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EDU8821 Professional Practice in Special/Inclusive Education

Semester 2, 2022 External
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 2 July 2022


Examiner: Nicole Todd


21st-century educators faced many challenges within their classrooms, including meeting the academic and social-behavioural needs of all their students including both typical and learners with disabilities. Research in Australia indicates that despite the adoption of an inclusive philosophy as a response to the Salamanca Statement (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 1994) and the Disability Discrimination Act, (1992), the delivery of quality education to students with disabilities remains a concern. According to Children with Disability, Australia (2015), more than one in four students were refused enrolment in a school on the grounds of their disability, and nearly one in six students were only offered part-time enrolment., Additionally, three in five parents of students with disabilities in the study felt their child was not receiving adequate support at school. As a result, several state Education Agencies now require credentialed candidates in postgraduate special education courses to demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to teach students with disabilities in inclusive education settings or alternative settings.

The course focuses on building the students' skills in identifying research evidence to support the implementation of evidence-based teaching practices in their professional settings. Students will use the evidence-based decision-making model to examine the current evidence base about what works best, what criteria can be developed to make decisions about student success, and how to select, implement, review and communicate research-supported teaching strategies that address identified student needs. Students will learn how to ask reliable and answerable questions about each type of evidence, where to search for strong evidence of each kind, and what criteria to apply to evidence concerning academic and behavioural strategies. The course will use readings, case studies, forum discussion and online tutorials to sensitise students to ideas, methods and techniques to support high quality, evidence-based decision-making.

The course requires students to implement an evidence-based instructional practice that includes pre and post assessment, instructional delivery, progress monitoring and evaluation in their workplace or other approved sites. The course is a compulsory requirement for all MED (Special Education) students including registered teachers, who wish to gain a formal qualification in the area of special education and who already have the demonstrated relevant content knowledge background in the field. This course can be taken in conjunction with the completion of 3 Special Education electives. The professional experience is 25 days or equivalent.

Course learning outcomes

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

  1. identify the support and needs of students with disabilities in their classroom settings;
  2. describe the origins, characteristics, strengths and limitations of evidence-based practice;
  3. identify what constitutes evidence-based practice in their professional practice;
  4. describe a systematic approach to integrating evidence from external scientific research, student assessment data into evidence- based decision-making;
  5. design and implement evidence- based educational plans for learners with diverse academic and social-behavioural needs;
  6. design a research study to evaluate a teaching strategy consistent with EBP principles and criteria (for students who are not teachers);
  7. reflect on the results and propose modifications for future implementation of the strategy.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Recognising students with special needs 10.00
2. Policies impacting Inclusive Education 10.00
3. Common Inclusive Education practices 10.00
4. Critiquing Inclusive Education practices in professional contexts 10.00
5. Finding external evidence 10.00
6. Validity and importance – an overview 10.00
7. Using data to build EBP teaching practice 10.00
8. Design and implement an BBP teaching programs, including needs analysis 10.00
9. Monitor, document and report on a range of students’ development and implement appropriate feedback mechanisms to enhance learning and teaching 10.00
10. Reflect on, describe and critically evaluate one's own professional practice and take responsibility in collaboration with others to identify and address their own learning needs 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Edmonds, R., Gandhi, A., Danielson, L 2019, Essentials of Intensive Intervention, The Guilford Press, New York, NY.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Essay No 50 2,4
Assignments Written Planning document No 50 1,3,4,5,6,7
Assignments Practical Placement Performance No 1,3,4
Date printed 2 July 2022