Program Redesign to Prepare Transformative Special Educators

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.33043/JOSEP.2.2.18-29

Keywords:

program revision, course alignment, high leverage and evidence-based practices, culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy, universal design for learning

Abstract

Teacher educators are in a unique position to prepare future educators to disrupt the status quo and enact changes that ensure equitable access to educational opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities. It is critical that those who prepare future special education teachers (SETs) ensure they are prepared to engage with the broader school community to foster inclusivity and positive outcomes for all students, in addition to designing specially designed instruction (SDI) responsive to the unique learning needs of individual students with disabilities. Addressing this task requires candidates who are prepared to employ high leverage and evidence-based practices, culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy, and universal design for learning. In this article, we describe how one small Department of Special Education sought to reinvent its program to center anti-racism and anti-ableism to inspire the next generation of SETs to adopt a transformative vision for public education. The result was a cohesive course roadmap that employs a “common trunk” of classes aligned with differentiated coursework needed for specialization for each credential that centers these principles while reducing assignments. The newly aligned road- maps ensure candidates in our programs will be ready to situate their work with students with identified disabilities within the context of the broader goals of public education.

Author Biographies

Matthew L. Love, San Jose State University

Assistant Professor

Department of Special Education

San José State University

Lisa A. Simpson, San Jose State University

Associate Professor

Department Chair

Department of Special Education

San José State University

Sudha V. Krishnan

Assistant Professor

Department of Special Education

San José State University

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Published

09/08/2022

Issue

Section

Small Programs Special Issue