PRAXIS II Special Education: Application of Core Principles across Categories of Disability Exam

This exam is designed for individuals who would like to teach special education in grades preschool-12. You will be given one hour to complete this 50 multiple-choice question exam. There will be 10 questions regarding professional issues and literature, 10 questions regarding management of the learning environment, 10 questions regarding assessment, 10 questions regarding instruction, and 10 questions regarding curriculum.

Professional Issues and Literature
This section of the exam will cover using professional literature, participating in transition planning for students, working with teaching assistants in the classroom, consulting with other individuals and, the instructor’s role within the multidisciplinary team.

Managing the Learning Environment
These questions will cover classroom management, organization, and behavior management. The classroom management questions will cover parent and teacher communication, documentation, transitions between lessons and activities, lighting, seating, staff and student attitudes, consistency, rules, expectations, and strategies for positive interactions with staff and students. Questions regarding behavior management will cover behavioral interventions, target behaviors, consequent events, data collection methods, and identification of antecedents.

Assessment
This section of the exam will cover preparation of written reports and communication, the IEP/ITP and monitoring instruction, interpretation of specialized and standardized tests and, selection, construction, and modification of informal and formal assessment’s.

Instruction
This section of the exam will cover the implementation of instruction, the component and format of instruction, selection of appropriate methods and strategies, and implementation of the IEP. The implementation of instruction question will cover instructing students in specific areas such as study skills, daily living skills, vocational skills, social skills, and academics. The component and format of instruction question will cover the following instructional methodologies: reinforcement, questioning, demonstration, modeling, small group instruction, large group instruction, individualized instruction, behavioral analysis, learning styles, and drill and practice. Your knowledge of the selection and implementation of educational strategies such as task analysis, cooperative learning, behavioral analysis, learning styles and IEP implementation will be assessed in this section of the exam.

Curriculum
This section of the exam will cover usage of technology, diversity in the classroom, specialized materials and programs, and adaptation and modification of the standard curriculum.


PRAXIS II Special Education: Application Of Core Principles Across Categories Of Disability Practice Questions

1. What is included in the Individualized Educational Program (IEP)?

A. Assessment tests
B. Medical history
C. Annual goals
D. All of the above

2. Which of the following is not part of direct teaching?

A. Focus on instructional methods.
B. Shift emphasis from teaching to learning.
C. Are students ready to learn?
D. Resources needed to prepare activities

3. List some evaluation strategies for special needs students:

A. limit distractions.
B. allow oral responses.
C. avoid timed tests.
D. All of the above

4. The responsibilities of a special education teacher include:

A. monitor social, emotional, and mental development.
B. maintain current anecdotal records.
C. help develop the student’s IEP.
D. All of the above

5. Which of the following statements about learning disabilities is not true?

A. May have strong leadership skills
B. Athletically gifted
C. May be cured some day
D. May be hereditary


Answer Key For Special Education: Application Of Core Principles Across Categories Of Disability

1. Answer: D

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that states children with physical, psychological, and learning disabilities are entitled to a “free and appropriate public education.” Every state and territory is mandated to provide educational opportunities for children between the ages of three and twenty-one, no matter how severe the learning problems or physical challenges.

The Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is a comprehensive written document mandated by IDEA Schools are required to conduct an evaluation that includes various assessment tests to determine the child’s strengths and weaknesses; results of interviews with the child, his parents, teachers, and other significant adults; and notes from conferences with professionals familiar with the child. IEP provides a review of his medical history and current educational performance and comments from direct observation in various settings. It describes annual goals and sets short-term objectives. The IEP spells out the type and length of special services required and establishes methods for evaluating progress. Beginning at sixteen, it must also include a plan to move him out of school into the real world.

2. Answer: A

The idea behind direct teaching is to shift the emphasis from teaching to learning. The focus is on the student acquiring and integrating knowledge, not the teacher’s particular instructional methods. To maximize learning, several questions should be asked when preparing lessons for all students, but are especially critical for special needs students:

  • What is the main concept? Are the students ready to learn it? Will it require previously learned knowledge to understand and integrate it?
  • What resources are needed to prepare required activities? What steps are necessary to explain the information clearly? Are examples and prompts concrete and easily understood?
  • How will progress be monitored? Are students on task? Working independently or do they need lots of assistance? How will feedback be provided?
  • What evaluation methods will be used? Observation? Questions? Demonstrations? Tests?
  • If follow-up instruction is needed, how will it be provided? Intervention? Remediation? Reviewing? Repeating?

3. Answer: D

To obtain an accurate picture of the progress of special needs students, testing, grading, and evaluations should be conducted in a slightly different manner. Tests should be given in a quiet place with as few distractions as possible. Accommodations for asking verbal questions and receiving oral answers should be provided. Tests should be broken into short sections with visual prompts where possible. Avoid giving a timed test and give students whatever amount of time needed to complete each section before moving to the next one. Schedule monitored breaks between each part.

Teachers should grade spelling, organization, and presentation separately from content. When evaluating content, highlight key concepts, creativity, and original thinking, so the students and their parents recognize the knowledge gained and progress made. Teachers need to find something specific to point out and praise to encourage the student for his accomplishment and as an incentive to learn more. Exempt students from district- and state-mandated tests, if permitted.

4. Answer: D

Teachers of special needs students have a unique role in the life of the student. These educators are not only responsible for providing academic instruction, but they are expected to monitor the student’s social, emotional, and mental development and keep parents, colleagues, and administrators informed of his progress on a regular basis. A vital part of this communication process is maintaining current anecdotal records, accurate progress reports, and assessing the social, behavioral, and independent-living skills acquired.

Special education teachers are members of the interdisciplinary team that develops the student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP) and designs appropriate responses to address the goals and objectives outlined in this mandated evaluation. Based on the recommendations in the IEP, the teacher must develop, organize, and execute lesson plans using a variety of methods, resources, and materials to communicate academic data. The teacher must also maintain a calm, orderly, harmonious learning environment and inform teachers in mainstream classrooms of any changes in the student’s situation that might indicate a need to modify their instructional approach.

5. Answer: C

People with learning disabilities frequently are very intelligent and have strong leadership skills. They often show amazing abilities in creative areas like art and music or are athletically gifted. They just process information differently than others do. People with learning disabilities are never “cured.” They learn ways to cope with and work around whatever problems they have, and many function very well in later life, especially if they receive help in the early years.

Learning disabilities are complex. Scientists think the causes may be as complicated as the problems themselves and may be different for each person. They may be caused by: heredity (runs in families), teratogenic elements (develops in the womb because the mother is addicted to alcohol or cocaine or ingested lead), medical reasons (premature birth, diabetes, meningitis), and societal influences (malnutrition, poor prenatal healthcare). Since the causes can’t yet be pinpointed, it is more important to focus on determining the child’s problems and developing educational tools to help him maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses, so he can function in the world.