Faculty of Education

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Joseph Agbenyega



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


This unit prepares teachers to work inclusively with the diverse learning needs of their school students and in particular with students who have a range of abilities, disabilities and impairments. It develops students' knowledge and understanding of differentiation for all ability levels, particularly in relation to children with special needs due to disability. Students are introduced to policies, legislation and research influencing schooling and classroom practices for children with special needs. They engage with theoretical perspectives and research relating to difference and disability and consider the implications for themselves, learners and families. They investigate several common approaches to the education of children with special needs including inclusive education, differentiated instruction, universal design for learning and personalised learning. They also learn how environments, curricula and pedagogies can be designed and modified to support learners' diverse needs. Students develop an understanding of the necessity of positive relationships with children and the value of partnering constructively with families and support staff to work towards educational equity and enhancing the learning outcomes of children with special learning needs in primary classrooms.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. critically analyse and understand how society and schools define and understand learner differences, including learners with special needs
  2. demonstrate awareness of the implications of the range of student abilities, disabilities and impairments from an educational and developmental perspective
  3. recognise and understand how policies, legislation and research impact on the education of students with special learning needs
  4. identify a range of teaching practices that are appropriate to meet the needs of students with special learning needs that align with inclusive education
  5. develop confidence and professionalism in partnering with students, families and support staff to enhance the educational outcomes of learners with special needs
  6. consider their own positioning in relation to difference, disability and impairment and how this impacts learners and families through reflexivity.


Research paper on a critical issue related to learners with special needs in the primary classroom (1600 words, 40%)
Class presentation on a selected special need (can include individual and/or group work) (2400 words, 60%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • 2 hours per week

(b.) Additional requirements:

  • 10 hours of independent study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study