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

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Resources tagged with special education are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

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.
The benefits of teaching with nonfiction
In this video, classroom footage and teacher interviews explore the benefits of teaching with informational text. Teachers discuss particular student populations that benefit from reading nonfiction, including exceptional children, English language learners,...
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)
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.
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.
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
The diagnosis of ADHD
Diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been on the rise since the 1990s. This article discusses the appropriate criteria under which ADHD should be diagnosed and considers the consequences of misdiagnosing — or not diagnosing — ADHD.
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.
Getting the facts about autism
This article explores some common misconceptions about autism.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Social skills in the classroom
Are teachers responsible for teaching social skills? Especially when working with children with exceptionalities, the answer is yes. This article gives you some strategies.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and 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.
Understanding twice-exceptional students
This article discusses the twice-exceptional student, defined as a student with both gifts and a learning disability. The author lists three categories of twice-exceptional students, addresses the challenges involved in identifying these students' exceptionalities, shares strategies for teaching twice-exceptional students, and emphasizes the importance of supporting the students' social skills.
Format: article/best practice
By Jennifer Job.
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.

Resources on the web

Disability.gov
A portal to United States programs and resource information for people with disabilities. This site features links to information necessary for children and youth with disabilities to reach their full potential as well as for their parents and educators... (Learn more)
Format: website
Provided by: DisabilityInfo
Wrightslaw
Accurate, up-to-date information about effective advocacy for children with disabilities. (Learn more)
Format: website/general