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Course Descriptions

The following course descriptions are from the Clarke University Academic Catalog.

EDGR 500 INTRODUCTION TO THE GRADUATE RESEARCH   3 hours
As a foundation to graduate studies in education, this course must be taken in a student’s first year. The course includes the Education Department Handbook Guidelines and Policies, including individual and group advising and an overview of programs and requirements. Students will meet the faculty, learn how to provide feedback (including course evaluations), and start the portfolio process. The basics of technology and technology capability at Clarke University will be covered, as well as using resources such as databases, the Clarke library, the Internet, PowerPoint, and ERIC documents. Students will complete individual and group graduate projects requiring technology, learn how to select a topic for action research, and complete a relevant literature review. (Simultaneous registration in other courses is acceptable.

EDGR 501 CHARACTERISTICS AND NEEDS OF MIDDLE SCHOOL CHILDREN   3 hours
In this course, students will study the growth and development of the middle-school-age child, specifically addressing the emotional, physical and mental characteristics and needs of this age.

EDGR 502 CURRICULUM DESIGN AND INSTRUCTION IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL   3 hours
This course studies curriculum design and instruction in the middle school, including, but not limited to, instruction in interdisciplinary teaming, pedagogy and methods.

EDGR 503 BRAIN-BASED LEARNING   3 hours
This course will deepen participants’ understanding of problem/project-based learning as a model for instruction to meet the various needs of all students using brain-based learning strategies. Students will refine their skills in lesson/unit design using brain-based learning as a framework for instruction; develop a theoretical understanding of the “science” behind engaged learning; internalize skills and knowledge in a way that results in application across content areas; be able to articulate the theoretical basis behind brain-based learning as they share their experiences with colleagues, students, parents and communities. Prerequisites: EDGR 500, EDGR 513, or consent. (Required for Archdiocesan students).

EDGR 510 TEACHER AS LEADER   3 hours
The course will focus on the teacher as a change agent, including leadership within schools, the school improvement process, teachers and school effectiveness, and classroom organization and management. Students will develop and expand Comprehensive School Improvement Plans (CSIPs) to improve student learning outcomes. Other concepts to be covered are school and community relations, the Four Standards for Teaching and Learning, School Quality Review (SQR) and Teacher Expectations for Student Achievement (TESA). (Required for Archdiocesan students).

EDGR 513 PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING   3 hours
This course embeds the principles of researched-based engaged learning and reform instruction as they relate to the problem/project-based learning instructional model and indicators of high technology performance. The students will explore, analyze, apply, and evaluate: change theories as they apply to information process models for learning; incorporation of problem-based learning into instructional designs and the learning process; the elements and importance of information literacy; the Big 6™ information problem solving model; effective search strategies and Web search tools; incorporation of the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for students, teachers, and technology/media personnel; utilization of Web-based projects that encourage students to access information, conduct research, communicate and share ideas; best-practice research relating to problem/project-based learning as an effective intervention strategy; electronic plagiarism and copyright concerns; and models for the student to reflect and internalize the strategies they learn. (Required for Archdiocesan students).

EDGR 514 THE REFLECTIVE EDUCATOR   3 hours
The spiritual side of teaching and exploring BVM values and history as it relates to teaching will be discussed. Other topics include personal responses to change, challenges in the classroom, working with challenging students and focusing on the positive. Essential questions to be covered include: Who am I as a teacher? What is my philosophy? Where am I on my career path? What has my career path been so far? What do I value in others, in life, in my classroom?

EDGR 518 TECHNOLOGY FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING   3 hours
This course is optional for any student in a MAE program. The course will cover topics on digital-age information literacy, inventive thinking and telecommunication tools.

EDGR 523 TEACHING DIVERSE LEARNERS   3 hours
This course will examine the historical, social, and economic factors that intersect with student gender, ethnicity, race, and physical and intellectual capabilities in schools in the United States. Students will explore their own dispositions toward teaching a diverse body of students. Examination of the hidden curriculum in education will help students discover and revise their own implicit teaching interactions. When offered in Winterim, this course will include a required residency in an urban school district with clinical practice in urban schools.

