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MS-Instructional Specialist Elementary Education

Course Descriptions

Introductory Core Courses (17 hours)

EL 725 Differentiating Instruction (2 hrs)

The term differentiation is currently used in the educational world to describe implementation of instruction that encompasses diverse learners. The content of this course focuses on diversity under a broader term - differentiating instruction. This better describes the personalization of a student’s instruction and the content of the course.

EL 751 Application of Development Theories (3 hrs)

This course is for students who are practitioners in any educational setting from pre-K through secondary school. Course covers the main theories currently used as the foundation for quality education, pre-K through late adolescence and young adults. Effective practitioners can articulate the theoretical bases for teaching goals and strategies.

ER 752 Analysis of Research (3 hrs)

An introductory graduate level course in research methodology designed to allow the student to function as a knowledgeable consumer of research in his/her field of endeavor.

EL 810 Information Literacy (3 hrs)

This course focuses on the process of becoming web literate or finding, understanding, and using information from the web. A foundation will be built from what we know about reading, learning, and effective teaching practices with print text in order to understand the benefits and challenges of reading on the web. Course projects will encourage participants to actively use models of inquiry with the web to pursue answers to their own questions and learn ways to guide students through the online inquiry process.

EL 828 Instructional Leadership and Coaching (2 hrs)

This course focuses on the theory and instruction of leadership and coaching across all disciplines. Course activities and assignments will allow students to broadly view effective roles of the coach/leader in the schools and apply the content to a specific subject area (literacy, math, STEM, etc.). This course is a prerequisite for EL829, Literacy and Coaching Practicum.

EL 829 Leadership and Coaching Practicum (1 hr)

(Prerequisite, EL 828.) Students will participate in a practical experience related to the literacy professional leadership and coaching roles the reading specialist plays at the school, district, and state level.

ED/EL 892 Teaching/Learning Models (3 hrs)

This course is a mastery learning course designed to examine the classroom application of modern learning and teaching models. Primarily cognitive learning theories (i.e., information processing, social, etc.) and teaching models that utilize cognitive theories (i.e., Hunter, Gagne, etc.) will be examined.

Courses for the Instructional Specialist Concentrations*

EL 721 Reading Theory and Literacy Practices: Elementary (3 hrs)

Emphasis is placed on the teaching of reading and its relationship to the language arts (reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing). The content includes an overview of theories and learning models that have influenced the teaching of reading. Discussions will focus on the importance of a literacy-rich environment both in the classroom and home. Prominent research in reading education will be reviewed and applied to the student’s own learning situation.

EL 723 Reading Theory and Literacy Practices: Secondary (3 hrs)

This course is designed to help middle/secondary school teachers view reading as an integrated part of the school curriculum. Issues to be explored include elements of reading/learning styles, techniques for teaching vocabulary, comprehension, study skills, special approaches for adapting instruction to all types of learners, motivation for lifelong reading and learning, and technology/reading. Emphasis is on reading (and writing) as an interactive and developmental process.

EL 726 Elementary Engineering and Robotics (3 hrs)

This online course engages students in sequential scientific discussion activities that will increase your competence in (1) problem-solving process skills in engineering and robotics and (2) planning, teaching, and evaluating the effectiveness of science lessons for children in the elementary school setting. The course is designed on a competency based, mastery model. Throughout the course, students practice using logic, cognitive processing skills, and strategies from recently developed activity based K-8 science curricula including strategies for enriching a more conventional, textbook-oriented curriculum.

T 727 Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (2-3 hrs)

This course is designed to enhance and extend the technology skills of practicing educators, apply those skills in innovative ways, and create lesson plans that support collaborative, project-based learning. It examines the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings required to transition to a technology-rich classroom. Practical ideas, suggestions and lesson plans to ensure successful technology integration will be provided.

EL 802 Best Practices in Elementary Mathematics (3 hrs)

Methods and content. How children learn is related to methods of teaching mathematics. The content includes that of modern mathematics in the elementary curricula and in research programs.

EL 803 Best Practices in Elementary Science (3 hrs)

A self-paced sequence of laboratory activities which will increase the teacher's competence in (l) a sequence of problem solving laboratory skills in science, (2) designing, teaching, and revising entire units of science instruction for children. Options include planning children's science activities for entire year using one's own curriculum materials or materials from any or all of newer elementary science curriculum programs.

EL 823 Analysis of Reading Assessment and Instruction I (3 hrs)

(Prerequisites, EL 721) This course is designed to provide the reading specialist or classroom teacher with the knowledge, skills and processes necessary to assess, analyze and instruct the reading performance of beginning readers (pre-reader through 3rd grade level).

EL 825 Analysis of Reading Assessment and Instruction II (3 hrs)

(Prerequisites, EL 723 and EL 823.) This course is designed to provide the reading specialist or classroom teacher with the knowledge, skills and processes necessary to assess, analyze and instruct the reading performance of intermediate and advanced level readers (4th-12th grade levels).

*Consult specific concentration information for required courses and electives.