Course Descriptions - Graduate Teacher Education

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Core Courses (EDCC)

EDCC 501 Creating Cultures of Change (3 SH)

Emphasizes concepts such as reflective practice, student centered learning, and processes for transformative change. Applying a constructivist perspective, participants will learn how to become meaningful change agents in classrooms and educational settings.

EDCC 521 Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation (3 SH) 

Explores the theories and processes of conflict transformation and peacebuilding within educational contexts. Focus is on peaceable climates and conflict transformation approaches that integrate peace curricula for individual classroom settings and within specific schools. The goal is to nurture peaceful, just and caring relationships within communities through active processes of tending, friending and mending.  As such, educators, nurses and counselors will examine educational systems and relational literacy approaches, as well as their own personal beliefs, conflict resolution style(s), relationships, communication skills, curriculum and instructional strategies, discipline systems and classroom organization processes.

EDCC 531 Social and Ethical Issues in Education (3 SH) 

Examines historical, sociological, philosophical, ethical, legal, and multicultural issues in education. The course is designed to further equip students as a decision maker and leader in educational settings. Special attention is given to discussion of how public policy in education is shaped by the community’s social and ethical concerns. Student presentations, round-tables, case studies, and large group discussion are used.

EDCC 551 Action Research in Educational Settings (3 SH)

Examines quantitative and qualitative research studies that impact education. Presents action research theory and design so that students may apply action research to their individual programs. Participants are taught within the course to use computer technology to conduct a literature review, collect, analyze and interpret data. Participants prepare an action research proposal, ready to be fine-tuned with their program mentor.  Prerequisite: Admission to Candidacy.

Curriculum and Instruction Courses (EDCI)

EDCI 500 Foundations of Curriculum Development (1-3 SH)

Explores curriculum development through the design and delivery of instruction for student learning. Students will learn how to plan for instruction including daily and unit lesson planning, how to create learning objectives, enabling activities and tasks, and how to develop formative and summative assessments. 

EDCI 501 Curriculum and Instructional Strategies (3 SH)

Examines the philosophical foundations of curriculum development and implementation. Curriculum mapping, interdisciplinary inquiry, activity curricula and culturally responsive development will be discussed. 

EDCI 511 Teaming and Collaboration (3 SH)

Focuses on collaborative strategies for learning among educators, parents, and community to collaboratively maximize students’ achievement. Models of consensus building, team building, team planning, facilitation skills, and school-parent collaboration will be examined. Students will work in teams to research their own learning development.

EDCI 541 Supporting Positive Classroom Behavior (3 SH)

Explores current research-based best practices to support positive behavior development in children, particularly those identified as having specific learning and/or behavioral challenges. Through a restorative discipline approach lens, this course focuses on culturally sensitive strategies to prevent harmful behaviors and explores research and best practice interventions for reoccurring behavior.

EDCI 561 Neuro-Education: Application of Research on the Brain, Trauma, Resilience, and Learning in the K-12 Classroom (3 SH)

Explores research on how the brain processes, stores, and retrieves information, and on the impact of trauma and resilience on learning and behavior. In this regard, advances in neuroscience and the cognitive sciences provide insight into how life events, instructional design, instructional delivery, and educational environments can reshape brain structure and function in ways that can support or hinder a student’s motivation, engagement, achievement, and behavior. Intended for K-12 teachers, educational specialists, and administrators.

Classroom Technology Courses (EDCT)

EDCT 501 Technology to Enhance Learning (3 SH)

Activities that offer choice, foster creativity, and inspire imagination promote a more personalized learning experience for students. Participants will explore and use technology tools to help them craft instruction to engage and captivate their students!

EDCT 531 Everything Google for the Classroom (3 SH)

Explores Google tools that can be built into lessons to assist with classroom management and instruction. Participants will collaborate on ways to use these tools to have the greatest positive impact in their classrooms. Participants should be comfortable with surfing the web.   

EDCT 541 Instructional Technology for Problem-Based Learning (PBL) (3 SH)

Explores 21st century workplace success beyond basic knowledge and skills. In Problem-Based Learning, students not only understand content more deeply but also learn how to take responsibility and build confidence, solve problems, work collaboratively, communicate ideas, and be creative innovators. Participants will identify, use and evaluate technology resources in the context of designing and delivering instruction using the Problem-Based Learning instructional method. 

