The Curriculum and Instruction master's curriculum is designed for certified teachers or select K-12 professionals who are leading in the area of curriculum and instruction. Students will be exposed to an in-depth study of teaching, learning and curriculum design. The program is comprised of 11 MEd Curriculum and Instruction courses, including eight core classes and three elective courses of your choosing or three concentration-specific courses. The 33-credit-hour program lets you tailor the degree to your interests and professional needs.
Curriculum and Instruction (MEd) Required Courses
EDU-520: The Educator Researcher
This course provides an introduction to methods of educational research. These methods encourage educators to be action researchers in their own classrooms, school districts, and/or communities to improve teaching and learning practice. Students will become familiar with purposeful quantitative and qualitative research designs to develop an increased understanding of the issues, both theoretical and practical, arising through the research process. An emphasis will be placed on understanding, interpreting, and critiquing educational research and developing research proposals.
EDU-533: Learning through Technology
In this course, students will develop the knowledge and skills to use technology to enhance student learning and achievement. This course also introduces students to learning targets (standards/outcomes) and a general model of curriculum development, implementation and assessment.
EDU-547: Curriculum Development
This course is a comprehensive, practical basis for preparing school administrators and teachers to be knowledgeable, creative and effective curriculum designers. Readings will provide students information about the importance and relevance of good curriculum design. The primary focus of the course will be on the study and use of UBD (Understanding by Design). Students will develop a working model of a curriculum unit using the UBD framework.
EDU-550: Educational Assessment
This course builds assessment competency by analyzing recent trends in assessment for evaluating and documenting student performance and progress toward desired outcomes. Students examine the uses of assessment at the individual, class and school levels; including New England Common Assessment Data. Students will select and design assessments suitable for instructional decisions that support planning develo9ping curriculum, and making recommendations for instructional improvement. Students will interpret and communicate the results of both externally produced and teacher-produced assessment for a variety of audiences. Students will describe valid grading procedures and discuss ethical issues linked to assessment methods and uses of assessment information.
EDU-555: Student Centered Curriculum/Instruction
The course will emphasize the teacher's critical role as a designer of student learning and will address how a curriculum built on the goal of student understanding using differentiated instruction can provide teachers with more specific teaching targets. The focus of this course is on the connections between Understanding by Design (UBD) and Differentiated Instruction (DI) as well as the use of standards of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the planning and delivery of curriculum for all types of learners.
EDU-582: Educational Factors of Diversity
This course examines a variety of factors that affect academic achievement for today's students from birth through the high school level. Students will examine diversity through the lens of race/ethnicity, language, economics, and academics. Culturally responsive teaching practices, including issues such as gender, ability, class, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and cultural pluralism will be examined.
EDU-610: Ethics and School Law
The primary goal of this course is for the student to develop awareness of ethical, professional and legal issues pertinent to educational settings. These issues include, ethical decision making processes, legal mandates related to education and special education, professional relationships, confidentiality, supervision, conflict of interest, boundaries and diversity. Additionally, we will discuss obstacles that relate to the provision of educational services in the school and with children and their parents in general.
EDU-775: Practicum in Curriculum and Instruction
Students are required to develop and implement two products and/or experiences and document a leadership role in the area of curriculum. Students complete a detailed proposal or plan of study on their goals, product(s), audience, follow-up, etc. for this practicum. The purpose of this practicum is to encourage the teacher as researcher and leader in curriculum development and encourage the integration and application of course work. The practicum is completed during the semester under the supervision of a school district administrator and the student's advisor.
Students have the option to select three (3) education electives or to select a concentration area from the list below.
Dyslexia and Language Based Learning Disabilities Concentration
SPED-610: Executive Function and Study Skills
Students with language-based learning disabilities often struggle with the cognitive and self-regulating tasks associated with executive function. These tasks range from organizing time, materials, information; preparing for work, managing frustration, accessing memory and self-monitoring one's progress and work. This course introduces educators to research-based strategies that increase and improve executive function through the use of effective study skills. While the course will explore relevant research on language-based learning disabilities and executive function, the emphasis will be placed on the practical teaching skills drawn from Landmark's Six Teaching Principles. These principles, which will be integrated throughout the course, encourage teachers to provide structured opportunities for students to achieve success, use multiple instructional modalities, create skill-based micro unit tasks, ensure student skill automatization through practice and review, provide models, and include the student in the learning process.
SPED-630: Expressive Language-Skills and Writing
This course focuses on the strategies and skills for supporting expressive language skills for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities, primarily for writing. The course introduces the concepts of scaffolding the writing process, using a hierarchy of skills to build appropriate foundational skills sets, and understanding the hidden demands of writing for students with language-based learning disabilities. Students in this course will draw from relevant research on expressive language arts to develop practical teaching strategies for their own learning environments.
SPED-635: Reading Interventions for Students with LBLD
This course provides a survey of effective reading interventions drawn from research-based practice for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities. Students in the course will integrate appropriate diagnosis strategies, engage with the current research analyses on reading and language-based learning disabilities (LBLD), and develop practical strategies for supporting learners in developing the phonemic awareness, decoding patterns, and sound-symbol relationships that improve reading fluency.
