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EDC2400 Educating Learners with Special Needs Across Contexts

Semester 2, 2021 Toowoomba On-campus
Short Description: Edctng Lrnrs W/Sp Need X Cntxt
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 070113 - Teacher Education: Special Edu
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Karen Glasby

Other Requisites

BEDU (Secondary) only: It is highly recommended this course be completed alongside or after undertaking EDS2401 Junior Secondary Curriculum and Pedagogy.

Students enrolling in courses which do not follow the recommended enrolment pattern cannot be assured of a developmental learning experience or program completion within their preferred timeframe.


Educating learners with additional needs is a challenge that is faced by educators across all educational contexts. With many of these learners participating in regular classrooms, educators must strive to meet the wide variety of abilities that are present. A clear understanding of the legal and professional responsibilities associated with supporting these diverse learners is imperative for all educators working in both general and special education, across early childhood, primary and secondary contexts, to ensure they are prepared to meet these responsibilities. This course will provide an awareness of learner differences and how these differences interact with contextual factors to influence educational outcomes. Pre-service educators should develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to create inclusive learning environments that maximize outcomes for all learners.


This foundational course will provide an overview of inclusive education with a specific focus on how special education is integral to the everyday professional practice of all educators across all educational contexts. Pre-service educators will become familiar with current legislation, policy and practice, from international, national and state perspectives. They will be provided with an overview of the characteristics of learners with additional needs including: low and high incidence disabilities, gifts and talents, mental health considerations and behavioural challenges, and will consider the impact of these for participation and access to learning. A variety of instructional approaches will be explored, to support learners with additional needs in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy, classroom and behaviour management, and social and emotional learning. Upon successful completion of this course pre-service educators have been introduced to the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours needed to support a diverse range of learners within inclusive learning environments.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course in accordance with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s (AITSL) Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST). On successful completion of this course pre-service educators should be able to:

  1. identify relevant legislation, administrative and organisational policy and resources regarding learners with additional needs, and apply these guidelines and practices across educational contexts (APST 1.6, 7.2);
  2. describe the range of characteristics of learners with additional needs, and explain how these characteristics impact on learning and teaching across educational contexts (APST 1.1, 1.6);
  3. analyse personal and societal attitudes and beliefs, legislation and administrative and organisational policy and critically reflect on how these impact the access and participation of learners with additional needs across educational contexts (APST 1.6, 4.1, 7.2);
  4. describe the importance of engaging with parents/carers, the broader community, and external professional teaching networks to broaden knowledge and practice to support the inclusion of learners with additional needs across educational contexts (APST 3.7, 7.4);
  5. analyse and discuss the effectiveness of specific teaching strategies used to support participation and improve learning for learners with additional needs in inclusive educational contexts (APST 1.5, 1.6, 3.1, 4.1);
  6. apply knowledge and understanding of assessment and planning practices to develop challenging learning goals and inclusive educational programs for learners with varying abilities, characteristics and needs (APST 1.5, 3.1, 4.1).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Legislation, administrative and organisational policies, practices and resources to broaden knowledge and practice to support learners with additional needs in inclusive educational environments:
  • legislative, administrative and organisational requirements
  • educational policies
  • engaging with professional networks and parents/carers for inclusive education
2. Learners with additional needs: implications for learning and teaching:
  • high incidence disabilities
  • low incidence disabilities
  • learners with mental health considerations
  • learners with behavioural challenges
  • learners with gifts and talents
  • learners with medical conditions
3. Data collection and assessment for decision-making and instruction:
  • identify, access, and utilise relevant assessment resources
  • assess developmental areas - academic, social- emotional and physical
  • identify student strengths, interests and preferences
  • develop challenging learning goals
4. Creating inclusive environments for all learners and develop challenging learning goals, based on levels of support:
  • no adjustment at this time
  • supplementary adjustment
  • substantial adjustment
  • extensive adjustment
Specific interventions/strategies/practices embedded at each level:
  • universal design for learning
  • differentiation/adjustment
  • cooperative learning
  • general capabilities
  • alternative curriculum
  • individual curriculum plans and individual education plans

Text and Materials

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.

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Private Study 85.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
QUIZ 1 6 6 06 Aug 2021
ASSIGNMENT 1 30 30 30 Aug 2021
QUIZ 2 7 7 08 Oct 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 21 Oct 2021
QUIZ 3 7 7 22 Oct 2021

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.

  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:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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).

Evaluation and Benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement
2. forms part of the Bachelor of Education and is benchmarked against the:

  1. internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review
  2. Queensland College of Teachers
  3. Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Other Requirements

  1. Participation: Students can expect it will be necessary to participate in and contribute to a range of learning opportunities in this course including online study activities, lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations, group discussions and self-directed study activities in order to apply the coursework that will enable quality assessment tasks to be submitted as evidence of professional development.

Date printed 8 November 2021