Education Curriculum and Instruction

Education Curriculum and Instruction Course Offerings

Education Curriculum and Instruction course offerings will be found under the 4 letter code of EDCI in the course listings.  

500 – Teaching and the Development of the Learner (3)

This course provides the teacher candidate with an orientation to teaching, and to the growth and development of the learner. The course introduces the knowledge, skills, and attitudes requisite to competent teaching that must be demonstrated by the candidate to successfully complete the program. Required performance-based standards in  planning, instruction, classroom environment, communication, and professionalism, as well as key indicators and evaluation instruments used to assess these standards, are presented. In compliance with state-mandated training, the teacher candidate completes study in child abuse recognition and intervention. The teacher candidate should self-monitor his/her professional development throughout the program. Virginia Standards of Learning in subject areas and technology are introduced. The range of human development through adolescence, including physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and speech and language aspects, and its impact on instructional practices and decisions are examined.

501 – Curriculum and Instruction: Secondary

This course focuses on the principles of learning, communication process, selection and use of course materials, and evaluation of pupil performance in middle and secondary school setting.  Emphasis is placed on the theory of differentiation, assessment, and the relationship among assessment, instruction, and monitoring of student progress in order to make decisions about how to improve instruction.  Field experience required.

502 – Educational Goals and Practices: Elementary (3)

Prerequisite or corequisite: EDCI 500. This course focuses on the application of teaching and learning models in the elementary classroom. Special emphasis is placed on the relationships among assessments, instruction, and monitoring student progress. The course allows the prospective teacher to explore discipline-based curriculum methods, including practices for second language learners, English language learners, gifted and talented students, and those students with disabling conditions.  Field experience required.

506 – Foundations of American Education (3)

This course introduces the prospective teacher to the issues and challenges of schooling in the United States. Although historical and philosophical contexts are addressed, contemporary political, sociological, and economic issues are emphasized.  Teaching is viewed in the context of the culture of schools and the influences that shape it, including the important role assessment plays in instructional design and decision-making. The legal rights and responsibilities of teachers and students, diverse learner populations, and school and community involvement are specific topics addressed in the course.

507 – Early Literacy and Language Development (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 500. This course focuses on early literacy instruction that is based on knowledge of language acquisition that promotes young children’s literacy development. Emphasis is placed on current theories, instructional approaches, assessment, and evaluation of teaching and learning language processes. Virginia Standards of Learning in elementary English and technology are addressed. Course topics include language acquisition and reading, specifically phonemic awareness, concepts of print, systematic explicit phonics instruction, word study curriculum, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing process, literature-based and curriculum integration, and classroom organization. Field experience required.

509 – Language and Literacy Development (3)

Prerequisite EDCI 507. This course focuses on promoting the intermediate learner’s literacy development and language acquisition. Emphasis is placed on current theories, models, and methods of teaching, learning, and communicating through the language processes of reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the content areas. Specific topics include comprehension skills, writing processes, questioning strategies, summarizing, and retelling. This course  allows prospective teachers to explore literature to support instruction and independent reading. Field experience required.

515 – Literacy and Language Across the Curriculum (3)

Recommended prerequisite or corequisite: EDCI 500 or EDUC 420. This course explores reading and language acquisition in the content areas. Emphasis is placed on comprehension skills in all content areas, including a repertoire of questioning strategies, summarizing and retelling skills, and strategies in literal, interpretive, critical, and evaluative comprehension. Students explore strategies to foster appreciation of literature that supports the curriculum. Field experience required.

519 – Managing the Classroom Environment: Elementary (3)

Prerequisite or corequisite: EDCI 500. This course focuses on the understanding and application of classroom and behavior management techniques, the development of a classroom community environment, and individual interventions. The  prospective teacher addresses behavioral, cognitive, social, affective, and ecological-based practices that support the development  of social skills and self-discipline to promote learning in the elementary classroom. Field experience required.

521 – Managing the Classroom Environment: Middle or Secondary (3)

This course focuses on the understanding and application of classroom and behavior management techniques, the development of a classroom community environment, and individual interventions. The prospective teacher addresses behavioral, cognitive, social, affective, and ecological-based practices that support the development of social skills and self-discipline to promote learning in the middle and secondary classroom. Field experience required.

523 – Managing the Classroom Environment: PreK-12 (3)

Prerequisite or corequisite: EDCI 500. This course focuses on the understanding and application of classroom and behavior management techniques, the development of a classroom community environment, and individual interventions. The prospective teacher addresses behavioral, cognitive, social, affective, and ecological-based practices that support the development of social skills and self-discipline to promote learning in the PreK-12 classroom. Field experience required.

525 – Mathematics Content for the Elementary Classroom (3)

This course addresses the content of the Virginia Standards of Learning for grades PreK-6 and covers the knowledge and skills necessary for effective mathematics instruction in the elementary classroom. Emphasis is placed on a diagnostic-prescriptive instructional approach to mathematics content.

