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Special Education 429


EDSP 429: Practicum: Special Education: General Curriculum: Secondary

Prerequisites: EDSP 361 and enrollment in the Interdisciplinary Studies Special Education – General Curriculum program on pre-professional field experience status

Credit Hours: (6)

Provides clinical experience in a secondary field placement appropriate to students in a preprofessional teacher preparation program. The field experience is integrated with course work in the Professional Core, which is scheduled simultaneously with this experience. Students apply skills and knowledge in individualized assessment, program planning, and instructional methodology for diverse learners. They gain and enhance their professional skills and dispositions related to communication and collaboration, ethical practice, cultural competence, and professional development.

Note(s): Graded


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This part of a series of structured, sequenced and supervised clinical experiences provided in conjunction with the specialized study and course work for the pre-professional special education general curriculum program. Seminars are scheduled to enhance the professional development of students enrolled in this early field experience and include the following topics:

•    collaborating, co-planning and co-teaching;
•    strategies for supporting all learners in the elementary classroom;
•    application of content pedagogy in the classroom setting; and
•    professional growth, reflection, and evaluation
•    literacy tutoring and instruction


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Field placements are made in general education classrooms that include students with high incidence disabilities. The placement period is a full semester, 20-25 hours per week.  Structured, sequenced and supervised clinical experiences are provided in conjunction with specialized study and course work. Seminars directed by University faculty are included.  The student will first take on observation and support activities and gradually assume teaching and supervision responsibilities in the classroom. Observation, conferences, planning, teaching, and evaluation will be on-going throughout the semester.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. To expand the students’ understanding of the teaching role in the general education classroom.
2. To enable students to integrate theory and practice derived from their studies in the college classroom.
3. To help students expand their knowledge base and understanding of effective educational practices.
4. To increase students’ ability to demonstrate a positive regard for diversity and the variety of multicultural, religion, and gender perspectives present in elementary public school settings.
5. To increase students’ understanding of the factors that promote effective communication and collaboration among students, general educators, special educators, parents, administrators, and community providers in secondary programs for students with high incidence disabilities.
6. To increase students’ ability to demonstrate a functional understanding of professional ethics, roles and responsibilities in an instructional setting.

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1a Content Knowledge, 1b Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills, 1c Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills, 1d Student Learning, and 1g Professional Dispositions.
The codes included below refer to the CEC Knowledge and Skill Standards and the Virginia Department of Education teacher licensure competencies. Code for CEC Standards: CC = Common Core; GC = General Curriculum. Code for VADOE Standards: VGC = Virginia’s General Curriculum; and VPS = Virginia’s Professional Studies.
Objectives: At the completion of the course the student will demonstrate an understanding of and/or developing ability to:

1. Apply understanding of foundations of special education and engage in professional and ethical practice with guidance and support from cooperating professionals and university supervisors by:
    a) Articulating a personal philosophy of special education (CC1S1; CC9K1)
    b) Practicing within the CEC Code of Ethics and other standards of the profession (CC9S1; VGCA1a)
    c) Upholding high standards of competence and integrity and exercise sound judgment in the practice of the     profession (CC9S2)
    d) Acting ethically in advocating for appropriate services (CC9S3; GC9S2)
    e) Conducting professional activities in compliance with applicable laws and policies (CC9S4; VGCA1b)
    f) Demonstrating commitment to developing the highest education and quality-of-life potential of individuals with     exceptional learning needs (CC9S5)
    g) Demonstrating sensitivity for the culture, language, religion, gender, disability, socioeconomic status, and     sexual orientation of individuals (CC9S6)
    h) Practicing within one’s skill limit and obtain assistance as needed (CC8S7)
    i) Using verbal, nonverbal, and written language effectively (CC9S8)
    j)Conducting self-evaluation of instruction and reflecting on one’s practice to improve instruction and guide     professional growth (CC9S9; CC9S11)
    k) Accessing information on exceptionalities, unique services, networks, organizations, and research-validated     practices (CC9S10; GC9K1, GC9K2, CC9K4)
    l) Engage in professional activities and participate in professional organizations relevant to individuals with     exceptional learning needs, their families, and one’s colleagues (CC9S12; GC9S1)

