The demand for special education teachers has risen in recent years because many districts report problems finding adequate numbers of licensed special education teachers. This graduate level degree features a 1-year, 3-semester, 46-credit program combining class work, field experiences and student teaching to prepare candidates to be effective teachers of students with disabilities in diverse urban schools.
The program leads to initial teacher certification in both Childhood Education (Grades 1-6) and Special Education (Teaching Students with Disabilities) upon graduation by successfully completing all NYSED requirements, including passing both the CST Multi-Subject (002) and the CST Students with Disabilities (060) certification exams.
MSED Dual Childhood 1–6/Special Education Course Offerings
PURPOSE 1 - Developing Effective Relationships with Key Constituencies
Purpose Seminar: Introduction to Purpose Centered Education (EDU 510 PUR)
Introduction of Purpose-Centered Education and the teaching model. Examination of both the primary relationships with students, and the secondary ones with professionals, parents and other members of the community. Focus on enhancing those relationships and conditions that contribute to the creation and support of quality educational practices that are needed for students to be effectively educated.
Constructive Action: Observation and Participation in School and Community Settings (EDU 510 CON)
The Constructive Action requires participation in supervised field experiences. Pre-service teachers research, analyze and develop a plan of action to establish positive, appropriate professional relationships and utilize school-community resources in support of students' cognitive development. As part of a 120 hours pre-student teaching field experience, participation in collaborative partnerships with school personnel including family strengthening partnerships for the benefit of all students including student with disabilities.
Systems: Foundations of Special Education (EDU 511 SYS)
This course covers the historical, social, legal, behavioral, medical, pedagogical and technological foundations of special education. The focus is on developing and incorporating a foundational knowledge base, understandings, and practical skills into professional practice in serving students who manifest mild, moderate, severe and multiple disabilities, including students with autism. The course also includes recognizing and evaluating the characteristics of students with exceptional learning needs and the continuum of services available in exceptional student education.
Self and Others: Child/Adolescent Development and Learning (EDU 510 SEL)
Focus on acquiring a range of teaching strategies derived from an examination of pertinent psychological theories and research. Analysis of major theoretical perspectives which guide current teaching methods with reference to classroom applications. Topics include but not limited to: the process of acquiring and using knowledge, perceptual recognition, attention, memory, imagery and language, student assessment and evaluation. Consideration of identifying children/adolescents with special needs, with emphasis on the psychological basis of suitable curricula adaptations and methods, including the use of assistive and instructional technology to improve the capabilities of students with disabilities.
Values and Ethics: Social Issues And Trends In Urban Education (EDU 512 VAL)
An introduction to the philosophical, historical, and social foundations of the American public school system. Study of selected texts in the history of educational thought is followed by a brief overview of the political, economic, and social forces that have shaped past and present educational practice. The course covers policy debates over No Child Left Behind, inclusion, school choice, and privatization, as well as the rights and responsibilities of teachers, professional ethics, and teacher accountability.
Technical Skills: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Technology in Grades 1-3 (EDU 512 SKI)
Examination of curriculum, goals, methods, and materials for teaching mathematics including methods of enrichment and remediation in mathematics for students with disabilities in grades one through three. Development of number sense, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division concepts with an emphasis on the constructivist approach towards teaching and learning mathematics. Examination and utilization of national and state standards to plan and assess lessons. Includes demonstrations, discussion, materials review and use of instructional and assistive technology to effectively teach mathematics to meet the diverse needs of all learners.
Communication Skills: Reading Instruction for Primary Grades (EDU 510 COM)
Teaching the language-related processes with special emphasis on developmental reading including the characteristics of learners with disabilities. Emphasis on the practices of reading instruction: curriculum, basic reading strategies, research-validated methods of instruction, diagnostic teaching, classroom organization, assessment of reading programs, and use of assistive and instructional technology for improvement of learning for all students including students with disabilities. Special consideration given to the examination of literature appropriate for diverse cultural groups, individual learning styles and special needs for enrichment and remediation. Exploration of the writing process and the integration of reading and writing instruction.
PURPOSE 2 – Teaching Effectively
Purpose Seminar: Analysis of Teaching Behavior (EDU 520 PUR)
Primary focus on providing each student teacher with the opportunity to synthesize understanding of elementary education and the national/state learning standards. In their first student teaching practicum, student teachers blend theory, trends and practice as materials, activities, standards, subject matter and assessment relate to the primary grades in the context of an actual elementary school classroom.
Constructive Action: Teaching Practicum Grades 1-3 (EDU 520 CON)
Develop, implement and evaluate an organized plan with objectives and strategies to effectively teach a primary elementary school class in the role of a student teacher. Emphasis on facilitating children's academic, social and ethical development through rigorous curriculum planning and effective teaching practices. Student teachers practice acquired skills and gradually assume increased responsibility for instruction, classroom management, and other related duties for a class of students under the supervision of college faculty and a certified teacher who has responsibility for the class.
Values and Ethics: Classroom Management for Academic and Social Growth (EDU 521 VAL)
Examination and development of effective classroom management skills that optimize student learning. Focus on establishing and maintaining a classroom environment conducive to both academic and social-emotional learning. Emphasis on preventing disruptive behavior by developing positive teacher-student relationships, engaging instruction, in a caring classroom learning environment to meet the instructional needs of diverse learners including the managing behavior and promoting development of positive social interaction skills of students with disabilities. Student teaching experiences in the lower grades provide resources for course discussions.
Values and Ethics: Project SAVE Education Seminar (SEM 521 VAL)
The seminar includes study of the warning signs within a developmental and social context that relate to school violence and other troubling student behaviors. The values, regulations and policies relating to a safe nonviolent school climate through effective classroom management techniques and the integration of social problem-solving and other academic supports that promotes a nonviolent school environment. The required non-credit seminar complies with Project SAVE (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act).
