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Discussion: Forming a Community of Practice for Your Advanced Graduate Program

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In the previous module, you created a concept map, identifying your dreams, passions, goals, and areas of interest in the field of special education. As you analyze the history and evolution of the field of special education, you will discover many issues in which advocates have been fighting for decades to alleviate.

Despite the long fight, special education professionals continue to face an uphill battle advocating for services and resources for students with exceptionalities. For this Discussion, you prepare to share an issue in special education that resonates with you that you feel is important for future study within the field. Your colleagues will examine your issue and share their insights, offer suggestions, and provide valuable feedback for you to consider.

As you analyze issues and share your current role and interests within the field of special education, begin to identify other colleagues in similar positions, or with similar interests and aspirations, with whom you would like to collaborate and build a community of practice for guidance and support as you move through your advanced graduate program together.

To prepare:

·         Review your concept map from Module 1, revisiting your dreams, passions, goals, areas of research interest, and possible future position(s) in the field of special education. Consider what you learned from your colleagues’ concept maps.

·         Review the module Learning Resources on how to create and upload a video presentation via Kaltura.

·         Identify the issue(s) in the field of special education that resonate the most with you.

·         Consider what you would like to accomplish in the field of special education in the short- and long-term as well as any additional information that may help your colleagues come to know you as a special education professional.

By Day 7 of Week 2

Upload a 3- to 5-minute video presentation, using Kaltura, which includes the following:

·         An introduction sharing your current position in the field of special education and an experience in the field that was particularly meaningful to you.

·         An issue(s) in the field of special education that resonates with you and why you think it is significant in the field.

·         The position(s) and/or accomplishments in the field to which you aspire.

·         Any additional information that may assist your colleagues in getting to know you better as a special education professional, such as your interests, hopes, dreams, aspirations, challenges, and concerns related to the field of special education.

 

Assignment: Trending Issues in the Field

The field of special education continues to evolve as policy makers, practitioners, and advocates push for legislation that defends and progresses the democratic goals of delivering a free and appropriate public school education for all students. Despite the continuous efforts towards school reform and equality, trending issues continue in the areas of disability classification, inclusion, standards-based assessments, response to intervention (RTI), and Common Core, just to name a few.

Many of these issues lead the headlines of educational journals and publications; yet, many of these same issues have been the basis of legal mandates, partial implementation, or general tabletop discussions. As you investigate professional educational association websites and up-to-date publications, you will explore trends in the field of special education. Exploring these trends will assist you in synthesizing your understanding of historical perspectives in educating students with learning differences and provide you with insights about special education in today’s world.

For this Assignment, you will also learn about interviewing. You will practice this strategy with a special education leader, seeking to understand his or her experiences in special education.

To prepare:

·         Review the module Learning Resources that explore issues in the field of special education.

·         Select the top two issues that you either identified in your concept map, or identified from this module’s Discussion, that are of interest to you.

·         Conduct outside research to identify 2 additional evolving issues in the field of special education.

·         Select a special education professional to interview for this Assignment.

·         Review the Assignment instructions and create a list of interview questions for a special education professional who has their doctoral degree that you have chosen to interview.

·         Confirm your interview date and time with the professional you identified.

Compose a 5- to 8-page paper which includes the following:

Part 1: Research on Trending Issues

Using course discussions, assignments, and your own research, identify an issue(s) in the field of special education of interest to you. Then, complete the following:

·         : Identify at least 2 scholarly resources which explore the evolution of the field of special education from past to future policies, practices, and services, along with 3 scholarly resources with respect to the issue(s) of interest to you.

·         Analyze the evolution of the field of special education with respect to policies, practices and services. Be sure to cite information gathered from your scholarly resources.

·         Explain how the evolution of the field of special education impacts or has impacted the issue(s) you have identified.

Part 2: Special Education Professional Interview

Complete the following:

·         Develop questions for your interview with your selected special education professional and include them as an appendix to your paper. Consider the following topics as you develop the questions for your interview:

o    His/her particular area(s) of interest and experiences in the field

o    His/her perspective on the contribution of special education to the field of education, as well as children and families

o    Pressing needs in the field of special education

o    Perspectives on the issue(s) which you are interested in, including current thinking/changes over time with regard to this issue(s)

o    His/her role(s) and accomplishments in the field of special education

o    Your own identified topics of interest

o    Your own questions as they relate to the field of special education

·         Interview your selected special education professional.

·         Summarize the interview responses and compare them with your own perspectives and aspirations in the field of special education.

 

Learning Resources

Note: To access this module’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Florian, L. (Ed.). (2014). The SAGE handbook of special education (2nd ed.). London, England: Sage Publications Ltd.

  • Chapter 3, “Models of Service Delivery and Forms of Provision” (pp. 39–54)

    Focus on the relationship between funding for special education and the delivery of services.

  • Chapter 4, “Categories of Special Educational Needs” (pp. 55–72)

    Focus on the implicit advantages and disadvantages of classifying students with special needs, particularly without a theoretical mode.

  • Chapter 5, “The Disproportionate Placement of Ethnic Minorities in Special Education” (pp. 73–96)

    Focus on the inequity of practices in identifying who is categorized as having a disability which requires special education.

  • Chapter 6, “A Sociological Perspective on Special Education”(pp. 97–110)

    Focus on the different paradigms for viewing what special education is and why/how services should be delivered.

Cobb, C. (2015). Principals play many parts: A review of the research on school principals as special education leaders 2001–2011. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 19(3), 213–234.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

 

Focus on the role of the principal in staff collaboration, parental engagement, and inclusive programming.

McHatton, P. A., Glenn, T. L., & Gordon, K. D. (2012). Troubling special education leadership: Finding purpose, potential, and possibility in challenging contexts. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 25(1), 38–47.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

 

Wenger-Trayner, E., & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2015). Communities of practice a brief introduction. Retrieved from http://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/07-Brief-introduction-to-communities-of-practice.pdf

 

Zhang, D., Wang, Q., Losinski, M., & Katsiyannis, A. (2014). An examination of preservice teachers’ intentions to pursue careers in special education. Journal of Teacher Education, 65(2), 156–171.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

 

Focus on the factors that influence a teacher students’ intention to pursue a career in special education.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011f). Special education: Personal introductions [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

 

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 4 minutes.

 

Accessible player 

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011e). Special education: Emerging trends [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

 

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 15 minutes.

 

Accessible player 

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012c). Scholarly writing: Tips for success [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

 

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 3 minutes.

 

Accessible player 

 

PowToon Tricks. (2013, July 22). PowToon tutorial—Creating your own PowToon [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRqO5MasiFk

 

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 9 minutes.

 

 

 

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