying to meet the unique needs of each individual child sometimes can feel daunting.  One approach that can help inclusive teachers customize the curriculum to meet the needs of all learners is Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Universal Design for Learning originated with the term universal design.  We know that every learner is unique, and one size doesn’t fit all. The Universal Design for Learning structure is research based and aims to change the design of classrooms, school practices and coursework rather than change each unique learner.  It minimizes barriers and maximizes learning no matter what a student’s ability, disability, age, gender or cultural background might be. It reduces obstacles to learning and provides appropriate accommodations and supports. It does all of this while keeping expectations high for all students. Universal Design for Learning makes it possible for all learners to engage in meaningful learning by making sure everyone understands what is being taught. Coursework developed following Universal Design for Learning is flexible — the goals, methods, materials and assessments consider the full range of each learner’s needs. Students benefit from two major aspects of UDL: (1) its emphasis on flexible curriculum, and (2) the variety of instructional practices, materials, and learning activities.  All students, including those learning English, older students, and those with disabilities appreciate the multifaceted ways content is presented, as well as options for demonstrating what they know. UDL helps educators meet the challenge of serving those with special needs while enhancing learning for all. The focus of this lecture will be to provide an overview of UDL in the inclusive classroom.

Topics covered include:

  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in Inclusive Education-Introduction
  • What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?
  • The Three Principles of UDL

    • Multiple means of representation
    • Multiple means of action and expression 
    • Multiple means of engagement 

  • How Inclusive Teachers Can Use UDL in the Inclusive Classroom

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: Universal Design: A Key Concept for Inclusive School Success, Universal Design for Learning: Meeting the Needs of All Students, Universal Design may be old wine in new bottles but it works well with every cuisine!, Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction & Harnessing Universal Design for Learning and SEL in Special Education.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in Early Childhood (Building Inclusive Child Care BICC), Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Designing Lessons that Support All, Universal Design for Learning Promoting Inclusive Classrooms, Benefits of UDL for students with learning disabilities, & Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the History-Social Science Classroom.


Unit 29.  Assistive Technology in Inclusive Education

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - As inclusive educators, you will need to be responsible for understanding and being aware of the numerous assistive technology (AT) options offered to children with special needs in your inclusive classroom. With the increase of technology in today’s society, nowhere is the use more evident than in the classroom situation. As an educator working with children with disabilities, you will be required to assess, use, purchase and monitor progress of a variety of assistive technology devices and software. Knowing what is available for children with different disabilities can enhance their performance in the classroom, and in many cases, even the playing field so that they can function in an inclusion classroom.  Further, all IEPs contain a section on assistive technology and will often be an integral part of the child’s individualized education plan, along with modifications and accommodations.  Since you may be actively involved in writing IEPs, you may be called upon for recommendations pertaining to assistive technology devices for your students. The goal of assistive technology is to facilitate success and independence for students with disabilities while they work toward their academic, social, communication, occupational and recreational goals.  By addressing the students’ unique needs, assistive technology can reduce barriers to learning; assist students in progressing in their educational program; provide equitable access to the State’s learning standards; and Provide students with independence as they participate and progress along with their peers while in school and during post-school living, learning and working. 

Additionally, assistive technology supports increase social and environmental access, completion of everyday tasks and can enhance an individual’s overall quality of life. This lecture will provide an overview of the different assistive technologies and how they are used for specific disabilities.

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: 8 Examples of Assistive Technology in the Classroom, The Role of Assistive Technology in Special Education & What Happens When Assistive Technology Doesn’t Work- The Need for an Integrated Approach.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned:  Tools of Inclusion: Assistive Technology for Young Children, Creative Technology for Inclusion and Engagement, How Assistive Technology Supports Students With Disabilities, Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children, & Assistive Technology and UDL: Practical Strategies for Classroom Teachers.


Unit 30.  Transition Services: What Inclusive Classroom Teachers Need to Know to Assist Students and Parents

Video Lectures and PowerPoint Presentations - One of the areas that effects the lives of students with special needs as they get older is the transition between school and adult life after school. While it is crucial to make sure that these students have the most positive experience while in school, there is a process that needs to be understood by all teachers in an inclusive setting that will affect the rest of their life. This process is called “transition services” and is part of IDEA and required under the law. According to the law, these services must begin by age 14 and no later than  16 (but State law may make the age lower than what the federal law mandates).  While teachers in in inclusive classroom on the secondary level will be directly involved in this process, teachers in inclusive settings on the elementary level should also be aware of this process in case they are working with parents of their children who have older siblings with special needs. Further when the elementary level students transition to the secondary level these elementary teachers should also be familiar with the Transition Process to make recommendations that may assist in this process. So why do you need to know this as an inclusion classroom teacher? You might be thinking, I teach 3rd grade or am a 7th grade middle school teacher…why do I need to know this topic of importance? There are many reasons why ALL inclusion teachers need to understand the transition process. The focus of this lecture will be to explain the importance of transition services to teachers working in the inclusive classroom.

Topics covered include:

  • The Inclusive Teacher’s Role in Transition Services
  • The Transition Team
  • Transition Services-Options
  • Vocational Training Options in the Transition Process
  • Vocational Assessment
  • Post-Secondary/Continuing Education Options in the Transition Process
  • Self Determination/Advocacy Options in the Transition Process
  • Travel Training Options in the Transition Process
  • Financial Awareness Options in the Transition Process
  • Residential Placement Options in the Transition Process
  • Medical and Health Options in the Transition Process
  • Employment Options in the Transition Process

Supplemental Readings - In this section, you will have the opportunity to reinforce concepts presented in this Unit, including: IEP Transition Planning: Preparing for Young Adulthood, Why Is Transition Planning Important in Special Education?, Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities: What’s After Public Education? & Inclusive Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.

Supplemental Videos - In addition to the video lecture presentation in this Unit, the following supplemental videos are available to enhance the concepts learned: How to Put Together a Successful IEP Transition Plan, Transition To Adulthood | Special Needs Transitional Services, Special Education Transition: Building Real World Skills, Transition Planning for Students with Emotional Behavioral Disorders: Making it Work, & Job coach training in special education.


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