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Courses: Descriptions

Education 510 Advanced Educational Foundations

This course includes exploration into the disciplines of philosophy, history and socio-cultural context of education.  Course material, lectures and assignments engages students in developing a perspectival orientation centered on shalom and social justice. That Christian lens shapes an examination of the interaction between schooling and sustainability, globalization, economic and social justice, and the role of educators as agents of change and transformation. Course content focuses on investigating philosophy’s questions regarding the nature of humanness and schooling, history’s account of the role of schools, and social science’s view of structures, ideologies and agency as they relate to schooling.

Education 511 Consulting, Collaborating, and Coaching

The course offers an advanced study of professional responsibilities necessary in advocating and developing learning opportunities for learners identified with disabilities, literacy difficulties or diverse learning needs and gifts. Students will explore, practice, and critique models and methods of collaboration, consultation, and coaching that involve teachers, learners, specialists, parents, paraprofessionals, and community agencies in interdependent relationships. Particular emphasis is placed on developing effective communication skills, understanding self and others, group visioning activities, and providing professional development to colleagues. Prerequisite: Education 202 or Education 606.

Education 513 Cognition, Learning, and Literacy Development

This course examines underlying concepts associated with the acquisition of reading and writing. Social and cultural factors contributing to literacy development are considered from the perspectives of educational psychology, cognitive psychology, and language development. Current issues related to classroom instruction are addressed in lectures, discussions, and classroom applications

Education 520 Theories of Instruction

This course examines the theoretical foundations of instruction and assessment. Relationships between development/learning theories and theories of pedagogy are considered. The focus is on the underlying assumptions of these various theories and interpretation of these theories from a Christian perspective and their relationships to the practice of teaching. Special attention is given to the affect of pedagogy on communities of practice and the achievement gaps related to race, class, and gender and understanding the various nuances of individual and standardized assessment.

Education 521 Curriculum Theory and Development

A study of curriculum theories and model curricula for pre-school through grade 12. This course includes a study of issues relating to understanding historical, political, social, intellectual and spiritual implications of curriculum theories that do and don’t transfer into school curricula. Topics include investigating an in-depth understanding of subject matters, creating learning opportunities, selecting effective learning resources, and implementing curricular change in a school setting. Christian perspectives, including issues of social justice, are integrated throughout.

Education 530 Introduction to School Leadership

A study of leadership theory and practice relating to building school communities that promote learning for all students. This introductory course in school leadership will focus on organizational and leadership theory; establishing a school mission; collaborative problem-solving and community building; decision-making skills and procedures; and personal leadership qualities. Special emphasis will be given to exploring Biblical principles which guide Christian leaders in school settings.

Education 531 Professional Development and Supervision

A study of the theory and practice related to the professional development of teachers and administrators at both the elementary and secondary levels. This course focuses on ways in which school leaders can structure professional development opportunities that promote student learning and school improvement. The course includes a study of adult learning theory, collaborative learning models, action research, mentoring and coaching, formal and informal teacher assessment, and recruitment, induction, and retention of new teachers. Special emphasis will be given to Biblical principles which help shape professional communities in schools.

Education 532 School Business Management

In this course student will study principles and methods of planning and fiscal management that are based on a biblical model of stewardship. Topics include the process, funding (including fund raising, tuition and fees), budget (including risk management), and organization. Prerequisites: 530 Introduction to Educational Leadership or permission of instructor.

Education 533 School Law, Ethics and Policy

An examination of the legal and ethical frameworks of schooling through a biblical lens. Students will learn the basics of their national and local school policies and laws as they have been developed, as well as surveying the major legal decisions affecting schools. Prerequisite: 530 or permission of the instructor.

Education 540 Language Art in the Elementary and Middle School Curriculum

This course examines literacy development in elementary and middle school students and explores a range of research based instructional and assessment strategies for supporting reading, writing, and speaking abilities across the school curriculum. Topics include: writing workshop; guided reading, comprehension instruction; formal & informal assessment; data driven & standards based instruction; literature based instruction; thematic and integrated instruction.  A practicum will engage students in assessing and developing instructional plans for one or more students.

Education 541 Early and Emergent Literacy

The focus of this Graduate of Education in Literacy is on the youngest literacy student, the language and literacy learning time between birth and 2nd grade.  Candidates learn about language development, acquisition and usage. Studies include the particular experiences, theories and issues that are characteristic of that time.  Course participants go on to learn about emergent literacy; and the early reading engagements as these entail the young learner’s cognitive development and socially constructed practices.  A course practicum develops candidates’ research abilities and the means to bring course studies to life and particularity.  By the conclusion, candidates have extended their instructional abilities to nourish young readers’ growing literacy life-practice into new possibilities.

