Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling

Committee Chair(s)

Sophia D'Agostino


Sophia D'Agostino


Kimberly Snow


Summer Gunn


Little research has explored the field of science instruction tailored to students with significant disabilities. However, research studies have begun to emerge that suggest, with specific instructional strategies, these students can be successful in learning science curriculum. This project evaluated literature to find evidence-based instructional strategies for teaching science to students with significant cognitive disabilities. Six strategies were consistently found across multiple studies. The six strategies include (1) time delay, (2) systematic instruction, (3) multiple exemplar training, (4) task analysis, (5) graphic organizers, and (6) guided inquiry-based learning. These strategies were shared with a team of nine special education teachers who provide instruction based on the Essential Elements for their students with significant cognitive disabilities. A collaboration meeting was conducted monthly during Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings. Ultimately, the objectives of this project were to improve data collection, enhance collaboration, and refine instruction on the relatively new science Essential Elements.


A file is attached with an appendix containing slides presented during collaboration and assessment questions used to gather data for progress monitoring.