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ESE504 : The Class : Advanced CD : Textbook

Readings in the Wood Text - Overview of Special Ed

Wood, J. W. (1998).Adapting Instruction to accommodate students in inclusive settings (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle Rriver, NJ: Merrill. ISBN 0-13-532110-7

To complete these assignment successfully, you should:

  1. Study the two chapters carefully
  2. Enter your response(s) in the space(s) provided
  3. Fill in your Name and Email address
  4. Send each assignment at the conclusion of the readings.

The Wood text contains crucial material that facilitates understanding so many facets of working successfully with students. It does an excellent job of paying attention to child development, the blending of student and teacher needs. Wood is also very clear about the importance of content, believes in teaching youth to be successful and to learn rigorous, organized use of individual gifts.

At the same time, the material is geared toward inclusion, but a broadly defined inclusion, balancing the needs of the student who needs services with all students in the process of gaining an education. Wood sees inclusion as a continuum of services, encompassing utilization of numerous methods that allow every student in every class, regardless of learning style, intellectual gifts or placement decisions, to succeed. It sees inclusion as a continuum that can support education and suggests ways to value every educational opportunity.

Please plan to peruse each chapter and to spend adequate time studying the presentations to move beyond a cursory understanding. When possible, try implementing some of the ideas in your current teaching assignment or practicuum experience.

Before getting started on learning more about special needs, you may enjoy doing a self test on your personality style. Click here to take a survey on four ways of perceiving and thinking about life and children.


Chapter One

  1. Read the first chapter, pp. 5-23.
  2. Spend a few minutes looking at the advanced organizer on p. 5 to gain a broad overview of the importance of the legal decisions, legislation and children's' needs in taking special education from being nearly nonexistent to its current role of working to serve the needs of all children.
  3. Surf the net or look in other sources and find some of the court cases that contributed to the changes in how we work with special needs youth. Find at least eight court cases that moved the lack of free and appropriate education forward.
  4. Then, combining your love for children, the legal directives (IDEA, PL 94-142, Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, etc.) and the court cases, write a brief essay.

Essay: Our current system of educating children with special needs is an adversarial system.

Rubric for Essay

Excellent: 500 - 1000 words, well organized, at least five points provided, examples of public law and court cases shared, cogent perspective advanced, summary statement pulls material together.

Good: 500 words, organized, several points offered, addressed the question, summary statement provided.

Marginal: Length is under 500 words, skirts the question rather than discussing it, few or no examples provided, may be missing summary, or final statement may not address the essay question. The student will receive assistance in sharpening the essay.

It is critical to understand the nature of special needs without having those needs become the person. The Council for Exceptional Children - CEC, in bringing attention to this, asks that all children be referred to as a child first, and as a disability second.

Thus, my daughter Emily has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome so she is EMILY, my oldest daughter, a young woman who loves music, enjoys bowling, swimming, eating spaghetti and watching the Wizard of Oz, who incidentally has Down syndrome.


Chapter Two:

Learning about the IEP

  1. Read Chapter Two in the Wood text (pp. 26-47).
  2. Study the overview of referral (p. 27) and the process from referral to placement and reevaluation (p. 46).
  3. Review the range of participants who might be included in an IEP meeting (p. 36).
  4. Study some of the issues that surround Assessment and Evaluation of students (p. 41-2).
  5. Examine the summary IEP on p. 43.


Complete one or more of the following activities to enhance clarity about the IEP process.

  1. Develop an analogy or metaphor for a successful IEP. Click here for an example comparing an IEP to baking a cake and having a celebration. [50 points]
  2. Make a graphic showing the flow and team members involved in the IEP process. [50 points]
  3. Develop a check list to show the full steps involved in identifying, assessing and providing services to a young person,from prereferral to completed IEP. [50 points]
  4. Find sample IEP forms - on the net, in a text, or get copies of the ones used by the district, and fill out a mock IEP on a potential student.[50 points] You may want to post any good sites in WebCT for peers taking the course.
  5. Ask to be included in the IEP process for a student at the school where you work. [50 points for attendance, 100 points for participating in the process]
  6. Email reports from your chosen activities to the instructor. or send it in the assignment box.
  7. Keep track of your assignment points.

For grading purposes, please provide the following information:

Your Name:
Your Email address:

Once you have filled in the areas above, click the Send button below to send your response to the instructor.



E-mail J'Anne Ellsworth at

Course developed by J'Anne Ellsworth


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