What Do You Learn In A Master’s In Special Education Program?
I have only had a handful of classes, and I have learned so much about children with special needs. I have a new respect for students with special needs, and the lives they lead. Many people see the handicap, and that is all they see. Every teacher should spend the time to understand their students and the lives they lead outside the classroom. It often explains many of the things that occur inside the classroom. Most of these students have rich lives both inside, and outside the classroom. Many excel in some area of their life. I am hoping with my Special Education degree, I will be able to assist some students in excelling even more in life. There are several options available at most colleges and universities with regard to their special education program.
You can get a general Special Education master's degree, or you can specialize. It may depend on your undergraduate degree. If you specialized in a specific area, or age group in your under grad degree, you may want to specialize even further with your master's, or you may want to find a different niche entirely.
With the No Child Left Behind legislation, and the push toward inclusion, even many regular classroom teachers are pursuing a master's in special education. Many are also working toward a reading endorsement, which can be added to your Special Education program with a couple additional courses in phonics, and reading. I am a huge fan, and supporter of reading, so this is the slant I am taking in my studies.
Special Education courses also include instruction on behavior management for teachers, and communication and consulting skills. I think all of these are very good skills to have for any educator, but especially for teachers who work with students that may have diverse learning styles. It is very important for special education instructors to be able to communicate with parents, other educators, and nurses or specialists who may come with the students.
The Special Education curriculum also includes courses for science, social studies, and math. If you are not already specialized in a certain area such as elementary, early childhood, or middle education, you can pick one of these areas to specialize in.
Most masters in education programs leave room for graduate students to design their own area of concentration, or specialty. Special education teachers need to be as specialized as the students they teach. Since every student is an individual, I think it is also very important that the teacher express their individuality in the way they instruct.