Education Leadership Concentration
EDU-760: School Facilities and Finance
This course offers a study of the management and operation of a school facility and an understanding of school finance as it relates to the teaching and learning process. Students will learn how to engage school board members in a discussion about how school finance and facility relate to student achievement. Students will examine various tools and methodologies that support the school process and how to connect with community members in the budget building process. This course aims to make students better managers and consumers of financial information rather than budget officers; students will better understand the real-world implications and consequences of their decisions and allocations.
EDU-765: School and Community Relations
This course explores relationships with the broader community to foster learning. Students learn how to engage stakeholders, create and communicate a school vision of learning, develop community collaboration skills, capitalize on the diversity of the school community and use the cultural context of the larger community to develop activities and policies that benefit students and their families. This course makes use of individualized programs of study and experience.
EDU-780: School Organizational Leadership
The course explores the dynamics of transformational leadership that looks beyond traditional school environments and welcomes non-traditional thinking. Students will consider themselves "architects" of the teaching and learning environments within their schools wherein there is a culture of continuous improvement. Future school leaders will: explore technology that supports teachers and administrators decision-making; learn how to develop policies and practices that support learning; explore how extended learning time can advantage underachieving students; investigate the benefits and challenges of risk taking and transparency; and look at models of professional learning communities.
RDG-503: Emerging and Early Literacy Development K-4
This course will examine several major theoretical perspectives on literacy development from Kindergarten through 4th grade. Students will explore literacy environments that encourage the development of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the early elementary classroom. Students will also learn a variety of effective strategies for the instruction and assessment of reading and writing in the early elementary classroom. Differentiating instruction to meet the needs of students from diverse backgrounds will be integrated into the course content.
RDG-504: Content Area Literacy Grades 4-8
In this course, students study effective practices that support the development of reading comprehension and writing strategies for content area subjects in grades 4-8. The course focuses on the strategies that enable students read and write about non-fiction. Students will also examine ways to address the particular needs of students with diverse language, cultural and learning requirements.
RDG-582: Assessing and Instructing Students with Literacy Difficulty
This course presents methods and materials to assess the needs and plan instructional interventions for students with literacy difficulties. Students will learn to analyze and interpret formal and informal literacy assessments and use instructional techniques to improve literacy in students with a range of literacy difficulties (K-12). This course includes an examination of literacy development among diverse learners.
RDG-503 or EDU-501
Special Education Concentration
SPED-521: Effective Learning Environments
This course examines teaching strategies and techniques for early childhood, elementary education, middle school, and high school. Students will conduct an in-depth study of behavior theory and practical applications in the classroom environment. Students will learn to promote learning environments where students can set goals and accept responsibility for their own learning. Modification and accommodations will be researched at each level discussing the best approaches depending upon the developmental age of the child. Alignment with the regular education curriculum includes a review of the Grade Level Expectations and the Grade Span Expectations. Students will leave this class with a good understanding of the progression and development of students with disabilities K-12 personally, socially, physically and academically.
SPED-525: Critical Issues/Students With Disabilities
This course will analyze various disabilities and determine how they impact student learning within the general curriculum. Students will examine strategies and techniques (including assistive technology) to assist the student in the general education classroom. Tiered support systems will be discussed as a general education instructional framework that can serve the needs of all students. The role of the family and school as partners will be developed as a critical technique to serve the needs of students with disabilities, as well as the importance of facilitating effective meetings and communication efforts that must be part of the role of the special educator.
SPED-561: Consultation and Collaboration
This course presents the Assessment and IEP process from referral to completion. Students will be expected to clearly define roles and responsibilities within the school for the special education teacher, paraprofessional, and other personnel within the school. Additionally, students will examine and develop a process to meaningfully engage parents in the process preschool through age 21. Students will be able to write a formal evaluation report.
Technology Integration Concentration
EDU-640: Integrating Digital Technology I K-12
This course involves the study of the use of technology in elementary and secondary classrooms. Students learn strategies for effective integration of technology into the curriculum. This includes learning such things as how to promote and demonstrate effective use of digital and Web 2.0 tools, how to manage the digital portfolio process, how to utilize assistive technologies. Federal and state legislation will be reviewed including New Hampshire Department of Education Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) program and the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) for teachers and students.
EDU-641: Integrating Digital Technology II K-12
This course is the second part of the study of the use of technology in the secondary and postsecondary classroom. Students learn how to plan, implement and support effective integration of technology into the curriculum. Students learn instructional leadership and how to participate in developing policies, procedures, and budgets that support technology integration. Federal and state legislation will be reviewed including New Hampshire Department of Education Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) program and the National Education Technology Standards (NETS)for administrators.
EDU-642: Integration Specialist Toolbox
Students study state-of-the-art digital integration technology tools, resources and methodologies for the K-12 classroom. This course develops the technical competencies and skills needed to collaborate with content area teachers. Topics range from digital resources and system network administration to end use applications.
*If you are seeking certification, you must complete a practicum in curriculum administration and work with a full-time Southern New Hampshire University faculty member for project assessment.