Master of Education Courses
Core Education Tools
Learning Theory and Implications for Instruction
This course will examine the major theories and models for understanding how students learn. Attention will be given to the cognitive, affective, sensory/psychomotor, and sociological domains and implications for learning through differing modalities. Contributions of neuroscience to understanding child and adolescent research are explored, and structural barriers to learning such as stereotype threat are discussed. Students will gain insights into the interplay of learner characteristics, prior knowledge and experiences, the medium of instruction, and cultural influences that construct learning environments, and understand that learning is contextual, with no single theory universally applying to every student in every situation.
Course Code: EDUC 5210
Curriculum Design and Instructional Decision Making
This course introduces the major curricular models and analyzes their design and development, implementation, and evaluation. The role of technology and disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches are considered, and teaching through inquiry and for conceptual understanding are explored. Strategies for planning, conducting and evaluating curricula are covered, and the practical problems teachers face in making curricular decisions are discussed. The course will also examine the influence of legislative, local and global socio-political forces, and the value systems of central stakeholders on planning and curriculum choices.
Course Code: EDUC 5220
Creating Positive Classroom Environments
This course will focus on the role of classroom organization and behavior management in developing positive teaching and learning environments. The impact of the physical environment, transitions, procedures, norms and expectations on managing behavior will be discussed. Developing communication and social skills and fostering a collaborative relationship between the teacher and students will be examined. Alternative approaches to managing routine and disruptive discipline problems while also creating learning spaces where students are willing to take risks and learn from mistakes will be considered.
Course Code: EDUC 5240
Understanding Barriers to Learning
This course will consider the myriad of ways in which students in a single classroom can differ and how it can impede learning. The characteristics and implications of physical and sensory disabilities and health impairments; cognitive, emotional and psychological differences; and racial/ethnic, gender, cultural, socio-economic and linguistic variability will be discussed. External and internal forces driving instructional adaptation and their implications for teachers will be covered.
Course Code: EDUC 5710
Prerequisites: EDUC 5240, EDUC 5220, EDUC 5210
Assessment and Evaluation
This course will consider formal and informal classroom assessments and their use for guiding curricular decisions, differentiating instruction, fostering student achievement, and improving teacher performance. The nature and purpose of different types of assessment (e.g., classroom, diagnostic, placement, problem-solving, formative, and summative) will be discussed. Test construction and designing teacher-made assessments that are authentic and non-discriminatory are addressed, along with the importance of fair, consistent and transparent grading practices; developing and using rubrics and checklists; and providing useful student feedback. Implications of on-screen testing and the use of e-assessments for creating authentic and media-rich assessment tasks will be discussed.
Course Code: EDUC 5440
Teaching for Diverse and Inclusive Classrooms
This course will focus on creating an equitable learning environment that sensitively approaches differences and embraces inclusive practices. Emphasis will be on considering decisions about curriculum, instructional materials, learning activities, and student groupings in the multicultural, multilingual classroom. The use of adaptive technology, learning analytics and personalized learning, and compensatory and remedial methods to support students with academic and/or behavioral difficulties will be discussed, and frameworks for facilitating inclusive education and teaching for variability, such as Universal Design for Learning, will be covered.
Course Code: EDUC 5711
Prerequisites: EDUC 5240, EDUC 5220, EDUC 5210
Living and Learning Globally
This course will focus on exploring the global competence that students need to need to thrive in today’s increasingly interconnected and rapidly-changing world. It will focus on creating learning environments and opportunities that value the world as the broadest context for learning, ensuring that students are exposed to real world questions and concerns both within and beyond their local contexts. There will be consideration of ways that teachers can foster student awareness of and engagement with global issues, develop open-mindedness to the perspectives of others, and encourage reflection on their role as active and engaged global citizens. There will also be discussion of how language acquisition and multilingualism can provide particularly rich opportunities for the development of intercultural understanding and of an appreciation of different languages, cultures and worldviews.
Course Code: EDUC 5810
Education in Context: History, Philosophy, and Sociology
This course will examine the role of education across time and in different places in the world, and the social and political influences that shaped the goals and structure of today’s diverse educational systems. The contributions of classical and modern thinkers and their impact on contemporary education and on the role and function of the teacher will be explored. Analysis of globalization on education and the nature of differing educational systems and values will provide a context for reflecting on one’s own philosophy of education.
Course Code: EDUC 5010
Child Development (Specialization Core)
This course will consider child development, in particular the K-8 school-aged population, from the biological/physical, cognitive, emotional, and social perspectives and their interrelatedness in children from birth to early adolescence. Major theories of development and factors that enhance growth and development will be compared and evaluated, with special emphasis on implications for educational practice. The interconnected worlds that children inhabit in school, at home and in the broader community will be examined.
Course Code: EDUC 5410
Instructional Techniques for the Elementary and Middle School Classroom (Specialization Core)
This course will focus on building a repertoire of developmentally appropriate pedagogical strategies that support student learning and acknowledge the diversity of students’ prior knowledge. Relevant approaches and strategies that support and facilitate students’ efforts to engage in inquiry-based learning, actively construct meaning from the world around them, and build connections between previous learning and currently learning will be emphasized. Delivery of intellectually challenging and inclusive instruction in the elementary and middle school with special attention to the development of conceptual understanding and skills is highlighted. When and how to employ teacher-led/whole group activities, small/cooperative learning groups, independent learning, and the role of technology will also be covered.
