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SPE3007 Instructional Approaches in Special Education

Semester 3, 2022 Online
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


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in: BEDU or BPED or BSED or MSLT;
BEDU(Primary/Special Ed), BEDU(Special Ed) or BPED students to have completed EDC2400
Pre-requisite: ESP2200 (BEDU and BSED only)
Co-requisite: EDM5000 (MSLT only)


Developing instructional plans to support the specific developmental needs of learners with additional needs is mandated by state and federal legislation, and is a key professional responsibility of educators in regular and special education contexts. The development of effective instructional plans will include the consideration of the developmental needs of individual learners, contextual affordances and constraints, and guiding policies. Pre-service teachers must therefore be well-versed in the instructional design process, and possess a knowledge of effective strategies for supporting learners with special needs. Additionally, educators must appreciate the experiential knowledge of professional team members, and the values of family members in order to implement evidence-based practice in inclusive educational contexts. While individual instructional plans are a key tool for promoting positive learning outcomes, educators must also plan opportunities to provide learners with additional needs constructive feedback about learning goals. This is necessary for promoting efficacy, self-concept, and fostering self-determination.

This course will provide pre-service teachers with knowledge of the instructional approaches used to support learners with additional needs in different educational contexts. Pre-service teachers will develop an understanding of the different views of human learning, and how these views have led to the development of numerous instructional approaches. The course will analyse the major instructional frameworks within the special education field, and the efficacy of common instructional strategies used to support learners with additional needs. Pre-service teachers will develop skills to collect and analyse different types of student data (e.g., performance, observation, conversational), and understand how to use this data to design and evaluate instructional plans as well as provide formative feedback to learners. The course will also examine the efficacy of assistive technologies for including and instructing learners with additional needs. Additionally, pre-service teachers will consider the role of external professionals and community representatives to help support appropriate instruction for learners with additional needs. At the completion of this course, pre-service teachers will understand the national requirements to report data related to school learners with disabilities.

Course learning outcomes

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 teachers should be able to:

  1. design and evaluate instructional plans that support curriculum learning, behaviour, cognitive, and psychosocial skill development (APST 3.1, 3.3, 7.3);
  2. analyse the collection, storage and use of different learner data for instructional purposes, and describe how data is used to provide feedback to learners with additional needs about their learning or report to parents/carers (APST 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5);
  3. critically analyse the use and efficacy of instructional strategies that support the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development of learners with additional needs within the inclusive classroom (APST 3.3, 3.6, 4.1);
  4. describe and evaluate the use of assistive technologies to support learners with additional needs in inclusive educational contexts (APST 3.4, 4.1, 7.4).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Planning for learners with special needs 40.00
2. Instructional strategies 40.00
3. Assistive technologies for instruction 20.00
Date printed 2 July 2022