Graduate Certificate of Education (Learning Differences)

Develop a ‘person first’ approach to problem solve issues associated with dyslexia, ADHD, and dyspraxia

The Graduate Certificate of Education (Learning Differences) takes a Design Thinking approach to analyse issues and challenges faced by persons with a range of learning differences. In particular, it focuses on problem solving, informed by advanced theoretical knowledge, from a person first perspective. The person first approach allows situations to be tackled from the perspective of the individual, and by doing so shifts the focus from a passive acceptance from the person at the centre of the issue to a more active role where their individual needs are actively considered. This approach questions traditional thinking and challenges learners’ biases, prejudice and assumptions.

It highlights the diversity of learning differences, which provides educators with advanced knowledge and skills in supporting individuals with a range of learning differences and inclusion practices. In addition, the Graduate Certificate addresses challenges and issues faced by mainstream teachers in 21st Century educational practice.

Graduates can progress to further postgraduate studies in related fields of education. They can also advance their career in advisory roles specific to inclusion, differentiation and learning difference practices, in addition to being involved in resource teams in schools.

CRICOS CODE
095590J

Key Study Outcomes:

Course Delivery

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Workload and Assessment

No. of timetabled hours per week:

It is expected that each subject, whether studied online or on-campus, will involve a combined total of 120 hours of structured and self-directed learning, which equates to approximately 10 hours a week for subjects over 12-week trimesters.

Typical assessment includes:

Assessments within the Graduate Certificate of Education (Autism) vary in submission outcome, including (but not limited to):
Reflective journal/Blog
Portfolio
Report/Essay
Presentation/Pitch
Research
Collaboration/Facilitation of discussion
Negotiated tasks
Scenario responses
Problem based tasks

Subject Information

The person first approach is used in this subject to introduce the problem solving skills required when supporting an individual with learning differences, including but not limited to dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and ADHD. This subject also explores the impact these challenges have on self-esteem and future learning aspirations. Further, examples of stereotyping, types of interventions and the genetic disposition of the learning challenges are discussed.

This subject develops students’ awareness and understanding by analysing the range of traits across each learning condition. Presenting in various ways and areas of learning development, the stigmatised learning challenges are often described from a deficit viewpoint. Students will be analysing the history of such conditions and the evolution of interventions and support, in turn, continuing to evolve an attribute view of the traits of these conditions.

Classroom diversity is increasing rapidly and teachers need strategies to meet the needs of all students and celebrate their differences. Learning differences vary greatly and therefore need well-developed, suitable and equitable learning support and practice across the school.

This subject provides students with the opportunity to explore the many ways that the needs of all students can be addressed within the mainstream classroom. “Inclusion” describes the practice of enabling students with learning challenges to learn beside their peers and to embrace diversity. The subject focuses on developing and/or extending a positive perspective on inclusion, which is based on identifying and using each student’s strengths.

Differentiation is presented within this subject as a proactive rather than reactive plan, where practical strategies for planning, assessing and teaching are explored and implemented in an integrated approach that celebrates the strengths and meets the needs of all students.

Students will also apply the range of perspectives and skills gathered over the course to design a whole-of-school inclusion plan, based on a person first perspective, contemporary practices and education skills required for the plan. The students are challenged to build into the plan a range of supports with external partnerships to ensure the range of learning challenges presented in the school, education staff, parents and the wider community combat segregation and stigma, to create a community of acceptance, inclusion and best practices.

 

Viewed across a spectrum, dyslexia can be difficult to recognise. By expanding on the understanding of dyslexia traits and range of support tools, this subject uncovers the complexity of dyslexia and how to recognise and support individuals. Students will be presented with perspectives from the lived experience of individuals and parents demonstrating varying contexts and levels of support requirements. Understanding how this condition can impact an individual’s education creates the platform for students to apply their knowledge to put contemporary practices of support in the classroom.

This subject challenges students to engage with a diverse range of educational technologies, with a view to critically examining the relevance and application of such technologies within their professional context. More broadly, students will engage critically with the discourses surrounding technologies in education, refining their skills of critique and analysis to articulate the principles through which educators might make informed decisions about the effectiveness and appropriateness of specific technologies for learning. The subject will provide students with the opportunity to consider specific technologies that are relevant for their professional setting, for example technologies to engage students with Autism, and/or technologies relevant to the teaching of particular disciplines.

In this subject students will analyse a variety of examples of innovative educational practice (including, for example, practices relating to the support of students with additional educational needs), critically examine the meaning of innovation and debate whether innovation can be quantified and measured. Students will be supported to identify problems/issues within education practice and will utilise tools and thinking processes designed to assist in the generation of innovative solutions. Finally, students will explore evaluation methodology as a means of analysing innovation outcomes relevant to their professional context in a systematic way.

Design thinking is an approach to innovation that involves identifying ‘problems’ or issues in a particular context, considering those who have a stake in these problems/issues, and designing a range of possible solutions that are then tested and refined in practice. In this subject, students will explore the concepts and processes of design thinking, including the origins of design thinking and its use across a range of disciplines and contexts. Following these general processes, students will then engage in a design thinking process to identify and address an issue within their own professional context. Through this design thinking process, students will engage in reflection and analysis of their professional skills, knowledge, and judgement, and ultimately arrive at an advanced understanding of their roles as innovators and leaders in education.