Social Sciences Education Specialization

Curriculum and Instruction (MS)

Curriculum and Instruction (MS) Social Sciences Education Specialization

Do you have a bachelor's degree in history, sociology, or political science and are you looking to become a social science teacher or enhance your expertise as an educator in this subject area? This specialization is designed especially for middle school or high school social science teachers who are looking to enhance their subject area expertise while developing the latest knowledge in curriculum and instructional strategies.

Who the Social Sciences Specialization program is for:

  • Current social science educators teaching in the middle or high school setting who are looking for professional development to become a curriculum or instructional leader in the area of social sciences education.
  • Individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree (in one of the social science disciplines) who want to become a middle school or high school social science teacher.
  • Substitute teachers, career changers, retired military personnel, school paraprofessionals, and others with bachelor's degrees in the area of social science who want to teach.
  • Those interested in teaching at the college level.

*This program requires prerequisites in social science.

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.

Social Sciences Courses

  • A political, social, cultural and economic history of African Americans since 1877. Focuses on segregation, civil rights, the family, northern migration, and cultural contributions. Prerequisite: HIS 150 or 202 or equivalent.

  • This course will analyze the evolution of the three branches (Executive, Legislative, Judicial) of the American national government from the framers to the present. Special attention will be given to the current relevance of the insights found in the Federalist papers. Prerequisite: POS 201 or equivalent.

  • An introduction to the range of ethical issues that arise during the practice of social science. Emphasis on research issues, including research topics, research methods, the use of research, the role of the researcher, and the creation of ethical standards. Prerequisite: three hours in social science courses or permission of the Department Chair.

  • A comprehensive examination of race, class and gender as central categories of social experience. A variety of sociological approaches are integrated to analyze how these differences in identities and accompanying inequalities are constructed within social institutions and processes. Prerequisites: SOC 201 & 3 additional SOC hours or permission of Department Chair.

  • An in-depth study of the major sociological theories and relevant research pertaining to violence, including interpersonal, family, criminal and institutionalized violence. The normative and social situational contexts in which violence occurs are studied in terms of how persons are affected as perpetrators and victims. Historical, cross-cultural and contemporary forms of violence are analyzed to reveal the underlying social dynamics. Social responses to violence, including criminalization, public policies, and prevention/treatment intervention strategies are reviewed. Prerequisites: SOC 201 or CRM 200 and one additional SOC or CRM course or permission of the Department Chair.

  • An advanced course on sociology of the family, with emphasis on the contemporary American Experience. Major theoretical perspectives on the purpose, function, and interdependent nature of the family are reviewed. Analysis also focuses on the diversity of family experiences as shaped by gender, social class, race-ethnic identity, and age, as well as on issues relating to the household division of labor, employment, parenting, sexuality, marriage and power. The majority of course topics are examined in terms of contemporary debates regarding the stability of family life and on the legislation and public policies that have been developed to address these problems.
    Prerequisite: SOC 201 or SOC 246 or permission of Department Chair.

  • This course focuses on the application of instructional strategies for teachers of the social sciences at the middle and secondary levels. Organization of courses, sources of materials, textbooks, methods of teaching the social sciences are addressed. Required of all students in the M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction with Social Sciences Specialization.

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