EDUC561 - Issues and Ideas in Special Education

Course Details

Course Code: EDUC561 Course ID: 4172 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course provides educators with an opportunity to critically examine major contemporary issues related to field of special education to include legal, curricular, and instructional procedures appropriate for students at the elementary, middle, and secondary school levels, or in other instructional settings. (Prerequisite: EDUC503)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Start Month Session Weeks
06/26/2023 - 12/01/2023 12/04/2023 - 01/28/2024 December Fall 2023 Session D 8 Week session
09/25/2023 - 03/01/2024 03/04/2024 - 04/28/2024 March Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course candidates will be able to:

1. Analyze the historical development of special education
2. Analyze significant issues associated with current topics in special education
3. Assess a child’s strengths and needs and how they affect his or her performance in the school and community.
4. Describe the characteristics and educational implications of diagnosed disabilities and other conditions that warrant adaptation of general education curriculum to meet unique learning needs.
5. Analyze the role of the teacher (e.g. challenges with least restrictive environment, etc.)
6. Analyze research regarding the use and effectiveness of technology for diverse populations.

  • Final Project Assignment

Take notes throughout the term for the final assignment. The Final Project includes two components. First, submit a PowerPoint or similar format where your audience is first year teachers attending a special education workshop. You are to present and cover information (e.g. descriptions, classroom considerations, and issues) about 6 different disabilities (choose from what was covered in class). Additionally, discuss considerations related to diverse students in special education (e.g. overrepresentation, poverty, ELLs, etc.). Your PowerPoint should include at least 10 slides (not including your cover slide and reference slide(s). The second part of your final project includes a lesson plan. The lesson plan may be in any content area, but must demonstrate text-based/research-based strategies and accommodations for at least two groups of students with disabilities. For example, your lesson might be for social studies where you have students with ADHD and visual impairments. Your activities and materials must demonstrate attention to these students’ needs.

  • Assignment Papers & Activities

Using the course text, materials, and outside sources, write 3-5 pages on the assignment topic(s)..or write in the style described (e.g. memo, PowerPoint, etc.). Adhere to APA 6th edition and scholarly writing conventions.

  • Inclusion Module

You will visit the online Iris Center and complete a module about inclusion.

  • Forum Participation

The Forums will be employed for discussing issues of interest to the class. Make sure to post (bio) within the first 7 days of class to avoid being dropped by the Registrar. Appropriate “NETIQUETTE” should be followed for all postings.


Online universities promote the advancement of knowledge through positive and constructive debate--both inside and outside the classroom. Discussions on the Internet, however, can occasionally degenerate into needless insults and flaming. Such activity and the loss of good manners are not acceptable in a university setting--basic academic rules of good behavior and proper Netiquette must persist. Remember that you are in a place for the fun and excitement of learning that does not include descent to personal attacks, or attempts to stifle the discussion of others.

  • Humor Note: Despite the best of intentions, jokes and--especially--satire can easily get lost or taken seriously. If you feel the need for humor, you may wish to add “emoticons” to help alert your readers: ;-), : )

The success of this course depends on our ability to have read the assigned readings closely, to have thought carefully about the points raised or ignored by authors, and to bring to the group your questions and concerns about their theses and positions into the discussions groups. Having prepared the readings prior to class ensures your productive participation.

Classes will typically begin with a question I have posed the previous week. We should work to achieve conversational exchanges with each other through Forums and emails, constructively challenging each other to think broadly and critically about ideas or assertions posed by the readings.

In all participation and assignments I am looking for evidence of:

NameGrade %
Discussions 17.00%
Introductions 1.42%
W1: Discussion 1 Evolution of and Significant Figures in Special Education 1.42%
Wk 1: Discussion 2 Working with Parents and Families 1.42%
Wk 2: Discussion 3 Special Education for Gen Ed Teachers 1.42%
Wk 2: Disussion 4 J.J. and the Job Placement 1.42%
Wk 3: Discussion 5 LD Simulation 1.42%
Wk 3: DIscussion 6 Working with Students with Emotional Disturbances 1.42%
Wk 4: Discussion 7 Meeting the Needs 1.42%
Wk 5: DIscussion 8 A Collaborative Partnership 1.42%
Wk 6: Discussion 9 Jonathan Mooney 1.42%
Wk 7: Discussion 10 Overrepresentation 1.42%
Wk 8: Discussion 11 Learners who are 2e or Gifted 1.42%
Assignments 60.00%
Wk 1 Assignment 1: Significant Figures and Aspects of Special Education 12.00%
Wk 2 Assignment 2: Video Reflection - Home-School Partnerships 12.00%
Wk 3 Assignment 3: IEP Skit 12.00%
Wk 4 Assignment 4: Autism Module and Presentation 12.00%
Wk 5 Assignment 5: Inclusion 12.00%
Learning Module 3.00%
Wk 5 Assignment 6: Inclusion Module 3.00%
Final Project 20.00%
Wk 8 Final Project 20.00%

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.