Special Education Courses

Find the best Special Education Courses

Special Education Courses overview

Special education is designed to help those with neurological disorders, genetic conditions or ailments of any kind that impair learning. It’s a method of imparting new knowledge and skills to those who would otherwise be unable to receive them. Postgraduate study into the field allows students to understand current research and how to apply it.

Many special education schools began in the 18th century. A school for the deaf was established in 1760, with a school for the visually impaired beginning in 1765. In 1784, the blind children of Paris soon had a place to learn too. It wasn’t long before the entire developed world began accommodating for all manner of conditions, bridging the opportunity gap between the healthy and physically disadvantaged.

Modern special education professionals utilise hundreds of years of theoretical and practical insights for the benefit of children everywhere. Modern psychology, medicine and practice have made the field stronger than ever.

Is special education for me?

Special education is for those with a passion for helping the physically or mentally disadvantaged. It is for students with empathy and patience in equally exceptional measure. If you’re the sort of person with the willpower, persistence and compassion to be an educator and leader for students in these circumstances, special education could be a highly rewarding career for you.

Study pathway

Special education can be taken up to master level, with graduate certificates and diplomas being available for shorter study periods.

Graduate certificates are a customisable, flexible way for students to gain entry-level insights into the industry. Programs from institutions like Flinders University provide a huge array of units to choose from over the course of the six month full time period. These include designing individualised curriculums, intervention for students with numeracy or literacy difficulties (with individual units for both), understanding behaviour, studies in vision impairment, braille, mobility and more. This makes it an excellent way for educators to become well acquainted with a special education sector of their choice.

Graduate diplomas provide a more broad scope of knowledge, with institutions like Macquarie University providing units in applied behaviour analysis, effective instruction in numeracy and literacy, positive approaches to behaviour management, professional practice and more. This program is ideal for those who already hold bachelor degrees in education, psychology, physiotherapy and more, as the content builds upon knowledge from these fields. These programs take one year of full time study to complete, or longer if part time.

Macquarie also offers the Master of Special Education alongside other institutions, taking two years of full time study to complete or longer if part time. These courses offer all the content of certificates and diplomas with the addition of units in research methods for special education, communication intervention, current developments in special education and more. These courses offer students with prior relevant qualifications to excel and reduce completion times to one and a half years.

Employment options

Working in school classrooms for the benefit of those who require special attention is the most common form of employment with this qualification, as the skills acquired are uniquely adapted to suiting it. Public and private schools dedicated to serving special needs students can be found across the country in all states, making them ideal employers.

Specialisations

There are many specialisations that are as varied the conditions educators work around. The following are examples of these.

Autism center teacher

Some postgraduate special education courses focus solely on autism, making graduates from these degrees an excellent fit to each in centres that specialise in this area. The Australian Autism Centre exemplifies the kind of employer graduates can look for when looking into this career.

Teacher of hearing impaired students

Teaching deaf students requires skill in sign language and the specialised knowledge available as electives in many special education courses. Those who’ve chosen to specialise in this career can then find employment at top institutions, such as the Victorian School for the Deaf.

Teacher of blind students

Just like any other branch of special education, teaching blind students isn’t just limited to knowledge of braille. Educators in this field must learn to teach students through primarily touch and audio, making it an exciting and rewarding challenge. Institutions like the RIDBC work to educate both deaf and blind children.

Advice for Special Education Courses

Getting a job

The number of graduates in Victoria applying to become teachers has dropped sharply by nearly 40 per cent in a single year.

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Edith Cowan University (ECU)

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Edith Cowan University (ECU)

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