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Survey of Special Populations

This course provides an overview of the categories of exceptionality for school-age students with special needs. The course focuses on differentiated methods and techniques used for the identification, assessment, and instruction of diverse populations. Historical perspectives and information related to special education law, and current policies and practices are examined.

Topics and Objectives

Philosophy and Purpose: The Diverse Classroom

  • Define educational equity.
  • Assess inequities in classrooms and schools.
  • Compare and contrast personal and societal attitudes toward diversity.

Terms and Definitions

  • Examine terminology, acronyms, and language used in the field of diverse learning.
  • Analyze definitions of diverse learners.

Legal Structures and Public Policy

  • Analyze the federal, state, and local legal structures governing programs for diverse learners.
  • Examine public policy and its impact on educational issues regarding diverse learners.
  • Evaluate the impact of public policy on classroom practices.

Categories of Disabilities

  • Identify the characteristics, prevalence, causes, and identification processes associated with various disabilities

Assessment and Placement

  • Examine tests used to determine students' abilities and functioning levels.
  • Examine assessment practices and related issues in administering, scoring, and interpreting test results.
  • Evaluate the types of tests that can be administered by school personnel.
  • Describe the referral, evaluation, and staffing processes.
  • Identify support services, personnel, community resources, and agencies available to provide educational resources.

Accommodation of Instruction and Classroom Management

  • Analyze instructional strategies used in adapting learning activities to individual students' needs.
  • Analyze strategies for adapting classroom management to individual students' needs.

Issues and Trends

  • Analyze current trends and issues in education and their implications for diverse learners and classroom teachers.

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"The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts."
    - C. S. Lewis
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