Language: NOR | ENG

SPED3001/1 The philosophy of science and the history of special education


Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have  demonstrated:

Knowledge and understanding:

  •   A comprehensive understanding of the history of the development of Scientific knowledge and the shifts in paradigms that have influenced human thinking
  •   A systematic understanding of the characteristics of special needs education and emerging differences between countries
  •   A conceptual understanding of the influence of the development of scientific thinking and the approach to special needs education, through paradigm shifts


Skills and abilities:

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  •   Demonstrate an ability to engage in   epistemological discourse
  •   Engage in critical self-evaluation and   self-reflection of inner perceptions, experiences, practices and influences   (it. Why do I think about/approach special needs education in this way)


General competences:

At the end of the course students will be have   gained the following general competences:

  •   Presentation skills
  •   Communication (active listening and critical   questioning)


This course provides an introduction to the philosophy of science and the history of special needs education. The purpose of the course is based within epistemology, and seeks to provide learners with a foundation of knowledge – which be explored, evaluated and tested (in practice) throughout the Masters programme.

Through this course, students will understand the tradition of human thinking and how the development of special needs education has taken place within the context of ‘knowing’.

The course will provide students with the knowledge and understanding of how the theory of special needs education has been shaped within different country contexts, and how approaches have been influenced by shifts in paradigms of knowing.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

  • Lectures and seminars in Lillehammer.
  • One on-line group seminar ahead of oral exam.
  • Learning sets in home country (4-6 participants).
  • Independent study (reading and personal self reflection).

This course will be taught in Lillehammer (Norway).

The examination will take place at Ruskin Mill, Nailsworth (UK).

Obligatoriske krav som må være godkjent før eksamen kan avlegges

75% attendance

Develop a reflection text ahead of oral exam

Develop questions for peers having oral exam

Participation in one learning set

Participation in one on line seminar


100% Oral Exam

Leaners are required to deliver a 15 minute presentation to staff and peers, followed by 15 minutes of critical questioning and answering. Total 30 minutes per student.

Assessment criteria:

  • Clarity and structure of presentation
  • Ability to demonstrate engagement with the course content
  • Critical reasoning and presentation of argument
  • Understanding of processes of thought and the influence of paradigm shifts/knowledge development on special needs education
  • Evidence of self-reflection and original thought

Examination procedures:

  • Peer audience (course)
  • 2 examiners (assessors)