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Queen's University

Continuing Teacher Education

Special Education Part 1 (ONSITE)


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COURSE DATES:  May 4 - 29, 2015 

DEADLINE:  May 1, 2015

IN-CLASS 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Duncan McArthur Hall, Queen's University
MAY 4, 5, 6 Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday
MAY 11, 12, 13  Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday
MAY 19, 20   

Tuesday-Wednesday (No classes May 18th in observance of Victoria Day Holiday)

MAY 25, 26, 27     Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday
MAY 7, 8    Thursday-Friday
MAY 14, 15 Thursday-Friday
MAY 21, 22   Thursday-Friday
MAY 28, 29 Thursday-Friday

Course Description:

The Additional Qualification course, Special Education, Part 1, is an introductory course. It focuses on the theory and practice underpinning special education. This course explores all exceptionalities, teaching strategies, program planning and other issues related to teaching and learning in all classrooms. This course is designed to focus on integrating students with special needs into the regular classroom. As a result of this course, you will become familiar with current trends and issues associated with the integration of special needs students into the regular classroom. As well, techniques and strategies involved in the accommodation and modification of content, instruction, application, and evaluation will be discussed. This information will be presented in the context of the educational changes that are present in Ontario.

Although this course will be of greatest interest to those teachers who wish to deepen their understanding regarding students identified as exceptional, all classroom teachers may wish to better prepare themselves for teaching students who have special learning needs.

This course meets Ontario Regulation 184/97 that requires each full credit course consist of at least 125 hours of work. Candidates are required by the Ontario College of Teachers to spend 125 hours on course related work and assignments for Special Education, Part I.

By the time you complete Special Education Part 1, you will know about: 

1. Ministry legislation, regulations, guidelines, funding and support documents as well as the organization of special education in Ontario.
2. Models, theories and approaches that attempt to explain exceptionalities and their educational implications including: an awareness of the major policy and research issues in special education, such as inclusion, integration, categorical and non-categorical approaches, holistic and mechanistic models.
3. Current conceptions and definitions of the various exceptionalities, including the key historical and cultural factors in their development as well as the implications of these exceptionalities with respect to learning and pedagogy, and: 
   i. what it means to be considered exceptional 
   ii. the learning differences, learning strengths, and learning difficulties of exceptional pupils. 
4. The role of the family in the delivery of special education programs and a competence in communicating effectively with exceptional pupils and their families. 
5. Strategies for gathering and interpreting data for educational decision making including: 
   i. skills in informal and process-oriented assessment and in systematic classroom observation, in order to identify pupils who may need adapted regular education or special education services and 
   ii. formal assessment and diagnostic tools both educational and clinical. 
6. The skills required deciding whether or not to refer to an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC). 
7. The I.E.P process. 
8. The role of other professionals and the community in the delivery of special education programs. 
9. Instructional approaches and materials including:
   i. basic skills in the accommodation or modification of curriculum, pedagogy, and expectations in order to implement educational objectives in the regular classroom for exceptional students and 
   ii. the principles of instructional methods and materials that implement educational objectives in special education programs and 
   iii. the application of computers and other adaptive and assistive information technology to support the learning needs of exceptional pupils and
   iv. approaches designed to promote and maintain a positive learning environment 

The AQ on-site Special Education, Part 1 course has two components:

(1)   In-class component

A varied approach is taken that includes guest speakers with expertise in the field of special education, large group and small group discussion, audiovisual resources, workshops, and opportunities to pursue independently your particular questions and interests. Throughout, our focus is on the application of knowledge about exceptional students to best support their learning and enable your teaching. To this end, differentiated instruction and appropriate intervention strategies are emphasized.

(2)   Practicum

In keeping with the Ministry of Education and the Ontario College of Teachers guidelines, the practicum component of Special Education, Part 1 consists of approximately 40 hours. These hours are to be negotiated between the student and the agency, host professional, or school setting. In other words, it is the responsibility of the student to organize her/his practicum. However, the course instructors are available to provide direction and assistance as the need arises.

Please note that the course hours have been constructed to allow for completion of the Practicum requirement during the scheduled four weeks of the course. If necessary, practicum hours may be completed after May 29 th , 2015, if previously arranged with the course instructors.


There are two (2) options available for the practicum:          

Option A: “Shadowing”

You may shadow a professional involved in meeting the needs of exceptional individuals. In this situation, you may be involved in some observation, general teaching duties, and interaction with students or clients. The focus is on the responsibilities of the professional. As such, you are not restricted to one classroom. This option does not follow the model of your practicum experiences in the fall and winter semesters where you were situated in one classroom. Additionally, you may elect to shadow in a setting other than a school; e.g., an agency, group home, health care clinic, or hospital that provides services for children and adolescents with special needs.   

Option B: Focus on a specific area of exceptionality

Your focus would be on learning about the programme accommodations or modifications designed to meet the needs of a student(s) who is an exceptional learner and on developing your knowledge and skills in this area. You would attend to the special needs, the programme adjustments, the methods of implementation within the context of the setting, and incorporate assessment and evaluation of the adaptations, within the time frame available.

Either option requires that professional integrity be maintained at all times and confidentiality is assured, both within and outside of the setting.

Additional information regarding practicum expectations will be included in the course outline and a letter of introduction will be provided in the initial class.



Since you know best what your own interests and needs are, tailor the practicum to suit your specific requirements for what you want to learn about exceptional students. IF POSSIBLE, TRY TO SET UP YOUR PRACTICUM PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THE COURSE, SO YOU ARE READY TO COMMENCE IT AS OF MAY 7th, 2015.

There is no geographical restriction for the practicum. You may wish to complete your practicum hours outside of the Kingston area; e.g., in your home board, at the school where you had your previous practica experiences, or in a board where you would like to secure a teaching position.

The instructors will be available for consultation and direction regarding your practicum. The letter of introduction that we will provide will confirm your status in the course and will outline the practicum options as described above. As this is an Additional Qualification, there are no formal assessments that are required on the part of the host professionals in the practicum setting. There is no additional paperwork, apart from one form that includes the host professional's contact information, position, and confirmation of the dates that you were on site. This is submitted after completion of your practicum.

Should you have any questions or concerns that require clarification, please email Andrea Martin at or phone 533-6000, ext. 77237 (voicemail).

Application Requirements:


We will use the OCT number you provide during online registration to confirm that your Certificate of Qualifications shows:

  • certification in at least two teaching divisions (Primary, Junior, Intermediate, Senior)


**New B.Ed graduates are able to register in AQ courses.  You will identify as a new B.Ed graduate during your online application.  Please note that if you have applied to OCT your application number will become your OCT number.


Course Materials:


Hutchinson, N. L., & Martin, A. K. (2012). Inclusive Classrooms in Ontario Schools. Toronto, Pearson Education Canada.


Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO). (2007). Special Education Handbook. Toronto: ETFO.

Unless specified, all course materials are available from the Queen's Campus Bookstore. Visit their textbook search page. Questions related to your order should be directed to the Campus Bookstore at 1-800-267-9478 or 613-533-2955.


Course Accommodations:

Applicants who require accommodations for a specific learning need (e.g., learning disability) within their AQ/ABQ course, should click  here for further information and support.

For all course inquiries, please contact the CTE office at (613) 533-2387 or email


    Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000