Course Syllabus: Special Education 101: Foundations, Purpose, & Challenges

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Course Description

This course explains why people with disabilities deserve respect rather than pity in their quest for full engagement in school and post school life, why special education is mandated by policy and law to meet the education needs of students with disabilities, how its goals are affected by the nation's commitment to equalize educational opportunities for this group of learners, the revolutionary basis of these equal opportunity goals, why an equalized educational experience should empower students with disabilities to be self-determined at school and beyond, and how current practice falls far short of these equal rights expectations.


This self-paced online class is ideal for teachers wanting to update their professional skills, classroom assistants seeking more knowledge about the field and parents trying to understand how best to argue for equal opportunities. Be informed and inspired without the hassle of commuting or matching a pre-determined schedule.  If you are a well-disciplined and motivated learner, you will thrive in our instructor-led environment.

Course Requirements

Teachers, school personnel, and parents are welcome
To complete the course successfully, you must:
Complete all lessons
Complete all polls
Complete all quizzes
Post comments about the Lessons in the associated Forums

Course Goals

1. To provide person first perspective on disability.
2. To increase awareness and understanding of the equal rights issues involved in the education of students with disabilities.
3. To increase awareness and understanding of the role of special education in equalizing education opportunities and its effectiveness in leveling the playing field for children and youth with disabilities.

Course Materials

All of the material needed to complete the course are provided in the 12 lessons.

Grading Policy

Quizzes Grades
90-100 percent = A
80-89   percent = B
70-79  percent = C
Extra credit:
Thoughtful Postings about the Lessons in the associated Forums

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe the equal opportunity foundation.
  • Describe the emergence of equal opportunity ethics.
  • Describe legitimizing the equal opportunity ethic.
  • Describe equal opportunity for people with disabilities.
  • Know the three self-determination revolutions.
  • Describe equalizing educational opportunities for black students.
  • Describe applying the equal opportunity principle for students with disabilities.
  • Explain how equal opportunity affects self-determination.
  • Explain how special education affects students with disabilities, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
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Assessment Guide

Quiz 180
Quiz 280
Quiz 360
Quiz 460
Quiz 530
Total Points:315
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