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Inclusion

This course meets Florida state standards for teaching students with disabilities. For more information about this requirement, please click here

This class was designed to focus on classroom inclusion as it relates to children with disabilities. The best way to include these students in public education has long been debated. What is not up for debate is the importance of creating spaces where all students can benefit equally from public education, which unfortunately is not always the case for many students with disabilities. This class aims to help teachers create or improve inclusive classrooms. Current issues and trends, parent/professional relationships, legislation and legal rights, and other related topics will be covered in this class with the hopes that by the end of the course, participants are equipped with the tools necessary to create and maintain inclusive, productive classrooms. In addition, web-based resources that teachers can refer parents or colleagues to will be explored. 

Carlow University ED 691 • Madonna University EDU 5840.04 • Notre Dame College ED 577 D 


Graduate participants earn 3 semester hours of graduate credit and will receive a transcript from one of our partner institutions below. Professional development participants receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional developments credit for face-to-face classes and 60 hours of professional development credit for online classes.

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Course Schedule

  • 9/11/18 - 12/11/18
  • 1/8/19 - 4/9/19
  • 3/12/19 - 6/11/19
  • 5/14/19 - 8/14/19
  • 7/9/19 - 10/8/19
  • 9/10/19 - 12/10/19
  • 11/12/19 - 2.11.20

Session 1: Introduction

Objective: Students will be able to explain when inclusion is a verb and when inclusion is a noun.

Contents:

  • Introduction
    • Overview of Inclusion
    • Personal Introductions
  • Purpose Statement
    • "An attitude that celebrates diversity . . ."
    • Achieving Inclusion through collaboration
  • Personal Learning Objectives and Learning Contracts
    • Identify Personal Learning Objectives
    • The Learning Community
    • Importance of Each Participant's Commitment
  • Recall Experience
    • Contact with Disabled Persons and Students
    • Identify Common Feelings Regarding the Disabled
    • "A Disability is a Diversity . . ."

Culminating Assignment:

  • Students will send an introduction email and dialogue with their colleagues.

Session 2: The Need for Inclusion

Objective: Students will develop a historical perspective of Inclusion, analyze a classroom system, begin identifying barriers to Inclusion, review important research related to instruction, learn definitions of disabilities, and construct a prototype of an ideal classroom. Students will also identify Web resources for teachers, parents, and students.
Contents:

  • Disability vs. Diversity
    • Historical Perspective
    • Societal Trends
    • Defining the Classroom and Classroom Systems
  • Research Related to Instruction
    • Conclusions by Researchers Regarding Instruction
    • The Ideal Classroom
  • Disabilities
    • Disabilities Which Qualify Students for Services under IDEA
    • Major Characteristics of Each Defined Disability
    • Opinion Essay
  • Web Resources
    • Resources for Teachers
    • Resources for Parents
    • Resources for Students

Culminating Assignment: Students will analyze a classroom using a simple version of systems theory, identifying types of input, process, and output. Students will also read and review research abstracts that report on an aspect of the social context of a classroom. Students will develop an ideal classroom. Students will also write a one to two page opinion essay on the power of classroom context to block inclusion. Students will identify and utilize Web resources appropriate for teachers, parents, and students with disabilities.

Session 3: It's the Law/Courts

Objective: Students will demonstrate knowledge of legislation dealing with inclusion (PL 94-142 through 105-17 IDEA 97) and gain a more functional understanding of why this legislation was enacted. Students will demonstrate knowledge of terms related to special education law. Students will understand the concept of a continuum of educational placements and demonstrate knowledge of legal issues that result from inclusion legislation. Students will consider the issue of prejudice. Students will understand how the legal decisions have impacted on the provision of services for children with disabilities. Students will utilize the Web for research to locate current information about the reauthorization of IDEA. 
Contents:

  • Understanding the Law
    • Federal Legislation
      • PL 94-142
      • PL 99-457
      • PL 101-476 (1990 Amendments)
      • PL 105-17
      • Reauthorization of IDEA 97
    • Specific Legislation and Classroom Practice
    • Legislation as a Means to Change Education
    • Web Resources for Keeping Up-to-Date
  • Understanding the Continuum
    • Educational Environments
    • Least Restrictive Environment
    • Most Restrictive Environment
    • Placement Options
  • The Courts
    • Court Cases: Important Concepts
    • Implications for How Schools Provide Services
    • How Districts Implement These Decisions
    • Web Resources
  • A World of Prejudice
    • The Relationship Between Prejudice and Legislation
    • Issues Associated with Prejudice
    • Guilt and Prejudice

