Special Education (PBD)

This program offers educators and health care professionals who work with children and adults with disabilities the opportunity to consolidate work in lifespan development and special education in a way that facilitates a common discussion ground. The course work emphasizes knowledge and skills about lifespan development, individual differences, and assessment and support. Emphasis is placed on understanding how challenges presented to families of children with disabilities change over time as children mature and as they make transitions across home, school and community contexts.


Required Courses

Students complete 22 units including all of:

EDUC 315 - Individual and Developmental Differences in Language Acquisition (3)

Individual and Developmental Differences in Language Acquisition

EDUC 315

A review of theories of language acquisition and their relationship to child communication disorders. Topics include: theories of language acquisition; individual and developmental differences in language acquisition; language structure and use in children with diverse disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, sensory disabilities and emotional and behavioral disabilities, interdisciplinary approaches to early intervention in the home, school and community. Prerequisite: EDUC 220 or PSYC 250 or LING 100. Students may be required to successfully complete a Criminal Record Check.

EDUC 422 - Learning Disabilities (4)

Learning Disabilities

EDUC 422

A study of conceptual and historic foundations of learning disabilities and an introduction to the methodologies of diagnosis and of learning disabilities. Prerequisite: PSYC 250 or corequisite of EDUC 315 or 473. Students may be required to successfully complete a Criminal Record Check.

EDUC 426 - Teaching Children and Youth with Special Needs (4)

Teaching Children and Youth with Special Needs

EDUC 426

An introduction to the field of special education including studies of the definitional criteria and characteristics of major categories of special need, and the distinctive instructional challenges associated with these categories. The course focuses on the special learning needs of school age students, both elementary and secondary school levels, and emphasizes both the analysis of issues and treatment needs across the array of special needs. Prerequisite: Students may be required to successfully complete a Criminal Record Check. 60 units including EDUC 220 or PSYC 250, or EDUC 401/402 or Corequsite: EDUC 403.

EDUC 464 - Early Childhood Education (4)

Early Childhood Education

EDUC 464

Current trends, issues and research relating to the education of young children. Prerequisite: EDUC 401/402 or PSYC 250 or corequisite EDUC 403.

and one of:

EDUC 322 - The Social Lives of School Children (3)

The Social Lives of School Children

EDUC 322

An overview of theory, research and practice concerning social emotional development and social interactions and relationships in the school context. Emphasis on the role of peer relationships in development and the role of the school in supporting positive interactions. Prerequisite: EDUC 220 or PSYC 250.

GERO 302 - Health Promotion and Aging (3)

Health Promotion and Aging

GERO 302

This course includes an examination of the development of contemporary understanding and practice of health promotion. Students will be given the opportunity to explore theories and models designed to explain health related behaviors and the determinants of health. Strategies for behavioral change and development of socio-environmental approaches will be discussed in the context of an aging Canadian population. Prerequisite: 60 units. Recommended: GERO 300.

and one of:

EDUC 424 - Learning Disabilities: Laboratory (4)

Learning Disabilities: Laboratory

EDUC 424

Supervised experience in analysis and evaluation of treatment strategies to be used with classroom students having learning disabilities. Prerequisite: Prerequisite or corequisite: EDUC 422. Students must successfully complete a Criminal Record Check.

EDUC 427 - Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings. (4)

Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings.

EDUC 427

A review of classroom teaching practices that support learning for children with high-incidence disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, mild intellectual disabilities, moderate behavior disorders). Topics include: introduction to inclusive teaching, collaboration partnerships and procedures, teaching students with high-incidence disabilities, developing effective teaching skills, improving classroom behavior and social skills, promoting inclusion with peers, enhancing motivation and affect, assessment and teaching in the content areas. Prerequisite: Co-requisite EDUC 422 plus one of the following: Prerequisite EDUC 401/2 or co-requisite EDUC 403 or experience working with children with high-incidence disabilities. The last option would require instructor approval.

