Secondary Inclusive Education | Teachers College Columbia University

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Academic Catalog 2017-2018

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Secondary Inclusive Education

Department of - Curriculum & Teaching

Contact Information

(212) 678-3695
(212) 678-3237
Professor Srikala Naraian

Program Description


Steeped in the philosophy of John Dewey and framed by a progressive tradition, the Preservice Program in Secondary Inclusive Education emphasizes student-centered practices and the social construction of knowledge and conceives of teaching as complex professional activity necessarily embedded in particular moral, political, historical, economic, and cultural contexts.  The philosophy of the program is simultaneously driven by the larger institutional conceptual framework for teacher education programs at Teachers College, which emphasize inquiry, curriculum, and social justice.  We aim, therefore, to prepare teachers:

  • To understand teaching as a recursive process of learning/inquiry,
  • To conceive of themselves as curriculum developers and each of their decisions as curriculum, and
  • To conceive of their work as vital to working toward socially just schooling in a diverse, pluralistic, democratic society.

We believe that inclusive education is not just about students with labeled disabilities but rather is fundamentally about all students and more significantly, about the cultural practices of schooling.  Consequently, the full spectrum of challenges of contemporary schooling must be attended to in order to generate transformative action.

We, therefore, necessarily interrogate and work to actively challenge the many sociocultural, institutional, bureaucratic, and interpersonal ways in which children and their families experience marginalization and exclusion (e.g., on the basis of race, ethnicity, social class, dis/ability, gender, nationality, sexuality, language, religious [non] affilitation, etc.).  We simultaneously inquire into how such resistance can be translated into meaningful engagement with existing systems and schooling practices in order to effect change. 

We also inquire into and seek to imagine creative alternatives to current schooling practices that frame poor, disabled, or other marginalized children as deserving of test-prep curricula and disciplinary practices based on behavioral control, rather than rich engagement with and exploration of the world.  Such techno-rational approaches to education that aim to sort students into educational categories and apply received wisdom about best practices are obviously inadequate to the complexity of the challenges that face the inclusive educator.  For this reason, we aim to support our preservice teachers to embrace the inherent ambiguities of teacher work; to fashion their inclusive pedagogies through their own commitments (as advocates for all children and youth) to curriculum inquiry, reflective practice, and the pursuit of social justice; and to conceptualize the work of inclusive educators as the complex intellectual, moral, theoretical, and political work that it is.


The Teaching Residents at Teachers College (TR@TC) program is a multifaceted 14-month graduate-level program that enables TC students to apprentice with experienced mentor teachers in secondary classrooms within high-need New York City schools for one year while earning a Master's degree in one of three programs (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages K-12, Secondary Inclusive Education, or Intellectual Disabilities Autism).  In addition to the graduate degree, the TR@TC program leads to New York State initial certification in either Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages K-12 or Teaching Students with Disabilities 7-12 Generalist.

Like the Secondary Inclusive Education philosophy described above, TR@TC is guided by the larger Teachers College conceptual framework for teacher education programs. TR@TC embraces a philosophy of inclusive education, seeking to prepare teachers of all students in schools.

Degree Summary


Master of Arts (M.A.)

For a complete listing of degree requirements, please click the "Degrees" tab above

For a complete listing of degree requirements, please continue on to this program's "Degrees" section in this document

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts



  • C&T 4000 Disabilty, Exclusion, and Schooling (3 credits)
  • C&T 4200 Fieldwork in Curriculum and Teaching (1 credit)
  • C&T 4199 Literacy Supports
  • Foundations/Content Area Course (2-3 credits)
  • C&T 4501 Teaching & Learning in the Multicultural, Multilingual Classroom (2 credits)
  • Elective Course (2-3 credits)

Total credits: 11-13 credits


  • C&T 4501 Teaching & Learning in the Multicultural, Multilingual Classroom (2 credits)
  • C&T 4037 Positive Approaches to Challenging Behavior (2 credits)
  • Elective Course (2-3 credits)

Total credits:  5-7 credits


  • C&T 4705 Observation and Student Teaching: Learning Disabilities (3 credits)
  • C&T 4046 Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Inclusive Education (3 credits)
  • C&T 5081 Collaborative Communication in Cultural Contexts (3 credits)

Total credits: 9


  • C&T 4705 Observation and Student Teaching: Learning Disabilities (3 credits)
  • C&T 4047 Curriculum Development in Secondary Inclusive Education (2 credits)
  • C&T 5080 Access to Full Participation in Schools (3 credits)

Total credits: 9

Second Summer

  • C&T 4301 Educational Assessment Special Education Students (3 credits)

Total credits: 3

Program total: 38

New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.

