Special Education 792

EDSP 791:792 Teaching Internship in Special Education: General Curriculum

EDSP 791: Semester hours credit (Elementary Level)

EDSP 792: Semester hours credit (Seconday Level)

Prerequisites: Departmental approval that candidate meets professional performance criteria; Acceptance in the Teacher Education program; Permission of the Special Education Program Coordinator at least four weeks prior to registration.

Credit Hours: (6)

Teacher candidates work with K-12 students with varying disabilities who access the general curriculum during these courses. Placements are provided at the elementary and middle or secondary levels. Each course represents a one-half semester, fulltime placement. The course begins with observation in the classroom and culminates with full responsibility for the cooperating teacher’s daily schedule, including provision of direct instruction to students.

Note(s): Grading: A-F


Detailed Description of Content of Course

During these courses, teacher candidates work with K-12 students with varying disabilities who access the general curriculum. Placements are provided at the elementary and middle or secondary levels. Each course represents a one-half semester, full-time placement. The student works under the direction of a cooperating teacher who is licensed in learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, and mental retardation, or who is licensed in Special Education: General Curriculum. A member of the Radford University graduate faculty in special education provides overall supervision of the internship experience. The course begins with observation in the classroom and culminates with full responsibility for the cooperating teacher's daily schedule, including planning, provision of direct instruction to students, and collaborating with other professionals. Teacher candidates participate in seminars throughout the semester that address specific topics related to the roles and responsibilities of special educators. 

Key topics addressed throughout the internship experiences include:

·        Curriculum and instruction

·        Individualized education program implementation, including transitions

·        Characteristics of learners

·        Assessment and evaluation in special education

·        Assessment of behavior and provision of behavioral supports

·        Collaboration, consultation, and case management

·        Legal and regulatory aspects of schools and special education

·        Professional characteristics and dispositions


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Internship: observation, conference, planning, teaching, and evaluation.  Seminars


Goals and Objectives of the Course

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 1d 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.

Upon completion of this course the student will 

1.      Apply understanding of foundations of special education and engage in professional and ethical practice 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)        Engaging 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 ability to use instructional strategies to benefit individuals with exceptional learning needs by:

        a)      Selecting, adapting, and using instructional strategies and materials according to characteristics of the individual with exceptional learning needs (CC4S3)

        b)      Selecting and using research-supported methods for academic and nonacademic instruction and strategies from multiple theoretical approaches (GC4S1; GC4S2)

        c)      Teaching 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)      Teaching individuals to use self-assessment, problem-solving, learning strategies, study skills, and other cognitive strategies to meet their unique educational needs (CC4S2; GC4S3; GC4S15)

        e)      Implementing validated instructional techniques, including modifying of pace, provision of organizational cues, error analysis, corrective feedback, and strategies to facilitate maintenance and generalization of skills (GC4S6; GC4S12; CC4S4)

        f)        Using instructional methods to strengthen and compensate for deficits in perception, comprehension, memory, and retrieval (GC4S11)

        g)      Using appropriate adaptations and educational/assistive technologies during instruction (GC4S7)


3.      Assume responsibilities for instructional planning and evaluating students’ educational programs 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 for individuals with exceptional learning needs (CC7S1; VGCA 2b)

        c)      Developing and implementing comprehensive, longitudinal individualized programs in collaboration with team members, including the individual and family members (CC7S2; CC7S3; )

        d)      Using functional assessments to develop intervention plans (CC7S4)

        e)      Preparing lesson plans, including using task analysis, specifying learning objectives, preparing materials, and planning assessment tasks (CC7S5; CC7S6; CC7S10; CC7S11)

        f)        Planning and implementing age- and ability-appropriate instruction and specialized instructional strategies (GC7S3: GC7S2)

        g)      Using instructional time effectively (CC7S12)

        h)      Making responsive adjustments to instruction based on continual observations (CC7S13)

        i)        Incorporating and implementing instructional and assistive technology into the educational program (CC7S9)

        j)        Integrating affective, social, and life skills with academic curricula (CC7S7)

        k)      Developing and selecting instructional content, resources, and strategies that respond to cultural, linguistic, and gender differences (CC7S8)

         l)        Interpreting sensory, mobility, reflex, and perceptual information to create or adapt appropriate learning plans (GC7S5)

        m)    Designing, implementing, and evaluating instructional programs that enhance social participation across environments (GC7S8)


4.       Create and maintain positive learning environments and social interactions by:

        a)      Creating a safe, equitable, positive and supportive learning environment in which diversities are valued (CC5S1)

        b)      Establishing and maintaining rapport with individuals with and without exceptional learning needs (CC5S7)

        c)      Designing learning environments and individualized supports that encourage active participation in individual and group activities and varied program placements (CC5S4; CC5S3; VGCA2c)

        d)      Using effective and varied classroom management techniques and individualized positive behavioral supports (CC5S10; CC5S5; VGCA2c)

        e)      Using performance data and information from all stakeholders to make or suggest modifications in learning environments (CC5S6)

        f)        Designing and managing consistent daily routines (CC5S12; GC5S6)

        g)      Structuring, directing, and supporting the activities of paraeducators, volunteers, and tutors (CC5S15)

        h)      Creating an environment that encourages self-advocacy and increased independence (CC5S9; VGCA2d)

        i)        Planning instruction in a variety of educational settings, including community-based settings when appropriate (GC5S1; GC5S3)

        j)        Using universal precautions (CC5S16)


5.       Practice collaboration, consultation, and case management skills (VGCA3)by:

        a)      Maintaining confidential information about individuals with exceptional learning needs (CC10S1)

        b)      Collaborating with families and others 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, 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)

        f)        Observing and providing feedback to paraeducators (CC10S11)


Assessment Measures

The student will maintain an official log of internship activities, and will prepare daily and weekly plans according to school and University standards. 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. The final intern evaluation serves as a key NCATE performance assessment task.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

10/8/2002            Proposed            Debora Bays

10/22/08              Revised              Debora Bays