EDCT 561 Designing Personal and Authentic Learning Experiences (3 SH)

Inspires educators to implement real-world, personal, authentic learning experiences that lead to student success, investigating relevant problems and creating products that have real-life purposes while offering a rich variety of strategies and ideas to spark interest and deepen content knowledge. Educators acquire skills in the 5 Cs of communication, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and citizenship.

EDCT 571 Becoming a Quality Online Educator (3 SH)

Develops teacher know-how to tailor online instruction for short and long term instruction to K-12 students. Teachers learn how to design lessons, short term, and long term units of study in highly applicable formats considering grade level and differentiation needs of students. Teacher friendly.

EDCT 611 Creating a Technology-Rich Learning Classroom (3 SH)

Participants will identify, use and evaluate technology resources in the context of designing and delivering instruction that is consistent with current best practices for integrating technology. The Virginia Computer/Technology SOLs and the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers will be referenced throughout the course.

EDCT 681 Online Learning Tools for the Classroom (3 SH)

Explores online tools that can be used in the classroom to assist with classroom management and instruction. Participants will collaborate on ways to use these tools to have the greatest impact in their classrooms. Participants should be comfortable with surfing the web. 

EDCT 691 “Creating” with 21st Century Tools (3 SH) 

Participants will identify, use and evaluate 21st Century Learning Tools that can be used to address the top level of the “new” Bloom’s Taxonomy – Creating. These tools will be used in the context of designing and delivering instruction that is consistent with current best practices for integrating technology. 

Trauma and Resilience Courses (EDDA)

EDDA 501 Fostering Resilience through School and Community Partnerships (3 SH)

Partnerships between schools and community stakeholders play a vital role in fostering resilience in educational environments. This course serves as a forum for engaging dialogue among educators, counselors, law enforcement personnel, social service agents, and other community service workers regarding trauma and resilience. Participants will examine current trends and program development models that empower collaboration within communities.

EDDA 511 Teaching Diverse Learners (3 SH) 

Focuses on the application of integrated strategies, differentiated instruction, curriculum compacting and adaptations for diverse populations, i.e. students served under alternative education, special education services, ESL and gifted/talented programs.

EDDA 571 Trauma, Restoration, and Resilience in Educational Environments (3 SH)

Introduces school personnel to the core concepts of adverse experiences, toxic stress, trauma, restoration, self-care, and resilience in the school environment, and provides a research-based, strength-based approach to creating a trauma-informed, resilience-fostering school environment.   

EDDA 631 Research in Risk & Resilience (online) (3 SH) 

Analyzes research bases for understanding risk and resilience and explores protective factors within the child, family, and community which enable resilience and mitigate risk factors. 

Literacy and Reading Specialist Courses (EDLA)

EDLA 501 Foundations of Literacy (3 SH)

Examines the psychological, social, cultural and linguistic components of the developmental processes of reading and writing.  The focus of the course is to develop an understanding of how children learn to read; to understand the spelling system of English orthography and how that influences word knowledge in reading and writing; to acquire an ability to select materials appropriate to the child's developmental stage and to explore what teachers can do to provide appropriate instruction.  Appropriate instruction is based on the findings of the National Reading Panel and feature research and its implications in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.

EDLA 511 Literacy Assessment (3 SH)

Analyzes and uses research based assessment measures that enable the teacher to make wise instructional decisions and provide documentation of progress, identifying each student's needs from a developmental perspective. Participants will construct and use affective measure of literacy behaviors, administer running records of leveled text, administer an informal reading inventory which includes measurements of rate, fluency, oral reading accuracy and oral and silent comprehension, assess developmental word knowledge, phonemic awareness, phonics and vocabulary, and elicit and assess writing samples. National and state assessments will be examined and issues concerning their use will be addressed.

EDLA 521 Integrated Literacy Instruction (3 SH)

Focuses on literacy learning throughout the curriculum and addresses integrated, interdisciplinary approaches to learning in K-12 classrooms. The course will explore instructional strategies, materials, and issues that impact the development and extension of literacy across the curriculum. Students will use technology to share information and design appropriate instruction. Research in literacy instruction and specifically in oral language, reading, writing, and viewing will be a focus area.