526 – Social Sciences Content for the Elementary Classroom (3)

This course addresses the content of the Virginia Standards of Learning for grades PreK-6 and covers the knowledge and skills necessary for effective social sciences instruction in the elementary classroom. Emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking skills in helping students understand social sciences content.

527 – Science Content for the Elementary Classroom (3)

This course addresses the content of the Virginia Standards of Learning for grades PreK-6 and covers the knowledge and skills necessary for effective science instruction in the elementary classroom. Emphasis is placed on the processes and organizing concepts of the core scientific disciplines.

530 - Mathematics Methods for the Elementary School (2)

Prerequisite: EDCI 502. Study of theory, research, and practice as it relates to planning, instruction and assessment in the teaching of mathematics in the elementary school.

531 – Science Methods for the Elementary School (2)

Prerequisite: EDCI 502. Study of theory, research, and practice as it relates to planning, instruction and assessment in the teaching of the sciences in the elementary school.

532 – Social Studies Methods for the Elementary School (2)

Prerequisite: EDCI 502. Study of theory, research, and practice as it relates to planning, instruction and assessment in the teaching the social studies in the elementary school. Focus is placed local and Virginia state government and civics.

538 – Middle Grades Programs and Practices (4)

Prerequisite: EDCI 500. This course provides an orientation to middle grades (6-8) education. The course develops the teacher candidates’ knowledge of young adolescent learning, appropriate instructional strategies, and assessment tools. Emphasis is placed on the foundational components, organizational patterns, instructional programs, the integrated curriculum, and current trends and issues in middle level schooling. Field experience required.

540 – Characteristics and Education of Gifted Students (3)

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of the field of gifted education, including a brief history of the field, varied conceptions of giftedness and identification methods, characteristics and needs of a wide range of gifted learners, programming options, and curriculum and instruction for gifted learners, underserved populations, social and emotional needs, parent/community involvement, and best practices in gifted education. Course participants gain a foundation in the field of gifted education and the needs of gifted learners that are built upon in subsequent courses.

541 – Identification of Gifted Students (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 540. This course explores the variety of techniques that can be used to identify gifted students, including psychometric procedures and performance and product assessment. Emphasis is placed on identifying giftedness and the continuous assessment required to turn potential into maximal levels of performance. Topics include standardized testing; alternatives, such as performance assessment and portfolios, rating scales and checklists, evaluation of student records information, and case studies; and gathering, analyzing, and reporting formative and summative data.

542 – Models and Strategies for Teaching Gifted Students (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 540. This course focuses on specific strategies and program models that adapt instruction for gifted students. Specific strategies that relate to student differences are applied in the classroom setting. Participants are able to develop an understanding of both the theoretical and practical implications of the models and strategies and learn how they can contribute to promoting academic challenge and learner independence. Topics include accelerated and enriched core academic programs, models and strategies that address specific expressions of giftedness, the integration of curriculum (both multiple disciplines and gifted curriculum into the regular school curriculum), and curricula for gifted students in special populations.

543 – Differentiated Curriculum for the Gifted (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 540. This course focuses on current theory and principles of differentiation and specific strategies that adapt instruction in order to meet the characteristics of gifted learners. Specific differentiation strategies that relate to student differences with high levels of ability are applied in the classroom setting.

544 – Critical and Creative Thinking (3)

This course focuses on critical and creative thinking with applications to instruction.  Course participants gain and apply knowledge about various critical and creative thinking strategies, problem solving style, and the process of creative problem solving.  Participants apply the tools, strategies, and creative problem solving processes to instruction and classroom environment through class activities.

545 – Issues and Trends in Gifted Education (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 540. This seminar-style course focuses on the current issues and trends in gifted education. Students analyze, synthesize, and discuss current research and views to formulate their own positions regarding the issues and trends. Students write scholarly papers and lead discussions supporting various themes addressed.

546 – Evaluation for Instructional Improvement (3)

This course focuses on models and practices for assessing student learning outcomes, including value-added assessment and the use of test data in establishing a program improvement plan. Topics include issues in accountability, data organizers and analysis, the use and interpretation of test scores, the identification of performance indicators and improvement objectives, and basic statistical analysis for test and program evaluation. Participants write a data-based improvement plan.

547 – Special Topics Seminar (3-6)

This course is designed to treat current topics in education that are of particular interest to program participants and faculty.

550 – M. Ed. Initial Licensure Internship(6)

Prerequisites: EDCI 500-524 and INDT 501. This is the capstone experience of the initial licensure program. The prospective teacher is challenged to blend personal and educational experiences to teach in the classroom under the mentorship of a skillful practicing teacher. Field mentorship is a 14-week field-based teaching experience at the appropriate grade level or subject area. Self-analysis and reflection on planned and implemented instruction, and conferencing with the mentor teacher and university supervisor, are prominent aspects of the experience. Prospective teachers meet as a group throughout the experience for seminars and workshops. The field mentorship experience and concurrent seminars are designed to assist the teacher candidate with performance of the required program standards and competencies, which must be demonstrated to successfully complete the initial licensure program.