Education 542 Diagnosis and Remediation of Literacy Difficulties

This course meets the state literacy course requirements for professional certification.  It is required as part of the Calvin graduate reading specialist endorsement and can be used as an elective in any of the other Calvin Master of Education Programs. In this course, we consider the developmental, socio-cultural and cognitive aspects of literacy teaching with students of all ages.  We review literacy practices including fiction, information and discipline specific texts, special interest reading, and work place literacy.  The course presents and critiques current positions from which literacy instruction is designed and delivered. It develops participants’ pedagogy as they learn to assess a reader's abilities and develop instructional responses. Participants enhance their own critical literacy abilities as readers and writers of text.

Course participants undertake a case study to complement the course readings, discussion and other learning. Course objectives are met through a deep engagement with a student who has been identified as an "at risk" reader based on classroom performance, ELL status or special education. This authentic engagement, facilitated by professional observations, assessments, and a responsive intervetnion, fully complements and activates course objectives.

Education 543 Adolescent and Adult Literacy

This course examines the literate identities of students and adults across of range of social contexts including schools, workplace, home, on-line, church, etc.   It examines the range of skills needed to navigate these literate domains and considers the extent to which schools both foster the literacy skills needed in the 21st Century as well as the degree to which existing student competencies are appropriated in formal educational contexts to support new learning.   Programs and strategies for supporting the struggling adolescent reader and writer will be explored along with an examination of the school curriculum more broadly to examine the ways in which literate tools can be introduced and appropriated across a range of disciplinary and vocational contexts.  Practicum required.

Education 550 Foundations of Learning Disabilities

This course is designed to provide a foundation for understanding learning disabilities. Students will    
become acquainted with historical trends associated with the development of the field and will review   
related federal and state legislation. Research related to general characteristics of learning disabilities, cognitive processing patterns, and the academic and social performance of the learning disabled is examined. Approaches to the education of students with learning disabilities based on the theoretical models are also considered. Prerequisite: Education 202 or Education 606.

Education 551 Assessment for Understanding: LD

This course focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to perform and analyze comprehensive educational evaluations of the atypical learner and to utilize the diagnostic data to construct appropriate instructional recommendations for students with learning disabilities. Students will gain experience administering, scoring, and interpreting a variety of diagnostic assessments as well as reading and writing educational reports. Supervised clinical experiences are required to demonstrate application of theoretical knowledge. Informal, non-standardized assessments and adaptations in standardized group assessments will also be explored. Prerequisites: Education 202, 606 and 550 or permission of the instructor.

Education 552 LD Instruction I:Programs and Strategies

In this course, students probe decision-making involved in choosing designing, implementing, and evaluating culturally responsive curricula and instruction for learners identified with Learning Disabilities (LD).  Students link theory, research, and practice by researching, examining, teaching, and critiquing, and sharing a line of current research-based programs and strategies appropriate for students in grades K-12 with LD. Through readings, discussion, synthesis papers, and projects, students will begin to explore the complex relationships between: (1) student and teacher variables; (2) Individualized Education Plans (IEPs); (3) special programs, strategies, and pedagogical tools; and (4) activity settings. Particular emphasis includes implications of theory and philosophy on teaching and learning, accessing and understanding evidenced-based practice, scaffolded, diagnostic instruction in core subjects, as well as diversity and culturally responsive instruction. Pre-requisite: EDUC 550 or instructor approval.

Education 553 LD Instruction II: Trends and Issues

Through readings, discussion, activities, investigative intervention projects and presentations, students will explore and critically analyze current responsibilities, trends, and persistent issues in instruction with students who are at-risk for school learning. Each course feature will be examined from a contextual perspective, considering the implications of interwoven and complex variables such as language, culture, ethnicity and class.
Prerequisites: Education 202 or 606 (or equivalent) and Education 550.

Education 557 Practicum Seminar: Learning Disabilities

This seminar accompanies the LD practicum experience bridging theory and a developing reflective practice. Students will work as a community of practice to explore decision-making complexity in the design, implementation, reflection, and refining of instructional practice with students identified with LD. Course components such as book club discussions, role-play, video analysis coupled with an action research inquiry structure support an emphasis on teaching communication, literacy, and thinking skills. Discussions and journaling will also address contextual and schooling issues encountered by a special education professional.

Education 558 Practicum Field Placement: LD

A teaching certificate endorsement in Learning Disabilities (LD) from the State of Michigan requires completion of a directed teaching experience with students identified with learning disabilities at either the elementary or secondary level. Practicum teachers who have not had prior supervised teaching experience in special education are required to complete a ten-week full-time supervised teaching experience working with a mentor teaching endorsed in LD. Those who are seeking a second endorsement in special education must complete a practicum with a minimum of 180 hours in an appropriate setting. The practicum is taken concurrently with a seminar course, Education 557. The application for the practicum experience can be found on Calvin’s Graduate Education web site and must be completed by March 31.

