Masters Degree Course Catalog

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EDUC 500 - Philosophical Foundations for Instructional Leadership


This course focuses on the development of theoretical-pragmatic foundations for reflective teaching and educational leadership in collaborative school environments. Philosophical systems are examined as they relate to the realities of classroom instructional leadership.

 

EDUC 505 - Culturally Responsive Teaching


This course will include provide students with a framework for becoming culturally responsive teachers.  An assortment of topics that reflects cultural diversity in education, including an historical overview of programs for students from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds, contemporary multicultural and bilingual education, and education for social justice and equity are addressed. This course, through the use of varied literature, relating to issues of diversity will focus on strategies that will ensure all students are achieving their fullest potential. Gaining insights into the interconnection between the diversity of students and process of teaching will be critical to your continued success as a teacher in the 21st century classroom.
 

EDUC 506 - School Policy and Law


In this course, the philosophical bases and legal structures of educational policymaking are studied. Students, as educators, develop their own philosophies of education and examine the underlying philosophical assumptions of major educational policies and practices. The course also prepares teachers to understand the legal structures that determine educational policies and how issues of equity affect the implementation of those policies. This level of understanding is necessary in order for teachers to be knowledgeable and active decision makers in their own classrooms, schools, and communities.

EDUC 510 - Action Research Design and Evaluation


This course is designed to guide students through the process of an action research.  Students will choose a problem in their classroom to focus on, and attempt to secure solutions through the action research process. Final research results will be disseminated to the larger public.

EDUC 512 - Wellness: Research, Practices and Policies for Teachers and Students


There is a growing body of research noting correlation between academic success and the emotional/physical health of students. Given the growing importance of attending to the whole child, this course has been developed to increase K-12 educators’ knowledge of health and wellness practices and research. The course will ask participants to assess their own beliefs and practices in health and wellness and will encourage a self-change model. The course is based on two theoretical structures: one being that wellness is composed of physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual health. The second structure is Erickson’s stages of development and their usage in directing our choices for growth throughout our lives. 

EDUC 518 - Transformational Education: Effectiveness to Greatness


Education continues to face significant change. The challenges and complexity we face in education ranges from high tech to high touch (relationship) responsibilities. We seek to make our classrooms and curriculum relevant and effective. Being effective is no longer optional it is mandatory. The needs to thrive, innovate, excel, and lead call for greatness. We must transform education and tap into new dimensions of human genius and motivation. In this inspiring course you will be given the tools to explore your voice, your creativity, new mindsets, new skills, and new habits. You will find your voice and inspire your students to find theirs.

EDUC 520 - Curriculum Design and Evaluation


Students examine the theoretical application of curriculum design within the context of contemporary American classrooms. Relationships among subject matter, teaching, learning, and assessments are viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective.

EDUC 524 - Building a Classroom Community


This course is designed to address the most critical issues in schools today - climate and community. Respect for self and others have been documented by research over the past twenty-five years as being lacking in children with developmental, behavioral and learning problems. It is impossible to teach and learn successfully in an environment that is less than safe. Educators K through 12 are invited to participate in this highly experiential classroom community-building course. We will work through a developmental program designed to identify, model and practice strategies for team, group, and community building, self-respect and social skill building.

EDUC 527 - The Reality of Bullying and Hazing in Schools: Awareness and Intervention Strategies


While bullies continue to plague K-12 campuses, the hazing rampant among sports teams, clubs, and student organizations remains an underappreciated issue.  The Reality of Bullying and Hazing in Schools analyzes the dynamic relationships between victim, bystander, and perpetrator, along with the organic and inorganic systems that support the continuation of bullying and hazing behaviors.  This course combines the latest adolescent psychological theories and science with practical intervention strategies administrators and teachers can implement immediately. 

EDUC 531 - Raising Rigor: Applying Close Reading Across the Curriculum in the Age of Common Core


What effect will the Common Core have on the children we teach? In the era of Common Core State Standards, classroom teachers across all curricular disciplines must be teachers of reading as well as content. If they can do so efficiently and purposefully, their students will be able to access the information necessary to be truly successful in all subjects. “But how do I teach reading when I am a _______ teacher? I don’t know how.” The solution: Close Reading. Close Reading techniques are easy to learn and master, have various frameworks, and lend themselves to cross-curricular applications. In this class, participants will explore the facets of close reading frameworks and discover how to apply them to multiple subject areas. By using a variety of informational and narrative texts and media on different levels, the end result will be teachers who are confident and competent with helping their students become strong readers, writers and thinkers who access, use, and apply information necessary to be successful. Participants should come to class with texts they use in their curriculum, in order to develop activities they can use immediately in their classrooms. 

