TAST – Special Needs Educational Asst
Child and Adolescent Development
This course provides a survey of the major theories of human development, principles, research findings, and concepts relating to child and adolescent development from a cognitive, social/emotional, and physical perspective. Course material explores several aspects influencing individual development from preschool to adolescence with a focus on application of this content to the educational setting.
Supporting Classroom Behaviour Management
Students develop the skills and knowledge to provide positive behavioural support to students within the context of the teacher’s classroom behaviour management system. Course content addresses the interrelationship of multiple factors within the classroom environment, strategies to foster positive student behaviour, methods of observing, documenting and reporting student behaviours to teachers, understanding of what influences behaviour and the communicative function of student behaviour, the development and implementation of appropriate intervention strategies for students who require complex behavioural services, and the critical need for positive classroom relationships.
Language Learning and Math Across the Curriculum
In this course, students examine the theory and practice of literacy within the Alberta Language Arts and Mathematics curricula. Students learn to support the implementation of these programs by adapting materials to meet the learning styles and needs of pupils. Learning a variety of practical strategies, students are able to transfer real skills to the classroom, including paired reading, spelling systems, and math manipulatives.
Students with Diverse Learning Support Needs I
This course provides an introduction to students with selected diverse learning support needs within an inclusive education context. Emphasis is placed on understanding of classroom learning teams, including the role of educational assistants, etiology and prevalence of diverse learning needs, modifications for inclusive classroom environments and strategies to enhance learning for all students.
Specialized Skills and Practice
Students develop the skills necessary to support classroom teachers and students with specific special education needs. The course blends theory with effective practice to prepare assistants who must demonstrate ways to adapt learning activities and materials for students with a range of academic, emotional and physical challenges. The particular special education need studied varies from term to term.
Students with Diverse Learning Support Needs II
This course provides a further introduction to students with selected diverse learning support needs within an inclusive education context including etiology and prevalence. Emphasis is placed on understanding diversity in the classroom and mental health concerns. Course content reviews the utilization of Universal Design for Learning and Differentiated Instruction as programming resources to support diverse learning as well as understanding the importance of social development in classroom settings.
Collaborative Team Practice
This course introduces students to the foundational skills required to effectively contribute to classroom learning teams. Through mediated learning activities students have the opportunity to build on and expand their own communication skills and practice the interpersonal skills needed to work productively in a variety of educational contexts. The roles and responsibilities of learning team members are identified and compared as the dynamics among the roles of these team members are explored. A strong emphasis is placed on experiential learning and self-growth activities.
Assistive and Adaptive Technology
This course provides an introduction to assistive technology resources used to support children and adults with disabilities to achieve success in their learning and work throughout their lifespan. Students compare methods used to make decisions about appropriate assistive technology for specific needs and examine their role in the needs assessment and implementation processes.
In this course, students reflect on their professional practice and link their classroom learning with field related experiences and workplace issues. The small group seminar format promotes the integration of theory and practice in a professional setting through facilitated group discussion and participation. The school board application process is examined in detail and students complete a professional portfolio to provide an overview of their skills, knowledge and experience.
Co-requisites: TAST 130.
The practicum is designed to provide students experiential learning opportunities in the field to connect their knowledge, skills and attitudes to the content of program theoretical course work. Through practical, hands-on work at their school site, students experience the full range of responsibilities associated with the complex role of educational assistants. The supervised practice setting enables students to develop the confidence and knowledge required to be an effective practitioner in the field of education.
Co-requisites: TAST 129.