2. Demonstrate emerging ability to use instructional strategies in the general education classroom to benefit individuals with exceptional learning needs with guidance and support from cooperating professionals and university supervisors by:
    a) Using instructional strategies and materials according to characteristics of the individual with exceptional     learning needs (CC4S3)
    b) Using research-supported methods for academic and nonacademic instruction and strategies from multiple     theoretical approaches (GC4S1; GC4S2)
    c) Applying what they are learning about reading, mathematics, writing, and content area concepts, vocabulary, and     content across the general curriculum using methods and strategies appropriate to individuals with specific     exceptional learning needs (GC4S3; GC4S4; GC4S5; GC4S13; GC4S10; GC4S14; GC4S15; GC4S16)
    d) Using appropriate adaptations and educational/assistive technologies during instruction (GC4S7)

3. Engage in instructional planning with guidance and support from cooperating professionals and university supervisors by:
    a) Applying an understanding of classroom organization, scope and sequence of the general curriculum, and     structures of varied instructional settings (VGCA2b and 3)
    b) Identifying and prioritizing areas of the general curriculum and accommodations f    or individuals with     exceptional learning needs (CC7S1; VGCA 2b)
    c) Implementing individualized programs in collaboration with classroom teacher and other team members (CC7S2;     CC7S3; )
    d) Preparing lesson plans, including using task analysis, specifying learning objectives, preparing materials, and     planning assessment tasks (CC7S5; CC7S6; CC7S10; CC7S11)
    e) Promoting student academic progress through effective preparation for the Standards of Learning assessments in     collaboration with classroom teacher and other team members. (VPS2)
    f) Learning to use instructional time effectively (CC7S12)
    g) Selecting, designing and using technology, materials and resources for planning and managing the learning     environment for students whose disabilities interfere with communication, attention and learning in collaboration     with classroom teacher and other team members (GC7S4; CC7K4; VPS2; (GC5S1; GC5S3)
    h) Developing and selecting instructional content, resources, and strategies that respond to cultural, linguistic,     and gender differences in collaboration with classroom teacher and other team members (CC7S8)

4. Demonstrate emerging ability to create and maintain positive learning environments and social interactions by:
    a) Creating a safe, equitable, positive and supportive learning environment in which diversity is         valued (CC5S1)
    b) Establishing and maintaining rapport with individuals with and without exceptional learning         needs (CC5S7)
    c) In collaboration with classroom teacher and other team members designing learning activities and individualized     supports that encourage active participation (CC5S4; CC5S3; VGCA2c)
    d) Use universal precautions (CC5S16)

5. Demonstrate emerging ability to work within collaborative teams by (VGCA3):
    a) Maintaining confidential information about individuals with exceptional learning needs (CC10S1)
    b) Collaborating with families and professionals in the assessment of individuals with exceptional learning needs     and in development in of educational plans (CC10S2)
    c) Participating in collaborative conferences with individuals with exceptional learning needs, their        families,     school team members, and other professionals (CC10S5)
    d) Using problem solving skills to develop, implement, and evaluate collaborative activities (CC10S7)
    e) Communicating with other school personnel about the characteristics and needs of individuals with exceptional     learning needs (CC10S9)


Assessment Measures

The cooperating teacher will supervise and provide feedback to the student on a daily basis. The University supervisor will visit the classroom weekly throughout the internship period to observe the student and provide feedback. Both the cooperating teacher and the University supervisor will complete midterm and final evaluations of the student's performance and disposition. The final intern evaluation serves as a key NCATE performance assessment task. This course is graded.

Students will complete the following:

1. An official log of internship activities based on daily activity records.
2. Lesson plans developed according to school and University standards.
3. Written weekly reflections on their professional growth and other topics to be assigned based on CEC standards.
4. Completion of Field Assignments from pedagogy courses which may include, but are not limited to: Lesson and unit plans, reading assessments and interventions, content delivery strategies, and a development of a variety of individualized adaptations to assessment, curriculum, and instructional methods, including a behavioral assessments and classroom management observations



Other Course Information

Students are scheduled for this experience in a cohort group to permit opportunities for   professional socialization.  This also facilitates program assessment and monitoring of student progress.    


Review and Approval

11/14/02    Course Proposed    Elizabeth Altieri
10/05         Revised                 Rachel Janney
2/10           Revised                 Kenna Colley & Liz Altieri

01/2011