These are the course requirements:

1. Attendance and Participation (5% of Final Grade)

Students are encouraged to attend class regularly, having read the assigned readings. The instructor expects that regularly attending classes will significantly improve your ability to learn and recall the basic factual information presented in this course. The instructor also reserves the right to give the benefit of the doubt to those students who have contributed to the quality of the lectures by their participation. Asking questions and giving opinions during lectures is encouraged. It is your active participation that earns the good will of this teacher.

Students will also participate in class discussions by providing a minimum of 5 current event items involving special education programs, or individuals with special needs. These may be submitted electronically.

2. Examinations/Quizzes (30% of Final Grade)

There will be three exams over assigned material. Chapters 1 - 5, Chapters 6 - 10, Chapters 11 - 14 of the Smith textbook. Each exam will include related materials presented during class times, and over specific interventions discussed. Students will know before each test what will be covered on the test. There will be pre, self-teaching, quizzes over the assigned reading, and a post quiz activity each day over the assigned reading and class discussions.

3. Field Experience (25% of Final Grade)

Students are required to spend 25 hours observing and assisting in a special education program. This should include at least three types of classroom experience (i.e. inclusion, resource room, self-contained, day treatment or residential). Students are expected to to become involved with the learning of the children, as directed by the classroom teacher. A log of your activities must be signed by the teacher, or other professional observed, and submitted by the final class time of the session. Please provide a brief (single paragraph) personal response to each different type of experience and attach it to your log form. You may copy the log form here.

4. Application Activities - (8% of Final Grade)

Video Reviews: Choose three movies about individual's with special needs. You may view a movie of your choice with the instructor's approval. These may be submitted electronically. Answer the following questions about each one:
  1. Briefly summarize the film
  2. Explain whether individuals with cultural differences and/or exceptionalities were portrayed realistically, stereotypically, or as superhumans
  3. Discuss whether other people had high or low expectations for the individual(s) with disabilities or cultural differences
  4. How did the individual(s) with disabilities or cultural differences make positive contributions to the lives of others
  5. Describe the strengths that were portrayed of the individual(s) with disabilities or cultural differences
  6. How did the individual(s) with disabilities or cultural differences have the opportunity to make choices regarding important life decisions
  7. Discuss the relationships the individual(s) with disabilities or cultural differences had with people without disabilities or who were not from the same culture
  8. Explain whether the individual(s) with disabilities or cultural differences seemed to have the rights of other citizens
  9. What did you learn about individuals with exceptionalities or cultural differences from watching the film.

Internet Site Reviews: You are to locate internet websites, which can provide assistance and support to you as a professional in schools, where individual(s) with disabilities, or cultural differences are in your classroom. Specifically, you are to search websites and choose one that discusses and debates the issues in Bilingual education; and websites, choose one, that discusses the issues concerning learning disability identification using the Response to Intervention model. Your type written description and evaluation should be at least one page, but not to exceed 2 pages, and indicate where to find information supporting both sides of the issues. These may be submitted electronically.

5. Class Projects (12% of Final Grade)

Two projects will be introduced during the course. The first includes teacher and parent questionaires completed for a Functional Behavior Assessment, and resulting in a Behavior Intervention Plan. This will be completed individually, and the paper copy submitted when due.

The second will be to create a file (paper or electronic) of intervention strategies and recommendations used effectively in classrooms for individuals with the following disabilities:

Speech & Language Impairments (5);

Learning Disabilities - delays in reading (5), math (5), written language (5), listening comprehension (5), memory (5);

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (5);

Emotional Disabilites - externalizing (5), internalizing (5), adaptive (5);

Cognitive Impairments (5);

Other Health Impairments (5) & Orthopedic Impairments (5);

Hearing Impairments (5); Vision Impairments (5); Autism (5);

Gifted students (5).

There will be a minimum of 85 recommendations in total. They should be specific, clearly and simply stated, and typically begun with an action word.

6. Journal Article Reviews (20% of Final Grade)

Each student must choose an area of related interest (disability, disorder…) and read at least 5 primary, peer reviewed, research articles on the current thinking and findings in the area. The student will then write a critique of each article using 12 pt. font size, double spaced, not to exceed 2 pages for each article. You will be expected to share a summary of your findings with the rest of the class. It must be written in APA style and in the students own words. See helps for writing research reviews here.

These may be submitted electronically.

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NB The following table outlines the standards used for evaluating the major journal article review assignment above.

Tightly focused writing relating to a narrow topic. Generally focused on single topic. Somewhat focused on broad topic. Scattered random writing without focus.
A high degree of conceptual development Indicates good ability to conceptualize Concept discussed but not well developed. Little if any conceptualization.
Properly documented where sources used. Outside sources given proper credit. Outside sources alluded to. No credit given to sources used.
Excellent organization and logical progression of thought. Good organization and logic. Moderately well organized, but logical progression not evident. Poorly organized with little or no logic evident.

Excellent use of prose in capturing the essence of referenced material. A good job of summarizing the material reviewed. Much paraphrasing of other material. Mostly paraphrased or copied; not really the authors own work.
Syntax and grammar excellently done. Well edited material. Only a few errors of minor significance. A number of errors. Not well edited. Many errors. Poor grammar and sentence structure.
Complete yet concise discussion of the issue. Concise and generally recognizes most aspects of the topic. Topic appears to be one-sided with aspects of the topic missing. Overly verbose. Incomplete discussion of the issue. Major points ignored.
Opinion based on fact, research or scholarly authority. Generally good evidence given in support of opinion. Evidence only somewhat supports opinion. Opinion entirely unsupported.