PEDAGOGICAL CORE CURRICULUM:
The M.Ed. program is oriented around a fifteen credit hour pedagogical core curriculum that reflects this mission by cutting across five essential areas of knowledge and skill needed by teachers: 1) Art and Science of Teaching. 2) The Learner. 3) Literacy. 4) Foundations, Context, and Purpose. 5) Research and Inquiry. Students complete coursework in each domain as specified in the program curriculum.
The pedagogical core domains are described as follows:
Art and Science of Teaching
Teaching comprises an everchanging, unique combination of scientific reasoning and artistry intended to promote the highest level of student achievement. Skills that foster student motivation, communication, selfworth, and content mastery provide a foundation for developing artistry to further enhance the learning experience. This domain encourages students to explore the techniques of teaching, while developing effective teaching styles consistent with their individual personalities.
At the center of all education is the learner. In order to provide effective education to all learners, teachers need to understand the specific learning needs of each student, and how those learning needs are affected by differences in development, temperament, cognitive functioning, and social, economic, and cultural contexts. In this domain, contemporary psychological theory and research is applied to learners in the context of the study of development, assessment, and learning. Study in this domain allows educators to create classroom learning communities where everyone, including teachers, are unique and respected learners who participate actively in their own education.
This domain is the cornerstone of all teaching and learning. Here teachers acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for teaching others to become critically literate in all six domains of literacy: reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and visually representing. Furthermore, teachers learn to appreciate how the acquisition of critical literacy is a necessary requisite for a lifetime of growth and empowerment. A wide variety of theoretical and practical matters pertaining to literacy are explored in this domain.
Foundations, Context, and Purpose
The purpose and meaning of any educational activity is not a given, but must be constructed, articulated, and justified within the particular context in which it occurs. Teachers and other educational professionals must, therefore, have a deep awareness of this context . including its cultural, historical, linguistic, technological, and philosophical roots . in order to engage in purposeful and meaningful teaching. This essential domain of study prepares teachers who are able to reflect critically on teaching practices and educational policies in light of their complex relations to the environing culture. This study aims to equip teachers to make sense of classroom practices through an understanding of the larger social context in which these classrooms are embedded.
Research and Inquiry
Teachers, in order to be effective, must be adept researchers and they must be actively engaged in meaningful forms of inquiry. Moreover, teachers must have the capacity to critically examine various research claims and to assess the relative worth of such claims to understanding their own classroom practice and environment, which includes using technology to obtain and evaluate information from the Internet. Teachers must also be able to foster research skills in their own students and create a learning environment that encourages inquiry and critical thinking. This domain gives teachers experience from which to sharpen their expertise in this key area.