Special Education: Foundations, Behavior, Curriculum, Instruction, and Evaluation


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  • 29
  • 31
    Exams &
  • 30
    average time
  • 3.0
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Course Description

This course establishes the foundations for employing positive approaches in the treatment of people with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders by covering the principles of equal opportunity and self-determination and their relationship to self-determined learning. This basis leads to prescriptions for self-determined learning and positive behaviors.

The course covers:
(a) approaches for dealing with challenging behavior (functional; behavior assessments; positive behaviors supports, and supportive instructional environments),
(b) instruction methods (teaching self-regulation of inappropriate behavior, social behavior, and play; and the teaching of generalized self-regulation of independent work);
(c) principles of curriculum design;
(d) curriculum guides for self-determined learning (schedule following and self-monitoring; and self-regulation and self-determined learning);
(e) school to work transition (generalization and adjustments during transition, transition programming, student-directed IEPs;
(f) supported work (assessing workplace interests and opportunities, assessing and teaching cue-card use at work; teaching problem solving for adjustments at work; and
(g) evaluation methods (daily progress evaluation; evaluations of self-determined learning, assessments of self-determination).

Special education holds a favored position in public policy in this country because it is the product of the third great self-determination revolution in the country's history. That revolution began in the 1950s and is ongoing today. This course will provide an overview of the revolution, how it led to the equal opportunity policy principle, and how that principle was interpreted in favor of providing a free and appropriate public education for children with disabilities. This course explains the equal opportunity principle by making explicit its policy goal, which is to improve prospects for self-determination for left-out groups. Hence, the purpose of special education, which is a policy derived from that principle, is to improve self-determination prospects of children and youth with disabilities, as well.

This course will also identify the challenges that are peculiar to special education as it attempts to improve self-determination prospects for all children with disabilities. One of these is to provide instruction that guarantees learning when deficiencies in adjustment and adaptability exist and at the same time prepares students to use their adaptive capabilities to meet their own needs and to satisfy their own interests. It presents a theory of learning that shows how learning and self-determination goals are naturally compatible with the maximization of the learning that also improves self-determination.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Lesson 1: Foundations of Special Education Opportunity

Reivews the basis for the foundations. 1 Total Points
  • Complete Assignment: Introduction

Lesson 2: The Third Self-Determination Revolution

Describes the revolution the produced the equal opportunity priniple 52 Total Points
  • Review Practice Worksheet: WheelchairArticle.doc
  • Complete Assignment: Wheel Chair Cutouts
  • Complete Exam: The Third Self-Determination Revolution

Lesson 3: Establishing the Equal Opportunity Principle

Describes how the self-determination revolution led to the equal opportunity principle. 60 Total Points
  • Complete Assignment: Declining Achievement Prospects
  • Complete Exam: Establishing the Equal Opportunity Principle

Lesson 4: Extending the Equal Opportunity Principle to Children with Disabilities

Describes how the equal opportunity principle was used to extend educational opportunities to children with disabilities. 10 Total Points
  • Complete Assignment: Optimal Prospects Principle

Lesson 5: Explaining the Equal Opportunity Principle

Provides a theory that explains that the basis of equal opportunity is equal prospects for self-determination. 110 Total Points
  • Take Survey: Teaching Experience Survey
  • Complete Assignment: Equal Chances
  • Complete Exam: Explaining the Equal Opportunity Principle

Lesson 6: Translating Equal Opportunity Theory into Practice

Describes how self-determined learning theory connects the equal opportunity principle with learning and self-determination. 110 Total Points
  • Take Survey: Teaching and Learning Survey
  • Complete Assignment: Self-Determined Learning
  • Complete: Self-Determined Learning Theory Quiz

Lesson 7: Implications for Instruction

Describes how the instructional lessons that follow demonstrate the natrual relationship between learning and self-determination 0 Total Points

Lesson 8: Challenging Behavior

Describes the range of challenging behaviors exhibited by children and youth with autism spectrum disorders and the acceptable and positive approaches for dealing with them. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Challenging Behavior Quiz

Lesson 9: Functional Behavior Assessments

Describes methods of assessing the functions of challenging behaviors in order to identify positive intervention approaches to dealing with them. 100 Total Points
  • Review 2 Practice Worksheets
  • Complete: Functional Analysis Quiz

Lesson 10: Positive Behavior Supports

Explains acceptable and positive approaches to helping students with autism spectrum disordes deal with their challenging behaviors 0 Total Points

