EDU5321 Educating Students with Special Needs

Subject Cat-nbr Term Mode Description Units Campus
EDU 5321 3, 2010 WEB Educating Students with Special Needs 1 Toowoomba

Academic group: FOEDU
Academic org: FOE002
Student contribution band: National Priority Teaching
ASCED code: 070113



Examiner: Linda De George-Walker
Moderator: Stephen Hughes


State law in Queensland (Australia) requires that all adults working/undertaking professional experience/researching with children under the age of 18, in the state of Queensland are required to possess a current suitability card (Blue Card). (See "Other Requirements" for further information.) Also see:


This course is an introduction to the education of students with special needs. Inclusive education has resulted in many more students with special needs and disabilities participating in regular classrooms, and this has created a need for educators in all settings and at all levels to develop their knowledge and skills about effective educational strategies to maximise learning outcomes for all students. This course will be of particular relevance to teachers in regular schools who have students with special needs included in their classes, and current or intending special educators and support personnel.


In this course students will explore inclusive education philosophies, policies and practices as a contemporary response to maximising learning outcomes for students with special needs and disabilities. Additionally students will develop knowledge of the characteristics and educational approaches for a range of special needs and disabilities: intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional or behavioural disorders, autistic spectrum disorder, communication disorders, sensory impairments, physical disabilities, health impairments, and ADHD. There is also consideration of the exceptional needs of students who are gifted and talented. A key emphasis throughout the course is the considerable diversity that exists within each of the specials needs and disabilities categories, thus necessitating individualised approaches to the evaluation and support of students with special needs.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On completion of this course the student will be able to:

demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to apply and evaluate inclusive and special education philosophies, policies and practices in educational settings (Assignment 1, Assignment 2, Exam)
demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics and issues for a range of special needs and disabilities (Assignment 2, Exam)
apply knowledge and understanding of special needs and inclusion to the development of effective educational practices (Assignment 2, Exam)
demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing (Assignment 1, Assignment 2)


Description Weighting (%)
1. Foundations of special education
2. Educating students with intellectual disabilities
3. Educating students with learning disabilities
4. Educating students with emotional or behavioural disorders
5. Educating students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
6. Educating students with communication disorders
7. Educating students with sensory impairments
8. Educating students with physical disabilities, health impairments and ADHD
9. Educating gifted and talented students

TEXT and MATERIALS required to be PURCHASED or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials are available for purchase from USQ BOOKSHOP (unless otherwise stated). Orders may be placed via secure internet, free fax 1800642453, phone 07 46312742 (within Australia), or mail. Overseas students should fax +61 7 46311743, or phone +61 7 46312742. For costs, further details, and internet ordering, use the 'Textbook Search' facility at click 'Semester', then enter your 'Course Code' (no spaces).

Heward, WL. 2009, Exceptional children: an introduction to special education,, 9th edn, Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ.


Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

(Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information The gateway to education resources is here ...

Bowe, F, 2005, Making inclusion work,, Merrill Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Choate, JS, 2004, Successful inclusive teaching,, 4th edn, Pearson, Boston, MA.

Keefe, M & Carrington, S (eds), 2006, Schools and diversity, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, Frenchs Forest, NSW. Australia.


Directed Study 82.00
Independent Study 83.00


Description Marks out of Wtg(%) Due date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 20 17 Dec 2010  
ASSIGNMENT 2 40 40 21 Jan 2011  
EXAMINATION CMA 80 40 END S3 (see note 1)
The examination will consit of 80 multiple choice questions. Students will be advised of the examination date for this course when the official timetable for the semester has been finalised.


  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.
  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.
  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.
  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.
  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.
  6. Examination information:
    In a Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.
  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.
  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These polices can be found at the URL


1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.


  1. Students will require access to e-mail and Internet access to UConnect for this course.
  2. Students are to use a recognised referencing system as specified by the examiner.
  3. IMPORTANT NOTE: Working with Children: State law in Queensland requires that all adults (including university students, pre-service educators, trainers, vocational teachers, industry educators) working with children under the age of 18, in the state of Queensland*, obtain approval before commencing such work. Many education courses include a practical component (professional experience, project work, research, assessment etc..) that may require engagement with children under the age of 18. It is your responsibility to ensure that you possess a current suitability card (Blue Card) before commencing any practical components of this course. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 UNLESS YOU POSSESS A CURRENT 'BLUE CARD'. For further information: *If you are undertaking practical experience outside the state of Queensland, Australia you should check local requirements.

This version produced 17 May 2011.