Focus of Study Options
Curriculum and Instruction
After establishing an environment for diverse learners in the classroom, this Focus of Study provides ways to enhance the feel of community through collaboration and outreach within the school and beyond, into the surrounding neighborhood.
Building on classic concepts, the Differentiated Instruction Focus of Study recognizes how the mental landscape of current learners has been shaped by multimedia, changing how they think and reason when learning. Key components of differentiated instruction are revisited in relation to how new literacies have influenced changes in learner needs. Integrating theory and practice, students create professional learning communities, establish approaches for learner collaboration, and explore current frameworks to deliver content and concepts to meet the wide range of learning needs. Throughout the coursework, students shift perspectives to view differentiation as a scholarly practitioner and academic leaders, shaping instruction to create educational opportunities for 21st century learners.
Digital Learning and Teaching
The Focus of Study in Digital Learning and Teaching is designed to help educators re-examine technology, student learning, and classroom structure, as well as the roles of teacher and student. The focus of study explores how to design learning environments supported by technology, integrate digital technology into curriculum to maximize student learning, and evaluate emerging technology for personal and professional productivity.
Effective Classroom Management
The Focus of Study in Effective Classroom Management is designed to help P-12 educators effectively address students’ social, emotional and behavioral concerns. Developed in collaboration with Howard M. Knoff, Ph.D., creator and director of Project ACHIEVE, this program utilizes research-based strategies and best practices for developing effective instructional programs and managing safe, supportive learning environments. Courses focus specifically on Positive Behavior Support Systems (PBSS), social skills instruction, development of student self-management, and the needs of behaviorally challenging students. Current topics such as bullying and cyberbullying are addressed in-depth.
Designed to support educators in the primary grades, this Focus of Study prepares teachers to utilize strategies and instructional approaches to engage students in foundational skills required for effective reading. These include phonology, phonics, and vocabulary development as they relate to comprehension and fluency. Directly related to increasing student performance, principles of learning are integrated with practical approaches to foster reading across disciplines and in a variety of settings.
English Language Arts K-6
The Focus of Study in English Language Arts K-6 provides educators with the knowledge and skills to adapt teaching and curriculum as they align to state standards and Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts. Educators are prepared to integrate English and language arts applications to develop communication skills across disciplines and in specific areas of emphasis.
English Language Arts 6-8
The Focus of Study in English Language Arts 6-8 provides educators with the knowledge and skills to adapt teaching and curriculum as they align to state standards and the Common Core State Standards. Educators are prepared to integrate English and language arts applications to teach students to use language effectively, developing an appreciation for the world beyond the classroom as found in writings and through the use of other literacies in relation to significant historical events and global perspectives.
The Focus of Study in Mathematics K-6 prepares educators with the knowledge and skills to adapt teaching and curriculum to state standards and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in grades K-6. The research-based coursework engages educators in understanding the concepts of number sense, operations and algebraic thinking, geometry, measurement, data, probability, statistics, fractions, and decimals.
The Focus of Study in Mathematics 6-8 is intended to prepare educators to adapt teaching and curriculum to new and revised state standards, and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in grades 6-8. The research-based coursework engages educators in understanding the concepts of mathematical structure, mathematical reasoning, and mathematical models and tools, essential to the implementation and application of foundational mathematical principles.
Designed to support educators at the secondary level, this Focus of Study prepares teachers to utilize foundational skills to influence the selection of strategies and instructional approaches which engage students in developing comprehension and fluency. Consideration is given to the range of abilities found at the middle and high school levels which vary with background experience, prior instruction, and language barriers. Directly related to increasing student performance, practical approaches to foster reading across disciplines and in a variety of settings are integrated with skills required for content, real-life application, and readiness for future learning.
The science Focus of Study prepares K-16 teachers in pedagogy, andragogy, multiple intelligence theory, social learning theory, exchange theory, and the utilization of digital resources to foster the innovative engagement of diverse learners associated with integrated science programs. The courses offer a holistic overview of historical and current issues and trends impacting integrated science education while cultivating research-based strategies to improve student learning. The courses are sequenced to provide the educator of an integrated curriculum with the technological and didactic skill sets required for empowering 21st century learning in a global, digital society.