Culminating Assignment: Students will discuss placement options for their individual school districts. Students will read summaries of significant court cases and determine important concepts decided by the case, implications for how schools provide services for disabled children as a result of the case, and how their own district has implemented these decisions. Students will locate Web resources for IDEA and other federal legislation. Students will write a reflection on the required reading, assigned Web sites, research article, or best practice focusing on what is learned. The reflection should discuss new ideas and significant insights about inclusion.

Session 4: A Continuum for Effective Inclusion

Objective: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics of disabilities that qualify children and youth for special education services under IDEA. Students will identify learning needs of students with disabilities based on research. Students will determine specific curriculum accommodations by reflecting on their own classroom situations. Students will incorporate new specific curriculum accommodations into their classroom setting based on what is learned in this module. Students will report on the impact of the accommodation to the instructor. Students will identify central tendencies of behavioral attributes and the manifested needs associated with disabilities. Students will utilize the Web for research to locate current information about the learning theory and software that supports learning for students with disabilities.
Contents:

  • Learning
    • Time Needed vs. Time Allowed
      • Accommodations for Pacing
    • Mastery Learning
      • Generic and Specific Skills
    • School as a Means to Achieve Aspirations
      • Needs Satisfaction
    • Non-Threatening
  • Criteria for Selecting Accommodations
    • Curriculum
      • Identification
      • Implementation
      • Reflection
    • Computer Software/Technology
  • Continuum Development
    • Definition
    • Central Tendencies of Behavioral Attributes
    • Manifested Needs
    • Instructional Accommodations
  • Web Resources
    • Research on Learning
    • Curriculum Resources
    • Other Support

Culminating Assignment: The students will develop a continuum placing each defined disability on the continuum in terms of increasing severity. Students will identify the learning needs as a result of the disability, and identify instructional accommodations for the identified needs. Students will implement at least one instructional accommodation and reflect on the results. Students will write a reflection on the required reading, assigned Web sites, research article, or best practice focusing on what is learned. The reflection should discuss new ideas and significant insights about inclusion.

Session 5: Continuum/Barriers

Objective: Students will refine their individual continuums. Students will reflect on their own classrooms and identify barriers to effective accommodations. Students will prepare a barrier analysis sheet. Students will evaluate continuums in assigned small groups via e-mail.
Contents:

  • Accommodations
    • Specific Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
      • Research on Teaching
      • Disability Manifested Needs
      • Feasibility
      • Cost/Resources/Equipment
      • Essential Training and/or Experience
  • Barriers to Effective Accommodations
    • Current Classroom Status
    • Desired Classroom Status
    • Inclusion
      • Requires Adjustments in the Classroom
      • Identify what you Need
      • Identify the Degrees of Freedom and Restrictions
    • Barriers that Prevent a Desired Classroom Status
  • Solutions
    • Staffings
    • Schedule
    • Limits
    • Costs
    • Training
    • Board-based Participation

Culminating Assignment: Students will implement at least one strategy to remove a classroom barrier and report on results. The students will revise their continuums using information derived from the development of their Barriers Analysis Sheet and reflection on the implementation of the instructional accommodations and removal of a barrier as practiced in their classroom. Students will write a reflection on the required reading, assigned Web sites, research article, or best practice focusing on what is learned. The reflection should discuss new ideas and significant insights about inclusion.

