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EDM8002 Special Educational Needs

Semester 1, 2019 Online
Short Description: Special Educational Needs
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Educ
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070199 - Teacher Education not elsewher
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 20 May 2019


Examiner: Karen Glasby


Pre-requisite: EDM5000 and EDM5002


Considering the increasing diversity of students in schools today, pre-service educators need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to create inclusive and supportive classrooms for all learners. Awareness of learner differences (i.e., cognitive, physical and psychosocial) and the interplay with contextual influences (e.g., socio-economic background) will enhance teacher capacity to identify and address the various learning needs of individual learners in their classrooms.

In order to critically reflect on personal pedagogical practice, pre-service educators must develop an understanding of the diverse learning needs of their students. Professional and legal responsibilities associated with supporting students with special needs are continually changing, and it is imperative that teachers stay abreast of recent developments and changing expectations.


This course will provide pre-service educators, in the Australian context, with an introduction to the guiding legislation, policies and practices of inclusive education. Pre-service educators will also develop knowledge of the characteristics and educational approaches employed to support a range of students with special needs, specifically students with high incidence and low incidence disabilities. In addition, this course will examine the characteristics and educational needs of gifted and talented students. Cognisant of the range of student diversity, this course will focus on effective, evidenced-based approaches to supporting the learning and development of students with special needs and issues related to creating inclusive educational environments. This course will introduce pre-service educators to effective management strategies for those students who exhibit challenging behaviours. The course will require pre-service educators to develop research synthesis skills and will enable pre-service teachers to analyse and evaluate approaches for teaching students with special needs in an inclusive classroom environment.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of guiding legislation and policy regarding inclusive education, and evaluate these guidelines as they apply to supporting students with special educational needs in the Australia Context (Assignments 1 & 2) (Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) 7.1, 7.2)
  2. demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics and issues for a range of students with special needs (Assignments 1 & 2) (APST 1.3, 1.4, 1.5)
  3. demonstrate knowledge of strategies to manage challenging behaviours that may arise due to special educational needs (Assignment 2) (APST 4.3)
  4. apply knowledge of effective teaching and learning strategies to develop a program to support the specific learning needs of students with special needs and disabilities (Assignment 2) (APST 1.5)
  5. develop and evaluate the effectiveness of inclusive education strategies for supporting the full participation of students with special needs in regular classrooms, utilising case study methodology (Assignment 2) (APST 1.6)
  6. discuss the importance of engaging parents/carers in the educative process (Assignment 2) (APST 3.7, 7.3)
  7. assessment in using data for decision making and instruction (APST 5.3, 5.4) (Assignment 2)
  8. demonstrate advanced cognitive, literacy and communication skills, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and referencing (Assignments 1 & 2).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Teaching in today’s inclusive classrooms 10.00
2. Policies, practices, and processes for special education and inclusive education 10.00
3. Learners with high incidence disabilities 10.00
4. Learners with low incidence disabilities 10.00
5. Learners with gifts and talents 10.00
6. Assessment and using data for decision-making and instruction 10.00
7. Learners at risk for success in schools 10.00
8. Creating inclusive environments for all learners:
  • Universal Design for Learning and Differentiation
  • Learning and teaching strategies for all learners
  • Assessing/evaluating learner progress
9. Creating inclusive environments for all learners
  • Behavioural supports for all learners
  • Assistive technologies for supporting learning
10. Reading, writing and responding to case studies. 10.00

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. (

Hyde, M., Carpenter, L. & Dole, S 2017, Diversity, inclusion and engagement, 3rd edn, University Press, Victoria, Australia.

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.
Gargiulo, R & Metcalf, D 2015, Teaching in today’s inclusive classrooms: a universal design for learning approach, 3rd edn, Wadsworth SENGAGE Learning, Belmont, CA.
Mitchell, D 2014, What really works in special and inclusive education: using evidence based teaching strategies, Routledge, London.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
LITERATURE REVIEW 40 40 25 Mar 2019
CASE STUDY ANALYSIS 60 60 05 Jun 2019

Important assessment information

  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 satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  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.

  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 items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  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. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students 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. This guide can be found at

  2. Students are required to demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of academic language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and referencing in all assessment responses. Marks allocated to the aforementioned criteria will be specified in the criteria for assessment of all assessment items.

  3. Students are required to submit ALL assignments to evidence meeting or exceeding the mandatory requirements of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APSTs).

Other requirements

  1. Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.