The philosophy of science and the history of special education

This course provides an introduction to the philosophy of science and the history of special needs education. The purpose of the course is based within epistemology, and seeks to provide learners with a foundation of knowledge – which be explored, evaluated and tested (in practice) throughout the Masters programme.

Through this course, students will understand the tradition of human thinking and how the development of special needs education has taken place within the context of ‘knowing’.

The course will provide students with the knowledge and understanding of how the theory of special needs education has been shaped within different country contexts, and how approaches have been influenced by shifts in paradigms of knowing.

Research methods and situated transformative action research

This course will provide students with a knowledge and experience in research methods and their applicability within a practical context. Special emphasis will be placed upon situated transformative action research methods.

The course seeks to integrate the theoretical perspectives on special needs education and the tools and techniques necessary for research into professional performance.

Students will be challenged to develop alternative methods of research.

Theoretical approaches to practical skills transformative learning

This course will provide students with the philosophical, sociological, psychological and neurological theoretical perspectives relevant to education. It will provide a knowledge base, relevant to transformative learning, and present an alternative to established views of knowledge through the presentation of practical skills perspectives.

The course will additionally explore the theoretical context of integrating the head, heart and hands in learning. As part of this, the role of craft, land, ecology, biodynamic ecology and movement in facilitating transformative learning will be discussed.

Special education and symptoms of disabilities

This course is intended to create a bridge between theory and practice, through the translation of theory into practice through performance (performance theory). This course seeks to re-imagine potential:

  • of the learning process
  • of the methods
  • of the learner.

It will start with an examination of existing theories and symptoms of disability, and explore how a new pedagogy can be developed, whereby an integrative interdisciplinary diagnostic approach can be used as part of a transformative learning process/experience within special needs education. Through this, diagnostic concepts can be re-thought, and embedded within a new or alternative framework.

Through this course, students will be expected to engage in practical activities, underpinned by their theoretical knowledge and critical evaluation and reflective practice, in order to shape their development of new pedagogies.

Work based learning: Enhancing professional practice

The aim of this module is to provide learners with the opportunity to enhance their professional practice through a reflective experiential learning. The module also seeks to enhance employability by providing learners with practical experience within a professional context.

This course draws upon the skills and knowledge gained by students through earlier modules within a practical experiential setting.

The module provides the opportunity for learners to gain academic credit that recognises professional practice.

Masters’ Thesis

The Masters’ thesis is an independent Research project based on an original research question connected to the MA in special education: practical skills and transformative learning.

The research question should be investigated in a scientific manner, and the thesis should be based on both theoretical and applied research within a practical context.

The Masters’ thesis can also include a practical piece/artefact, and the written component can be submitted in English, Norwegian or German.

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