Lesson 11: Supportive Instructional Environments

Describes the environments that increase predictability and control over learning for students with autism spectrum disorders. 100 Total Points
  • Review Practice Worksheet: EnvironmentalSupportSDLearning.doc
  • Complete: Supportive Environments Quiz

Lesson 12: Instructional Methods

Describes the methods and strategies that have proved effective in promoting appropriate behavior and in developing skills and work behavior of students with autism spectrum disorders. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Instructional Methods Quiz

Lesson 13: Teaching Self-Regulation of Inappropriate Behaviors

Describes self-regulation strategies proved effective in reducing the inappropriate behaviors of students with autism spectrum disorders. 100 Total Points
  • Review Practice Worksheet: AIRSelf.doc
  • Complete: Self-Regulation of Inappropriate Behavior Quiz

Lesson 14: Teaching Self-Regulation of Social Behaviors

Describes self-regulation strategies proved effective in teaching students appropriate social skills. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Self-Regulation of Social Behavior Quiz

Lesson 15: Teaching Self-Regulation of Play

Describes self-regulation strategies proved effective in teaching students appropriate play skills. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Self-Regulation of Play Quiz

Lesson 16: Teaching Generalized Self-Regulation Behavior

Describes methods to teach the generic self-regulation behaviors required for independent work. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Generalized Self-Regulation Quiz

Lesson 17: Principles of Curriculum Design

Identifies factors and principles to consider in identifying curricular goals and objectives, and in developing materials to improve the adaptive capabilities of students with autism spectrum disorders. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Curriculum Design Quiz

Lesson 18: Curriculum Guide for Self-Determined Learning

Provides a list of goals and objectives for a self-determined learning curriculum for students with autism spectrum disorders. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Self-Determination Curriculum Guide Quiz

Lesson 19: Schedule Following and Self-Monitoring

Describes instructional methods and materials to teaching students to self-monitor during the learning and performance of tasks. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Schedule Following and Self-Monitoring Quiz

Lesson 20: Self-Regulation

Describes instructional methods and materials to help students self-regulate during the learning and performance of tasks. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Self-Regulation Curriculum Quiz

Self-Determined Learning

Describes methods and materials for helping student direct their own learning and their performance of various tasks and activities. 90 Total Points
  • Complete: Self-Determination Curriculum Quiz

Lesson 21: School-to-Work Transitions

This unit describes the self-determined learning strateiges that assist students during school-to-work transitions 50 Total Points
  • Complete: School-to-Work Transition Quiz

Lesson 22: Transitions and IEPS

Describes self-determined learning approaches to school-to-work transitions and the devleopment of IEPs 50 Total Points
  • Review 9 Practice Worksheets
  • Complete: Transition IEP Quiz

Lesson 23: Work Assessments

This unit describes strategies for assessing student interests in community work. 50 Total Points
  • Review 14 Practice Worksheets
  • Complete: Work Assessment Quiz

Lesson 24: Self-Determined Learning of Work Tasks

Describes instructional methods that support independent learning of work tasks. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Self-Determined Employment Learning Quiz

Lesson 26: Self-Determined Adjustments at Work

Describes strategies to teacher self-determined learning at work. 110 Total Points
  • Complete: 5.4 Self-Determined Work Adjustments Quiz

Lesson 27: Formative Evaluations of Student Progress

Describes data collection methods and materials for monitoring students' daily progress toward short term objectives and for meeting long term goals. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Formative Evaluation Quiz

Lesson 28: Summative Evaluations of Student Gains

Provides rating instruments for monitoring students progress toward self-determined learning and self-determination. 100 Total Points
  • Complete: Summative Evaluation Quiz


Please complete the final exam and the teaching prospects survey. Thank you! 250 Total Points
  • Take Poll: Your Opinion Matters: Course Rating
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe foundations of special education opportunity.
  • Know the third self-determination revolution.
  • Describe establishing the equal opportunity principle.
  • Describe extending the equal opportunity principle to children with disabilities.
  • Explain the equal opportunity principle.
  • Translate equal opportunity theory into practice.
  • Describe implications for instruction.
  • Identify challenging behaviors.
  • Describe functional behavior assessments.
  • Describe supportive instructional environments.
  • Describe teaching self-regulation of inappropriate behaviors.
  • Define principles of curriculum design.
  • Describe curriculum guide for self-determined learning.
  • Define self-regulation.
  • Define self-determined learning.
  • Describe transitions and IEPs.
  • Describe summative evaluations of student gains, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.