A117 - Implementing Inclusive Education (Teaching Fellow)





More and more students with disabilities are included in general education classrooms as disability advocates and parents increasingly seek inclusive educational placements. Furthermore, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 (IDEA 1997), the IDEA reauthorization in 2004 (IDEA 2004), and the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA)/Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) require that students with disabilities have access to the general education curriculum, be included in state-wide and district-wide assessment programs, and be part of accountability systems. These forces have combined to create a need for all public school educators to understand and be able to implement inclusive educational practices. Research is increasingly demonstrating that, although difficult to implement, successful inclusive education benefits both disabled and non-disabled students.

This course will focus on providing school administrators and teacher leaders with the skills and insights needed to implement successful inclusive education. Specifically, the course will explore: (1) the historical and theoretical foundations of inclusive education, (2) research related to implementation of inclusive education, (3) legal requirements relative to inclusion, (4) application of best practices at the child, school, and district level with a focus on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and (5) considerations concerning inclusion as it affects specific disability populations and age groups.

The course seeks to develop a deep understanding of the issues involved in inclusive education, with the goal of increasing the capacity of administrators and teacher leaders to implement successful inclusive practices. The course seeks to achieve this goal through three main strategies: (1) providing students with a deep understanding of the literature and law in this area, (2) providing students with the opportunity to observe inclusive practices and relate those observations to the literature, and (3) providing opportunities for discussion and problem solving with the other students and the teaching team.
The course seeks to incorporate principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in its design. The principles undergird UDL: (1) Material is presented in multiple formats including interactive lectures, case studies, videos, and texts with embedded supports. (2) Students are given multiple and varied opportunities to demonstrate what they know and are able to do including on line posts, written application exercises, developing text with embedded supports, school based group or individual projects, and participation in classroom discussions. (3) We seek varied means to engage students in the course content providing choice, where appropriate, in student assignments and readings.