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Discussion:  Mapping your Professional Pathway

For this Discussion, you will create a concept map identifying possible future plans in your PhD, EdD or EdS program and in the field of special education, uncovering what’s ahead, discovering the resources and professional relationships required as well as identifying your personal strengths and needs.

Creating a concept map will identify the steps and tasks you need to accomplish your special education professional pathway. This concept map will also help lay the ground work for your future plans in your doctoral program and in the field of special education.

To prepare:

·        Reflect upon the areas of interest and topics that you identified in EDUC 8002/7000.

·        Investigate research on your areas of interest and topics as well as associated positions in the field of special education.

·        Reflect on your current position in the field of special education as it relates to your topic of interest and consider positions you would like to hold in the field.

·        Review the Special Education (SPED) Program Course Descriptions and Course Learning Outcomes for this course to preview what you will be learning throughout your program.

·        Review all module Learning Resources.

·        Review the media in the Learning Resources on creating a concept map.

By Day 3 of Week 1

Post a concept map of your professional special education pathway. Be sure your concept map illustrates your:

·        Dreams

·        Passions

·        Current short- and long-term goals

·        Areas of research interest

·        Possible future positions in the field of special education

·        What you want to learn in your advanced degree program

Review several of your colleagues’ concept maps and note those to which you would like to respond with advice, questions, comments, and/or encouragement.

By Day 5 of Week 1

Respond to two or more of your colleagues’ concept maps in any of the following ways:

·        Offer any suggestions, ideas, or support for their concept maps

·        Ask a probing or clarifying question

·        Share any insights, experiences, and/or resources you have related to your colleagues’ areas of research interest or their possible future positions in the field of special education.


Assignment: Self-Assessment: Professional Disposition and CEC Professional Standards

Professional dispositions are considered a critical aspect of development for an educational leader. All national education accreditation and standards organizations reference them. In the second course of your program, you will have a major assessment on your knowledge and integration of these professional dispositions.

For this Assignment, you will review the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership’s professional dispositions for education (listed in the Walden Professional Dispositions resource), self-assess your current level of performance for each disposition, and become familiar with the national CEC standards that inform the EdS programs.

To prepare:

·        Review the Walden Professional Dispositions document in the Learning Resources.

·        Review Walden’s Mission and Vision statements listed on the Walden About page in the Learning Resources.

·        Review the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards found in the Learning Resources.

·        Review the Dispositions: Self-Assessment document in the Learning Resources.

·        Consider where you are currently in the field of education as it relates to your level of performance, and then consider your preferred level of performance based on the dispositions and standards you have reviewed in this module. What are your short and long term goals for completing your advanced graduate program?

Complete the following for this Assignment:

Part 1: Self-Assessment Document

·        Complete columns A and B of the Disposition: Self-Assessment document from the Learning Resources

Part 2: Written Reflection

·        Reflecting on your Disposition: Self-Assessment document, as well as the Walden Diversity Proficiencies, the CEC National Standards, and your concept map, create at least three short-term goals for this course and at least two long-term goals for completing your advanced graduate program.

Note: Your goals should align with the mission and vision of the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership (found on the Walden About page in the Learning Resources) and take into consideration the CEC standards and the Walden Dispositions you wish to emulate. You will revisit these goals at the end of this course and throughout the program.

Assignment length: 2–3 pages

Note: For this Assignment and all scholarly writing in this course and throughout your program, you will be required to use APA style (6th edition). Please use the Walden Writing Center as a resource as you complete assignments.



Learning Resources

Note: To access this module’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Florian, L. (Ed.). (2014). The SAGE handbook of special education (2nd ed.). London, England: Sage Publications Ltd.

·        Chapter 1, “Reimagining Special Education: Why New Approaches are Needed” (pp. 9–22)

Focus on the author’s perspective on the role of special education and key issues for the future of education.

·        Chapter 2, “Confronting Difference: A Brief History of Special Education” (pp. 23–37)

Focus on the progression in establishing the field of special education, from historical roots to present day.


Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). (2015a). Advanced preparation standards with elaborations. Retrieved from http://www.cec.sped.org/~/media/Files/Standards/Professional%20Preparation%20Standards/Advanced%20Preparation%20Standards%20with%20Elaborations.pdf



Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). (2015a). Special ed topics. Retrieved from https://www.cec.sped.org/Special-Ed-Topics


Kauffman, J. M. (2015). Opinion on recent developments and the future of special education. Remedial and Special Education, 36(1), 9–13.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


Focus on the discussion of three trends in special education and ideas for next steps for improving the instruction for learners with disabilities.

Kettunen, J. (2015). Stakeholder relationships in higher education. Tertiary Education and Management, 21(1), 56–65.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


Focus on the description of stakeholders as well as the process of building stakeholder relationships.


Walker, K. (n.d.a). Concept map example [Chart]. Retrieved from https://bubbl.us/mindmap?h=2a9b51/55ff19/27EyOKVn07w7o



Walker, K. (n.d.a). Example of concept map [Chart]. Retrieved from https://bubbl.us/mindmap?h=2a9b51/560270/27HvLVI23p5O6



Document: Dispositions: Self-Assessment (Word document)



Document: Discussion Expectations and Protocol (Word document)


Review all of the following doctoral (EdD) and education specialist (EdS) resources presented, including the Student Handbook (which will be reviewed in Module 3):


Walden University. (2015a). Retrieved from http://www.waldenu.edu/



Walden University. (2015b). Retrieved from http://www.waldenu.edu/about



Walden University. (2015d). Student publications: Welcome to the catalog, student handbook, and university guidebooks. Retrieved from http://catalog.waldenu.edu/



Walden University. (2015c). Center for Student Success. Retrieved from http://css.waldenu.edu/



Document: Walden Professional Dispositions (PDF)



Document: Walden Diversity Proficiencies (PDF)


Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012b). Introduction to scholarly writing: Purpose, audience, and evidence [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 4 minutes.



Laureate Education (Producer). (2012a). Introduction to scholarly writing: Finding a scholarly voice [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 4 minutes.




Patton, K. (Director). (2011, February 2). Concept maps—A learning & study strategy [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QENMp0K2-Zk


Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 11 minutes.


Course Resources
Interactive Community Case Studies


Grand City Community

·        Laureate Education (Producer). (2015). The new student [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Go to the Grand City Community and click into West Ridge Middle School. Review the following scenario: The New Student.


Walden University has created a simulated community known as Grand City. This community is being used in various other courses, as well as this one. The community consists of several locations that may be useful in completing some of the assignments in this course and other courses throughout your program. When you use a resource within the Grand City community in this course, instructions will be provided pertaining to which location and resource you are to view. The community may be viewed at the link provided in the citation.


Finally, whenever you have a Discussion or Assignment related to the case study, this icon CSwill display in the Assignment introduction. Instructions for which video related to the case study, and which location within Grand City you are to focus on, will be provided in the Discussion and/or Assignment prompts.



The Toolkit, located in the Course Overview, contains a variety of resources that will support you in this course and throughout your program.


You are strongly encouraged to create your own Internet-based Toolkit. You can save the course Toolkit documents to this personal Toolkit and begin adding additional resources as you locate them. See the Toolkit document entitled “Build Your Own Toolkit” for suggestions about how to start your own Toolkit.


Finally, whenever a Discussion, Assignment, or resource would be beneficial to add to your Toolkit, this icon will display throughout the course.