Session 6: Parents

Objective: Students will understand the difference between inclusion and mainstreaming. Students will develop sensitivity for parents' feelings about having a child with a disability. Students will understand some of the struggles parents of children with disabilities have had to endure. Students will identify what parents want for their children with disabilities. Students will develop a philosophy for how to interact with parents who have children with disabilities. Students will identify Web resources that support parents with children with disabilities. Students will continue to revise their continuums based on new information presented. 
Contents:

  • Mainstreaming vs. Inclusion
    • Identifying the Difference
    • District Status
  • The Proud Parent
    • The Child of Your Dreams
    • The Impact of Children
    • The Dream vs. Reality
    • Understanding Parents' Feelings
  • Interacting with Parents
    • Active Listening
    • Demonstrate Understanding
    • Listening Codes
  • Parents - Then and Now
    • Past Services
    • Current Services
  • What do Parents Want?
    • Strategies for Effective Communication
    • Discrepancies Between Parents' Wants and Current Practice

Culminating Assignment: Students will implement at least one strategy for active listening with a parent. Students will reflect on the experience. The students will locate articles on inclusion both in print and on the Internet to review. Students will utilize the articles to support their position about inclusion. Students will continue to revise their continuums based on their experience with implementing active listening techniques. Students will write a reflection on the required reading, assigned Web sites, research article, or best practice focusing on what is learned. The reflection should discuss new ideas and significant insights about inclusion.

Session 7: Staff Needs

Objective: Students will understand the impact of changes in education due to the inclusion movement. Students will identify the major concerns regular education teachers have with full or partial inclusion. Students will identify and evaluate pros and cons to inclusion as supported by current research. Students will understand how classrooms have changed and what that means for teaching children with diverse need.
Contents:

  • Pros and Cons: What the Research Says
    • Arguments for Inclusion
    • Arguments Against Inclusion
  • The Changing Classroom
    • Classrooms 15 to 20 Years Ago
    • Classrooms Today
    • The Impact of Change
  • Common Concerns
    • New Accommodations
    • Revising the Continuum
  • How Regular Education Teachers Feel
    • Changes in Attitudes
    • Attitudes, Perceptions and Fears
    • Strategies for Addressing Fear

Culminating Assignment: The students will revise their continuums. The students will locate articles on inclusion both in print and on the Internet to support their position. Students will develop a strategy for addressing the fears and concerns of classroom teachers about inclusion. Students will implement that strategy on at least one teacher, administrator, or district personnel and report on the results. Students will revise their strategy based on this experience and discussion. Students will write a reflection on the required reading, assigned Web sites, research article, or best practice focusing on what is learned. The reflection should discuss new ideas and significant insights about inclusion.

Session 8: IEP's/Student Awareness

Objective: Students will identify Internet and other resources to increase awareness of disabilities for k-12 students. Students will create activities to teach disability awareness to k-12 students. Students will identify the steps in the IEP process. 
Contents:

  • Disability Awareness for Regular Education
    • Classroom Activities
    • Internet Activities
  • Circle of Friends
    • What is a Friend?
    • Activity
    • Isolation of Students with Disabilities
  • IEP's
    • Accessing Appropriate Education Services
    • Modifying Goals and Objectives
    • Inconsistencies or Gaps in Services
    • Developing an IEP

Culminating Assignment: The students will write an IEP based on their continuums that could be used for a student in their class. In addition, the students will identify Internet activities/Web sites that can be used for their students, parents, and school. Students will write a reflection on the required reading, assigned Web sites, research article, or best practice focusing on what is learned. The reflection should discuss new ideas and significant insights about inclusion. 

Session 9: Accommodations/Technology

Objective: Students will identify technology that assists students with disabilities. Students will define AAC. Students will understand what types of accommodations need to be made for students with disabilities. Students will begin creating their Action Plan.
Contents:

  • Technology to Assist Students with Disabilities
    • Types of Technology
    • Impact of Technology on Teaching
    • Technology with Regular Education Students
    • Technology for Students with Disabilities
    • Accessing Assistive Technology Resources
  • What is AAC?
    • Communication Disorders
    • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
    • Communication Devices
  • Technology to Resolve Barriers
    • Technology as an Accommodation
    • Assistive Technology
    • Customized Commercial Products
    • On-going Evaluation
  • Action Plans
    • Determine current levels of inclusion at your school and in your school district
      • Interview your principal and district Special Education Coordinator to determine
    • Begin developing your action plan and reflect on how your plan will fit in with your school and district policies

Culminating Assignment: Students will revise their continuums to include technology as an accommodation. In addition, the students will identify Internet resources for locating information about assistive technology. Students will begin developing their Action Plans.

