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Addressing the Needs of Diverse Populations (K-5)

As your classroom becomes increasingly diverse, are you finding it more difficult to meet student needs at their individual levels? It doesn’t matter if you are new to the teaching profession or a seasoned veteran, trying to determine and support the diverse needs of your students can be overwhelming. The good news is that it does not have to be, as it is possible to address a multitude of learning needs using some of the strategies outlined in this course. This online course is designed for K-5 teachers who are looking to expand their current toolbox of strategies to address the diverse learning needs of students with ADHD, anxiety, linguistically diverse students, as well as those who have been identified as gifted and talented. Teachers will learn specific strategies to empower their students to succeed while simultaneously understanding their specific academic and social challenges. Additionally, teachers will learn the important role that culture plays in a diverse classroom, as well as specific strategies for engaging all learning styles in every lesson (visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic). Teachers will also learn how Tier 1, 2, and 3 interventions can be used to address the diverse learning needs of their students vis-à-vis the MTSS (multi-tiered system of support) framework. Finally, teachers will learn specific strategies for engaging families and the overall school community so that all learning needs can be identified, encouraged, and supported. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident and successful in their quest to address the vast array of learning needs in their diverse classrooms. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.


Enrollment Options

Register] Course Registration Only $160 with the discount

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $344


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

How to Teach the Hard to Reach” by Jana Echevarría, Nancy Frey, and Douglas Fisher

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 119BXX

UCSD Course Number: EDUC40361

Unit One

  • Understanding Diversity
  • The Whole Child Approach to Diversity
  • The Role of Culture in a Diverse Classroom
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography/Write an article reflection

Unit Two

  • Identifying and Supporting Students with ADHD
  • Academic and Social Challenges of Students with ADHD
  • Empowering Students with ADHD to Succeed
  • Assignment #2: Review classroom scenarios

Unit Three

  • Identifying and Supporting Students with Anxiety
  • Academic and Social Challenges of Students with Anxiety
  • Empowering Students with Anxiety to Succeed
  • Assignment #3: Develop a plan to address a student's anxiety

Unit Four

  • Identifying and Supporting Linguistically Diverse Students
  • Academic and Social Challenges of Linguistically Diverse Students
  • Empowering Linguistically Diverse Students to Succeed
  • Assignment #4: Create language objectives to accompany content objectives

Unit Five

  • Identifying and Supporting Gifted and Talented Students
  • Academic and Social Challenges of Gifted and Talented Students
  • Empowering Gifted and Talented Students to Succeed
  • Assignment #5: Develop a plan for specific interventions

Unit Six

  • Engaging All Learning Styles in Every Lesson
  • Multi-Tiered Support Systems
  • It Takes a Village: Collaboration as Community
  • Assignment #6: Respond to learning style scenarios
  • Assignment #7: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)