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Master of Education Online

Course Listing and Descriptions (10 Course Program)

EDU 531 Contemporary Issues in Education

This course will explore current and relevant educational issues that possess interconnections with politics, history, ideology, curriculum, and social practice. The primary focus of the course will be on examining the major opposing viewpoints on the issues in American schools of today and to gain basic understanding of legal issues in education. Through the integration of knowledge, the course prepares educators to critically examine various schools of philosophical thought, legal issues, and political issues, analyze existing programs to improve school effectiveness, and review research-based best practices for effective educational outcomes.

EDU 532 Education Perspectives in a Diverse Society

This course prepares students to deal with the conceptual, theoretical, political, and philosophical issues in multicultural education. It has been designed to clarify issues related to pluralistic education, adopt a philosophical position, design and implement effective teaching strategies that reflect ethnic and cultural diversity, and prepare sound guidelines for multicultural programs and practices. In this course, diversity refers to all ways in which people differ, including that of socio-economic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious practices, and other differences.

EDU 533 Differentiated Instruction

This course will explore the principles and elements of differentiated instruction through the study of current and promising practices, as well as relevant research. Graduate students will study instructional and management strategies that address individual learning needs, strengths, styles, and preferences of students within the classroom.

EDU 535 Standards Aligned Systems

(for PA teachers with Level I certification – in lieu of EDU 532) This course is a comprehensive approach to support student achievement across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. SAS involves the understanding and integrated use of six areas including: PA and Common Core standards, fair assessment, curriculum framework, aligned instruction, materials and resources, and interventions. Course goals and content include: understanding the national movement for core academic standards, understanding Pennsylvania’s Standards Aligned System (SAS), understanding the research base underlying the 6 components (delineated above), use of diagnostics and formative assessment, use of PA’s Ed Portal as an ongoing job-embedded resource for educators, and Development and conduction of a professional development activity or awareness session in the educator’s own school district on PA’s SAS and curriculum frameworks.

EDU 548 Reading in the Content Areas

This course provides in-service teachers with an understanding of the essentials of reading processes necessary for students to become proficient readers. The course will teach the most promising elements of effective literacy programs based in research and/or professional opinion. Application of the elements to content area texts will help students derive greater comprehension of content area material.

EDU 551 Inclusive Education for Students with Special Needs

Students will examine the educational strategies and practices helpful in meeting the needs of students with special needs that are educated in the regular education classroom. The course will help teachers read and understand IEPs, Section 504 plans, as well as PA Chapter 16 requirements and implement them in inclusive settings. Co-teaching strategies with special education teachers in regular education classrooms will be covered. The course will help teachers build relationships with and among students, teach social skills, and provide positive behavior supports.

EDU 552 Best Practices and Effective Teaching

Students will examine the most up to date pedagogy in education. Key features of the course involve best practices in areas such as student collaboration, questioning, and feedback techniques. Teaching practices will include study of effective teacher research, classroom instruction research, 90/90/90 schools research, and approaches such as project learning. Each student will select one or more practices of interest which s/he will incorporate into her/his classroom instruction. The instructor and students will examine the effects these practices have on classroom instruction.

EDU 553 Technology Integration for the Classroom

In this course, M.Ed. Program candidates will explore ways to integrate educational technologies that complement solid instructional design in order to enhance student learning. This course will include an overview of technological resources used today in educational contexts. Program candidates will complete an inventory of their own classrooms and schools that emphasize technological resources such as hardware, software and internet use. International, National and State teacher and student standards, categories and profiles will be emphasized. Curriculum components such as individual lesson plans and unit plans currently taught will be examined for ways to include various educational technologies. Data driven teacher decision-making and accountability will also be addressed. Candidates will develop written and verbal rationales for the use of technologically rich instruction to better become advocates of educational technology use.

EDU 554 Formal and Informal Classroom Assessment

This course examines philosophical conceptions of curriculum, educational assessment, and principles of planning instruction. Students will construct assessment tools for the evaluation of student progress, teaching effectiveness, and curriculum alignment. Additionally, students will investigate state testing, interpretation, and the meaningful use of results.

Completion Level Courses

EDU 598 Educational Research and Design (prerequisite: EDU 554)

This course will examine exemplary literature and research projects that represent examples of the systematic collection, evaluation, presentation and interpretation of research data in education. Various research designs and methodologies will be explored, emphasizing action research done in educational contexts. Student research projects will reflect a specific educational research style, such as experimental, correlational, survey, grounded theory, ethnography, narrative or mixed methods. Students will be guided in the selection of an appropriate Master’s project topic, in review and critique of relevant literature, and development of a design proposal for action research to be conducted in her/his own classroom.

EDU 599 Master’s Project on Action Research (prerequisite: EDU 598

This course represents the final stages in the completion of a Master’s Project begun in EDU 598, where action research is conducted and a master’s paper is completed and presented. Students will work closely with a research advisor to conduct the action research project and associated report.