Student diversity is the hallmark of today's K-12 classroom. Educators are expected to differentiate instruction and work to develop proficiencies and build engagement across diverse populations of students with developmental and learning differing abilities; sensory challenges; and a wide range of cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, socio-economic and primary language backgrounds.
- Foundations of Inclusionary Practices in the Classroom
Student diversity is one of the main characteristics that defines today’s classroom. This course helps educators build the capacity to understand, honor and support the ever-increasing diversity of educational needs within classrooms. Recommendations are provided to enable teachers to augment their existing practices by infusing inclusive practices into existing content and curricula. Roles and responsibilities of general and special educators are explored to help facilitate collaboration in serving the needs of students and to make meaningful contributions to the identification, evaluation, re-evaluation, teaching and monitoring of progress of all students. Participants identify potential barriers to learning across curriculum areas in the general education classroom and identify strategies and services to eliminate those barriers.
Select 9 credits from courses with subject code INCL. Courses may include:
- Children at Risk
This course is designed to provide educators with a better understanding of children with different social, emotional and learning disorders such as dyslexia, autism and ADHD. Strategize activities and ways to help at-risk children and discuss a team approach that includes parents. Explore creative activities such as role playing, art, music, literature and puppetry. Themes such as friendship making, manners and respect are included to help children develop healthy social skills. Approaches to implement in the classroom and resources available to educators, parents and students are presented.
- Conflict Resolution
Children who are comfortable in their own skin are more likely to respect and appreciate others and grow into caring, healthy and productive adults. Using role-playing and creative expression, this course provides strategies to help students improve their relationships through effective communication, especially in handling conflict, bullying and anger. Subjects include expressing and understanding emotions, verbal and nonverbal language cues, anger management and conflict resolution, listening, problem solving, decision making and parenting.
- Managing Interactions in Inclusive Learning Environments
The class is designed to help educators create learning environments that enhance student engagement and identify the conditions that prompt, reinforce, and accelerate problematic behaviors. Emphasis will be placed on the direct instruction of social-emotional learning skills as well as the creation or modification of learning environments that decrease or de-escalate behaviors that interfere with a student’s learning (or that of others). Participants will learn how to identify and understand student behaviors in a systematic way and be able to create learning environments that are designed to proactively teach student expectations and replacement skills in order to create, maintain and manage classroom environments in a manner that is designed to increase student engagement and achievement. Climate surveys and self-assessment instruments will be used to determine baseline system, classroom and individual student learning needs. Videos and real-life scenarios will be used to inform and apply pro-social behavioral principles.
- Gifted Education in Inclusive Classrooms
Explore techniques to improve instruction to all students in advanced programs and bring gifted education pedagogy into regular classrooms more effectively. Ideas from Renzuilli to Bloom to Torrance are discussed and demonstrated while participants investigate information on gifted research, gifted program models and gifted curriculum programming. Many school services for gifted and talented students are part-time opportunities beyond the regular classroom. In this class, consider methods to provide more occasions to enhance learning opportunities within the regular classroom for these students. This course also looks at the theory that gifted education can address not only the needs of children who already manifest high levels of various kinds of intelligence, but may also promote the emergence and development of talent and intelligence in children who have potentials but may not have had the opportunity to develop them.
- Differentiated Instruction
Not all students are alike. Differentiated instruction is an approach to teaching and learning that deals with diversity in learning styles. Discover helpful, well-tested techniques for the creation of an inclusionary classroom for students — from English language learners and special education students to those with various learning difficulties or successes — to reach all learners effectively. Explore and research concepts, strategies and processes for managing a differentiated instructional setting with accommodations for learning and assessment. This course focuses on the key knowledge and skills needed to employ differentiated instruction and to address student differences across the curriculum, especially in literacy and mathematics.
- Including Special Needs
The goal to accommodate a wider variety of students’ needs is having an impact on public school classrooms everywhere. This course helps participants develop a richer, more appropriate understanding of the special needs of students and helps them respond in kind. Explore special education and inclusion from practical viewpoints through discussion, empathy-building activities and in-class exercises. Topics include the history of special education, key aspects of the special education law, research on the benefits of inclusion and the current approaches to classroom application.
- Multicultural + Socioeconomic Diversity in the Classroom
This course assists K-12 educators in recognizing the importance of affirming the cultural identities of students and helping them to respect cultural differences in others. Participants develop resources, tools and methods to increase cultural awareness in the classroom across the curriculum. Activities encourage students to understand and honor diversity, both in their schools and in the larger community. This course focuses on methods to weave tolerance and understanding into existing curricular units and lesson plans.
- Understanding the Autism Spectrum + Inclusion
Course description coming soon!
Open elective from any concentration
Total Minimum Required for