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SPE-491-20, Top: Comm Skills for Spec Educ (SP14)

 INSTRUCTOR: Careen Mayer

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: SEMESTER/Tuesday/05:00-7:45PM, 01/28/2014-04/08/2014


This course is cross-listed with a leadership skills class and a communication class for those involved in special education. It includes the essentials of a human relations, group dynamics, and communication skills course, and address approaches to preventative interventions, resolving conflict, utilizing school and community resources, and effective communication with parents or primary caregivers, colleagues, and monitoring agencies. It will include collaborative team coordination in various programs providing services to school age children.


EDU 559 text: The Daily Discipline of Leadership – How to Improve Student Achievement, Staff Motivation & Personal Organization by Douglas B. Reeves, ISBN 0-787-987-670.

SPE 576 and SPE 491 text: Interactive Teaming: Enhancing Programs for Students with Special Needs by Correa, Jones, Thomas & Morsink, 4thEd.  ISBN 0-13-112592-3.

Optional Reading: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ Transformational Leadership: Principals, Leadership Teams, and School Culture. Also Finders & Keepers – Helping New Teachers Survive & Thrive in Our Schools.  Susan Moore Johnson, 10-0-7879-8764-6.


1. Understand the models and strategies of consultation and collaboration.  (CEC 1, INTASC 4, EDO 1)

2. Explore the roles of individuals with exceptional learning needs, their families, and school and community personnel in the planning of an individualized program. (CEC 1, 6, 10, INTASC 4, 10, EDO 4)

3. Use group problem solving skills to develop, implement, and evaluate collaborative activities and effective interactive teaming skills.(CEC 6, 10, INTASC 10, EDO2)

4. Understand the culturally responsive factors that promote effective communication and collaboration with individuals having exceptional learning needs, families, school personnel, and community members. (CEC 3, 10, INTASC 2, 10, EDO 3)

5. Conduct an interview with the parent/guardian of a student with a disability, or observe conferences/meetings in general or special education, and interview members. (CEC 8, 9, INTASC 6, 9, EDO 2)

6. Administer, analyze and interpret surveys on climate and team productivity of general and special education groups, or on parental needs.  (CEC 8, 9,  INTASC 6, 9, EDO 2,)

7. Collect evidence of applying skills in technology and media to support communication, collaboration, and professional development.  (CEC 6, 8, 10,  INTASC 6, 10, EDO 3)

8. Explore and understand group dynamics and meeting facilitation skills.(CEC 6, INTASC 5, EDO 2)

9. Foster respectful and beneficial relationships between families and professionals. (CEC 2, 10, INTASC 1, 10, EDO 4)

10. Communicate effectively with families of individuals with exceptional learning needs from diverse backgrounds.(CEC 2, 6, 10, INTASC 1, 10, EDO 4)

11. Develop a comprehensive class/school communication plan demonstrating an   understanding of ways in which leadership skills can promote school improvement. (CEC 6, 7, 10,INTASC 7, EDO 1)


Material will be presented through lectures, cooperative learning, role-plays, student presentations, self-reflection, research projects, and videos.