Application Information

Acceptance into the program requires strong academic credentials, articulate and thoughtful writing, strong and relevant professional or academic references, and a clear fit between program goals and the goals expressed by the applicant.  At a minimum, applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 or above and evidence of a commitment to educational equity and diversity.  We look for prior experience working with children and/or youth.

Faculty List



Visiting Faculty


Full-Time Instructors


Instructor of Pedagogy and Clinical Practice
Evenden Professor of Education and Vice Dean
Associate Professor of Education
Professor of Education

For up to date information about course offerings including faculty information, please visit the online course schedule.

Course List

C&T 4000 Disability, exclusion, and schooling

This course explores the ways disability status and other facets of identity (such as race, ethnicity, language background, gender, sexuality, religious affiliation) interact with the cultural practices of exclusion in schooling.  There is a central focus on ableism in schools, curriculum, and instruction.  Students learn inclusive classroom pedagogies to mitigate exclusionary pressures in schools and work toward equitable practices and outcomes.

C&T 4046 Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Inclusive Education

An introduction to teaching, learning, and curriculum in secondary classrooms including: development and learning processes; instructional planning; observation and assessment; classroom management and environments; integrating instructional technologies and digital media; working in urban, diverse, and inclusive settings; and culture and community. The course emphasizes the relationship between theory and practice and supports students in the development of self-analytic, reflective, and problem solving skills in pedagogical contexts.

C&T 4047 Curriculum development in secondary inclusive education

Continuation and extension of C&T 4046, with an emphasis on curriculum design issues, state learning standards, Common Core standards, differentiation and assessment. Emphasis on inquiry-based procedures for teaching in secondary content areas to students with substantial academic and/or behavioral difficulties and on monitoring that instruction in a range of school environments. Students work collaboratively to plan and develop multi-level curriculum.

C&T 4200 Fieldwork in curriculum and teaching
Permission required. Majors work under guidance. Students should have had previous coursework with their supervising staff member and should select a problem relating to this work.
C&T 4301 Formal assessment of exceptional students

Permission required. Participation in educational assessment of referred children. Analysis of observational and standardized test data; formulation of educational enrichments, accommodations, and modifications. Lab fee: $150.

C&T 4501 Teaching and learning in the multicultural, multilingual classroom

Student diversity (characterized by gender, race, ethnicity, language, special needs, and sexual orientation) is examined in relation to decisions about methodology, curriculum, instructional materials, student grouping, home-school-community relationships, and teachers' professional growth and development.

C&T 4705 Observation and student teaching: Learning disabilities

Students complete three full days per week at their residency placement in the fall and 4 full days per week at their residency placement in the spring. Students must follow the NYC DOE academic calendar.

C&T 5080 Access to full participation in schools

This course is designed to offer an in-depth understanding of issues that frame the participation of students with disabilities in various educational settings. It critically examines the legal and structural framework that regulates the education of students with disabilities. This course explores current pedagogical practices within the field of special education, while it simultaneously seeks to build the tool-kit of teachers to meet the needs of students with varying kinds and degrees of educational needs. This involves a critical examination of classroom structures for participation that have traditionally been made available to students with disabilities as well as the exploration of alternate ones that can facilitate the learning and development of a diverse student body.

C&T 5081 Collaborative communication in cultural contexts

This course explores, from a disability studies perspective, strategies for developing effective communication and interpersonal interaction skills appropriate for both collaborative and consultative relationships in schools. Focus is on the development of these skills in interactions with both school professionals and family members of students. Particular attention is paid to the development of these skills in ways that are responsive and relevant to people from marginalized groups.