College of Graduate Studies
SE5765 Working With Families and Children: Ethical and Legal Issues -
Instructor: Esther Kennedy, Louis Goscinski
Phone: Esther Kennedy 603-828-6462 (C) email email@example.com
Louis Goscinski 603-664-5567 (H) email is firstname.lastname@example.org
1.) Weishaar, M. K. (2007). Case studies in special education law. Upper Saddle River, NJ:
2.) Sileo, N, Prater, M. (2012). Working with families of children with special needs. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. ISBN: 978-0-13-714740-3.
This course will familiarize the student with the ethical responsibilities required of special
education professionals. The specific issues to be addressed in this course include the following:
- developing working relationships with professionals and families
- application of ethical standards to conflict situations
- exploration of behavior change processes within an educational institution
- ethical decision-making process
Central Questions: What have been the major legislation or educational initiatives impacting the
education of students with disabilities in the past 40 years? What major ethical considerations
have evolved as a result? How has this legislation also impacted the familys role in the
education of their child?
What are the major ethical issues encountered by special education professionals?
What impact does federal legislation and mandates have in the administration of special education?
What are responsive strategies that promote effective communication, conflict resolution, and collaboration with individuals with disabilities, families, and school personnel?
What are the roles of administrators, general education teachers, other school personnel and parents in supporting access to the general curriculum of an individual with disabilities?
What are successful problem solving methods that facilitate collaboration?
Performance-based Objectives -
By engaging in assigned readings, sample case studies, and class discussions, students will
be able to:
Identify and discuss major ethical considerations in various aspects and practices in special education
Explain how to support the role of individuals with disabilities, their families and school and community personnel in planning an individualized program, and maintain confidential
communication about individuals with disabilities and their families
Explain how assessment procedures can respectfully include individuals with disabilities and their families
Explain how to foster respectful and beneficial relationships among individuals and incorporate individuals with disabilities and their parents as active participants in the
Discuss ways of communicating effectively with school personnel and parents including those from diverse backgrounds and their families
Identify resources available to parents that would assist parents in understanding their rights as protected by the IDEA and special education procedures
Students will demonstrate these objectives through their participation in discussions, both
in class and online, through their reflections posted online and their final presentation.
Course Expectations: Students will be able to interact and work with others in their educational communities.
Students will be required to be mindful and accepting of differences and challenges that are
among professionals in the classroom.
Students will incorporate technological and media resources in presentations.
Students will come prepared to all classes to foster discussion on the topic.
Content of Course Which Addresses Technological Competence: Students will be required to
employ technology in assignments, research and classroom presentations.
Content of Course Which Addresses Diversity Issues: Students will explore issues of cultural
diversity in relation to individuals with disabilities and their families focusing on communication
and informed consent.
Content of Course Which Addresses Special Needs Issues: This course focuses on individuals
with special needs and their families in addressing ethical concerns related to the implementation
of special education law.
COUNCIL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN STANDARDS NCATE ACCREDIATION
Standard #1 Foundations
CC1K1 - Models theories and philosophies that form the basis for special education practice.
CC1K2 - Laws, policies and ethical principles regarding behavior management planning and implementation.
CC1K4 - Rights and responsibilities of students, parents, teachers and other professionals, and schools related to
exceptional learning needs.
CC1K6 - Issues, assurances and due process rights related to assessment, eligibility, and within a continuum of
GC1K5 - Continuum of placement and services available for individuals with disabilities.
GC1K8 - Principles of normalization and concept of least restrictive environment.
Standard #7 Instructional Planning
CC7K1 - Theories and research that form the basis of curriculum development and instructional practice.
Standard #8 Assessment
CC8K1 - Basic terminology used in assessment.
CC8K2 - Legal provisions and ethical principles regarding assessment of individuals.
CC8K4 - Use and limitations of assessment instruments.
CC8K5 - National, state or provincial and local accommodations and modifications.
GC8K1 - Specialized terminology used in the assessment of individuals with disabilities.
GC8K2 - Laws and policies regarding referral and placement procedures for individuals with disabilities.
CC8S6 - Use assessment information in making eligibility, program and placement decisions for individuals with
exceptional learning needs, including those from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds.
GC8S3 - Select, adapt and modify assessments to accommodate the unique abilities and needs of individuals with
Standard #9 Professional and Ethical Practice
CC9S1 - Practice with the CEC Code of Ethics and other standards of the profession.
CC9S2 - Uphold high standards of competence and integrity and exercise sound judgment in the practice of the
CC9S3 - Act ethically in advocating for appropriate services.
CC9S4 - Conduct professional activities in compliance with applicable laws and policies.
CC9S7 - Practice within ones skill limits and obtain assistance as needed.
CC9S11 - Reflect on ones practice to improve instruction and guide professional growth.
GC9S2 - Ethical responsibility to advocate for appropriate service for individuals with disabilities.
Standard #10 Collaboration
CC10K1 - Models and strategies of consultation and collaboration.
CC10K2 - Roles of individuals with exceptional learning needs, families and school and community personnel in
planning an individualized program.
GC10S1 - Maintain confidential communication about individuals with exceptional learning needs.
CC10S3 - Foster respectful and beneficial relationships between families and professionals.
CC10S4 - Assist individuals with exceptional learning needs and their families in becoming active participants in
the educational team.
