Special Education (Special Educational Needs Teacher) (DE)
The Master of Arts in Special Education with a specialisation in Special Educational Needs Teacher imparts theoretical and practical skills for teaching children and adolescents in need of special educational support. Students learn about different forms of disability by studying the basics of various forms of such. They also learn how to diagnose, assess the effectiveness of interventions; they acquire the ability to use teaching and learning methods effectively and are able to plan lessons for pupils with special educational needs.
Profile of the study programme
The Master of Arts in Special Education with a specialisation in Special Educational Needs Teacher is an academic and vocational course of study. Students acquire theoretical and practical skills for teaching children and adolescents in need of special educational support.
The study programme is aimed at holders of a Bachelor's degree in one of the following subjects: teaching for mainstream education, speech and language therapy, psychomotricity, remedial education, social pedagogy, special education, educational sciences, psychology or ergotherapy, or holders of a Bachelor's degree obtained in an integrated teacher training course for Secondary Level I (not a teaching qualification). During the Master course, students build on the knowledge obtained during their Bachelor programme.
The study programme provides students both with sound theoretical bases and practical teaching skills. Closely following research findings, the programme covers the following topics: basic knowledge about different forms of disability, a reflection on deviation and normality, diagnosis, evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions, special teaching and learning methods, and planning lessons for pupils with special educational needs.
This Master programme is the continuation of a long tradition of research-based Special Education teaching at the University of Fribourg. It is the only German-language study programme in Switzerland to offer simultaneously an academic and a vocational qualification in Special Needs Education at university level.
The final diploma is recognised by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (CDIP/EDK) and enables access to doctoral studies.
Learning outcomes and career openings
The study programme trains students to become specialists in the schooling of children and adolescents with special educational needs.
On successfully completing their training, the students are able, among other things, to (see also EDK, 2008):
– use diagnostic evaluation procedures and observation methods adapted to each child, on the basis of personal and environmental characteristics;
– develop and implement an individualised specialised teaching project taking into account the school, family and social environments;
– collaborate in an interdisciplinary manner with all the specialists and institutions involved;
– work in both ordinary and specialised school environments;
– perform a consulting and support role in relation to the problems which arise in special needs education;
– engage in theoretical reflection with a scientific basis on the problems and tasks involved and the possible teaching initiatives;
– evaluate the effectiveness of professional activity using explicit methods;
– engage in reflection on their personal, social and professional skills with a view to planning ongoing training requirements;
– construct qualitative and/or quantitative research projects respecting the relevant ethical and deontological codes.
This Master programme opens the way to careers in teaching as well as in research:
- Teaching in special needs classes (institution);
- Teaching in small, special needs classes;
- Teaching in integration classes;
- Remedial teaching in regular classes;
- Counsellor or educational adviser in special needs education;
- Administration, training and research positions (universities, higher education establishments, research centres).
Structure of studies
90 ECTS credits + 30 ECTS credits in one or two supplements, 4-6 semesters
The following persons can be admitted:
a) Candidates with the «Foundations of Special Education» supplement, who are holders of a teaching certificate recognised in Switzerland to teach in regular classes and at least the equivalent of a Bachelor;
b) Candidates with the «Foundations of Instruction in Ordinary Classes» or «Foundations of Special Education» supplement with any of the following Bachelor degrees (main field of study): Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in remedial education, speech-language therapy, special education, psychomotricity, social education, educational sciences, psychology or a BA attained in an integrated course of study for the secondary level I teaching degree (without a teaching licence).