EDUC 1235 - SPECIAL EDUCATION: PART I
Additional Qualification Course
Revised: May, 2011
The underlying purpose of Special Education, Part I is to introduce knowledge and skills in the design, delivery,
programming, and assessment of special education. Focusing on theory and practice underpinning special
education, candidates will examine topics and issues of particular relevance to the school system in which they work
or may work. This course explores the five categories of exceptionalities as recognized by the Ontario Ministry of
Education, various teaching strategies, program planning, and other issues related to the teaching and learning of
students receiving special education services in a variety of classroom settings. To fulfill course requirements,
candidates will explore, observe, and report on several areas of exceptionality, develop an IEP, and complete a
practicum. Candidates who successfully complete EDUC 1235 will be recommended to the Ontario College of
Teachers for the Additional Qualification SP ED-1.
The course requires a minimum of 125 hours of work by the candidate. Readings, assignments and consultation
make up twenty-five of these hours, while one hundred hours are devoted to instruction. Of these one hundred
instructional hours, twenty-four will be used for the structured observation.
To fulfill course requirements candidates will be required to observe and report on several programs of exceptional
If you are a student with a disability that requires accommodation, please contact the instructor as soon as possible.
Students who require a screen reader, may request this course electronically and download a free screen reader at
Prerequisite: The Additional Qualification: Special Education, Part I is open to all elementary and secondary school
teachers who have basic teaching qualifications.
COURSE LEARNING EXPECTATIONS
The Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession have
been embedded in the learning expectations for the Additional Qualification: Special Education, Part I. This
additional qualification has the following learning expectations for candidates:
understand and implement Ministry of Education curriculum expectations and Ministry of Education and
district school board policies and guidelines
have the theoretical understanding and foundation necessary to design, implement and assess programs for
students, including the adolescent learner
create learning environments conducive to the intellectual, social, emotional, physical, linguistic, cultural,
spiritual and moral development of students as outlined in the IEP
understand how to use, accommodate and modify expectations, strategies and assessment practices based on the
developmental or special needs of students
work collaboratively with in-school personnel, parents/guardians and the community
assess a variety of resources within and beyond the educational system to enhance and support student learning
demonstrate an openness to innovation and change
inquire into practice through reflection, active engagement and collaboration
demonstrate the ability to integrate information and communication technology into teaching practice
embed theory into practice
SUGGESTED STUDY SCHEDULE
The Private Study course is a six credit course. All students are encouraged to follow the following suggestions:
1. Candidates are to review the entire course outline, paying particular attention to assignment requirements
and due dates, as soon as the outline is received.
2. The textbook should be ordered immediately.
3. Assignment due dates should be marked on a calendar for planning purposes.
4. Students are encouraged to begin making plans for practicum observation periods right away. If in school
observation of exceptional students is not possible, contact the Instructor immediately to discuss alternative
5. Contact the course Instructor with any questions or concerns you may have after reviewing the course
outline. Instructors are here to help make this a successful and rewarding learning experience for you.
TEXTBOOKS AND INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
Please refer to our website for textbook information http://www.nipissingu.ca/aq/requiredtextbooks.asp
OVERVIEW OF THE MODULES
MODULE ONE: Theoretical Foundations of Special Education: Legislation and Policy
This module assists the candidate in exploring special education awareness in the Ontario school system in view of
MODULE TWO: Theoretical Foundations of Special Education: Legislation and Policy as Related to
Categories and Definitions of Various Exceptionalities
This module assists the candidate in understanding the categories and definitions of exceptionalities.
MODULE THREE: Program Development, Planning and Implementation
This module assists the candidate in understanding the development and delivery of information regarding
MODULE FOUR: The Learning Environment
This module assists the candidate in recognizing the importance of a safe, accepting learning environment to
promote students’ performance and self-esteem.
MODULE FIVE: Instruction, Assessment and Evaluation
This module assists the candidate to become aware of instructional and assessment strategies based on the individual
learning needs of students.
MODULE SIX: School, Parent/Guardian and Community
This module assists the candidate to be aware of the school community in special education, including parents’
knowledge and perspectives.