EDLA 531 Literacy in Community & Family Arenas (online 3 SH)

Addresses literacy development in a larger scope than traditionally covered through school, focusing on personal, cultural and political issues related to adult literacy. Addresses adult literacy in the context of various settings, including family literacy, workplace literacy and community literacy programs. 

EDLA 581 Word Study (1 SH)

Develops understanding for systematically teaching phonics, spelling, and vocabulary in beginning, transitional and intermediate readers. Major topics include the development of word knowledge across the curriculum, strategies for instruction, and the role of assessment.  Participants will learn to administer the Developmental Spelling Analysis (DSA), a dictated word inventory that can be used to guide instruction and monitor student progress.  Writing samples will also be analyzed for spelling errors that can inform instruction.

EDLA 591 Differentiated Literacy Instruction (3 SH)

Develops an understanding of how children in grades 3 to 8 learn to read and write with and emphasis on differentiation and best practices to assist a variety of learners--reluctant, low-performing, gifted and at the same time designed to increase fluency, phonics, vocabulary and comprehension.  Examines current reading research based on the findings of the National Reading Panel; and consider its implication for classroom instruction.

EDLA 601 Multicultural Children’s Literature (3 SH)

Explores multicultural children’s literature for children in a variety of genre. Elementary classroom activities including critical thinking and writing are demonstrated. Introduces teachers to a wide spectrum of literature for children, focusing on literature by and about persons from a variety of ethnic and cultural groups. Participants will develop skills for evaluating the works as well as design curricula for their own classrooms. Students will be expected to examine their own beliefs and practices, examine the literature that they make available to the children in their classrooms, and to design curricula that will educate for a diverse world.

EDLA 611 Adolescent/Young Adult Literature (online 3 SH)

Concentrates on literature written for and by adolescent/ young adult readers while relying on works typically classified as young adult literature as well as literary “classics” found within the curriculum for middle, junior and senior high classrooms. Employs reader-response theory. 

EDLA 651 Developing an Effective Reading Program (3 SH)

Provides practical knowledge about developing and implementing K-12 reading programs. Develops the strategies and understandings needed to provide a diverse student body with effective reading instruction and provides support for making changes in teaching and in program design to increase student achievement. Emphasis will be placed on examining the personal characteristics of literacy leaders as well as examining the organization and management of school environments needed to support literacy development. Emphasizes professional development, leadership and advocacy for reading professionals and provides opportunity to re-vision the classroom and school-wide reading program and current intervention programs in light of existing research and best practice.

EDLA 681 Reading and Writing Strategies for the Collaborative Classroom (3 SH)

Examines and implements current research and instructional strategies for incorporating reading, writing, vocabulary development and research in collaborative settings across the curriculum.  Focuses on the reading/writing connection and the processes of teaching reading, writing, vocabulary, and research as tools for critical thinking.  Attention is given to differentiating instruction for diverse student populations, adolescent literacy, and 21st century literacies.  Emphasizes the need for teachers and students to become authors within educational settings and to write for authentic audiences.

Reflective Practice Courses (EDPC)

EDPC 601 TESL Practicum (3 SH)

Gives candidates field experience in teaching English as Second Language. The course accommodates candidates who are currently teaching as well as candidates seeking initial TESL licensure. Forty (40) contact hours of teaching and observation is required along with preparing a professional knowledge base for the ELL classroom.

EDPC 601 Literacy Practicum (3 SH)

Focuses on applying literacy knowledge and expertise in a clinical or classroom setting. School age students, who experience needs in reading and writing, will be paired with a tutor (graduate student) for structured tutoring under the supervision of a reading specialist. A case study method of assessing literacy progress will be implemented.

EDPC 611 Action Research Project (3 SH)

Incorporates a written report and delivery of a student-designed action research project. Under faculty supervision, Action Research Projects may take a variety of formats: curriculum restructuring projects, staff development projects, research for public policy change, research for publication, etc. Prerequisite: EDCC 551 Action Research in Educational Settings. 

