The aim of the programme is to produce specialist teachers who are capable of meeting the unique needs of all learners regardless of any disabilities so that they live a total life participating in the family and community to the greatest extent possible.
The programme offers the following subjects:-
1 Theory of Education
The subject aims at equipping Special Needs Education students with philosophical, psychological and sociological perspectives in order to help them effectively manage children with disabilities.
1.1 Philosophical issues of disability
Some of the topics covered are:-Overview of branches of Philosophy; introduction to philosophical issues in Special Needs Education; history of SNE in Zimbabwe and other countries; ethical issues in SNE; professional ethics for specialist teachers and curriculum issues.
1.2 Sociological issues of handicap
Some of the topics covered are:-An overview of the sociological issues of disability; sociological models of disability; labeling; socialization theories; alienation; self concept;pressure groups and other organizations and community based rehabilitation.
1.3 Psychological issues of handicap
Some of the topics covered are:-Developmental psychology from prenatal to adolescence; theories of learning for children with special needs; psychological assessment; counselling of people with disabilities and their families; principles of individual instruction and brain specialization.
2 Main Study
The area aims at imparting theoretical knowledge about etiologies of different disabilities with a view to plan effective interventional strategies.
2.1 Hearing Impairment (HI)
This subject area seeks to develop teachers who have sound knowledge and understanding of the nature and causes of hearing impairment, as well as assessment skills and intervention strategies for hearing impairment.
Some of the topics covered are:-Anatomy and physiology of the ear; causes of hearing impairment; types of hearing loss; hearing disorders and their treatment; prevention of hearing loss; electro-acoustic equipment; auditory assessment; anatomy and physiology of speech system; speech and language development and communication approaches for Persons with hearing impairment.
2.2 Learning Disabilities (LD)
The subject aims to develop competent teachers in assessment of various learning disabilities and appropriate intervention skills in the education of children with learning disabilities.
Some of the topics covered are:-Assessment of Learning Disabilities; educational implications of LD; identification of LD; intervention strategies and prevention of LD.
2.3 Mental Retardation (MR)
The subject aims to enable students recognize, appreciate and cope with working with children with mental retardation.
Some of the topics covered are:-Types of mental retardation; causes of mental retardation; aspects of mental retardation; measures of intelligence; behaviour; cognitive and personality Characteristics; communication with and by children with mental retardation; therapies; the role of organizations.
2.4 Visual Impairment (VI)
The subject seeks to produce competent teachers in independent living, Braille and mobility, orientation skills and appropriate intervention skills in the education of children with visual impairment.
Some of the topics covered are:-Anatomy and physiology of the eye; ocular disorders; blindness in children and adults; compensatory sense; low vision; services and their accessibility; technology and low vision equipment.
3 Professional Studies
This area aims at imparting relevant teaching skills that meet the individual needs of children with disabilities.
3.1 Hearing Impairment
This subject area seeks to produce competent specialist teachers of children with hearing Impairment. It also equips students with essential skills in assessment, communication and intervention strategies to improve the lives of children with hearing impairment.
Some of the topics covered are:-Introduction to the teaching of children with hearing impairment; communication skills; teaching techniques; teaching of various subjects.
3.2 Learning Disabilities
The aim of the subject is to enable students to identify and explain characteristics of learners with learning disabilities as well as explore the various management strategies for teaching children with specific learning disabilities.
Some of the topics covered are:-Foundations of learning disabilities; strategies for managing children with language disorders; strategies for managing children with dyslexia; strategies for managing children with dyscalculia; management of children with perceptual disorders; strategies for managing children with attention disorders and teaching techniques
3.3 Mental Retardation
The subject aims to cultivate in the teacher the need to recognize, appreciate and cope with the effects of working with children with mental retardation.
Some of the topics covered are:-Review of general teaching methods; educational provision for children with mental retardation; early stimulation and development activities; daily living skills; specific teaching skills; expressive and aesthetic studies; communication skills and teaching of various subjects.
3.4 Visual Impairment
The subject aims to develop practitioners who have adequate intervention strategies for teaching children with visual impairment.
Some of the topics covered are:-Orthodidactics; methods of teaching Braille; orientation and mobility; all day living skills; subject management; management strategies; specific teaching techniques; teacher provisions for children with visual impairment.
4 Curriculum Depth Study (Research Project)
Curriculum Depth Study (Research Project) deals with classroom based research. Students choose a topic related to their area of specialization as well as related classroom practice. Students then investigate using an appropriate approach.
5 Contemporary Studies
Professional Studies Syllabus ‘D’ (PSD)
All students doing the different courses are required to take up subjects offered under contemporary studies. The subjects on offer are as follows:
5.1 Health and Life Skills Education
The subject area’s aim is to equip students with knowledge , life skills and attitudes that promote low risk behavior as this contributes to the reduction of the incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections, HIV and AIDS and other health related problems. It further intends to equip students with appropriate teaching skills and methods.
The subject covers the following aspects:-
Fundamental facts about HIV and AIDS; diseases associated with HIV and AIDS; care management and migration; teaching; life skills; relationships; emerging issues; human growth and development; values and beliefs.
5.2 Information Communication Technology
The subject aims at equipping students with computer skills that will enable them to offer instructions to primary school children and also be able to operate in a boundary-free global village.
Some of the areas covered in this subject are:-Introduction to ICT; introduction to the computer; using the computer; computer security; networking and communication; file management; word processing; using spreadsheets; using presentation packages; teaching using ICTs in the classroom; using the internet and outreach programmes
5.3 National and Strategic Studies
The subject aims at assisting students to able to articulate the socio-economic dynamics underlying Zimbabwean history and also appreciate the importance of national heritage. It covers some of the following topics:-Introduction to National and Strategic Studies; colonization of Zimbabwe; struggle for independence; developments in post-independence; international relations; civic education; entrepreneurship; conflict; law and culture conflict