CC10S7- Use group problem solving skills to develop, implement and evaluate collaborative activities.
PSU Conceptual Frameworks CHECK Standards:
dedication, perseverance and individual and social responsibility
responsibility of educators to take a thoughtful and critical stance toward themselves and their profession
affirming diversity and understanding the whole child within the family, community and cultural context Collaboration
working with students, families and colleagues effectively toward shared goals, showing respect and openness toward diverse perspectives and confronting and resolving conflicts effectively and respectfully
teaching that engages all learners combines a knowledge of students and ones subject within cultural, social and institutional context.
and the College of Graduate Studies Hallmarks:
Learners are encouraged to be active agents in their graduate programs through dynamic collaboration with our
diverse faculty of scholars and practitioners. The graduate programs foster inquiry and critical thinking through a
commitment to the following Hallmarks:
Leadership and advocacy
Scholarship and action/application
Reflection and innovation
Professionalism and service
Global awareness and social responsibility
Note: Plymouth State University is committed to providing students with documented disabilities equal access to all
university programs and facilities. If you think you have a disability requiring accommodations, you should
immediately contact the PASS Office in Lamson Library (535-2270) to determine whether you are eligible for such
accommodations. Academic accommodations will only be considered for students who have registered with the
PASS Office. If you have a Letter of Accommodation for this course from the PASS Office, please provide the
instructor with that information privately so that you and the instructor can review those accommodations. The web
address for PASS is: http://www.plymouth.edu/pass/serve.htm.
The Writing Center in the Lamson Learning Commons is open every day except Saturday and staff are available
to support students with the written requirements for this course. They will help with idea generation, rough
drafts and editing. Drop in or call (535-2831) to make an appointment.
Academic Integrity: All work submitted in this course must be ones own and produced exclusively for this course.
The use of sources (ideas, quotations, and paraphrases) must be properly acknowledged and documented (APA
format). If you use words from a source and they are taken word for word either as part of a sentence or a phrase you
MUST use quotation marks around the section that is word from the source. The citation would contain the
author, date, and page number (Berry, 2010, p. 6). Violations of university policy will be reported in accordance
with the procedures outlined under Academic Policies and Procedures - Academic Integrity at
Academic dishonesty, as defined by Plymouth State University, is an intentional act of deception in one of the
Cheating use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, or study aids.
Fabrication falsification or invention of any information.
Assisting helping another commit an act of academic dishonesty.
Tampering altering or interfering with evaluation instruments and documents.
Plagiarism representing the works of ideas of another person as ones own. Any student suspected of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Chair of the HPER Department immediately.
See the Academic Catalog for a full description of the procedures when a violation to academic integrity in a course
Performance-based Course Objectives: Participation: attendance, participation in class discussion, 10%
thoughtful responses to others posts in online environment
Due Dates For the Posts 7/7/2013 &7/14/2013
Wrestling with Ethical and Legal Considerations: 20%
-You will be asked to responded on line to two Ethical questions.
-The response will be 150 words in length.
-Post your refection to the forum for that topic.
Respond to at least 2 others posts.
Due Date 7/29/2013
Reflections on ethical and legal considerations 30%
working with families in special education using
Case Studies in Special Education: Wrestling with Ethical and Legal Considerations: Pick 2 case
studies each week (one week free).
Read any corresponding chapters with each topic.
Write a 1 2 page reflection that answers all of the questions posed at the end of the Case
o If not directly stated in your discussion of the questions be sure your reflection includes:
a summary of the law or legal issues involved, the issues and ethical considerations raised by the case study and a possible resolution strategy, or alternative course of action. Also be sure to reflect on how this case and your understanding of the
issues will influence your practice in the education of students with
See Graduate Refection Writing Rubric for writing criteria DUE Date 7/22/2012
Final Project Presentations 40%
Students will choose an issue directly related to special education and the ethical considerations
we have been discussing throughout the scope of this course.
Students will research the topic, including information available to parents on the issue through local and state resource centers and websites.
o E.g. http://www.parentinformationcenter.org/ o http://nichcy.org/schoolage/parental-rights
Information, the students personal perspective on the issue and the rationale for that position, will be presented in a 15-20 min presentation.
The focus of the presentation will be geared toward educating parents/families on the topic.
The student will create a handout, pamphlet, or informational guide that parents could use as a resource will be required as part of the presentation.
Final Presentation and Handout Criteria Comments Summarizes topic in a way that could be easily
understood by parents
Resources or additional sources of information are
Presenter has confident delivery of information:
shows evidence that the speaker has practiced the
presentation and is knowledgeable about the subject
Presentation is organized in a way that the listener
can follow and relate to information being
Handout, pamphlet, or informational guide that
parents could use as a resource is provided. Handout
uses clear user-friendly language.
Class Topics and Readings
7/1/2013 Esther & Lou
Ethical Consideration Topic 1: What are our values and believes
First half of Chapter 10 Working With Families
Read Chapter 1 Overview of IDEA and NCLB Case Studies in Special Education Law
Post on Line Due
Ethical Consideration Topic 3: Provision of Services
Read Chapters 3, 4, & 7 Working With Families
Read: Chapter 8 Working with Families Creating IEPs
7/10/2013 - Lou
Ethical Consideration Topic 2: Ethics around Confidentiality
Read Chapters 5 & 9 Working With Families