MODULE SEVEN: Information Technology
This module assists the candidate in accessing and using adaptive and assistive information technology to support
In the delivery of this additional qualification course, instructors use strategies that are relevant, meaningful and
practical in providing candidates with learning experiences about the program, instruction, assessment and
evaluation. These may include, but are not limited to, action investigation, independent inquiry, problem solving, co-
operative learning and direct instruction via communication with the Instructor. Instructors honour the principles of
adult learning, recognize candidates’ prior experience and learning and respond to individual needs. Important to the
course are opportunities for candidates to create support networks and receive feedback from peers and instructors
and share the products of their learning with others. Opportunities for professional reading, reflection,
communication and expression are also integral components of the course.
Where possible, experiential learning and authentic school-based experiences are included in the course, for
example, classroom observations, action research projects, and case studies. Instructors model effective instructional
strategies, respect ethical considerations and employ formative and summative assessment that can be duplicates in
candidates’ classrooms. Instructors use technology to support candidates’ learning via on-line interactive
communications, connections to quality resources and links to other sites.
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF CANDIDATES
At the beginning of the course, candidates are provided with the specific expectations and forms of assessment and
evaluation that will be used throughout the course.
A balanced approach to candidate assessment and evaluation will be used. This may include a combination of self
and instructor evaluation that models best practice. Candidates may demonstrate their learning through performance,
written, or possibly, other types of assessment. There are opportunities for both formative and summative
Central to teachers enrolled in additional qualification courses is the opportunity to be engaged in productive and
meaningful work. Assignments and projects will include practical material that will make the connection between
theory and practice. At the same time, assignments will allow candidates flexibility, choice, and individual inquiry
INFORMAL CONSULTATION, FEEDBACK, AND ASSESSMENT
Instructors are available to students through a variety of communication channels. Contact information, such as
mailing address, e-mail, and phone numbers are included with this package.
Students are encouraged to contact their Instructor to clarify issues pertaining to course content or any information
related to assignments, including feedback received on a particular assignment or exercise. Instructors will make
every attempt to return phone calls or e-mails within two business days.
Assignments will normally be marked and sent back to students within two weeks of receiving them (following the
assignment due date). If more immediate or detailed feedback is required, students are encouraged to contact the
Assignment 1: Discussion Board
Students are to respond and reply regularly to the questions posed in the discussion
Board. Sessions will reflect your readings from the text and personal experiences.
Students are also required to post their research pamphlet from Assignment two.
Assignment 2: Research Paper
A written research paper on a second exceptionality chosen by the candidate,
pertinent to his/her interests and level of students. Included should be the definition,
terminology involved, characteristics, history, assessment and identification,
educational considerations in planning for the student’s learning, and teaching
methodology for that particular exceptionality. Information technology for support
should be suggested. Other issues are welcomed. Candidates are to include an
overview, in pamphlet form, providing information for parents, colleagues, etc.
Assignment 3: IPRC Overview
Candidates are to review one identified student’s journey from the first signs of
difficulty in the school system through to the I.P.R.C. process (including revised 15%
I.E.P.). A written report of this I.P.R.C. journey and the revised I.E.P. is to be
Assignment 4: Unit of Study
Candidates are to modify a unit of study around a specific topic or project in their
area of interest (i.e., a science unit on Heat modified to address the needs of students
with learning disabilities). The unit can be one that is already made or available as a
resource such as those found in the Ontario Curriculum Unit Planner. It should
include a Ontario curriculum focus, modifications and accommodations, including
teaching strategies, student learning styles and assessment that is appropriate for a
student’s exceptionality of their choice (yet different from previous assignments).
Support services and resources from the in-school team, school board personnel as
well as the community resources that might be utilized should be discussed.
Assignment 5: Practicum – Directed Observation Study OR Personal
Formative assessment data collected on one or more students through observation
and possible implementation of intervention strategies as appropriate. Reflective
journal and report to be submitted.
OR student may develop a question/hypothesis to research through literature
reviews, interviews and personal investigation to develop their topic of interest that
demonstrates their application of course content.
Structured observation is a process of keeping anecdotal notes over a defined period of time. These observations
provide formative assessment data to serve as a basis for program planning.
This is an opportunity to increase the candidate’s ability to observe and listen to students who have exceptionalities
in order to select appropriate strategies for successful programming.
