Learning & Teaching Concentration

Learning & Teaching places the education of the whole learner at the center. Whether it is building relationships with students, honing your instructional practice, gaining pedagogical content knowledge in your licensure area, generating insights into classroom dynamics, developing a cultural competence to bridge worlds of experience, or understanding how data can inform your craft, the goal is to ensure that you have the instructional skill and professional awareness to spark and spur learning for every student.

The MA in Educational Transformation is designed  to prepare PK-12 educational professionals who have interdisciplinary skills and focus on the assets that children bring to school, rather than focus on deficits that undermine learning.

These interdisciplinary skills and an asset-oriented perspective are necessary to promote effective instructional practices for children with diverse needs in an urban context, and to lead transformations of classrooms, schools, and districts in order to ensure a just and equitable education for all children.

Program Timeline

Summer 2019
Education and Social Justice
Culturally Relevant Approaches in Education I

Fall 2019
Teaching Residency I
Pedagogy for Striving Learners
Culturally Relevant Practices in Education II

Spring 2020
Teaching Residency II
Growth and Learning in Children and Adolescents
Content and Literacy Development Pedagogy

Summer 2020
Data, Technology and Innovation in Education
Advocating for Learners and Learning

Fall 2020

Instructor of Record I
ESL/ELL or Secondary Science Certification Course
ESL/ELL or Secondary Science Certification Course

Spring 2021

Instructor of Record II
ESL/ELL or Secondary Science Certification Course
ESL/ELL or Secondary Science Certification Course

First Year Classes

Students will be embedded in a K-12 classroom to engage in intensive, school based co-teaching and collaboration. In this supervised field-based experience, students learn with and from partner teachers. Regular observations and feedback by supervisory clinical faculty will equip students with the skills to connect theory, research, and practice. The focus of this course will be the relationship between cultivating a classroom that supports student learning and implementing engaging instruction that facilitates student learning.
In this course students will learn effective pedagogy to differentiate and accelerate learning by addressing skills and content gaps of striving learners: learners who may be English language learners, performing academically below grade level expectations, or have special needs. Building from knowledge of K-12 learners’ strengths and needs, students in this course develop a conceptual framework for organizing, designing, and implementing assessment and instruction that allow culturally, linguistically, and ability-diverse learners to achieve content standards. Students will implement high impact, research-based practices, while learning how to analyze and evaluate theory and research that supports these instructional practices. This is will equip students with skills that go beyond the ability replicate these practices. Through this course, students will learn to assess effectively K-12 students’ learning needs, make efficient and impactful instructional decisions, and analyze and apply emerging and future research and theories as a professional educator. The focus of this course will be sustaining a classroom culture of student learning, differentiating instruction to address the needs of diverse learning, and the effective use of formative and summative assessments to inform instruction. Students take Pedagogy for Striving Learners simultaneously with Teaching Residency 1 so that a dialogic relationship exists between the course and the K-12 residency classroom experience.
Culturally relevant practices in education are fundamentally learner-centered while they also acknowledge how the identity and cultural practices of both the learners and teacher form part of the context for learning in schools. Building off of CRPE 1, in this course students will focus on sustaining a classroom community and culture that is informed by, and respectful of, K-12 learners’ and families while developing as reflective practitioners who constantly examine their identity and role in the classroom in relationships with students and families as well as part of the professional school based community. CRPE 2 is taken over Fall and Spring Semesters simultaneously with Teaching Residency 1 and 2 so that a dialogic relationship exists between the course and the K-12 residency classroom experience.
As a continuation of Teaching Residency I, in this course students will develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to leverage classroom community and culture to maximize student engagement and motivation for learning and growth and address student resistance and engage student cooperation. This supervised field based experience will progress from classroom observation and assistance through an articulated gradual release of responsibility that builds toward co-teaching in small group and whole class settings. This co-teaching will include the assessment of student learning needs; planning and implementing engaging, standards-based instruction; the assessment of student learning gains; and the effective management of K-12 learners’ engagement, motivation, and behavior.
Students in this course explore and evaluate child and adolescent development research and theory with an emphasis on child and and adolescent development in diverse communities and in communities experiencing trauma and stressors. Particular attention will be paid to the social-emotional context of learning in schools. In addition, this course will equip students with foundational knowledge from psychology, sociology and learning sciences with the goal of evaluating research findings and assessing their implications for instruction and learning in the school context.
The course will equip students with the foundational knowledge about literacy development in the content areas. Students examine how the functions and forms of reading and writing differ and overlap in the content areas and research-based strategies for content-based literacy instruction. Students will evaluate text structure, linguistic demand and vocabulary. As a result of this course students will be able to teach K-12 learners how to communicate content knowledge as well as comprehend and interpret content area text. Students take Content and Literacy Development Pedagogy simultaneously with Teaching Residency 2 so that a dialogic relationship exists between the course and the K-12 residency classroom experience.

