Teaching and learning COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

GE 6015 Introduction to Statistical Data and Research  This course is a comprehensive approach for students needing to conduct qualitative or quantitative research. The course will focus on the practical problems encountered in research beginning with the formulation of the research question and continuing through the preparation of the final research document. This course is designed to examine the theories, techniques, and methodologies of research currently employed for the analysis of educational and social sciences initiatives and investigations. Emphasis will be placed on applying knowledge of research techniques and methodologies to the critical analysis of published research. Students will be exposed to research methodologies as they investigate various statistical designs and test measurements.

GE 6027 Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum  This course emphasizes the interdisciplinary approach to all curriculum areas and their related importance to the Reading and Writing process. Students will explore the interconnections of language and literacy to build a knowledge base and understanding of how children learn to read and write in the elementary stages and progress into independent readers and writers in the upper grades. The rationale for this course is two-fold: 1) learning the language arts is important because the elements are powerful tools for learners to create and share personal meaning, and 2) teaching the language arts is critical because the components represent powerful potentials for learners to understand and transform their social worlds. Course content includes a comprehensive approach for educators who are seeking innovative and practical methods targeting best practices for teaching reading and writing across the curriculum spectrum. Students will develop the necessary competencies to understand and implement highly effective strategies that have been thoroughly researched in educational literature pertaining to present day classroom teachers.

GE 6035 Teaching and Supervising Diverse Student Populations  This course is designed to enhance instructional skills essential to working with Special Needs populations, Talented and Gifted learners, English Language learners, varying cultures and unique student populations based on the emerging aspects of a diverse society. This course is structured to present the learner with the essential knowledge base and accompanying skills needed to successfully teach school students who have connections with topics related to Special Education, Talented & Gifted Education, the English Language Learners, Bi-Lingual Education, Economically Disadvantaged, Gender Issues, and Racial Diversity by understanding their relationship to student achievement and school climate. Graduate students will study the history, programs and legislation of each program as they relate to school and its daily operation. State requirements will be examined as will program requirements falling under the NCLB legislation. Program design will be presented as will its impact upon the school and the process of meeting the educational needs of students. Case studies and practical application of program specifications will be utilized in the study of this course.

GE 6080 Foundations of Instructional Technology for Teaching and Learning  This course will provide a hands on approach to the selected methods of instructional technology within the classroom. Students will engage in computer work and instructional software to facilitate the learning process. Students will examine and study various methods of instructional technology for classroom teaching and learning. This course will focus on popular technology related issues in current educational settings. Students will explore web and computer based instructional design software. Students will examine the integration of educational technology in classroom settings through job experiences, web-based resources, video case studies, and in-class discussions. The goal of the course is to help students achieve a greater understanding of issues and techniques related to the integration of educational technology in K-12 educational settings.

GE 6115 Principles, Methods, Development, and Assessment of Curriculum  This course examines how curriculum is developed as well as the approach to design and implementation. Strategies for collaboration with peer educators and colleagues toward the development and modification, scope and sequence, pacing, spiraling, integration, graphic organization, and mapping will all be an integral part of this course. This course is geared towards classroom teachers who are interested in understanding major American curriculum movements and their underlying philosophies. Coverage spans all major curriculum processes such as development, classroom use, and evaluation by emphasizing the importance of a clearly defined purpose of education as a first step in curriculum development or revision, and as a necessity for classroom use and evaluation.

GE 6136 Educational Trends and Development  This course will focus on the major trends in education, the successes, best practices and the failures of the educational system. The emphasis of this course is to help students develop into teachers who become reflective practitioners who are well aware of issues pertaining to the educational profession. The course will explore the social, cultural, political, historical, and philosophical contexts of schools, and use the perspective gained from this course to consider present day educational issues. Educational issues are pressing concerns in our society. The course will help develop understanding of the background of today's public debates around schooling and will introduce ways in which educational thought and research address big topics. It introduces the students to the various issues affecting teachers. Its primary focus will be on contemporary issues teachers and administrators face in today’s schools. Throughout the course, several aspects of the teaching profession will be incorporated from the diversity of students in the classroom, to school organization and governance, to teaching standards and expectations. This course provides a foundation for understanding the educational profession while staying abreast of current educational trends and changes.

