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Inclusive Childhood Education curriculum

The curriculum, developed in sequential modules, focuses on the duality of the degree – pedagogical, field-based, inclusive, and content-focused courses for all learners, Pre-K-Grade 12 (all grades). Your courses, embedded with special education pedagogy, align to the co-teaching classroom environments in which you are immersed throughout the year. Your teacher team consists of expert NYU Steinhardt faculty and a teacher mentor in your partner school.

We intentionally created graduate courses that model the elementary inclusion classroom. We place a particular emphasis on meeting the needs of multilingual learners, working with families, and integrating the arts into learning.



Your course work helps you learn about your students, their families, and their community. In the classroom, you begin to apply this knowledge as your mentor teacher starts the school year.

Summer 3.0 credits

Knowing the individuals in our classrooms, their families, and communities is an essential starting point of teaching along with reflecting on our own personal experiences related to schooling, learning, and identity. We begin our program in Inclusive Childhood Education with exploring who our learners are and who we are as teachers and learners. We explore issues of identity and intersectionality, child development, the sociopolitical context of schooling, historical contexts of education, working with families, and teaching in and with communities.


You learn about the different kinds of inclusive classrooms and connect how you were taught to how you teach. You apply this knowledge in the classroom as you understand why your mentor teacher establishes certain routines and procedures.

Late Summer Through Early Fall 6.0 credits

This course serves as an introduction to special education. In this module, residents learn foundational content on serving students with individualized educational programs (IEP) using inclusive practices. Residents learn relevant special education policy, models of inclusive practices, aligning students’ individualized needs with grade-level content, and how to read and write IEPs.

This module focuses on creating safe, inclusive, and culturally responsive learning environments for all students. We analyze classroom/school culture, climate, routines, strategies, and environmental design of classrooms, and explore the role and responsibilities of teachers providing special education and related services to students with disabilities. Residents explore models of inclusion, develop respect and rapport with students, support high expectations for all students, collaborate with families and professionals, and create caring classrooms for diverse learners.

Active practice

Your course work focuses on content areas and how you teach subjects to diverse learners, including bilingual speakers, students with special needs, English language learners, and students with varying literacy abilities. In the classroom, you apply this knowledge to your students’ community.

Late Fall Through Spring 20.0 credits

Literacy is most basically defined as the ability to read and write. More broadly, it is the process of using written and spoken symbols to communicate ideas and interact. We focus on the development of literacy (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) in children and ways that teachers can facilitate this with different approaches and resources. We explore theoretical, scientific, and practical issues in literacy with an emphasis on the connections between oral language and literacy, multilingual learners, students with disabilities, and working with families.

In this module, emerging teachers prepare to teach math to diverse learners in various grades. We examine theoretical and practical issues with an emphasis on creating classroom communities where students develop a positive disposition towards the subject. Attention focuses on the development of number sense and student habits to engage productively in mathematical sense-making and problem-solving. We explore pedagogically driven models of learning, using multiple lenses to construct practical, grounded, and equity-based approaches to teaching math.

This module explores the professional responsibilities of teaching in connection with students, colleagues, families, and the school community. Topics include the social responsibilities of teachers, such as anti-bullying education, substance abuse prevention, and HIV/AIDS education; child abuse recognition and reporting; and school violence prevention. Residents gain skills in activating protective resources, advocating for diverse students and their families, working with colleagues and community partners, and supporting empowerment and resilience in the classroom.

In elementary school, social studies plays an integral role in students’ sense of identity and community. Here we explore civic engagement, communities, global awareness, history, current events, and culture. We consider the place and meaning of social studies education and connect content to the needs and diversity of students with IEPs and multilingual learners. We consider diverse perspectives of content and critique and create materials and plans for constructing social studies learning environments that integrate engagement with communities and families.

In this course, residents learn to design inclusive science lessons and activities for elementary school learning contexts. Residents use a single problem – water delivery to urban centers – to apply concepts to teaching and learning to create, test, and revise. Other elementary school science content and connections to equity and justice are explored throughout the course.

This module challenges residents to consider how teachers repurpose and recontextualize content within an equity-centered design thinking framework that includes all learners and all modalities of learning. Through assigned readings, responses to readings, and assigned activities, residents examine the historical and cultural underpinnings of curricular frameworks and explore how to shape curriculum and integrate arts to celebrate the range of student identities and abilities.

This course focuses on assessment as an integral dimension of teaching and learning. Our goals are to examine the role of assessment in designing and implementing IEPs for students with disabilities, and apply evidence-based assessment practices to address learning outcomes and enhance understanding for all students. This course encourages residents to examine the uncertainty that lies at the heart of teaching, and to identify practices that promote equitable learning opportunities for all.

Peak teaching

You learn about your responsibilities as a teacher and how those duties affect your relationship with your students. As the lead teacher in the classroom, you apply all your course work to ensure your teaching meets the needs of your school and each student’s academic achievement goals.

At the end of the year, you finish your Participatory Action Research (PAR) project. At that point, you have completed the requirements for your Teacher Residency and demonstrated the skills of a highly effective teacher.

Spring Through Summer 5.0 credits

This module focuses on the development of literacy in middle childhood and how teachers can facilitate and cultivate this. We examine the theoretical and practical issues with an emphasis on building academic competence. Literacy is explored as a cross-disciplinary tool for thinking, learning, and doing. Residents learn how students acquire increasing control over the demands of language in ever-expanding social and academic contexts, how the practices of schooling can support multiple literacies, how to observe processes, and to use this data to inform instruction.

This culminating module focuses on a year-long participatory action research (PAR) journey. PAR is characterized by a collaborative process of inquiry and action for change in response to organizational or community challenges. Residents engage in a cycle of inquiry that focuses on the process of designing, creating, implementing, and practicing radical listening, and being mindful learners and leaders. Residents are encouraged to reflect on the PAR process and how it helped them develop student leadership, advocacy, and their voice as leaders.

PLEASE NOTE: Completing the Teacher Residency does not guarantee a recommendation for certification. To receive a recommendation, you must:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the competencies needed to be a highly effective teacher and mentor for all learners in your classroom.
  • Complete your assignments as a successful co-teacher, sharing equally in classroom responsibilities with your teaching mentors.
  • Successfully complete your PAR project.

Our teacher education degrees are fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

*Note: The course work and fieldwork lead to eligibility for initial teaching certification in New York State. Please visit our Professional Licensure page for more information.

In the NYU Teacher Residency, we say it all starts with community. The Inclusive Childhood Education degree models this idea with course work that helps our teacher residents deeply understand and connect with elementary students and their families.