Practicum Component for AQ Special Education Part One
The practicum will consist of 24 hours. Where a traditional practicum in the classroom is not possible, many other
practicum components may be used. Please remember to complete the practicum sheet with the School Contact
Suggested Study Schedule
This is your final module (the Practicum) for this Special Education Part I. Your previous readings and assignments
will have prepared you for this task.
The observation component for this additional qualification course must involve a minimum of 10 hours
observation, with two or more students of different IPRC’d exceptionalities (minimum of five hours observation per
student). Pre planning, analysis, discussion, reflection, and possibly implementation of several strategies, will
combine with the time to write up the practicum report for a total of 24 hours of work.
The observation study for this additional qualification course must involve a minimum of 24
hours of work, with two or more students with different identified exceptionalities (minimum of five hours
observation per student).
1. Obtaining Permission
You must complete a Parental Consent Form for each student to keep in your files. If the observation of a
student is in the school setting, the principal must be informed of your practicum and he/she must also sign
the Principal Consent Confirmation Letter and forward this to the course Instructor. Ensure that students
will in no way be identified in any of your written work.
2. Student Observation Sessions: Completing Parts One, Two, Three and Four
Arrange for several observation sessions with two or more students that have been identified as having an
exceptionality of one kind or another (different exceptionalities wherever possible).
Through a review of their OSR (with principal’s permission), conferencing with the classroom teacher
and/or resource teacher, and most importantly through any of your own observations, complete the chart: In
Depth Anecdotal Observation of Student sheets for each student observed as part of this practicum.
Complete the Section One table for each observation session for each student. After all the observation
sessions have been conducted with a student, complete Sections Two, Three and Four. Transfer all of the
included tables and charts to your computer to provide adequate space for your writing.
3. Keeping a Daily Journal
Keep a daily journal to record your thoughts as you proceed through the observation sessions. The journal
entries will help you process the observation data to assist you with the completion of Sections Two, Three
4. Submitting Your Report
At the conclusion of your observation study, send the completed report, including Sections One, Two,
Three, Four and the journal to the instructor, dated, and signed by yourself and the principal.
The candidate conducts the investigation which should total 20 hours of work. The candidate keeps a learning journal during
the investigation. At the conclusion of the project, the candidate presents a written report and the learning journal to the
instructor. The instructor must approve the Practicum investigation plan before the candidate begins the Professional
Investigation of Practice.
You need to begin this assignment early in the course to allow sufficient time for your Instructor to approve your
Practicum plan. See Instructor’s Messages for more details.
Development of the Practicum
In consultation with the instructor, the candidate plans a Personal Investigation of Practice. The candidate in consultation
with the instructor identifies an authentic question to investigate. The question should pertain to improving student learning
in relation to the content of the course as it applies to the AQ you are taking and then to consider the implication for your
own teaching practice. The candidate creates a plan to conduct the investigation.
The planning form includes the following sections: What is the topic of investigation? Why is it important? What is
my plan to investigate this question? How will I assess the impact of my work?
The instructor approves the plan.
The candidate conducts the investigation which should total 20 hours of work. The candidate keeps a learning
journal during the investigation. At the conclusion of the project, the candidate presents a written report to the
instructor. An annotated bibliography, a reference list, instruments used and Permission forms (if applicable) should
accompany the report as required. The Standards of Practice and the Ethical Standards should be used as a
reflective tool in the investigation.
Adapting the Practicum to Various Situations:
A teacher who has ready access to an appropriate class/group, might focus their investigation more on action in the
classroom - trying out different teaching/learning/assessment strategies or learning materials. Assessing the impact
of the work on student learning will usually involve a comparison of baseline data with subsequent data of some
kind (e.g., observation, testing, feedback forms).
A teacher who does not have ready access to an appropriate class/group might focus their investigation more on
development – deepening their understanding of the topic develop a unit of study, a research report or some other
detailed resource for future use. You may explore a particular strategy, methodology or an aspect of curriculum.
Sources for this kind of study might include interviewing teachers, administrators, parents, or community agencies
as well as reviewing literature. Assessing the impact of the work might involve asking several colleagues to read the
product and provide feedback.
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