Intro to ECSE

Course Description

This course surveys current knowledge of young children with disabilities within the context of development and learning, birth to five. It examines historical factors,legislation affecting service delivery,etiology, characteristics and needs of young children who are at-risk for or who have identified disabilities. From a cultural diversity perspective, the role of family-professional partnerships, educational strategies, and models of service delivery are explored. Field experience is required.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate, apply, and synthesize knowledge of historical, philosophical, social, cultural and legal foundations of early childhood special education.
  • Demonstrate and synthesize knowledge of federal and state regulations and procedures that apply to identification, evaluation, assessment, eligibility, and free appropriate public education (FAPE).
  • Demonstrate, apply and synthesize knowledge of IFSP/IEP development and review, program implementation and monitoring, natural environments/least restrictive environment (LRE), due process, dispute resolution, and transition practices for EI/ECE services.
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of characteristics of specific categories of disabilities.
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of cultural and diversity in teaching and learning of young children with special needs and their families and practices that support partnerships with culturally and linguistically diverse families, caregivers, and service providers.
  • Demonstrate and evaluate knowledge and skill in behavioral observations and writing observation reports. This includes a field experience assignment (project) for the student: Developmental Observations, completing two preschool observations and submitting one Observation Assignment. First observation is a typical preschooler in a typical preschool classroom setting; second observation is an atypical preschooler with identified special needs (the child must have an IEP) in a public school ECSE program.
  • Demonstrate, utilize and synthesize knowledge of concepts of natural environments, integration, inclusion and the continuum of services, as they apply to early childhood education, including their impact on roles of early childhood educators, early childhood special educators, and service providers.
  • Apply and synthesize knowledge of the characteristics of developmentally appropriate service delivery models and settings that enhance the learning and positive behaviors of young children with special needs.
  • Apply and evaluate knowledge of research and evidence-based principles and practices that contribute to the improvement of teaching practices.


Students are expected to attend all class sessions and actively participate in class activities and discussions, complete examinations as scheduled, and to turn in all assignments on time. Students are also expected to read all assigned material prior to the class session in which the material is presented and be prepared to contribute to discussion and dialogue.


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