Teaching General Education Majors to Embrace, Advocate For, and Educate Diverse Learners

The University of Arizona has developed an innovative education course for general education majors that challenges the social construct of “disability,” reinforces the principles of social justice within the classroom, discusses research based benefits of inclusion for all students, and provides strategies for educating diverse learners within general education classrooms.  Students frequently comment on how this course drastically changed their view of diversity.

After this session participants will be able to:

• Describe in detail the purpose, goals, and execution of this course.

• Articulate the importance of a constructivist element to class content and coverage, the intentional functional design of the class, and the benefits to students.

• Identify numerous written and video resources used in this course and the heavy emphasis on first person accounts and teachings, and the purpose behind these choices.

• Explore and analyze a variety of activities utilized in this course and their purpose, including a heavy focus on the importance of person first language and use of ‘diversity’ versus ‘disability.’ • Discuss and evaluate the impact that this course may have on future general education teachers, colleagues they work with, families they team with, and the students they teach.

Sherry Mulholland