This course targets meeting the needs of diverse learners in general and special education classrooms, particularly through strategic grouping. In order to group students most effectively, even in order to successfully teach students, it is imperative that teachers conscientiously get to know each student as much as possible. Often students’ strengths go unrecognized, and many needs go unnoticed, frustrating the teaching and learning process. When strengths are celebrated and deep needs are validated in students, their best efforts, abilities and character can be evoked. The course provides an overview of federal laws and regulations related to meeting the needs of students, as well as various needs that require the accommodation of teacher. Strategies are listed, but the bulk of the course discusses the component of arranging groups to meet students’ needs and to bring out their strengths. The course examines specific grouping options for particular dynamics and learning results. The course ends with an argument for maximized inclusion for students, as well as Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s model of portraiture in the field of education, to find ways of discovering, defining, and bringing out the goodness that is present in every student.

    This course provides the following types of credit:

  • (Massachusetts) 15 PDPs.
    Approved by Mass Department of ESE for PDPs. Also listed on MyLearningPlan for Boston Public School teachers.
    Note: PDPs are determined by the number of clock hours. The number of PDPs may vary according to participant, up to a maximum of 15 PDPs. Participants must document their clock hours in order to receive credit.
  • (General) 1 graduate-level PDU.
    Transcripts in sealed envelope provided by Brandman University. University processing fee not included; $90 per credit + course fee.
  • Please check with your school district or local authority on whether the kind of credit this course provides can be used towards meeting your professional development, salary differential, or credential renewal needs.
  • For questions, email