Inclusive Education, Early Childhood (P-3)Teachers/ Autism/Teacher of Students with Disabilities Concentration (M.Ed.) - Graduate - 2013 University Catalog

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Course Descriptions:

ECSE502: Sociocultural Context of Disability and Inclusive Education (3 hours lecture)

This course applies critical perspectives to the study of disability and inclusive education through an examination of the shifting social, cultural and political constructions of disability in society. The course material deconstructs traditional psychological interpretations as well as medical models of disability, which conceptualize disability as a "problem" to be fixed or limitations that are located within individuals. In contrast, students explore sociocultural models of disability, which conceptualize disability as a social construct, and people with disabilities as members of marginalized minority group. By examining issues related to disability in the context of the sociocultural paradigm, students have opportunities to take varied perspectives on the ways in which social and environmental factors come to define the experience of disability. Students explore disability and inclusive education through multiple lenses, such as autobiography, personal narrative, film, social policy, and research. 3 sh.

ECSE505: Learning and Development in Children With and Without Disabilities (3 hours lecture)

This course is designed to provide teacher candidates with a socioculturally based understanding of children's development from birth through middle childhood. By examining theories and current research in child development, they learn that outcomes for children with and without disabilities are situated in multiple contexts, and in the complex interplay between biological and environmental factors. Children's developmental pathways will be understood in relation to their implications for learning in early childhood and elementary education settings. Teacher candidates learn the etiologies, behavioral characteristics and wide range of developmental outcomes associated with various disabilities and childhood disorders. They learn to observe and interpret the physio-motor, cognitive, and social/emotional development of children and provide interventions that promote optimal learning and development among all children. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 214 or FCST 512 or departmental approval.

ECSE508: Strengthening Partnerships with Families of Children with Disabilities (3 hours lecture)

This course is designed to enhance students' understanding of the importance of meaningful family-professional partnerships. Students gain knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work collaboratively with diverse families to support the education of children with disabilities. The influence of historical, social, cultural, and community influences are deeply embedded in course content. Various approaches including family-focused practice and family systems theory are explored. Students draw from course readings, presentations by guest speakers, and personal and professional experiences to participate in class discussions, complete assignments and expand their understanding of issues vital to families of children with disabilities. 3 sh.

ECSE509: Principles and Practices in Inclusive Early Childhood Education (3 hours lecture)

Students engage in an in-depth investigation to learn how to provide services and supports in inclusive early childhood environments by critically examining guiding principles, current research and exemplary practices. Topics explored include the historical, political, philosophical and legal foundations that shape early childhood practices and how to provide culturally responsive and individualized early education for diverse learners and their families 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ECSE 506.

ECSE511: Advanced Teaching Practices in Inclusive Early Childhood Education (3 hours lecture)

Young children are naturally inquisitive about their world. They wonder, discover, explore and interact with their environment and the people in it. In this course, experienced practitioners receive advanced preparation for designing and implementing individualized and culturally responsive learning opportunities and curriculum for young children with and without disabilities in inclusive early childhood environments (i.e., child care centers, preschool, Head Start, early elementary school). Through an emergent and child-centered approach, students deepen their understanding of and ways of responding to young learners with a wide range of abilities and diverse backgrounds. Students learn through direct experience and evidenced-based strategies how to create, implement and evaluate high quality educational practices and innovative curricula for diverse young learners birth to age eight. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ECSE 502 or equivalent and ECSE 509.

ECSE520: Research in Inclusive Early Childhood Education (3 hours lecture)

Methods for writing a research paper are studied. Significant problems affecting children with and without disabilities are investigated and discussed. Published research projects are evaluated. Candidates examine some of the epistemological, political, and methodological issues associated with the idea of teacher research. They study research design, data analysis and method for writing a literature review around a specific action research topic. The focus in this course is on teacher research in education with an emphasis on research conducted by P-5 teachers. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Three years of early childhood and/or elementary teaching experience.

ECSE523: Communication, Collaboration and Consultation in Inclusive Early Childhood and Elementary Contexts (3 hours lecture)

Provides students with a theoretical framework to guide the interactions of early childhood professionals with educational systems, communities, and with each other to insure appropriate educational practices for young children with special needs. Effective strategies to support communication, collaboration, conflict resolution, consultation, mentoring, and collaborative research skills will be addressed. Students will explore various methods for developing professional partnerships that facilitate interagency collaboration in early intervention, transdisciplinary team practices, and team teaching in inclusive early care and education. Students will reflect upon the various ways in which communication, collaboration, and consultation support curriculum, programs, and professional development. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ECSE 509 and ECSE 502.

