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What Does Good Special Education Teaching Look Like?

A year ago, I wrote about a project designed to show what special education teachers should know and be able to do. The Council for Exceptional Children and the federally-supported Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform, also known as CEEDAR, came up with 22 "high-leverage practices" spread across four domains that should be mastered by newly-minted special education teachers. 

Now, the same organizations have created videos showing some of those practices in action

The four videos, each about 20 minutes long, offer examples of a handful of these practices: "provide constructive and positive feedback," "systematically design instruction towards learning goals," "use explicit instruction," and "use strategies to promote active student engagement." 

The video below, for example, demonstrates "explicit instruction," such as using a logical sequence within lessons, offering multiple opportunities for student feedback, and providing a range of examples for the content being taught. 

Eventually there will be videos available demonstrating each of the high-leverage practices, said Michael Kennedy, an associate professor of special education at the University of Virginia. Kennedy led the team that wrote, filmed, edited and produced the videos. 

Of note: CEC and CEEDAR say these practices aren't just appropriate for students with disabilities; they're effective instructional techniques for all students. So, sharing these videos and talking about these techniques could be one way to bridge the disconnect that some special educators say they feel from their general education peers


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