Course Code: EDUC 5270
Advanced Practices for Teaching Elementary and Middle School Literacy (Specialization Elective)
This course covers the cognitive foundations and curricular implications for the teaching of reading and language arts in elementary grades with an emphasis on understanding the theoretical and research bases for classroom practice. The theory and practice of writing and its development are explored, and the racial, social, cultural, and linguistic implications for the development of literacy are examined. The specific genres of children’s literature are discussed, and the increasing role of technology in mediating literacy is considered.
Course Code: EDUC 5271
Prerequisites: EDUC 5270
Advanced Practices for Teaching the STEM Fields at the Elementary and Middle School Levels (Specialization Elective)
This course focuses on the mathematical and scientific concepts taught in the elementary and middle school, with an emphasis on research on the teaching and learning of mathematics and the theoretical and empirical foundations of the teaching and learning of science. Attention will be given to how students acquire mathematical understandings and to how different groups experience mathematics instruction. Methods for teaching the scientific method, doing laboratory work as inquiry-based learning, and exploring the relationship of science, technology and society will be discussed. Use of technology in teaching discrete areas of science (life, physical, earth) as well as in an integrated science approach will be covered.
Course Code: EDUC 5272
Prerequisites: EDUC 5270
Adolescent Development (Specialization Core)
This course will consider adolescent development from biological/physical, psychological, emotional, cognitive and social perspectives, and provide insights into the rapid changes that occur during the adolescent period. Topics include adolescent thinking and brain development, social-emotional and moral development, gender and sexual identity, and ethnic, racial, and cultural identity. These are explored from a cross-cultural perspective and provide insights into differences seen in school settings. The multiple worlds that adolescents inhabit and the influence and importance of peers, friendships and social media are examined. The role of non-cognitive skills in school success and the fostering of academic identity are discussed.
Course Code: EDUC 5420
Instructional Techniques for the Secondary School Classroom (Specialization Core)
This course will examine the intersection of curricular relevance, teaching style, and instructional techniques on academic attitudes and learning in the secondary school classroom. When and how to employ teacher-led/whole-group activities, small/cooperative learning groups, and independent learning will be covered, along with the role of technology, particularly as it relates to concept of active learning. It will focus on collaborative, inquiry-based, student-centered teaching and project-based learning, with students actively involved in their own knowledge acquisition.
Course Code: EDUC 5280
Advanced Practices for Teaching Literature and Writing at the Secondary Level (Specialization Elective)
This course will explore adolescent literature and the variety of formats in which it exists. Attention will be given to writing across the curriculum and teaching students to write for various subject areas. How students comprehend content material and socio-cultural influences on reading, reading/writing relationships, and assessment of content reading will be addressed. Ways to teach students to critically read and create media will be discussed. Research on writing and its implications for methods of teaching writing and responding to and evaluating student writing will be explored.
Course Code: EDUC 5281
Prerequisites: EDUC 5280
Advanced Practices for Teaching the STEM Fields at the Secondary Level (Specialization Elective)
This course will review current research in STEM education. Emphasis will be on the methods for teaching computer programming and the use of technology in the teaching of science, mathematics and pre-collegiate engineering.
Course Code: EDUC 5282
Prerequisites: EDUC 5280
Research in Education
This course will focus on models of practitioner research and modes of inquiry appropriate to applied research and will provide insights into the uses and limitations of these approaches and tools. Human subject rules and regulations and the ethics of school-based research will be discussed. Students will identify a topic for investigation and develop an applied research proposal. The proposal will frame the question, discuss the rationale for the question, include a review of the literature on the topic, and describe the planned data collection and analysis activities.
Course Code: EDUC 5470
Prerequisites: Successful completion of nine (9) courses in the M.Ed. program.
Capstone (All M.Ed. Students)
Applied Professional Inquiry
During their last term of study, students conduct the planned data collection and analysis activities contained in their applied research proposal and prepare a written report that describes and interprets the results of their research. Implications for new instructional practices and further professional development are considered. Students also present their Research and Practice Portfolio demonstrating evidence of development and growth over the course of the program. If a student fails to earn a grade of B- or higher they may retake the capstone course one time only. Failure to earn a B- or higher on the second attempt shall result in the student no longer being eligible for degree conferral. In such cases the student will not be permitted reinstatement to the Master of Education program and must wait a full five (5) terms before being eligible to apply to any other UoPeople program.
Course Code: EDUC 5910
Prerequisites: As this is the final course in the MEd all required courses must be completed before taking this and no other courses can be taken concurrently; Final Term of Study
Special Elective Internship Option
Successful UoPeople students who meet all selection requirements may be approved to do an internship in an IB school. The student works under the supervision of a master IB teacher and gains a understanding of the organizational structure and culture, management, policy and decision making approaches, resources, programs and services, professional personnel, and students of an actual IB school.
Course Code: EDUC 5995
Prerequisites: All Core and Specialization Requirements; Capstone Project; Final Term of Study; Approval to Register