Teaching science to students with intellectual disabilities provides opportunities for meaningful and relevant learning that enhances understanding of the world. Science instruction can be interdisciplinary and student-centered fostering learning through curiosity, creativity, artistic expression, collaboration, communication, problem solving, critical thinking and design thinking. Students with intellectual disabilities must have access to grade level, standards aligned instruction that is individualized to meet their needs. If an IEP team determines a student to be eligible for the PA Alternate System of Assessment (PASA), the student will be assessed on prioritized Science AEC at grades 4, 8 and 11. When providing access to science content at the other grade levels for students assessed on the PASA, IEP teams should consider each student individually and examine the alternate eligible content in the surrounding grades.
As an educator, administrator, or parent, the following resources will be helpful in planning Science instruction:
The following four-part training series “Alternate Eligible Content for Science: Making the Connection” is now available via the PaTTAN YouTube Channel. This series is designed to support teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities to better understand science instruction for this group of students. Learn how to make science content accessible using the process known as essentialization. Hear from two teachers in separate settings and with different grade level groups as they explain their instructional planning process.