Special Education 622

EDSP 622: Collaboration to Teach and Support Diverse Learners

Prerequisites: EDSP 360, EDSP 361, or EDSP 651

Prospective educators are prepared with the background knowledge and skills necessary to develop and work within collaborative environments designed to enhance the success of individuals with diverse learning needs in the general education curriculum. Participants will gain an understanding of collaborative structures and demonstrate knowledge of skills and strategies to maintain effective relationships with a variety of stakeholders in collaborative settings. Emphasis will be placed on collaborative planning and co-teaching models.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Participants will gain an understanding of collaborative structures and demonstrate knowledge of skills and strategies to maintain effective relationships with a variety of stakeholders in collaborative settings.  

The course addresses collaboration and communication techniques and the following related topics:           

·  Co-teaching 

·  Problem solving methods

·  Consultation   

·  Coordination of service delivery with related service providers and general educators

·  Meaningful involvement of families

·  Preparing, managing, and monitoring paraprofessionals  

·  Collaboration with community agencies and resource providers  

·  Self-advocacy and self-determination


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course is conducted with emphasis on practical application of the subject matter through student participation and discussion, individual and group projects and presentations, field experiences, technology applications, videos, readings, and lectures.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1c Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills and 1g Dispositions. This course directly addresses CEC Standard 10 Collaboration.

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: VGCA = Virginia’s General Curriculum PART A; VGCB = Virginia’s General Curriculum PART B; VHI=Hearing Impairments; VVI=Visual Impairments; VPS = Virginia’s Professional Studies; VEC = Virginia Early Childhood

Upon successful completion of this course the students will be able to:


1. Develop and apply effective skills/ strategies in communication, case management, consultation, and collaboration with a variety of stakeholders in the collaborative environment to include:  

·  Coordination of interagency service delivery as well as coordination of services with related service providers, interpreters, general educators, and other professions while maintaining confidential communications about individuals with exceptional learning needs within collaborative work environments.

·  Demonstrating an understanding of the Standards of Learning and the structure of the curriculum, and accountability systems across k-12.

·  Assessing the organization and environment of general education classrooms and natural environments across the PreK - 12 setting.   

·  Applying group problem-solving skills to develop, implement, and evaluate collaborative activities.

·  Identifying procedures to collaboratively develop, provide, and evaluate instructional and behavioral plans consistent with students’ individual needs. 

·  Apply effective communication strategies with a variety of stakeholders in the collaborative environment.  
(VGCA3 1a-f, CC10K1, CC10S7, CC10S1, VHI1S4, VHI5, VVI5, VEC8)

2. Identify roles, define standards of professionalism, and work cooperatively with school and community personnel, referral agencies, and other resource providers in identifying, assessing, planning of individualized programs, and providing services to individuals with disabilities. (GC10K3, VGCA3 1d-e, VGCB3 1a, CC10K2, VHI5d, VVI5d, VEC8a, b)

3. Define roles and model strategies for promoting self-advocacy skills to individuals with exceptional learning needs and their families. (CC10K2, VGCA3 1f, VHI5c, VVI5c)

4. Implement collaborative, consultative, co-teaching, and student intervention teams by defining the routine roles and responsibilities of each member of the collaborative team with particular emphasis on the special education teacher’s role in the integration or reintegration of individuals with disabilities. (GC10K2, VGCA3 1c, VGCA3 1e, VEC8.c)

5. Apply co-planning and co-teaching methods and other strategies to strengthen content acquisition of individuals with disabilities and facilitate integration into various settings.   (GC10K4, VGCA3 1c, CC4S1)

6. Train, structure, direct, monitor, and support the activities of paraeducators, volunteers, and tutors and demonstrate an ability to define specific roles and responsibilities of the paraeducator as related to instruction, intervention, and direct service. (CC5S15, CC7K5, VGCA3 1b, VGCB3 1a, VHI5b, VVI5b, VEC8e)

7. Foster respectful and beneficial relationships between individuals with exceptional learning needs, their families, communities, and professionals by:

·  Assisting families in becoming active participants in the educational team

·  Recognizing concerns of families and developing strategies to address these concerns

·  Examining cultural perspectives as related to instruction

·  Identifying parent education programs and behavior management guides that address severe behavior problems and facilitate communication for individuals with disabilities

·  Working with families to promote successful student transitions throughout the educational experience
(CC10S2, CC10S4, CC10K3, CC3K4, GC10K1, VGC3 1c, VGC3 2d, VHI5c, VVI5c, VEC8 a, d.)   

8. Organize, develop, and sustain learning environments that support positive intracultural and intercultural experiences while applying strategies for preparing individuals to live harmoniously and productively in a culturally diverse world. (CC5K7, CC5S14)

9. Create a safe, equitable, positive, and supportive learning environment and describe ways that allow individuals to retain and appreciate their own culture while demonstrating an appreciation for the respective language and culture of others. (CC5S1, CC5K8, CC6K2)

10. Identify ways specific cultures are negatively stereotyped and explain strategies used by diverse populations to cope with a legacy of former and continuing racism. (CC5K9, CC5K10)

11. Identify ways of behaving and communicating among cultures that can lead to misinterpretation and misunderstanding. (CC6K3)

12. Examine variations in beliefs, traditions and values across and within cultures and their effects on relationships among individuals with exceptional learning needs, family, and schooling. (CC3K3)


Assessment Measures

1. Formal tests and/or quizzes to assess mastery of course goals

2. Class participation in discussions, small group activities, and reflective writing

3. Professionally-written responses to readings (following APA style/format and adhering to standard written English conventions)

4. Class presentations on collaboration and co-teaching topics determined by the instructor

5. Summative course paper (following APA style/format and adhering to standard written English conventions)

6. Applied technology assignment addressing one or more course goals, culminating in a professional lesson/presentation to facilitate class understanding of the subject.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

3/22/93            Proposed        John E. Sycamore

4/19/94            Modified        Alice G. Anderson

3/30/95            Modified        Alice G. Anderson

4/9/98            Modified        Alice G. Anderson

4/18/00           Modified        Alice G. Anderson

10/31/08        Revised            Debora A. Bays, Vanessa Haskins, Darren Minarik