Learning Differences: A Survey of Special Education, Sousa & Rocque, Spring 2022
||EDU 5515 C31
||Sherry Sousa & Gina Rocque
||In-person at Windsor Central Supervisory Union.
|Dates and Times:
||January 22 – May 7, 2022.
||3 graduate credits
The purpose of this graduate course is to develop an understanding and appreciation of the role of Special Educators and Learning Specialists in support of students with Learning Differences. Having a deep knowledge of the neurotypical brain allows Learning Specialists to make appropriate curriculum, instruction and assessment (CIA) decisions based on the student’s presentation. Once that understanding is in place, the course will review the categories of disabilities with specific attention to CIA. This course will also focus on the development of special education programs, from evaluation to instruction, that represents the specific strengths and needs of a student’s cognitive profile, and adheres to Federal and State statutes. Beyond the brain, grasping the significance of the historical and personal struggles of those who learn differently provide learning specialists with the empathy needed to support this population.
Audience: This course is designed for educators and administrators seeking an introduction to brain functioning and brain differences and the role of special educators and learning specialists in developing programming for students with learning differences. The course is also designed for educators pursuing a Special Education Endorsement.
Course Goals & Objectives
Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
- articulate the role of a Learning Specialist.
- recognize the importance of applying neuroscience research and theory in special education assessment, interventions and instruction.
- use knowledge of learning differences in the development of instructional programs and practices for students
- articulate significant historical and personal perspectives of individuals with learning differences that shape our practice
- Increase knowledge of the role of a Learning Specialist
- Develop a sound understanding of the structure and functions of a neurotypical brain, and the impact of Learning Differences on cognitive functioning.
- Increase knowledge of the disability categories outlined in the State of Vermont, Special Education Rules and understand the development and individual differences in responding to the needs of individuals with exceptionalities.
- Expand understanding of approaches and strategies for Specialized Instruction that respond to a neuroscience model, and develop skills in supporting general and specialized curricula to make them accessible.
- Expand ability to engage classroom teachers in innovative practice to ensure students with disabilities have full access to the universal core program.
- Investigate the process of Special Education identification and program development in compliance with Special Education rules, and apply the elements of effective collaboration to engage families and school teams in meeting these students' needs.
- Develop collaboration skills to work with academic teams and other colleagues to create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments to engage individuals with exceptionalities in meaningful learning activities and social interactions.
- Increase knowledge of the technologies to support instructional assessment, planning, and delivery for individuals with exceptionalities.
How the Special Needs Brain Learns Third Edition, by David A. Sousa
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