GE 6178 The Special Needs Student  This course will reflect the education standards for special education promulgated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students will learn how to best service students with cognitive, behavioral, and/or physical disabilities. The history and legal aspects of Special Education will be a focus of this course. This course is designed to further develop the attitudes, knowledge, and conceptual and technical skills required by teachers to help them identify the educational goals of students and to select or design and implement relevant, meaningful, and beneficial instructional strategies for effective learning by students with special needs. With a continued increase in the special needs population, educators are legally responsible for understanding and carrying out the duties for all special needs students. This course will inform and lend itself to strengthen the skills of teachers to assure they are meeting the elements prescribed for each individual student. This course prepares teachers to become critical thinking professionals who will be able to demonstrate knowledge and awareness of special populations of children with exceptional needs by modeling best teaching practices.

GE 6220 School Law  This course focuses on teachers, their legal authority in the classroom, and the essential knowledge of school law needed for public school educators. School law provides an application of facts, attitudes, and skills necessary for effective performances in specific teaching, supervising, school service, or administrative roles. The course includes an analysis of selected general legal principles, cases, and statute laws. Topics will include copyright and software licensing, privacy and confidentiality, censorship, acceptable use of policies, local and State regulations, the legislative process, school governances, church and state, civil rights, student and parent rights and responsibilities, teacher rights and responsibilities, collective negotiations, tort, contracts, legal research as well as general knowledge of teacher boundaries in the legal sense.

GE 6244 Learning as a Process  This course will provide an overview of the establishment of human development and the relationship to learning over one’s life span. A careful analysis delving into a range of cognitive learning theories, practices of effecting learning, steps of the assessment process, and appropriate goal setting for specific life learning stages will be the focus of this course. The course will focus on the concepts and principles that are important to educational practitioners by revealing practical implications of developmental theory and research by providing concrete applications for those who teach and work with children and adolescents.

GE 6247 Action Research I  This course will be the first of two required courses in Action Research. Students will engage in the process of reflection, inquiry, and action in their own professional context. This course will assist the students in the development and planning phases of Chapters 1 and 2 of the action research project. Action research is an interactive inquiry process that balances problem solving actions implemented in a collaborative context with data-driven collaborative analysis or research to understand underlying causes enabling future predictions about organizational change (Reason & Bradbury, 2001). The various roles and skills necessary to be an effective action researcher in the field of education will be discussed alongside of understanding proper research methodologies regarding the creation of a clear, concise research question, finding an appropriate sample population, researching the topic adequately in a graduate level, providing validity of data findings, and conceptualizing results in a manner that brings forth adequate conclusions. Topics include identifying problems to investigate, selecting appropriate research methods, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions from the research. The major assignment for the course will be the completion of Chapters 1 and 2 undertaken in an educational setting in which the student is engaged in professional practice.

GE 6350 Action Research II  This seminar will focus on the research design, methods, tools and measurements of the action research project. Chapters 3 – 5 of the student’s actions research project will be completed during this course. This course will be the second required course in Action Research. It will focus on the research design, methods, tools, and measurements of the action research project. The course will assist the students in the development and planning phases of Chapters 3, 4, and 5 of the action research project. Action research is an interactive inquiry process that balances problem solving actions implemented in a collaborative context with data-driven collaborative analysis or research to understand underlying causes enabling future predictions about organizational change (Reason & Bradbury, 2001). The various roles and skills necessary to be an effective action researcher in the field of education will be discussed alongside of understanding proper research methodologies regarding the population, sample size, data analyses, results, conclusions, limitations, and future recommendations of the research study which will comprise the final chapters of the action research project. Topics include conducting an actual study, employing quantitative or qualitative measures to analyze the data points, reporting results, testing if one’s hypotheses were correct, and providing a summary of the process by drawing conclusions from the research. The major assignment for the course will be the completion of Chapters 3, 4, and 5 undertaken in an educational setting in which the student is engaged in professional practice.