Singapore University of Social Sciences

Special Educational Needs in its Diversity

Special Educational Needs in its Diversity (SPE103)

Applications Open: 01 October 2021

Applications Close: 30 November 2021

Next Available Intake: January 2022

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Special Education

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


The disciplines of medicine and psychology have played significant roles in the theory andpractice of special education. SPE103 Special Educational Needs in its Diversity examines theconceptions of Special Educational Needs, the recognition of individual differences, needs andinterests in the context of educational provision. It explores the processes for identifying andassessing children with Special Educational Needs and the implications that they have for theplacement of the children, as well as the dilemma involved in determining the threshold forresource allocation. The course highlights the need for a code of practice that details the guidanceessential for formal actions to be taken by the multiple disciplines working with the child withSpecial Educational Needs and his family. Systems of classification of Special Educational Needsthat have been developed and implemented, and their underlying theoretical rationale and models,are introduced in the course. The International Classification of Functioning (ICF) and theDiagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) are examined for their implications for the learning anddevelopment of children with Special Educational Needs. It engages participants in reflectivethinking about what the implications these classification systems have for Special Educationpractice.

Level: 1
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester


  • Medical and Educational Frames of Special Educational Needs
  • The Plurality of Special Education
  • The International Classification of Functioning (ICF)
  • The Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM)
  • Systems of Classification of Special Educational Needs
  • Main Categories of Special Educational Needs
  • Needs and Interests In The Context Of Educational Provision
  • Informal Complements To Learning
  • Placement in Special Education
  • Meeting Special Educational Needs: Processes and Practices
  • Meeting Special Educational Needs: Theoretical Approaches and Models
  • Meeting Special Educational Needs: Code of Practice

Learning Outcome

  • Explain how the definition of Special Educational Needs is derived.
  • Discuss the systems used for classifying Special Educational Needs.
  • Name and describe the main categories of Special Educational Needs.
  • Describe the dominant perspectives on how Special Educational Needs is conceptualised.
  • Comment on some of the processes involved in meeting Special Educational Needs.
  • Illustrate the application of Code of Practice using specific examples.
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