Education 591 Educational Research and Evaluation

This course engages graduate students in understanding and examining the theories, methods, and paradigmatic frames of social science research through a Biblical lens.  In addition, the course prepares students to use data appropriately to support educational and organizational decision-making.  Students will learn how to read and critique qualitative and quantitative educational research and will learn how to use research and assessment data to make decisions related to the work of P-12 schools particularly as it relates to Calvin’s four M.Ed. specialty areas.

Education 592 Seminar: Curriculum and Instruction

The seminar is designed to integrate components of the M.Ed. program in Curriculum and Instruction. Theories and practices in the contexts of schooling, curriculum, instruction, learning and disciplinary concentrations are reviewed. By means of broad unifying themes, students integrate into a coherent unity what they have learned in the program. The seminar includes a final research project/practicum that takes place in an educational setting. Prerequisites: All other courses in the M.Ed. C & I Program.

Education 593 Seminar: Educational Leadership

The graduate seminar and internship is designed to integrate the components of the Educational Leadership M. ed. program.  The internship allows prospective school leaders to work closely with a mentor in a school setting for 80 hours over a period of 10 weeks during the school year. Participants will examine nine critical skills of leadership and undertake activities in twelve investigative areas in a school setting.  The seminar will focus on integrating the broad unifying themes of the program and the internship experiences.  Developments in the theory and practices in leadership and organizational theory, the context of education, and curriculum and instructional theory will be reviewed.  In the process, students will reflect on how their education and professional experiences can be used for personal growth and to influence society.  The seminar and internship will include a final educational portfolio.  Prerequisites: All other courses in the M.Ed. Leadership Program and permission of the Educational Leadership advisor.

Education 594 Seminar: Literacy

This seminar integrates M.Ed Program components in LD and literacy through students’ construction of a synthesis project which integrates the theoretical, research, and practice literatures associated both with their program of study as well as their own personal/professional goals. This synthesis work may take the form of an action research project;  portfolio;  literature review; development,  implementation, and evaluation of a workshop for teachers; or some other project in which students are able to relate  current issues and research in their field to their  particular instructional practice. Discussion and readings will facilitate clarification of how beliefs, values, and core perspectives affect professional work. The course includes guided supervision of student synthesis work by the professor and within a community of practice culminating in a final integrative master’s project.

Education 595 Seminar: Learning Disabilities

This seminar integrates M.Ed Program components in LD and literacy through students’ construction of a synthesis project which integrates the theoretical, research, and practice literatures associated both with their program of study as well as their own personal/professional goals. This synthesis work may take the form of an action research project;  portfolio;  literature review; development,  implementation, and evaluation of a workshop for teachers; or some other project in which students are able to relate  current issues and research in their field to their  particular instructional practice. Discussion and readings will facilitate clarification of how beliefs, values, and core perspectives affect professional work. The course includes guided supervision of student synthesis work by the professor and within a community of practice culminating in a final integrative master’s project.

Education 597 Graduate Seminar

This seminar is designed to integrate components in the M.Ed. programs in Curriculum and Instruction or Educational Leadership. Developments in the theory and practices in these areas as related to the context of education, curriculum theory, instructional theory, and disciplinary concentration are reviewed. By means of broad unifying themes, students will be expected to integrate into a coherent unity what they have learned in the program. The broad range of knowledge in these fields will be integrated with an authentic Christian perspective. In the process, students will reflect on how their education and professional experiences can be used for personal growth and to influence society. The seminar will include a final research project. Prerequisites: All other courses in the M.Ed. Program. A. Boerema

Education 599 Graduate Research Apprentice

Science Education Studies 525 Alternative Frameworks and Conceptual Change in the Science Classroom

This course examines the nature of alternative frameworks and their correct or incorrect categorization as misconceptions, the process of conceptual change, and teaching strategies conducive towards promoting conceptual change in the science classroom. Course readings and discussions expose students to the intricacies and influence of students’ prior conceptions on science learning and the process of conceptual change. Application of course content occurs as students develop lesson plans that address common science misconceptions. Prerequisites: At least one science methods course at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Science Education Studies 526 Teaching the Nature of Science

This course presents historical, philosophical, sociological and psychological interpretations of the nature of science, its implications for scientific literacy, and methodologies related to implementation in the science classroom. Through discussions, readings, and scientific activities/investigations, students will experience and consider how teachers, textbooks, and science curricula both accurately and inaccurately portray science. Students will also modify and develop lesson plans in order to more accurately represent and teach the nature of science to students. Prerequisites: At least one science methods course at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Science Education Studies 527 Scientific Reasoning and Teaching Inquiry

This course investigates the role of scientific reasoning and inquiry in science, the natural development of those skills and strategies in children, and effective teaching methodologies and considerations for developing scientific reasoning and inquiry skills in students. Students explore the connections between scientific reasoning and scientific content and the transference of reasoning and critical thinking skills across the content domains of science and everyday life. Students practice their own reasoning and inquiry skills in the context of K-12 science activities and also develop lessons to foster scientific reasoning and inquiry in their own students. Prerequisites: At least one science methods course at the undergraduate or graduate level.