Program Standard 11: Typical and Atypical Development

The program prepares candidates to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of typical and atypical human development from the prenatal stage through adulthood including knowledge of developmental stages and their implications for learning. Candidates will demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of atypical development associated with various disabilities and risk conditions (e.g. visual impairment, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy), resilience and protective factors (e.g. attachment, temperament), and their implications for learning. Candidates will recognize the potential influence of varying cultural factors and practices on development. Candidates will demonstrate skills required to provide information to family members regarding typical developmental expectations as well as the impact of the disability on developmental progress. Candidates will demonstrate skills required to ensure that the intervention and/or instructional environment are appropriate to the student’s chronological age, developmental differences, and disability-specific needs.

Program Standard 11 Component:

Courses in which the component is addressed:

knowledge of typical and atypical human development from the prenatal stage through adulthood including knowledge of developmental stages and their implications for learning

SPED 120; 130

comprehensive knowledge of atypical development associated with various disabilities and risk conditions (e.g. visual impairment, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy)

SPED 120; 130

Knowledge of resilience and protective factors (e.g. attachment, temperament), and their implications for learning.

SPED 219

recognize the potential influence of varying cultural factors and practices on development

SPED 125; 156

demonstrate skills required to provide information to family members regarding typical developmental expectations as well as the impact of the disability on developmental progress

SPED 120; 156

demonstrate skills required to ensure that the intervention and/or instructional environment are appropriate to the student’s chronological age, developmental differences, and disability-specific needs.

SPED 136; 246; 146; 247; 171; 172; 175; 176

Standard 11 is first addressed in SPED 120: Introduction to Special Education. In this course candidates learn major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to child (prenatal to school aged; adolescent) development (cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical) and human learning. In class activities they examine attributes of students at varying levels of development (typical and atypical). They also acquire knowledge of the 13 federal eligibility categories for special education, consider the nature of the characteristics of students with low- and high-incidence disabilities, and also learn about other special educational support needs, such as student who live in high poverty, experience homelessness, or are identified as gifted-and-talented. A midterm exam is used as a formative assessment focused on recall of information, some of which requires students to demonstrate understanding of disability characteristics, stages of development, and effects on learning. The Eligibility Category Project, a four-part project completed over the course of the semester, requires that candidates learn in-depth about the characteristics associated with one of the federal eligibility categories and potential implications for learning. Candidates make multi-media presentations about their research to the rest of the class. Finally, candidate teams consider the instructional relevancy of disability-associated characteristics within educational lessons and units that reflect state and national standards, as well as the principles of Universal Design for Learning. Finally, a midterm exam is used as a formative assessment focused on recall of information, some of which is related to the demonstrations of understanding disability characteristics and effects on learning. Please see the syllabus for when the midterm exam is administered via course Blackboard site.

In LEE 172: Cultural Contexts in the Classroom through a case study, candidates target cultural factors and practices in a general education student and then, through reading and language arts lessons (LEE 173), they target interventions related to the ELA lesson.

In SPED 125: Positive Behavior and Social Supports, candidates learn about ways in which culture affects a student's school success. They learn about the beliefs and values of a variety of cultures and gain insight into issues facing diverse students and communities, as well as how their own opinions, values and expectations affect their expectations about students and, in turn, affects their students' performance. Students learn about the importance of building relationships with students and their families to support students' success in school.

In SPED 130: Assessing Students with Special Needs, teacher candidates are introduced briefly to the theories of developmental psychology such as Piaget's stage theory and then they are compared with theories of atypical human development. Fourteen types of processing deficits of learning disability, manifestations of students with intellectual disabilities, characteristics of Autism and other disabilities are discussed in lectures and discussions. Classroom activities are designed to facilitate student learning. Atypical students' learning preferences, assessment of modalities and modality instruction are addressed, too. Teacher candidates role-play communicating assessment information regarding the child’s development, academic performance, and expectations of typical students (grade level peers). This skill is then required in fieldwork as they attend IEPs with their Cooperating Teacher.

In SPED 219: Effective Communication and Collaboration Partnershipsworking with families is a primary topic. The family’s role as primary advocate for their child and educator’s responsibility to provide the support and information related to their child’s development and its impact on this/her progress socially, emotionally, and academically. The final project for this course requires students to explore issues of home/school/community collaboration. Knowledge of resilience and protective factors is also considered and reflected on by the teacher candidate in this assignment.

In an At-Risk Seminar (environmental factors including poverty, sexual identification, prematurity, emotional trauma and/or abuse, chronic illness...) required of all Multiple Subject and Education Specialist teacher candidates, resilience is also covered related to resources and anti-bullying curriculums. The context of the family’s culture as it relates to disability, support, and access to services is also covered and teacher candidates reflect on how they tailored their home/school/community project in SPED 219 to the family.

The core methods courses (SPED 136/246) and concurrent practicum experiences (SPED 171/175) for the Mild/Moderate disabilities credential focus on the design and delivery of accessible and effective assessment, curriculum, and instruction (including intervention) for students with diverse learning needs. Students are supported in delivering appropriate, targeted, and evidence-based instruction; communicating with students, families, and school personnel; and collaborating with supervisors and Cooperating Teachers, with opportunities for formative feedback and reflection.

The Moderate-Severe disabilities credential core-methods courses (SPED 146/247) are entirely focused on the development of skills required for candidates to be able to design instructional environments that are appropriate to individual student needs, based on chronological age, developmental differences, and disability-specific needs. Both the Communication Support Plan and the Social Integration Plan assignments require instructional programming to utilize strategies, modifications, and services to students with atypical development as the focus.These lessons/units are then implemented in the accompanying field work (SPED 176) and are reviewed by the Cooperating Teacher, the university supervisor, or both. Concurrent fieldwork requirements in SPED 172 and SPED 176 (Initial and Final Practicum in Moderate-Severe Disabilities) provide the opportunity for candidates to implement participation plans, individualized plans of systematic instruction, and whole-class and individual student communication systems and supports, with structured opportunities for feedback and dialogue from master teachers and university supervisors.

Intern Program Delivery Model:
The intern pre-service component (providing skills and knowledge required prior to entering the classroom as the teacher of record) includes introductory preparation relative to Standard 11: Typical and Atypical Development as well as ongoing preparation throughout the program. The intern pre-service component includes introductory preparation relative to Standard 11: Typical and Atypical Development in SPED 120 as well as ongoing preparation throughout the program.

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