Online Courses in Early Childhood Special Education
Here are some of the commonly offered online courses available to students interested in early childhood special education.
- Introduction to Special Education Course: This online course discusses the history of special education, the development of specialized teaching techniques and federal and state regulations. The course likely addresses special education needs for children in both primary and secondary school. Students discuss characteristics of different populations and disabilities and learn corresponding effective teaching techniques. Students may be required to participate in on-campus training simulations.
- Classroom Management Course: This course introduces students to theories behind behavior management in the classroom. The course discusses basic behavior theories, including positive reinforcement and motivation theory, highlighting age appropriate strategies for early education. Students learn the philosophical origins of management techniques and their effects by means of case studies.
- Early Education Curriculum Course: Students learn proper techniques for designing curriculum for young children. The course includes a discussion of early childhood development. Students develop learning materials and may be required to train on-campus in infant, toddler and preschool settings.
- Teaching Gifted Students Course: Students learn how to meet the learning needs of different pupils in this online course. The course introduces curriculum adaptations as well as behavior management techniques that students may use to keep gifted children engaged in the regular classroom.
- Creating and Managing Engaging Learning Environments Course: This course trains students to develop environments that promote learning through engagement, both within the classroom and within the community. Students explore the impact and importance of support from external agencies and family members in a child's education, and learn techniques to promote interaction and positive relationships among children within the classroom.
- Intervention Strategies Course: This course explores academic and behavioral intervention strategies for teachers who work with individuals who have disabilities. To evaluate available strategies, students are exposed to primary research literature in the field.
- Assistive Technology Course: In this course, students learn about the technologies that can be used by individuals who have special needs. In particular, they find out how different devices can help special needs children communicate, complete daily living activities and succeed in an academic environment.
Many online master's and bachelor's degree programs, such as the Master of Science in Education or Bachelor of Science in Elementary/Special Education, offer online classes addressing early childhood special education. Students in these programs learn about infant, toddler and preschool age children and address special needs that may include learning English as a second language, learning disabilities or gifted students learning in regular classroom settings. Students pursuing careers in special education must obtain licensure; requirements vary by state.
Teachers who want to gain expertise in working with individuals who have special needs during early childhood can find courses online that can help them understand different types of disabilities and develop their skills in working with students with disabilities.