Special Education 675

EDSP 675. Teaching Students with Exceptional Learning Needs in the Elementary General Curriculum

Prerequisites: EDSP 651 and EDSP 672

Credit Hours: (3)

Addresses current issues and needs in instructional programming for students with disabilities at the elementary level including IEP development and research-based teaching approaches. Emphasizes teaching methods that are tailored to promote student academic progress and effective preparation for participation in the general curriculum and standardized assessments. The course prepares teachers to teach and remediate academic skills, study skills, learning strategies, and modification of course content to meet individual needs of students who are engaged in the general education curriculum at the elementary level.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course is designed to provide professional educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement an optimal teaching-learning environment for students with disabilities representing diverse backgrounds in the general education curriculum at the elementary level. Topics in this area include:

  • Principles of learning, curriculum development, and the scope and sequence of the general education curriculum
  • Development of individualized education plans based on student assessment
  • Identification and application of differentiated discipline-specific (particularly reading, writing, and mathematics) methodologies, such as systematic instruction, multisensory approaches, learning cognitive strategies, and study skills
  • Well-planned lessons that encompass alternative ways to teach content material including curriculum adaptation and modifications, and  that also reflect the selection and use of materials, including media, computers, and other educational technology to promote pupil learning
  • Evaluation of pupil performance through standardized and non-standardized data collection techniques such as task analysis, observation, portfolio assessment, and other curriculum-based measures
  • Classroom organization.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Lecture, demonstration, class discussion, audio and/or visual presentations, simulations/role playing, assigned readings, lesson preparation and presentation, small group problem solving activities, free-writing during and after class, observations and activities in public school classrooms.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1c Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills.  

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: VC = Virginia’s Core; VGC = Virginia’s General Curriculum; and VPS = Virginia’s Professional Studies. 

Upon completion of this course, participants will:

1. Apply theoretical approaches and research-based strategies for the development of curriculum and instructional practices for children with disabilities at the elementary level ( CC7K1, GC4S2, VPS2)

2. Plan curriculum and implement instruction based on an understanding of national, state, and local standards, the scope and sequence of the general and special curricula, and classroom organization (CC7K2, CC7K3, CC7S1, VPS2, VC2b)

3. Use technology for planning and managing the teaching and learning environment (CC7K4, VC2b)

4. Incorporate and implement instructional and assistive technology for elementary level learners into the educational program (CC7S9, GC5S3, GC4S7, VGCB2a, VPS2)

5. Identify prevention and intervention strategies and services for children at risk for disabilities (GC4K3, GC7K4)

6. Develop and implement comprehensive individualized educational programs in collaboration with team members, including varying professionals, the individual student as a self-advocate and the family (CC7S2, CC7S3, CC5S8, VGCB2a)

7. Make decisions about individual student programs, learning objectives, curriculum, accommodations, placement, and teaching methodology based upon an understanding of the student’s characteristics and individual  needs (CC4S3, CC7S6, VGCB2a)

8. Demonstrate the use of assessment, evaluation and other information to develop and implement individual educational planning and group instruction with students with disabilities accessing the general curriculum at the elementary level (VGCB2a)

9. Evaluate, select and use research-supported methods and specialized instructional strategies for academic and nonacademic instruction for students with disabilities at the elementary level (GC4S1, GC7S2, GC4K3, VPS2)

10. Prepare and implement lesson plans with consideration of individual student needs and characteristics including age, ability, culture, language, and gender. (GC7S3, CC7S10, GC4S12, CC7S8,  VPS2, VC2b)

11. Provide explicit instruction and remediate deficits in reading skills, math calculations and applications, and written composition (GC4S15, GC4S4, GC4S16, GC4S14, GC4K6, GC4S5, VGCB2, VPS2)

12. Teach elementary level individuals with disabilities to use effective thinking processes, problem-solving skills, study skills, test-taking strategies, and other cognitive learning strategies to meet their needs (GC4S11, CC4S2, GC4S3, GC4K2, GC4K7, CC4S4, GC4K5, VPS2, VGCB2)

13. Identify and teach essential concepts, vocabulary, structures, relationships, and content across the general curriculum at the elementary level. (GC4S10, GC4S13)

14. Design, implement, and evaluate instructional programs and grouping techniques that enhance social participation and life skills across environments. (GC7S8, CC7S7, CC4S6, VGCB2)


Assessment Measures

Student learning will be assessed through performance based assessments/course projects, including lesson design and presentation, action research assignments, IEP development. Learning will also be assessed through written response activities and class discussion. Key assessments for NCATE Candidate Performance Assessment in this class include an Action Assignment Project and IEP Project.    


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

10/3/2008    New Course        Debora Bays/Leslie Daniel