Second Year Classes

In the second year of Learning & Teaching, students serve as the instructor of record in a PK-12 classroom within a public, charter, or private school. As a paid teacher, your full-time job will be the instruction of the children in your classroom; as a continuing student, you will also enroll in six courses over two semesters, completing coursework needed to earn your teaching certificate. The exact courses you will take will vary according to previously completed coursework and your satisfaction of other competency requirements under OSSE teacher preparation licensing requirements, but will be drawn from courses similar to those below.

The purpose of the Case Study Project is to ensure that the teacher candidates have the ability to conduct a small-scale case study of ELL learners. The focus is on observing, describing, and reporting the ELL learner’s language acquisition process. In order to do so, the teacher candidates have to find a related SLA theory to work on, identify an ELL learner as participant in the project, use a research design (either a pre-test, post-test design or interviews) to collect relevant data about the participant’s second language acquisition process, describe the findings and give a conclusion about what they learned.
Teacher candidates revise three developed activities to create a portfolio that integrates multiple skills into the English-language classroom that better suit the learners’ needs. The revised activities show the teacher candidates’ ability to plan for standards-based instruction, use technology and resources to create engaging classroom activities, and incorporate knowledge about language acquisition and ESOL teaching methodology into classroom teaching. A summary description reflects upon decisions made and their potential effectiveness in assisting learners with English learning in the classroom.
Using the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) model or any other established lesson plan, teacher candidates design lessons that appropriately differentiate instruction for varying language and proficiency levels. Candidates will also focus on the integration of reading, writing, listening, and speaking into planned lessons, and they will also learn to differentiate and distinguish language and content objectives when planning these lessons.
Advanced teacher candidates work with an experienced, certified ESOL instructor in an ELL-designated classroom or may use their own ELL-designated classroom for the purposes of developing and teaching lesson units to help English Language Learners with their English acquisition.
Each candidate is required to work with an ESL student outside of class throughout the semester. Candidates gather information about their students’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds, learning styles, and motivations for learning English. Candidates are required to design five separate lessons for their students based on five different methods of language teaching learned in the course, then teach the five lessons to their students on separate occasions and write a reflective journal entry for each. In each entry, candidates present an overview of the lesson and analyze the lesson’s effect on student learning.
Effective teachers of science understand how students learn and develop scientific knowledge. Preservice teachers use scientific inquiry to develop this knowledge for all students. In this course, preservice teachers will plan multiple lessons using a variety of inquiry approaches that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of how all students learn science; include active inquiry lessons where students collect and interpret data in order to develop and communicate concepts and understand scientific processes, relationships and natural patterns from empirical experiences; and design instruction and assessment strategies that confront and address naïve concepts and preconceptions.
Effective teachers of science are able to plan for engaging all students in science learning by setting appropriate goals that are consistent with knowledge of how students learn science and are aligned with state and national standards. Preservice teachers will develop science lesson plans that reflect the nature and social context of science, inquiry, and appropriate safety considerations. Candidates design and select learning activities, instructional settings, and resources–including science-specific technology, to achieve those goals; and they plan fair and equitable assessment strategies to evaluate if the learning goals are met. To demonstrate satisfaction of NTSA Standard 3, preservice teachers will use a variety of strategies that demonstrate the candidates’ knowledge and understanding of how to select the appropriate teaching and learning activities – including laboratory or field settings and applicable instruments and/or technology- to allow access so that all students learn; develop lesson plans that include active inquiry lessons where students collect and interpret data using applicable science-specific technology in order to develop concepts, understand scientific processes, relationships and natural patterns from empirical experiences; plan fair and equitable assessment strategies to analyze student learning and to evaluate if the learning goals are met; and plan a learning environment and learning experiences for all students that demonstrate chemical safety, safety procedures, and the ethical treatment of living organisms within their licensure area.