Learning content &student profile | SPE 572 | National Louis University

Learning Context & Student Profile: Community, School, Family, & Student

3 Fieldwork Hours

Due M5

The purpose of this assignment is for candidates to gain a better understanding of how the context of a student’s environment impacts their learning.  Candidates will research and describe the context of a student’s environment including information about the family, classroom, school and community. Using this information and the student’s IEP candidates will develop a student profile.

For this assignment, you will choose a student that you would like to learn more about. You will explore the student’s community, school, and classroom and interview the family to gain information and a better understanding of the student and how his or her environment impacts learning. Using the information and the template provided, you will develop a student profile. 

Gathering Information:

Describe the community/neighborhood. If possible, walk or drive through the neighborhood to get a better understanding of the community. What historical events have impacted the community/neighborhood? What resources are available to community/neighborhood members? What resources does the community/neighborhood lack? What does the community/neighborhood value? What are the assets of the community/neighborhood? What types of programs are available to families, specifically people with disabilities?

Describe the school including demographic and historical information. Explore the district and school website. Be sure to focus on the special education section looking for the beliefs and philosophy the school holds in terms of inclusion, acceptance, and advocacy. What programs are available to students with disabilities? What programs are missing? Was it easy to locate information regarding special education? What is your first impression of the special education program? Review the state report card. 

Describe the classroom. Visit the classroom (if possible). Interview the teacher. 

Interview a family member and the student (if possible). Prepare your questions prior to meeting with them.

Developing the Student Profile

As a special education teacher, you will provide individualized curriculum, instruction and planned supports for your students based on a student’s individual strengths, needs, and challenges taking into consideration the context of their learning environment. 

For a student to have an IEP, they must qualify based on the 14 categories of disabilities as defined by IDEA.  Often, with a diagnosis comes the label and assumptions about the disability. It is critical to not make decision about a student’s learning needs, strengths and/or challenges based on assumptions. Creating a focus student profile is one effective way of thinking beyond the label and assumptions and identifying individual needs, strengths and ways to support the student while taking into consideration the student’s context for learning.

After exploring the context for learning, use the student’s IEP, family and student (if possible) interview, observations, work samples and teacher input to complete the student profile using the template provided.

SPE 572 Student Profile

Name:                                                                                     Date:

Primary and Secondary Disability under IDEA listed on the IEP based on the team’s analysis:                                                    

Learning Environment(s):

Grade Level:

Reading Level/Lexile:

Student strengths in academic and non-academic aspects of school

Things that motivate the student

How the student learns best

Planned supports that align with student needs

What frustrates the students

Skills/concepts/methods that are challenging for the student


Unique qualities about the student

Student interests in and out of school

Relevant cultural asset information about the student and his or her family

Pertinent information about family, including parents, siblings, extended family, stepfamily, guardians, and pets

Community information

School information

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