Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
Improving Instructional Practices and Curriculum Design
This course of study is the most flexible master's online option at the University of San Diego (USD). It allows you to choose your specialization courses from across the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), UDL (Universal Design for Learning) or the Literacy and Digital Learning offerings. With these courses, you will focus on the design, delivery, and assessment of lessons, units, and programs. The Master of Education online program teaches you to systematically examine both your own practices and leading national and international exemplars and considers how the Common Core Standards play a role in curriculum development. If you are a transfer student to USD, this specialization may make the most sense for you.
Get the comprehensive advantage that the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction offers!
Course of Study
Earn this San Diego Masters Degree in Education by completing 10 courses (3-units each) for 30 units of coursework. Your Masters in Education online program consists of five foundation courses including a capstone action research project as well as five specialization courses. You may begin your study in any semester with any of the courses offered. The Capstone Seminar is the final course in the program and builds on knowledge gained in the research and specialization courses.
Core Courses (15 Units)
Analysis of the American educational system with a particular focus on issues of diversity, inequity, conflict and social justice within a school context. Historical case studies, contemporary policies and practices, and international comparisons compel consideration of the social construction of education.
Explore key cognitive studies on human cognition and learning. You will critically discuss research and contemporary debates on cognitive processes, learning, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, developmental mechanism, cognitive styles, motivation, and the socio-cultural foundations of learning with an emphasis on the implications for educators and educational researchers.
Introduction to the major educational research methods and paradigms with an emphasis on reflective, practitioner-directed inquiry. The course encompasses quantitative methods, qualitative methods, mixed methods, and action research frameworks. Particular emphasis is placed on action research as a reflective and collaborate inquiry for improving educational practices.
Applied exploration of qualitative research methodologies such as ethnography, grounded theory, case-study and cross-case comparisons, surveys, observations, document analyses, focus groups and interviews. Opportunity to learn and apply a variety of techniques to analyze data and interpret findings.
Final course in the MEd Online program sequence. The capstone builds on the knowledge gained in previous research and specialization courses to support students as they engage in an action research project appropriate to their area of specialization and classroom needs.
Specialization Courses (15 Units)
The Curriculum and Instruction specialization allows you to customize your curriculum by selecting from the complete menu of specialization courses. Each semester one course from each specialization will be scheduled.
STEAM Specialization Courses
Examination of points of convergence and divergence in the creative processes of artists, scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Students will develop a strong foundation of theoretical and applied STEAM knowledge, practical guidance in the development of their own unique STEAM toolkits, and opportunities to experience and experiment with STEAM learning in their classrooms.
An exploration of educational strategies and classroom approaches that leverage the multi-dimensional connections between artistic, scientific, and mathematical knowledge, modeling and representation to strengthen K-12 students' content understanding, critical thinking skills and capacity for innovation. The course will prioritize connections to the crosscutting concepts described in the next generation of science and math standards.
Investigation of the intersection between conceptual understanding and real-world application with a focus on the engineering design process. Drawing on NASA's Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) program, students will explore strategies for engaging K-12 students in structured inquiry learning to enhance disciplinary understanding and ensure knowledge transfer.
Theoretical and practical exploration of the use of technology to transform learning and teaching in the K-12 classroom. Investigation into the use of social networking, online learning, mobile technology, and web-based applications to facilitate and strengthen science and math education.
Investigation of classroom practices that contribute to historical and contemporary inequities in learning outcomes in STEAM subjects for students based on gender, race, language, and need. Exploration of how STEAM methodologies provide opportunities to increase equity and improve outcomes for all students.
UDL Specialization Courses
Theoretical and practical exploration of the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Investigation of brain research into recognition networks, strategic networks, and affective networks and consideration of how these networks can inform instructional design decisions.
Examination of variability of ability and experience among students. Investigation and application of assessment tools and instructional design strategies that provide differentiated support for the success of all students.
Exploration of our evolving understanding of autism in the research literature, educational practice, and popular imagination. Examination and application of instructional strategies for supporting autistic students in communication, organization, and social interaction.
Examination of research, policy, and practice of co-teaching and collaboration models that support general education and special education students in inclusive classrooms.
Investigation of the historical, philosophical, legal, political and sociological constructions of disability in education. Analysis of application of current law to classroom and school policies and practices.
Literacy and Digital Learning Specialization Courses
An examination of important new media literacy skills and their application in the K-12 classroom. Students will actively consider, analyze, construct, and synthesize digital content while considering issues of identify, ethics, and privacy.
Exploration of digital texts, online comprehension skills, multimodal annotation, and other new literacy practices required in digital reading environments. Students will investigate their own pedagogy, integrating new literacy and pedagogies into their practices, and closely studying the impact on student learning.
Consideration of the ways in which young people leverage digital media for composing, accessing information, finding new audiences, and creating communities or practice and purpose. Examination of implications of youth practices with digital media on content instruction, schooling, and learning in and out of school.
Investigation of theories about how and why we write and how we teach writing in 21st century classrooms. Exploration of how these theories inform pedagogy, professional learning and research.
Theoretical and practical foundation to consider what it means to teach and learn within participatory networks and affinity groups. Topics explored include motivation, assessment, collaboration, and creativity.