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SPE3001 Introduction to Special Education

Semester 2, 2015 On-campus Fraser Coast
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Educ

Contents on this page


Examiner: Rahul Ganguly
Moderator: Mark Oliver


Pre-requisite: EDC1400 or EDU1010

Other requisites

Students must be available for a prescribed period of time to undertake a placement in a school or other approved site as required in this course. 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: //


Currently there is a range of responses by educational communities to deal with issues identified in relation to the teaching and learning of students with disabilities. There are a variety of educational settings that cater for students with disabilities. Exploration of curriculum frameworks and the design and delivery of curriculum for students with disabilities is essential to ensure these students are given opportunities to gain the attributes of lifelong learning.


This course will introduce pre-service teachers to the field of special education. The approach taken in the course is based on effective teacher education where 'real world' experiences in special education settings are linked with a strong theoretical background. A brief history of special education will be presented and the evolution of inclusive education described. An introduction to areas of disability and learning difficulty, such as autism, will preface later courses in special education. Assessment and monitoring of students with difficulties and disabilities will also be included. An important part of working in special education is collaborating and consulting with others therefore an introduction to interpersonal skills is included in this course. The reality of effectively addressing the learning and behaviour challenges of students with difficulties and disabilities through research based strategies is also a component of this course.


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 students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate key movements in the evolution of special education and inclusion (Assignment 1; Professional Standards 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 2.6, 7.4)
  2. demonstrate the ability to link theory with practice in special education (Assignment 1, Professional Experience; Professional Standards 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 6.3, 7.4)
  3. identify and characterise a range of disabilities and learning difficulties (Exam; Professional Standards 1.1, 1.5, 1.6)
  4. identify a range of assessments and related issues (Exam; Professional Standards 1.1, 1.5, 5.1)
  5. discuss matters involved in interpersonal skills (Exam; Professional Standards 1.1, 1.5, 3.5, 3.7, 7.3, 7.4)
  6. demonstrate the application of research-based instructional practices (Exam; Professional Standards 1.2, 1.5, 3.3, 4.1)
  7. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing. (Assignment 1)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction of the field of special education 20.00
2. Issues arising from special education settings 20.00
3. Areas of learning difficulty and disability 20.00
4. Assessment and monitoring 10.00
5. Interpersonal skills 10.00
6. Research-based instructional practices 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • McLeskey, JM, Rosenberg, MS & Westling, DL 2013, Inclusion: effective practices for all students, 2nd edn, Pearson, Boston, Massachusetts.

Reference materials

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.
  • Foreman, P 2011, Inclusion in action, 3rd edn, Cengage, South Melbourne, Victoria.
  • Hallahan, DP, Kauffman, JM & Pullen, PC 2012, Exceptional learners: an introduction to special education, Pearson, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Heward, WL 2013, Exceptional children, 10th edn, Pearson, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Turnbull, A, Turnbull, R & Wehmeyer, ML 2007, Exceptional lives: special education in today's schools, 5th edn, Pearson, New Jersey.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information //

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 80.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PRACTICUM 1 1 21 Jul 2015 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 50 49 14 Sep 2015
EXAMINATION CMA 100 50 End S2 (see note 2)

  1. A mark of one (1) indicates you have passed the Professional Experience component. A mark of zero (0) indicates you have not passed the Professional Experience component. Professional Placement should be conducted as per the Professional Experience Calendar unless approval has been granted by the Course Examiner.
  2. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students? responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and 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 satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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 and must satisfactorily complete the sector-based professional experience.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    CLOSED Examination: Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  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 policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  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. //

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and have Internet access to UConnect for this course.

  2. 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: // and
    *If you are undertaking practical experience outside the State of Queensland, Australia you should check local requirements.