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Elementary and Special Education, B.A.

The elementary education program follows standards provided by the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). The special education program follows standards provided by the Special Education Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

Graduates earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary/special education from Hood College:

Elementary Education

  1. Know, understand and use the major concepts, principles, theories and research related to development of children and young adolescents to construct learning opportunities that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge and motivation.

  2. Curriculum Focus
    • Demonstrate a high level of competence in use of English language arts and they know, understand, and use concepts from reading, language and child development, to teach reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking skills and to help students successfully apply their developing skills to many different situations, materials and ideas;
    • Design and implement age-appropriate inquiry lessons to teach science, to build student understanding for personal and social applications and to convey the nature of science;
    • Use the major concepts and procedures that define number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement and data analysis and probability. Consistently engage problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections and representation;
    • Integrate the study of history, geography, the social sciences and other related areas—to promote elementary students’ abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world;
    • Use the content, functions and achievements of the performing arts (dance, music, theater) and the visual arts as primary media for communication, inquiry and engagement among elementary students;
    • Apply the major concepts in the subject matter of health education to create opportunities for student development and practice of skills that contribute to good health; and
    • Use human movement and physical activity as central elements to foster active, healthy life styles and enhanced quality of life for elementary students.

  3. Instructional Focus
    • Plan and implement instruction based on knowledge of students, learning theory, connections across the curriculum, curricular goals and community;
    • Understand how elementary students differ in their development and approaches to learning, and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse students;
    • Use a variety of teaching strategies that encourage elementary students’ development of critical thinking and problem solving;
    • Use the knowledge and understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior among students at the K-6 level to foster active engagement in learning, self-motivation, and positive social interaction and to create supportive learning environments; and
    • Use the knowledge and understanding of effective verbal, nonverbal and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration and supportive interaction in the elementary classroom;
  4. Know, understand, and use formal and informal assessment strategies to plan, evaluate and strengthen instruction that will promote continuous intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of each elementary student.

  5. Professionalism Focus
    • Demonstrate awareness of and reflect on the practice research on teaching, professional ethics, and resources available for professional learning; continually evaluate the effects of professional decisions and actions on students, families and other professionals in the learning community and actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally; and
    • Establish and maintain a positive collaborative relationship with families, school colleagues, and agencies in the larger community to promote the intellectual, social, emotional, physical growth and well-being of children.

Special Education

  1. Understand how exceptionalities may interact with development and learning and use this knowledge to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities through:
    • Understanding how language, culture and family background influence the learning of individuals with exceptionalities, and
    • Using the understanding of development and individual differences to respond to the needs of individuals with exceptionalities.

  2. Create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with exceptionalities become active and effective learners and develop emotional well-being, positive social interactions and self-determination through:
    • Collaborating with general educators and other colleagues create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments to engage individuals with exceptionalities in meaningful learning activities and social interactions;
    • Using motivational and instructional interventions to teach individuals with exceptionalities how to adapt to different environments;
    • Intervening safely and appropriately with individuals with exceptionalities in crisis.

  3. Use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities through:
    • Applying central concepts, structures of the discipline, and tools of inquiry of the content areas taught, and organize this knowledge, integrate cross-disciplinary skills, and develop meaningful learning progressions for individuals with exceptionalities;
    • Using general and specialized content knowledge for teaching across curricular content areas to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities; and
    • Modifying general and specialized curricula to make them accessible to individuals with exceptionalities.

  4. Use multiple methods of assessment and data-sources in making educational decisions through:
    • Selecting and using technically sound formal and informal assessments that minimize bias;
    • Applying measurement principles and practices to interpret assessment results and guide educational decisions for individuals with exceptionalities;
    • Collaborating with colleagues and families use multiple types of assessment information in making decisions about individuals with exceptionalities; and
    • Engaging individuals with exceptionalities to work toward quality learning and performance and provide feedback and guidance.

  5. Select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance learning of individuals with exceptionalities through:
    • Considering an individual’s abilities, interests, learning environments, and cultural and linguistic factors in the selection, development, and adaptation of learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities;
    • Using technologies to support instructional assessment, planning, and delivery for individuals with exceptionalities;
    • Applying augmentative and alternative communication systems and a variety of assistive technologies to support the communication and learning of individuals with exceptionalities;
    • Using strategies to enhance language development and communication skills of individuals with exceptionalities;
    • Developing and implementing a variety of education and transition plans for individuals with exceptionalities across a wide range of settings and different learning experiences in collaboration with individuals, families, and teams;
    • Teaching to mastery and promoting generalization of learning; and
    • Teaching cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills such as critical thinking and problem solving to individuals with exceptionalities.

  6. Use foundational knowledge of the field and the their professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to inform special education practice, to engage in lifelong learning, and to advance the profession through:
    • Use professional Ethical Principles and Professional Practice Standards to guide the practice;
    • Understanding how foundational knowledge and current issues influence professional practice;
    • Understanding that diversity is a part of families, cultures, and schools, and that complex human issues can interact with the delivery of special education services;
    • Understanding the significance of lifelong learning and participating in professional activities and learning communities;
    • Advancing the profession by engaging in activities such as advocacy and mentoring; and
    • Providing guidance and direction to paraeducators, tutors, and volunteers.

  7. Collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, individuals with exceptionalities, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with exceptionalities across a range of learning experiences through:
    • Using the theory and elements of effective collaboration;
    • Serving as a collaborative resource to colleagues; and
    • Collaborating to promote the well-being of individuals with exceptionalities across a wide range of settings and collaborators.