Courses

ED 415: Education and the Changing Workforce
This is a connections course at the university, and it combines issues in labor economics with educational policy. Of particular interest is the repeated call for improved human capital in the US workforce. Understanding the changing nature of work, then, requires a balanced perspective. It is one thing to analyze the added value of human labor to technology intensive occupations and advocate an educational agenda that emphasizes "higher cognitive outcomes." The extent to which this prescription is a solution for all students is another matter. Furthermore, the economic stagnation that has occurred in Japan over the last 10 years - a country that is held up to be a model of education success at the k-12 level - suggests that the relationship between education and economic success is complex. While it may be too much to expect that education can sustain an economy, one can also argue that education cannot be unresponsive to the dramatic changes in work that we have witnessed in the last 25 years in the U.S. and around the globe. Three themes are covered in the course:

  1. How technology and globalization place new demands on work in advanced economies like the U.S., Western Europe, and Asia;
  2. How these new demands translate into dramatic proposals for changing the nature of public school education in the U.S.; and
  3. How the children of highly mobile and generally low wage workers affect public education. This latter group also includes disenfranchised minorities. (fall semester)

ED 420: Multiple Perspectives on Classroom Teaching and Learning
This course is the second prerequisite course required for entrance into the M.A.T. program. The central topic of this course is the ways teachers view learning, instruction, classroom organization, and motivation. As many researchers have noted, the classroom is a dynamic and complex environment where events move more quickly than they might appear. One central reason for this is that teaching is filled with judgments and decisions which need to be made quickly based on a range of beliefs. The outsider observer is rarely privy to the cognitive dimensions of instruction. As a consequence, the issue of teacher planning is central to this course. It should be noted from the onset that planning is far more than mechanical activities that culminate in lesson plans recorded in a book, a sequence of handouts, or a specific course of action that a teacher might attempt to follow the next day. (fall semester)

ED 601: Program Evaluation and Classroom Assessment
This course is designed for administrators, counselors, and educators interested in program evaluation. We discuss different models of program evaluation, issues in research design, and quantitative as well as qualitative methodologies. Students analyze data using Excel and SPSS throughout the course. (spring semester)

ED 615: Special Populations
Special Populations focuses on the needs of students who are at-risk for special education services or who have mild disabilities. The course addresses severe disruptive behavior, ways to modify curriculum for at-risk and special education students, and the legal as well as ethical issues surround special education legislation. (spring semester)

ED 621: Classroom Assessment
The first portion of the class covers standardized tests as well as current high stakes measures such as the WASLs. Wiggins and McTighe's Understanding by Design serves as a foundation for the remainder of the course. Students use the principle of backward design for instructional units as a way of developing various types of assessment that are linked to different kinds of instructional outcomes. Students learn how to construct select response, essay, performance, and dispositional assessments. The course concludes in an electronic portfolio based on templates developed for Macromedia's Dreamweaver. (fall semester)

ED 629: Seminar in Educational Context, Meaning, and Experience
This seminar is a capstone class for M.A.T. students. Students draw upon artifacts from student teaching in order to analyze their classroom environment, instructional methods, and the types of assessment used throughout a specific unit of instruction. Their final written project enables students to demonstrate professional growth through detailed analyses of the successes and shortcomings of the unit. Wiggins and McTighe's Understanding by Design serves as a framework for much of the project. (summer semester)