Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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This practicum accompanies the course, CEP 842: Content-Area Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities. The practicum must be taken in conjunction with CEP 842. The practicum assignments require you to implement the ideas and information you are learning in CEP 842. You will be engaged in 90 hours of teaching practice throughout the semester, at a site that you choose, supervised by an Onsite Mentor (selected by you) and an MSU instructor. Tour teaching will be evaluated through five lessons that you design and teach.

In CEP 842 and in this practicum, we will investigate instructional practices that can be used to improve the learning and academic performance of students with mild learning problems and disabilities in science, social studies, and mathematics. It’s important to realize that we will not learn how to teach these content areas. Therefore, this is not a course in which you will learn mathematics, science, and social studies methods. To learn to effectively teach these subjects would include instruction in the content itself, instruction in how to transform content so that it can be taught with integrity (Bruner, 1966) to K-12 students (the pedagogical content knowledge described by Shulman, 1987), and attention to instructional methods. This is much more than could be done in one course. Furthermore, we acknowledge that most special education teachers are not also highly qualified in mathematics, science, or social studies (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherqual/hqtplans/index.html).

The focus in this course is on differentiating instruction, making adaptations and modifications, employing universal design for learning (UDL), enhancing content, monitoring student progress, and co-teaching and co-planning. We recognize that lower and upper-elementary special educators may be directly teaching science, social studies, and mathematics. However, as students move through middle and high school, special educators, in most schools and classrooms in the United States, will be supporting the content-area instruction that students receive in the general education classroom. A major focus of CEP 842 and this practicum, CEP 894G, is to provide you with ideas, tools, and experiences that you can employ as you work with students with learning disabilities, and their teachers, in the content areas.