EDUC 532 - Fostering Resilience and Building Assets in Our At-Risk Students


This course is designed to move our students from risk to resiliency by identifying and fostering the developmental competencies needed for students to succeed.  The course hinges on the belief that resilience is not something you do, but something you are and can become.  To that end, the course is designed to guide educators through a paradigm shift, away from the Deficit Model and toward the Strengths/Asset Model.  Drawing on research from Nan Henderson, Mike Milstein, Robert Brooks, and Bonnie Benard, the attributes seen in resilient students will be identified and specific strategies for fostering these traits in all students will be taught.

EDUC 533 - Neo-Cortex Development: Developing Higher Order Thinking Through Problem Solving, Creativity and Play


Harvard Medical School research has told us for over 20 years that the neo-cortex (the adult, highly evolved thinking brain) needs to engage in problem solving, creativity and play, in order to grow and develop.  The same part of the brain that we need to pass the PSSA will only be at its best when engaged in regular problem solving, creativity, and play.  Play lies at the core of creativity and innovation.  We are built to play and we develop through play. Through problem solving and play we learn how the world works and how people interact. This class will be highly experiential with significant time spent fully engaged in problem solving, creativity and play activities for the benefit of all in class.

EDUC 534 - Project Based Learning- Crafting the Menu and Discovering the Secret Ingredients Needed to Create a Successful Project Based Learning Classroom


This course is grounded in the belief that students learn best by doing. Project Based Learning engages students of all learning styles and ability levels. The process approaches complex questions that encourage independent thought, inquiry, and critical thinking skills through a rigorous and standards-based experience. Project Based Learning is not simply the end of a unit; rather, it is the holistic academic experience. 

Through an actual, immersive Project Based Learning experience, course participants will discover how to create a driving question, how to design authentic assessments, how to align process with standards, how to integrate 21st century skills, how to engage student voice and choice, and how to manage an effective project. Participants will not only experience Project Based Learning first-hand but will also have explicit time to develop project based learning experiences for their students.

EDUC 535 - Effective Questioning: Applying Brain Research and Bloom’s Taxonomy (K-12)


How can we engage students and get them to ask the right questions and think about their thinking? Teachers and their students need to be more in tune with the questions they ask themselves and others. When we get students to think about their thinking, they become more active learners. This activity-based course will allow teachers to delve deeper rather than broader in the curricula and will update teachers on several methods of effective questioning, incorporate Bloom’s Taxonomy into the everyday curricula, and manage higher-level questioning with varying student abilities.

EDUC 536 - Courage to Teach: Integrity, Authenticity, and Vulnerability


We teach who we are. This course is for teachers who have both good and bad days. We will explore the research that cites vulnerability as one of our greatest strengths. This course is for teachers who refuse to harden their hearts because we love our work so much. Our primary intervention tool will be to dig deeper into self-awareness. Teaching, like all human activity, comes from our inwardness. As we teach, we project our inward condition onto our students, our subject and our relationships together. Good teaching cannot be reduced to techniques and test scores. Good teaching comes from integrity, authenticity, and vulnerability. In every interaction, our ability to connect with our students depends less on methods and curriculum and more on our depth of self-awareness. Are we willing to be available and open in the service of learning?

EDUC 537 - Increasing Student Engagement: The Heart and Soul of a Successful Classroom


This course is designed to have participants experience and develop strategies for improving student engagement in their classrooms. Particular emphasis will be placed on activities and strategies for developing, maintaining and increasing student engagement and ultimately student achievement. We will examine and adopt a set of total participation techniques and movement activities for the classroom. We will share our individual expertise, explore current research and draw upon our collective experiences and talents to build a collection of strategies that will ensure increased student engagement in your classroom. You will leave this class with a repertoire of strategies that can be used in your classroom at 7:30 AM on Monday morning. 

EDUC 540 - Inclusion


This course will prepare participants to balance the ever-increasing responsibilities of educating a continually changing, diverse learning population. Particular emphasis will be placed on inclusion of various special needs students; including those with physical, emotional, mental and social differences. Teachers will develop the investigative, decision-making and reflective teaching skills needed to work with all diverse learners. We will experientially work on increasing engagement and student achievement. The role of assessment and evaluation will also be included. This experiential course will challenge participants physically, socially, mentally and emotionally.

EDUC 550 - Helping To Guide Students Through Loss and Life Transitions


This course is designed to help teachers and school counselors understand and support students who are dealing with loss or significant changes in their lives. We will explore the common experience of these students, and how our response as school professionals can help or hinder as they adjust to a new life. Understanding the needs of grieving students and the impact of loss on their academic, emotional, social and behavioral functioning allows us to respond in ways that can significantly help in their healing process.