ECSE580: Conceptual Foundations of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Bio-Psych-Social Perspectives (3 hours lecture)

This course introduces students to the core features and core developmental profile of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Students examine the nature of human attachment and the interpersonal nature of human development and neurobiology. They review historical and contemporary perspectives on the origins and interventions for ASD, including a comparative analysis of the models of human development underlying major educational and therapeutic approaches. Students explore the central role of affect in organizing development along multiple lines and the affective and relational precursors of communication. Using a bio-psycho-social perspective, they examine the field of sensory processing disorders (SPD), regulatory disorders and language development, so they are informed about the critical importance of developing a child's unique profile. Students also examine the socio-cultural context of autism, and understand the role of educators as change agents. 3 sh.

ECSE581: Observation, Assessment and Wonder in Autism Intervention (3 hours lecture)

In this course, students and instructor together examine the complex and at times perplexing presentation of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in young children. Students examine the ways in which children with ASD might be viewed through the eyes of parents, peers, and naive, untrained persons. They review the classification categories used in special education in New Jersey and survey other classification/diagnostic systems that address ASD. They survey screening and assessment instruments and learn to assess each child's individual profile by considering their visual-spatial abilities, tactile sensitivity, auditory/language processing, motor planning and play. Students also examine the sociocultural factors of observation and assessment, as well as differences in observation and assessment methods across environments (i.e. home, school, clinic, community). In keeping with bio-psycho-social perspective, students evaluate transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to assessments within play-based activities. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ECSE 580 may be taken as prerequisite or corequisite.

ECSE582: Inquiry and Praxis: Developmental Approaches for Autism Intervention (3 hours lecture)

In this course, students review the predominant methods and approaches for ASD intervention and consider empirical or evidentiary support for alternative or supplemental methods of intervention, including holistic approaches, dietary restrictions, and the use of assistive technologies. They examine and practice developmental and relationship-based models of intervention for ASD, specifically the DIR/Floortime Model. They formulate strategies that integrate behavioral and developmental/relational models, emphasizing the need for reflective practice and considering the disciplinary boundaries and cross-overs inherent in work that considers all areas of development as integrated. In addition, students analyze the cultural and systemic context surrounding a child diagnosed with ASD, including early educational/ intervention programs, inclusion models of special education, the role of individualized plans (IFSP/IEP) in the development of the child, and the reciprocal impact of the label of ASD on peers, siblings, family, community, and social policy. Students explore the implications of "least restrictive environments" and the policies established by educational code. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ECSE 580 and ECSE 581.

ECSE583: Practicum: Reflective Practice in Autism Intervention (3 hours lecture)

In this culminating course for the Cert in Developmental Models of Autism Intervention, students participate in an intensive practicum with children on the Autism Spectrum. They apply knowledge of the Developmental, Individual-Difference and Relationship-based model; multi-disciplinary perspective; ability to integrate insights from a variety of approaches; and skills in identifying goals and objectives for education and intervention. Through practical work experiences with children on the Autism Spectrum, students gain an understanding of the interplay between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the child, family, school, clinical setting, and community. They analyze their experience through a reflective supervision framework and examine their own cultural and early childhood experiences, their feelings about working with children on the Autism Spectrum, and the professional boundaries and ethical considerations that are inherent in working in a relationship-based model. The course is comprised of a weekly seminar and 100 field-based practicum hours (usually in the student's work setting, pre-approved by the instructor) for the semester. In addition to reading the scholarly and professional literature, students use vignettes, case-based learning, videos, and audio recordings to evaluate their practicum experience. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ECSE 580, ECSE 581, ECSE 582.

READ519: Language and Early Literacy Development (3 hours lecture)

This course examines the nature of language, communication, and literacy development in children of diverse backgrounds and abilities during the foundational early childhood period from birth through age five. Students explore how children acquire language in social context and the impact of biological, psycholinguistic, and sociocultural factors on language development in both typically and atypically developing children. Students examine the relationships between language skills and emergent literacy, and the role of parents, teachers and other caregivers in helping prepare children to successfully acquire school-based Literacies. Students explore state and national policies that seek to improve preschool supports for language and early literacy development and the impact of increasing linguistic and cultural diversity on early childhood language arts/literacy education. 3 sh.