Session 10: Action Plan

Objective: Students will develop a personal position on inclusion. They will support their position with the information from the course (discussions, readings, research material, and personal experiences). Students will complete their action plan for their final project for this course and include Internet resources in their plan. 
Contents:

  • Personal Position Paper Requirements
    • Introduction
    • State Position on Inclusion
    • Provide Supportive Information
    • What You Will do When Teaching
    • Summary and Conclusions
  • Design Action Plan
    • Goals-Objectives-Outcomes
    • Barriers
    • Solutions
    • Making it Work in Your School and in Your District

Culminating Assignments: Students will submit their revised continuums. In addition, the students will write a four to six page typed paper developing a personal position on inclusion. Students will also develop an action plan based on their current school district's status in terms of inclusion and how they could support inclusion in their own classroom. The action plan will include strategies for implementation and reflection on how the plan will fit in with the school and school district's current inclusion plans.

Mail the final integration project to the Instructor. Reflect on your experiences in this course by completing the Course Evaluation Form. 

Objectives
  • Discuss the historical perspective of Inclusion.
  • Analyze a classroom system.
  • Assess barriers to Inclusion.
  • Discuss important research related to instruction.
  • Construct a prototype of an ideal classroom.
  • Explain legislation dealing with inclusion (PL 94-142 and the 1990 Amendments and IDEA 97) and why this legislation was enacted
  • Justify the concept of a continuum of educational placements (LRE)
  • Summarize the effects of litigation in promoting inclusion
  • Assess how prejudice impacts teaching
  • Distinguish characteristics of disabilities that qualify children and youth for special education services under IDEA
  • Research and report on learning needs of students with disabilities
  • Determine specific curriculum accommodations by reflecting on classroom situations
  • Incorporate new specific curriculum accommodations into your classroom setting based on what is learned in this module
  • Identify central tendencies of behavioral attributes and the manifested needs associated with disabilities
  • Utilize the Web for research to locate current information about the learning theory and software that supports learning for students with disabilities
  • Refine your individual continuums.
  • Reflect on your own classrooms and identify barriers to effective accommodations.
  • Prepare a barrier analysis sheet.
  • Compare and contrast inclusion and mainstreaming.
  • Develop a philosophy for how to interact with parents who have children with disabilities.
  • Incorporate Web resources that support parents with children with disabilities.
  • Evaluate the impact of changes in education due to the inclusion movement.
  • Analyze the major concerns regular education teachers have with full or partial inclusion.
  • Evaluate pros and cons to inclusion as supported by current research.
  • Determine how classrooms have changed and what that means for teaching children with diverse needs.
  • Evalute how to manage disruptive behavior in inclusive classrooms.
  • Identify how a student with severe medical needs be taught in a typical classroom.
  • Examine Internet and other resources to increase awareness of disabilities for K-12 students.
  • Create activities to teach disability awareness to K-12 students.
  • Identify the steps in the IEP process.
  • Define what students with disabilities will need in the 21st century.
  • Define a SOP (a summary of the child’s academic achievement and functional performance)
  • Describe how schools need to better prepare students with disabilities for post school life
  • Define assistive devices and list five classifications.
  • Define accommodation and provide examples.
  • Describe what types of accommodations need to be made for students with disabilities.
  • Begin creating an Action Plan.
  • Develop a personal position on inclusion and support the position with the information from the course (discussions, readings, research material, and personal experiences).
  • Complete an action plan for the final project for this course and include Internet resources in the plan.
Partner Universities

Our Partners are well-established regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, recognized for academic excellence and their commitment to teachers.

Important Information

Online 3-graduate credit courses are 13 weeks in length.

Face-to-face courses are held Friday evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm and Saturday/Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm.

Weekday courses are Monday-Friday from 8:00am- 6:00pm.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with their state, county, district, or school to ensure that all requirements are being met by the course you're taking.  

Check the Partner Universities tab for specific university information as well as course numbers which are specific to the university partner. 

Students are to purchase their own textbook, the information for which can be found here.  Most courses require a book but some do not, so check the list for your specific course. If no book is required it will be specified. 

Professional development (PD) participants receive a certificate of completion from TEI for 45 hours of PD credit for face to face classes and 60 hours of PD credit for online classes. These certificates are mailed within one week of the end of the class.