 

EDUC 555 - Experiential Education and Facilitation Skills


Experiential Education and Facilitation Skills Experiential education has its roots in ancient history when all students were primarily taught through the modeling and practice of important life skills. This form of learning is an active, creative, “doing” mode of acquiring skills that can and will be used long after the initial individuals role of student has concluded. In this class we will use a “laboratory for learning” format. We will follow an experiential learning cycle with emphasis on experiencing, sharing, processing, learning, and application. We will practice this format for the learning of curricular content and social skill development. 

EDUC 564 - Enhancing Brain Development in Children


Are the brains of children different today than they were in the past? According to research and the observations of many educators, the answer is a resounding “yes”. Cognitive neuroscience is finding that today's fast-paced, stressful, multi-tasking, media-driven life is altering the way young minds develop, function, remember, and process information. This course is based on the readings of current research, books and articles and will explore how these changes affect learning, memory and may contribute to social and emotional problems. The ultimate goal of this course is to help teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents understand these changes and what they can do to enhance brain development and counteract the effects of our fast paced society. 

EDUC 565 - Differentiated Instruction with Understanding by Design


This course provides helpful, practical, and research based techniques for creation of a stimulating, effective classroom for all students at all levels. Participants will assess their own level of implementation of differentiated instruction, and learn how to use the understanding by design framework to deliver the curriculum to all students. Knowledge of the characteristics of students who learn at different paces and levels will be explored. Participants will study a variety of curriculum options, such as those of content, process, and product and learning styles, that further assists the implementation of differentiated lessons to optimize learning for all students, including ELL, special needs and gifted students. 

EDUC 574 - Cultivating 21st Century Skills: Whole Brain Learning


Success in the 21st century belongs to different learners with a very different kind of mind. The 21st century calls for creators, empathizers, artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, counselors, and big-picture thinkers. This course will help you move your students from the information age, built on logical, linear, computer-like capabilities to the conceptual age which will be built on invention, empathy, and big picture capability. You will be immersed in six essential aptitudes as researched by Daniel Pink and Daniel Goleman: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. Project based learning and classroom integration will be emphasized throughout the course.

EDUC 583 - Character Education: Social and Emotional Learning


This course is designed to help teachers develop students of character using classic pieces of literature, research in social and emotional learning, and character education. Through in-depth mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual study, we will examine the pillars of character education and the great teachers of human history. We will practice and discuss the lessons the wisest of our ancestral scholars have to teach us today. We will read, experience and reflect on the writings (prose, poetry, plays) of some of the greatest hearts and minds of the past centuries. Participants will be asked to be self reflective and involved in all experiential learning.

EDUC 584 - Multiple Intelligences: Real Genius at Play


This course is designed to have participants experience the multiple intelligences as researched by Gardener, Armstrong and Buzan. Particular emphasis will be placed on activities, experiential learning and strategies for developing logic, linguistics, music, spatial, kinesthetic, natural, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. The course will include assessments, resources and challenging growth opportunities. Students will celebrate intelligence strengths and provide interventions in areas of weakness. They will also explore the human characteristics of genius and draw from ten historical figures as role models for our class discussions.

EDUC 585 - 7 Habits of Effective Educators


This course is designed to help educators become more effective in their personal and professional lives, thus enhancing the lives of their students. We will use Stephen R. Coveys, # 1 National Bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as the framework for the course. Concepts of study include: personal growth, interpersonal leadership, empathetic communication, creative cooperation and balanced self-renewal. There will be an emphasis on how these concepts transcend into our classrooms and provide the foundation for how we embrace teaching and learning. We will examine how our habits shape our lives and define our character. We will explore our current level of stress and how our viewpoints on our circle of influence vs. circle of control affect the outcome of each situation. We will examine how continuous learning is part of what keeps us feeling empowered in our relationships and accomplished in our work. Through highly engaging, interactive and reflective activities, this course is bound to transform the lives of each participant, while simultaneously, giving you tools to take back to your classrooms.

EDUC 587 - Closing the Achievement Gap


The course is designed to help teachers, administrators, and support staff eliminate the achievement gap. Our goal is to present a comprehensive K-12 model that ensures racial and social differences in academic achievement are eliminated. The program will focus on the academic, social and emotional learning skills that improve achievement for all students. Our primary philosophy is respect, responsibility and relationships are essential for academics to be relevant to all learners. Until we address the relevance of academics to all learners we can never be successful with academic rigor.