Restorative Justice in Education Courses (EDRJ)

EDRJ 551 Foundations of Restorative Justice in Education (3 SH) 

Introduces Restorative Justice in Education (RJE) as a culture and a set of practices that are implemented to facilitate learning communities, supporting and respecting the inherent dignity and worth of all. Viewing RJE as a holistic approach, this course examines the three core components of RJE: creating just and equitable learning environments; nurturing healthy relationships; and repairing harm and transforming conflict. Class focuses on the underlying values of RJE and the foundational beliefs that guide RJE, and includes application of case studies and situations provided by class participants. 

EDRJ 581 Analyzing Conflict in Educational Settings (3 SH)

Explores various models of understanding the nature of conflict, including but not limited to identity, human needs and motivations, power dynamics, structural violence, change theories, systems analysis, and trauma. Analytic frameworks will be applied specifically to educational situations. Historic cases drawn from news media will be used to practice analytical skills before applying the frameworks to more localized cases. Participants will strengthen their reflective practice skills, using self-assessments to consider how their own perspectives impact their ability to see and analyze conflicts.

EDRJ 601 Facilitating Circle Processes (3 SH)

Explores the use of circle processes to build and sustain healthy learning environments in schools or other educational settings. Theoretical foundations and core assumptions will be discussed and ways circles can be utilized to build community, resolve conflict, create safe learning spaces, and promote social and emotional competency. Participants, including educators, administrators, school counselors, or other school based personnel, will learn how to design and implement Circles in education related contexts.

EDRJ 621 RJE Principles and Practices for Schools (3 SH)

Applies restorative justice principles to individual student, classroom, school, and community-based practices that support safe, just, and caring schools. Restorative justice practices are based on restorative justice values and principles that promote relational approaches to school discipline, communication, pedagogy, and other interactions. Designed for teachers, counselors, administrators, social workers, and others who work within educational contexts. Participants engage with both formal and informal RJE practices, including the facilitation of classroom meetings, restorative circles, and family group conferences.

EDRJ 625 RJE Practicum

Gives candidates field experience opportunities for the implementation of Restorative Justice in Education (RJE) practices. Forty (40) contact hours of RJE practice and observation is required along with preparing a case study on current RJE implementation. Candidates will complete the practicum with an assigned mentor either in their current educational setting or with an RJE practitioner in another context.  Prerequisite: RJE Graduate Certificate OR Admission to MA in Education program and completion of RJE Concentration Courses.

Teaching English as a Second Language Courses (EDSL)

EDSL 551 Methods of Teaching ESL/FL (3 SH) 

Enables students to identify, compare, and contrast various approaches to language teaching, and underlying beliefs about language learning/teaching. There will be exposure to a variety of teaching techniques in each of the main language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary). Attention will be given to ways of assessing language proficiency and doing needs assessment for a variety of student populations in order to shape instruction effectively.

EDSL 561 The English Language (3 SH)

Explores the tools of linguistic analysis, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, and syntax, and examine broader concepts of language typology, variation, and the history of English.

EDSL 571 Language Acquisition & Grammar (online 3 SH)

Explores current topics and issues in the study of language acquisition, language development, and grammar. Explores first and second language acquisition, multiple second language teaching strategies, and support services to assist English Language Learners (ELLs) in language and content learning. Offers teachers practical ideas for teaching grammar in the context of today’s classroom. 

EDSL 581 Language and Culture (3 SH)

Enables students to gain a deeper understanding of the intricate ways in which culture and language influence each other. Surveys the basics of sociolinguistics and language policy through case studies from communities around the world. Includes a critical evaluation of the role of culture in the second-language classroom. 

EDSL 591 ESL Assessment and Support (3 SH)

Explores assessment tools and practices as they relate to second language learners.  Emphasizes the assessing and monitoring of oral language, reading and writing and content area subjects.  Examines support services both in language acquisition and content learning.

EDSL 611 ESL Professional Development Portfolio (1 SH)

Includes discussions and readings on professional development appropriate for teaching English as a Second Language Learners. Requires the development of a professional portfolio that includes three major components: (a) a personal educational philosophy for instructing English Language Learners, (b) a brief classroom action research project, and (c) a personal professional development plan.