551 – Internship for Added Teaching Endorsement (3-6)

Recommended prerequisite: All course work required for the endorsement pathway. This practicum is the capstone experience for an added endorsement. It provides the opportunity to apply the skills, understandings, and competencies requisite to the specific endorsement under the auspices of a mentor licensed in that endorsement. Credit requirements and placement are determined by the specific endorsement pathway sought. (Pass/fail option only)

552 – The Teaching of Business and Information Technology (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 501. This course prepares teacher candidates for planning instruction, selecting materials, developing and implementing instructional strategies, and designing assessments in their licensure area. Students become familiar with state and national standards and professional organizations. Field experience required.

553 – The Teaching of English and Theatre Arts (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 501 or EDCI 538. This course prepares teacher candidates for planning instruction, selecting materials, developing and implementing instructional strategies, and designing assessments in their licensure area. Students become familiar with state and national standards and professional organizations. Field experience required. Cross-listed as EDUC 453.

554 – The Teaching of Foreign Language (3)

Prerequisite EDCI 501.  This course prepares teacher candidates for planning instruction, selecting materials, developing and implementing instructional strategies, and designing assessments in their licensure area. Students become familiar with state and national standards and professional organizations. Field experience required. Cross-listed as EDUC 454.

555 – The Teaching of History and Social Sciences (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 501 or EDCI 538.  This course prepares teacher candidates for planning instruction, selecting materials, developing and implementing instructional strategies, and designing assessments in their licensure area. Students become familiar with state and national standards and professional organizations. Field experience required. Cross-listed as EDUC 455.

556 – The Teaching of Mathematics and Computer Science (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 501 or EDCI 538. This course prepares teacher candidates for planning instruction, selecting materials, developing and implementing instructional strategies, and designing assessments in their licensure area. Students become familiar with state and national standards and professional organizations. Field experience required. Cross-listed EDUC 456.

557 – The Teaching of Music (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 501 or permission of instructor. This course prepares teacher candidates for planning instruction, selecting materials, developing and implementing instructional strategies, and designing assessments in their licensure area. Students become familiar with state and national standards and professional organizations. Field experience required. Cross-listed EDUC 457.

558 – The Teaching of Sciences (3)

Prerequisites: EDCI 501 or EDCI 538.  This course prepares teacher candidates for planning instruction, selecting materials, developing and implementing instructional strategies, and designing assessments in their licensure area. Students become familiar with state and national standards and professional organizations. Field experience required. Cross-listed as EDUC458.

559 – The Teaching of Visual Arts (3)

Prerequisite: EDCI 501. This course prepares teacher candidates for planning instruction, selecting materials, developing and implementing instructional strategies, and designing assessments in their licensure area. Students become familiar with state and national standards and professional organizations. Field experience required. Cross-listed as EDUC 459.

580 – Introduction to Research (3)

Prerequisite: 6 credits of M.Ed. course work and permission of instructor. This course introduces M.Ed. candidates to scholarly research and writing in the field of education. The emphasis is on understanding and conducting educational research for instructional improvement and professional development. It provides thorough exposure to theoretical and research literature and to quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. It also covers essentials of research project development, including development of topic, problem statement and annotated bibliography, review and synthesis of literature, research ethics, collection and analysis of data, writing process, and use of APA style. Students conduct a literature review and draft a quality research proposal.

589 – Applied Research (3)

Prerequisite: 24 credits of Initial Licensure/M.Ed. course work or approval of program advisor; open only to students in the M.Ed. Initial Licensure program. This course provides an experience in conducting and applying research for the advancement of the educational profession. In a workshop format, the course covers principles of educational research, including development of a topic, review and synthesis of scholarly literature, and practical application of research findings. Students write an in-depth literature review on a topic of their choice that is beyond the scope of regular course offerings. They also develop an authentic means of applying the findings from their literature review (such as a unit plan, web site, or professional development presentation). Final project reports are archived in the campus library.

590 – Individual Research (3)

Prerequisite: 27 credits of M.Ed. course work or approval of the program advisor; open only to students in the M.Ed. for Professional Development or Added Endorsement program. This is an experience in self-directed learning and research which are primary goals of the program. Track II M.Ed. candidates conduct original research on a topic of study in education that is beyond the scope of regular course offerings. Working individually with a faculty advisor, students review the pertinent literature, conduct qualitative or quantitative research, and write a report of their research following conventions of the discipline. Although research is the primary goal, the final project may include a supplemental component, such as a curriculum restructuring plan, a proposal for public policy change, or a professional development workshop. A formal research proposal must be submitted for approval by the M.Ed. faculty in a semester preceding enrollment in the course. Final project reports are archived in the campus library.

591 – Individual Study (1-6)

By permission of the department chair, students may engage in 1-6 credits of individual study under the direction of a member of the full-time M.Ed. faculty. A detailed proposal for the study project and number of credits must be approved by the faculty member and department chair before registration. For elective credit only.