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Special education courses go beyond the basics

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Even committed, seasoned teachers have more to learn when it comes to effectively working with students who are living with disabilities and have unique learning needs. Completing online master’s courses for special education expands your available career opportunities as well as your skill set, better equipping you to handle the challenges you will likely encounter in the classroom, within the school itself and with parents and other professionals.

Typical areas of emphasis in special education courses include:

  • Mild to moderate disabilities
  • Moderate to severe learning and intellectual disabilities
  • Behavioral disorders, analysis and intervention methods
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Legal issues and advocacy
  • Instructional design and curriculum development

Identification of learning disabilities and learning how to teach to these needs

One of the most fundamental topics covered in special education courses is learning disabilities. Courses cover the assessment of students, identification of the degree of disability and strategies for addressing these disabilities in the classroom. Consideration of students’ cultural background, including linguistic, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, is addressed.

Addressing behavioral challenges in the classroom

As part of the training provided in an online M.Ed. in Special Education program, students are exposed to applied behavior analysis principles and learn how to apply behavioral interventions appropriately, sensitively and effectively within the classroom as well as the larger school environment.

Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder present unique challenges to educators. Because of this, most curricula provide at least an introduction to identifying autism and related disorders along with instruction on evidence-based practices to better facilitate successful learning for these students.

Development of curricula and instructional design considerations

As part of most Master of Education programs in Special Education, students are exposed to various research methodologies and learn how to apply these to the special education classroom. Courses typically cover instructional design that is tailored to the special education students’ needs and that addresses the interplay of intellectual disabilities, behavioral issues and multicultural backgrounds in the classroom.

To prepare educators for the particular issues they will likely encounter while in the classroom, special education courses train teachers and other professionals on how to recognize and respond to students’ individual differences. Courses strive to equip master’s candidates with the skills to effectively address behavioral issues. Additionally, various approaches to instructional design and consideration of different methodologies in curriculum development are taught.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online M.Ed. in Special Education program.


Special Education – Preparation Of Teachers
Special Education Curriculum

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