Self and Others: Curriculum Development and Assessment in Special Education (EDU 521 SEL)
This course examines and applies the basic principles underlying developing and planning curriculum with assessment for all students with exceptional learning needs, including students with autism. A strong emphasis will be placed on designing and assessing curriculum using research-validated methods including the teaching of reading and mathematics and methods of enrichment and remediation in reading and mathematics. The course includes curriculum planning by adapting instructional strategies, including implementing assistive and instructional technology, which correlates with learning styles and skill levels for students with disabilities and students without disabilities. In addition, the application of curriculum-based measurement, diagnosis and evaluation techniques of students with disabilities is integrated with the end-of-semester capstone Constructive Action research project required of student teachers this semester.
Systems: Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School (EDU 520 SYS)
The course examines the learning concepts and structures using various instructional approaches that are the basis of the elementary social studies curriculum. Student teachers develop and use a social studies unit to teach students to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as future citizens of a multicultural democratic nation in a global society. Topics to be studied in preparing curricula include social studies concepts, facts, scope and sequence, learning standards, performance outcomes and unit planning for students of various backgrounds and learning capabilities. Instruction includes developing skills in teaching students to use technology to acquire information, to communicate, and to enhance learning.
Technical Skills: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Technology in Grades 4-6 (EDU 522 SKI)
This course builds on Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Technology in Grades 1-3. Examination of curriculum, goals, methods, and materials for teaching mathematics in grades four through six. Upper elementary grade examination on the topics of number sense, place value, and problem-solving that integrates addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills. Focus is also on the teaching of fractions, decimals, percents, geometry, measurement, statistics, probability, and algebra in grades four through six. The lessons that student teachers develop for this course are differentiated to meet the diverse needs of all types of learners. The use of instructional and assistive technology and developing skills in teaching students to use technology to acquire and enhance mathematical learning.
Communication Skills: Reading Instruction for Upper Grades (EDU 520 COM)
Extends the view of language and the reading processes to the upper elementary student. Increasing competence in basic reading strategies, research-validated methods of instruction, including diagnostic teaching of reading and writing across the curriculum for the benefit of students with disabilities. Continued emphasis on the reading/writing relationship, the use of assistive and instructional technology for improvement of learning, and methods of enrichment and remediation for all students including students with disabilities.
PURPOSE 3 – Meeting the Unique Needs of all Learners
Purpose Seminar: Analysis of Teaching Behavior (EDU 530 PUR)
The Purpose and its accompanying Constructive Action for the final semester is designed to help student teachers create classroom environments that will best meet the needs of all learners. Focusing on cognitive styles, social-emotional behaviors, gender identification, cultural variation and position in the group, student teachers acquire a variety of approaches and techniques which enable them to define the range of learners in their classroom and to try out different methods and content which are tailored to the unique needs of their students. This comprehensive, integrated view of learners embraces children with special needs, including gifted children and those that are intellectually or physically challenged.
Constructive Action: Teaching Practicum Grades 4-6 (EDU 530 CON)
Develop, implement and evaluate an organized plan with objectives and strategies to effectively teach an upper elementary school class in the role of a student teacher. The upper elementary school classroom serves as a background for building on the strengths of children in need of specialized teaching. Student teachers proceed into their second major teaching practicum; they increase their awareness of how students are genuinely different and how these differences can be addressed.
Self and Others: Exploring Cultural Diversity Through the Arts (EDU 530 SEL)
Development and application of children's learning experiences in the expressive arts - art, music, dance, literature and other artistic modes of expression. Approaches in developing age-appropriate materials, activities and techniques that reflect cultural traditions in response to the unique needs of diverse students in inclusive settings. Exploration of the ways in which the arts clarify and enhance academic curriculum and lead to opportunities for creative problem-solving and critical thinking.
Systems: Science Methods and Curriculum (EDU 530 SYS)
Life sciences, the earth sciences and the physical sciences provide the context for developing competency in constructing and carrying out science investigations with students. Understandings of the structure of the science disciplines, child development and science standards combine to address the needs of all students in inclusive settings. Theories of learning, guide the inquiry process as science laboratory management techniques are explored. Emphasis will be placed on participatory activities that prospective teachers can use to develop their students' science literacy. Student teachers develop and use a science unit. Instruction includes developing skills in teaching students to use technology as a resource to information and enhance learning of scientific concepts.
Technical Skills: Inclusion: Teaching Strategies and Classroom Management (EDU 531 SKI)
Focus on the daily aspects of classroom management and teaching strategies for the inclusion of students with disabilities and English Language learners. Theory and practice interweave as student teachers plan and manage teaching and learning environments for individuals with disabilities in general education settings. Instruction includes selecting and using developmentally appropriate materials, using assistive and instructional technology and designing curriculum to address the needs and learning styles of upper grade students in diverse and inclusive educational settings, and strategies for collaborating with families. Consideration of various behavior interventions that improve classroom behaviors and promote the development of positive social interaction skills of students with disabilities.
Communication Skills: Diagnostic and Remedial Techniques In Reading (EDU 530 COM)
Focus on effective approaches to teach reading, writing and language problems in inclusive classrooms. Knowledge of the commonality of basic needs and developmental stages of upper-elementary school children as a background for building on the strengths of students with literacy difficulties. Naturalistic and standardized assessment protocols are examined, in order to diagnose, evaluate, for literacy problems of students with disabilities. Curriculum development for instructing students with disabilities including methods for teaching reading and methods of enrichment and remediation in reading for preventive and corrective approaches as applied to practice. Consideration of reading and writing in the content areas provide opportunities to select and adapt materials and texts to meet the needs of unique learners. Instruction includes the use of assistive and instructional technology in teaching literacy for students with disabilities.