K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


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From the education reference

special education
Programs serving students with mental and physical disabilities. Special education programs provide individualized education plans that detail services children will receive.
distance education
Instructional delivery option that takes advantage of various space or technology resources. Distance education enhances options for students to access educational resources to overcome geographic, mobility, or time constraints.
gifted education
Educational programs designed to offer enriched opportunities for students identified as having the highest academic potential, including additional classes, programs, or services. Gifted students are considered to have the capacity to achieve beyond the norm based either on IQ scores, demonstrated ability in the classroom, or both.
experiential education
Instructional approach based on the idea that ideal learning occurs through experience. Learning tasks require the active participation of the student in hands-on opportunities and must connect content to the student's life.
abstinence-only education
Curriculum that teaches abstention from sexual activity until marriage.
bilingual education
Classes taught in a combination of a students’ first language and English, geared toward helping student with limited English proficiency (LEP) become proficient in English as a second language (ESL). Students in bilingual programs receive part of their daily instruction in English and part in a second language. Significant portions of the school day are devoted to ESL instruction, in which each student receives intensive assistance in learning English.
aesthetic education
Education that recognizes the interconnectedness of body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Enabling students to express perceptions, feelings and ideas through reflective shaping of media including paint, clay, music, spoken or written words, and bodies in movement.
character education
Educational initiative that promotes integration of core moral and civic values in the curriculum.
aesthetics education
Teaching students to critically view art so as to become more reflective and discriminating in their opinions of various art forms.
comprehensive sex education
Sex education programs that teach about abstinence and contraception. Comprehensive sex education includes discussions of human anatomy, reproduction, and sexually transmitted diseases.
multicultural education
Education philosophy and curriculum that expands traditional white Western European curricula, highlighting themes and subjects from diverse cultural, ethnic, racial, and gender perspectives. An important focus of multicultural education is to create equal educational opportunities so that all students can succeed in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic society.
comprehensive sex education
Sex education programs that teach about abstinence and contraception. Comprehensive sex education includes discussions of human anatomy, reproduction, and sexually transmitted diseases.
banking model of education
Model of education in which teachers "deposit" information and skills into students. The emphasis is on memorization of basic facts rather than on understanding and critical thinking. The idea of the banking model was articulated and critiqued by Brazilian liberation theologist Paulo Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970).
year-round education
Model of education in which students attend school throughout the year with regular short breaks.
Brown versus Board of Education
Landmark decision of the U. S. Supreme Court (1954) that affirmed the constitutional guarantee of equal opportunity in education. Arguing that the doctrine of "separate but equal" facilities had no place in the American system of education, the court ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
continuing education unit
Nationally recognized unit of measurement for participation in non-credit continuing education programs. One CEU is recognized as 10 contact hours of participation in a continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship.
Individualized Education Plan
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA, mandates that each student with a disability who is enrolled in the Exceptional Children's (EC) program have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The goal of IDEA is to educate students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment possible. IEPs describe how the school plans to educate each EC student while accommodating the student's disability. IEPs often specify modifications to be provided by teachers.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
1975 federal law (amended in 1997) under which schools must guarantee that all children with disabilities receive "free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment." The statute requires that children with disabilities be educated with children who are not disabled, and that removal from the regular classroom may occur only when the nature or severity of the disability interferes with the successful delivery of aid and services.

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Common Core and the special education student
Course description The Common Core has brought wide reaching shifts in K-12 education. While much of the emphasis has been placed on particular content areas – there is still much to examine when discussing best practices for implementing Common...
Format: article/online course
Education Reference: Collection Policy
The purpose of LEARN NC's Education Reference is to provide definitions of common terms in K–12 education as well as information that contextualizes the terms and, where appropriate, links to examples and resources that will help teachers implement teaching ideas in their classrooms. These guidelines explain our policy for including entries in the Education Reference.
Format: article/help
Airborne and Special Operations Museum
Relive military history from World War II to the present through exhibits at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Poverty and special ed
Is there a correlation between poverty and disabilities in children? This article looks at the facts and explains why the numbers of impoverished children in special education is on the rise.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and Jennifer Job.
Minority representation in special education classrooms
Are minority students over-represented in special education classrooms? The evidence suggests that they are. This article examines questions about minority representation in special education and suggests some strategies to address the issue.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and Jennifer Job.
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tiered model designed to combine assessment and intervention to maximize student behavior. With RTI, schools identify students who may be at risk for learning or behavior difficulties and monitor progress. The Council...
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Gender in special education
Do boys have more incidences of disability than girls? The numbers suggest that they do, but the matter is complicated. This article addresses some of the issues behind the statistics.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and Jennifer Job.
Changing the focus from label to need
Labeling a student's disability is an important step in procuring special education services for that student. But is there a downside to labeling students? This article looks at four commonly held — but ultimately misleading — beliefs about labels in special education, and advocates for focusing on needs rather than labels.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
How do special education students benefit from technology?
Students with disabilities can benefit greatly by using technology in the classroom. This article examines the use of assistive technologies with special education students.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and Jennifer Job.
Acceleration vs. social promotion in special education
Popular belief holds that accelerated programs are not good for gifted students. This article shows that these students actually excel with support from their teachers and parents.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Special education in Mexico
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 3.3
In the 1990s, the inclusive education movement gained ground in Mexico, which resulted in the mainstreaming of special needs students into regular classrooms. The effects of this movement can be seen in the educational policies and services focusing on special needs students in Mexico.
Format: article
By Mary Faith Mount-Cors.
Classroom behavior
In this video, a classroom dramatization illustrates a variety of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors by students and the classroom teacher. Viewers are encouraged to make note of the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. A follow-up video, "Classroom...
Format: video/video
Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools
These articles provide background on Latino immigrants in North Carolina, administrative challenges in binational education, and strategies through which teachers can build on what Latino students bring to their classrooms to create a learning environment that meets the needs of all students.
Format: series (multiple pages)
A friend, starting with you!
This lesson helps students learn about themselves and how good a friend they are to others. It helps children identify their own special talents and characteristics while showing the importance of good self-esteem in making new friends.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–5 Guidance)
By Sara Smith.
Can Americans define the term "learning disability?"
This article examines the statistics surrounding what Americans know — and don't know — about learning disabilities. The results highlight the necessity of educating parents and teachers more comprehensively about learning disabilities and what causes them.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Getting the facts about autism
This article explores some common misconceptions about autism.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
The law and disabilities
A brief overview of two major laws — the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 — that protect students with disabilities in schools.
By Margaret P. Weiss.
Using anchor activities to recognize special needs
There are a number of reasons why a student with special needs might make it to the high school level without having his or her needs identified and addressed. This article proposes using anchor activities as a way to determine whether a high school student has an unidentified learning disability.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Topics in Science Education
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 3.2
Resources Specific to Science Inquiry Letting Students Ask the Questions — And Answer Them A look at an inquiry-based earth and environmental...
Format: article/teacher's guide
North Carolina Maritime Museum
Students will learn about the rich maritime history of the North Carolina coast as well as the coastal environment and barrier island ecology.
Format: article/field trip opportunity