Early and Middle Childhood Education

Curriculum and Instruction (MS)

Curriculum and Instruction (MS) Early and Middle Childhood Education Specialization

Do you have a bachelor's degree in early childhood or elementary education and are you interested in enhancing your interdisciplinary content knowledge? This specialization is designed for educators working with children in Preschool – 8th grade settings who are eager to attain a graduate degree while developing the latest knowledge in curriculum and instructional strategies.

The Early and Middle Childhood Education Specialization program is for:

  • Current educators teaching in early childhood, primary, elementary or a middle school setting who are looking for professional development to become curriculum specialists or interdisciplinary instructional leaders.
  • Individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree (in early childhood or elementary education) who want to become teacher leaders in their educational communities.
  • Substitute teachers, career changers, retired military personnel, school paraprofessionals, and others with bachelor's degrees in content areas or related fields who want to teach and need to develop their expertise in the area of curriculum design, development and pedagogy.
  • Those interested in teaching at the college level.

Curriculum Course Descriptions

Core Courses

  • Through the study of the basic principles of curriculum development, educators and curriculum leaders are provided with knowledge, skills, and experiences to be actively involved in multiple facets of curriculum development, including planning, design, developmental processes and approaches, implementation, evaluation, and improvement/change. Development of curriculum will systemically address technology integration, evidenced-based practices, innovative and collaborative learning experiences, and the impact of social, political, psychological, and economic factors.

  • Requires students to identify a research problem, develop a design for the study and write a research proposal. Provides opportunities to evaluate and interpret research literature.

  • Advances the concepts, ideas, and professional learning gained throughout the MS Curriculum and Instruction program of studies. In addition to weekly class sessions, field-based experiences include completion of a content-based applied action research project under the guidance of University faculty in ADSOE and the College of Arts and Sciences. This is the capstone course in the MS in Curriculum and Instruction.

  • This course surveys historical and current trends in educational curriculum development and their impact on public and non-public schools from an instructional leadership perspective.

  • This course will prepare educators to be proficient in the application of a variety of instructional strategies. A study of pedagogical models will provide the foundation upon which educators can reflect upon best practices and meet the needs of diverse learners.

  • This course is designed to provide the experienced teacher with a comprehensive perspective on the principles of mentoring and coaching. Class sessions will focus on providing awareness of the knowledge base related to mentoring, as well as a set of mentoring skills and various strategies for applying the functions and behaviors associated with effective mentoring. Individuals responsible for the planning and implementation of teacher induction and orientation programs will also benefit from this course.

  • This course includes the design, development, reflection, and restructuring of classroom instruction based on students' performance and assessment data. Current models used to assess students' learning are examined, including the use of performance criteria. Issues impacting this role and the restructuring of standards-based instruction based on students' performance, progression, and learning are the focus.

Early and Middle Childhood Courses

  • This course examines the curriculum foundations and instructional methods for early and middle childhood mathematics. By building upon teachers' mathematical knowledge and with a focus on supporting high quality mathematics education, this course provides resources and opportunities for educators to experience effective, research-based curricula and teaching practices.

  • In this course students will acquire the knowledge and instructional methodology needed to be effective social studies teachers in the early and middle elementary school grades. The course will examine the nature and content encompassed in the term 'social studies,' and the theoretical approaches to the creation of curriculum, as well as the strategies, skills and modes of reasoning used in the social sciences. It correlates social studies content with the National Council of Social Studies Strands and disciplines and the Florida Sunshine State Standards. A focus is on social studies as a self-contained discipline as well as an integrated component of the elementary school curriculum. There will be opportunities for students to demonstrate both social science reasoning and research and the use of methods, strategies and materials to engage their students in their social studies classes through co-requisite field experiences.

  • Offers knowledge and instructional methodology for teaching science in early and middle childhood. Focuses on the methods, materials and approaches for teaching science, including developmentally appropriate introductions to the physical, earth and life sciences.

  • This advanced course supports teachers by providing theories, models and techniques necessary to improve literacy/reading and thinking skills in the P-12 classroom. Teachers will learn strategies to help organize children's thinking, with an emphasis on reading/literacy skills.

  • The emphasis in this course is on the application and infusion of community resources and service learning in support of Early and Middle Childhood student-learning achievement. Through experiential learning, collaboration, and interdisciplinary curriculum and instruction, this course models and exemplifies how to place community-based service learning concepts into action. There will be opportunities to interact with the community through field experiences.

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