This course focuses on how to address and support children and their families with special education needs. Emphasis will be placed on both ends of the special education spectrum from children with disabilities to those on the gifted end. Best teaching practices will be investigated, observed and applied. This course will also examine legislation trends and how they have impacted special needs. Students will learn to Identify children who may have special needs and use strategies to help them succeed at school. Students will also plan inclusive teaching environments and differentiated instruction that meet all children’s needs from infancy through 2nd grade. Additionally,  assessment tools will be explored to help identify children who may have special needs. Lastly, the importance of demonstrating appropriate communication and support with families when special needs are identified will be addressed.



Familiarizes students with the foundational theories of human development, current research directions in developmental psychology, major developmental perspectives and research approaches in developmental psychology and issues surrounding diversity, emphasizing an ecosystemic model of thinking about and understanding children and their development. In addition to the previous topics, the following areas will be discussed: the history of childhood; developmental theories and appropriate practices in education; play as a medium for learning and development; and the field of discipline particularly as it relates to development, behaviors and considering temperament in children.

This is a foundational course for a graduate level study of children. It will provide an overview of the major theories of child development. This is the first course in a sequence of courses that make up our masters program in Early Childhood Education. As such, you will get an opportunity to not only learn, but to develop skills in scientific presentation- both written and spoken. 

The success of our courses depend in large part on the quality of the discussions and attention paid to the readings and other materials.  We will be drawing lots on the first night of the course to determine which discussion each student will lead in our class. As there are more students than nights we meet, up to two students may choose a particular date. You will make a class presentation on a topic related to the assigned readings. You will also prepare questions and/or exercises, such as we will/did do tonight to which the rest of the class will respond.