Teacher of Students with Disabilities (Inclusive Education for Pre-School through Grade 3 Teachers), Instructional Certification: Teacher Certification in Students with Disabilities (Preschool-Grade 12) - Graduate - 2015 University Catalog

Coordinator: Elizabeth Erwin
Office: University Hall, Room 3241
Phone: (973) 655-6843
Email: erwinel@mail.montclair.edu

The Teacher of Students with Disabilities is a 24 credit program designed to provide graduate students with certification to teach students with disabilities (TSD) in P-3 settings. Students who apply to this program must have a bachelor's degree and P-3 teacher certification or the equivalent.

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.

ECSE506: Observation and Assessment of Young Children with Disabilities: Birth to Age 8 (3 hours lecture)

This course focuses on observation, screening and assessment of young children with disabilities from birth to age eight. Students explore commonly used techniques and assessment instruments, examine administration procedures, and learn to interpret findings related to children's development. An emphasis is placed on family partnerships, using observation as a tool in natural settings, and creating appropriate assessment plans for young children. 3 sh.

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.

ECSE510: Supervised Practicum and Seminar in Inclusive Early Childhood

This course is a supervised field experience for students who are working within diverse early childhood settings young children with and without disabilities aged birth to eight years. Students spend a minimum of 75 hours in an educational setting where they observe and practice instructional planning and measurement, classroom management, and collaboration with families and professional colleagues. Students also meet regularly in a course seminar designed to create a supportive forum for discussion, problem-solving and examination of issues and topics that grow out of and contribute to each student's professional teaching practice. As a field-based practicum, students are expected to demonstrate a high level of initiative and professionalism as they contribute to the life of their classroom setting, carry out a self-defined investigation project and engage collaboratively in the seminar sessions. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Departmental approval.

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.

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.