Optional Courses

Students complete eight units from the following:

EDUC 323 - Introduction to Counselling Theories (3)

Introduction to Counselling Theories

EDUC 323

Survey of theories undergirding counsellor and teacher interventions aimed at promoting emotional growth, development and personal change. Examination of theories and their sociological, cultural and philosophical contexts. Exploration of links between frequently used interventions and the implicit theories underlying these strategies. Prerequisite: 60 units including EDUC 220.

EDUC 351 - Teaching the Older Adult (3)

Teaching the Older Adult

EDUC 351

This is a basic course in adult education for students from all disciplines, of particular interest to those working (or preparing to work) with older adults. The goal is to assist students to develop more effective strategies for meeting the needs of an aging population through education. Prerequisite: 60 units.

EDUC 382 - Diversity in Education: Theories, Policies, Practices (4)

Diversity in Education: Theories, Policies, Practices

EDUC 382

An examination of the impact of social diversity on schooling in Canada exploring contemporary issues and perspectives on diversity education as they relate to cultural, ethnic, racial, linguistic, religious, economic, and gender differences. Prerequisite: 60 units.

EDUC 423 - Helping Relationships (4)

Helping Relationships

EDUC 423

Introduction to the rationale for and the practice of basic counselling skills. Emphasis on the development of counselling skills as a means of establishing effective helping relationships in educational settings. Prerequisite: Or corequisite: EDUC 323.

EDUC 428W - Nature and Nurture of Gifted Students (4)

Nature and Nurture of Gifted Students


Conceptions and misconceptions related to the nature and education of individuals with extraordinary abilities will be introduced. Implications for teaching and learning will be examined. The nature and feasibility of curriculum differentiation, flexible pacing, and other educational options for these students will be critiqued. Grading will be on a pass/fail basis. Prerequisite: EDUC 401/2 or EDUC 403. Students must successfully complete an SFU Criminal Records Check. Writing.

EDUC 468 - Sociocultural Perspectives on Language, Cognitive Development and EAL Instruction (4)

Sociocultural Perspectives on Language, Cognitive Development and EAL Instruction

EDUC 468

Designed for prospective and beginning teachers to learn more about theory and research in language acquisition, sociocultural understandings of language development and thought, bilingualism and cognition, linguistic multicompetence. Exploring the implications of research and theory for the teaching and learning of EAL in classroom contexts. Prerequisite: 60 units including 6 units in Education courses.

GERO 300 - Introduction to Gerontology (3)

Introduction to Gerontology

GERO 300

Examination of the aging process from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Physical and health factors in aging, economic and vocational factors in aging, family and community relations of older people, social policy and politics of aging. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on normal aging. Students who have taken GERO 101 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: 60 units. Breadth-Social Sciences.

GERO 401 - Environment and Aging (3)

Environment and Aging

GERO 401

Impact of the macro- and microenvironment as it affects the aged. Discussion of planned housing and institutional living arrangements, territoriality and the need for privacy, home range and use of space, urban planning, responsive design of housing and care facilities, effects of relocation and institutionalization. Prerequisite: 60 units. Recommended: GERO 300.

PSYC 354 - Development of Children's Thinking (3)

Development of Children's Thinking

PSYC 354

Examines research and theory concerning the origins and development of cognition in humans. Traces the development of language and children's thinking about the physical and social world from birth to adulthood, with a focus on infancy and childhood. Prerequisite: PSYC 201 and 250.

PSYC 355 - Adolescent Development (3)

Adolescent Development

PSYC 355

Considers human development from the end of childhood to the beginning of the adult stage, from a bio-social point of view. Included among the topics are psychological effects of sexual maturation, choice of vocation and marriage partner, effects of participation in the gang and youth organization, cultural variations in the patterns of growth. Prerequisite: PSYC 201 and 250.

PSYC 356 - Developmental Psychopathology (3)

Developmental Psychopathology

PSYC 356

Examines theoretical approaches, research findings, and treatment outlooks concerning problems and disorders in childhood development. Prerequisite: PSYC 201, 241 and 250.


Meet faculty members teaching in this program.