ESE 380 Introduction to Exceptional Children
The mission of the Center for Excellence in Education at Northern Arizona University is to prepare education professionals to create the schools of tomorrow.
NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY
Center for Excellence in Education
Catalog Description: Philosophy and psychology of teaching exceptional children with an overview of educational practices
Course Structure: The format for this course is web based with textual readings, individual activities, on-line readings, group activities, and practical applications.
Course Description: This course meets one of the Arizona Department of Education requirements for special education certification. It is a basic overview/survey of all areas and categories of special education. The purpose is to provide an introduction to students with exceptionalities for those who have no background in special education.
Course Goals include:
A. To assist class members in the development of a personal perspective and acceptance of the importance of appropriate education for all children.
B. To provide an opportunity for open discussion and exchange of ideas.
C. To assist class members in acquiring factual information necessary for understanding the individual child and possible exceptionalities.
D. To broaden personal experiences with children and their challenges through web based instruction, including readings, essays, group interactions and class projects.
E. To familiarize class members with medical, social psychological, emotional and educational aspects of special education.
F. To broaden expertise in working in community since special education services are enhanced by those who build networks and can develop and utilize transdisciplinary teams for meeting federally mandated IEP programs and service provision.
Course Prerequisites: None
COURSE STRUCTURE: The format of the course will be web based, with a choice of three texts. Students may choose to be a part of a group through the university conference center (WebCT), by initiating and participating in a chat room, or dialogue with other class members with the Buddy or ICQ process.. Members may also meet in real time to develop strategies and competencies.
Students may work together to learn and perform activities and are expected to communicate and network at least once each week. In addition, students will converse with the instructor through web based communication. Tests and assignments will be conducted on-line.
COMPUTER SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Success in a web course depends, in part, on the hard ware and software that is available to the participant. To make the process pleasurable, it is critical to take the course on a system that is reliable -- that has sufficient speed to load materials quickly, that does not "crash" or freeze intermittently, and through a net provider that is consistently accessible. Optimizing your system is crucial to a feeling of success.
The computer system will enhance the web course experience if it includes multimedia capability, a 28.8 baud modem, 16 megs of RAM (minimum), Netscape 3 or above or Internet Explorer 4+.
Readings and Materials
Required Textbooks: Choose one text, preferably based on your learning style inventory. To order this book on the web, you can click on amazon.com , Barnes and Noble or varsitybooks.com . All necessary reading material is available on the web or in the text. There is a list of books and movies that add dimension to understanding the human condition. They should be available through libraries, the NAU Interlibrary loan or in video rental stores.
EVALUATION AND GRADING: Exams will be available on the web from the beginning of the course and will be open note and open book. There are various projects assigned, based on the individual modules. Each module will provide a list of competencies, assignments, readings and evaluations. These exercises will provide practice in target skills for this class. The material offers participants the opportunity to sculpt the class to individual needs and taste. A personalized syllabus can be developed that tailors the class to personal learning style, age and grade interest and perceived areas that need to be augmented. All assignments will be graded on a mastery basis.
Final grades will be assigned based on completed assignments. Letter grades will be assigned, however, ALL course competencies must be addressed successfully to receive a passing grade. In addition students who receive an A must accomplish some extra credit project (of their choice). This is one way the student shows s/he has accepted personal responsibility for the course.
Course Policy This class will underscore personal responsibility for education. It will also work on Bloom's Mastery Learning model, by which it will be expected that all students will provide evidence of sufficient mastery of the material. If it were not important for students to thoroughly understand the information it would not be a required course. Students who do poorly on assignments will be expected to redo assignments and relearn materials until a satisfactory grasp of the materials exists. Thus, it follows, that a student with the capability to become or continue as an educator will finish the course with at least a B.
Typically, each credit hour is worth 1000 points, so an A in the course would mean completing 3000 points worth of assignments and showing competency level in the 15 objectives for the course. In addition, the student will fulfill a contract to accomplish a personal project or service activity. Only one extra assignment is needed per class, not per module. This project is negotiable, but might be something like:
Read an additional text or materials
Volunteer and work with a youngster with disabilities
Work as a big brother or sister with a youth who is at-risk
Help with service organizations, such as Special Olympics, Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts
Write and publish insights from the class - for example an "in house" news letter
Attend educational forums or programs View media specials on discipline and management Read and report on management in education issues, discipline plans, etc.
Please remember: In order to receive an A, students must contract to become personally involved in the educational process, "going the second mile" so to speak, in showing motivation and interest in being a self-sustained learner. Only one extra assignment is needed, regardless of the credit hours taken.
Attendance: Continuity is important in a web course. Therefore, all students will be expected to maintain at least weekly web contact. The course is meant to be asynchronous, so in the event of a protracted absence, please contact the instructor Janne.Ellsworth@nau.edu or Martha.Ellsworth@nau.edu to keep her informed. After all, this material suggests that teacher student relationships are invaluable, and the instructor wishes to extend that community building, even in an external learning environment. Under ordinary circumstances, three hour courses can be completed within a fifteen week period, although faster or slower progress is expected and welcomed.
Additional Information: Plagiarism or any other form of cheating cannot be tolerated. Any student participating in such activities may expect to receive an F. Assignments submitted to fulfill requirements in another class may not be submitted to fulfill the requirements of this class without prior instructor approval.
Group participation is also required since collaboration and community building are an integral part of success classroom management. Plan to visit the WebCT early in the class Working together is encouraged. Working together on assignments is seen as collaboration and networking and is quite acceptable. It will be necessary for you to do exemplary work if you are working in a group. If you are about to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or that sets up some feeling of discomfort - be safe and discuss it with the instructor. This is a course where "YES" is taught and modeled, so there is a good chance that the things you want to do will be valued.
GROUP WORK IS NOT SOMETHING YOU GIVE A FRIEND AT THE END OF THE SEMESTER. IT IS SOMETHING YOU EQUALLY PARTICIPATED IN CREATING. IT IS WORK THAT IS RICHER THAN SOMETHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE ON YOUR OWN. DOING ASSIGNMENTS AS A TEAM IS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE INSTRUCTOR. THIS PRIVILEGE CAN BE RESCINDED AT ANY TIME IN THE PURSUIT OF COURSEWORK. Remember the purpose of the course is to enrich your understanding and abilities.
There are assignments that are subjective and are about your own experiences. These can not be done as a group. These are easy to discern because they ask about you and how you feel and the ways you are thinking.
Assignment failure = Class Failure Reward yourself for hard work and find ways to be excited about learning.
Recommended Due Dates The following list provides a week by week rundown.
Once you have finished you should:
Go back to Introduction to Exceptional Children
Course developed by J'Anne
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