EDGR 525 MOTIVATION AND MANAGEMENT   3 hours
This course will explore students’ past experiences with classroom management in relation to instructional organization and motivation theory. Students will study and experience various forms of instructional organization and student motivation, and make a plan for proactive classroom management.

EDGR 530 PLANNING AND DESIGNING STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS   3 hours
The class will focus on standards-based unit and lesson design, effective learning environments, and assessment/evaluation. Topics will include fostering essential questions, living and acting upon a theory of constructivism, standardized testing, and interpreting test scores. Instruction will be provided in multiple intelligences, brain-based learning and emotional intelligences, and how to foster creativity, collaboration and group skills. Differentiated instructional plans and unit design will be covered, as well as electronic grading/portfolios, student-led conferences, and personal goal setting. Students will apply and implement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for utilizing technology to maximize student learning.

EDGR 532 LEADERSHIP AND VISION FOR TECHNOLOGY   3 hours
This course will embed the principles of researched-based engaged learning and reform instruction as they relate to indicators of high technology performance. The student will explore/apply: change theory as it applies to the learning program; become acquainted with constructivist learning models; identify standards/benchmarks of a comprehensive learning program; discuss rubrics and authentic assessment as they relate to the effective integration of technology; integrate technology learning tools as they relate to the educational process and to learners with special needs; and plan for and engage teachers/learners in the use of the tool of technology. The roles and process of educational leadership will be investigated and applied as they relate to the implementation of a comprehensive technology planning process. Current research findings and forecasting future trends in educational technology will be investigated. (Required for Archdiocesan students).

EDGR 533 GRANT WRITING   3 hours
The focus is to access extra funding for the classroom and/or school building. Topics include evaluating a financial need/problem, conducting a needs assessment, and key components of a proposal. Students will learn what to say and how to say it in the proposal narrative, how to develop a basic activity chart, how to create a proposal checklist, how to calculate the budget and typical items to be included, as well as explore funding sources. At the conclusion of the course, each student will have a proposal ready to submit.

EDGR 534 MENTORING/INDUCTION OF NEW TEACHERS   3 hours
The course teaches experienced teachers how to plan, develop, conduct and evaluate a program for the mentoring/induction of entry-level teachers. Topics include assisting new teachers in getting started, survival skills, classroom management, legal issues, classroom strategies, organizational skills, problem solving, planning, relieving stress, special needs students, preparing students for state-wide assessments, and aligning the curriculum with local, state and national standards. This course is essential for retaining new teachers in the profession.

EDGR 535 SCHOOL LAW AND ETHICS FOR TEACHERS   3 hours
This course deals with the basics of school law that every teacher should know. Issues will include: student’s rights and responsibilities, teachers’ rights and responsibilities, liability, abuse and neglect, discipline, religion in the school, and unions and union activities. Performance appraisal actions that lead to loss of employment include: insubordination, incompetence, and immorality. Focus will be on solving difficult issues in a legally responsible and ethical manner. 

EDGR 536 Writing Research Seminar   3 hours
This is an advanced research course including reading and discussion about current research about writing across the curriculum. Students will read, write about, and discuss research relevant to their classroom and schoolwide contexts, and make action plans for how to apply the research in their classrooms and schools.

EDGR 541 LEARNING THROUGH CHILDREN’S AND ADOLESCENT LITERATURE   3 hours
This course will focus on issues related to evaluating, selecting and using children’s and young adult literature with children and in the curriculum. Students will read, discuss, and evaluate materials for children and young adults from various genres, authors, and cultures with a particular focus on recent titles.

EDGR 545 FOUNDATIONS OF READING   3 hours
This course is an in-depth study of the reading process and how to translate this knowledge into elementary reading instruction. The focus is on reading strategies, reading materials, and the organization of reading programs.

EDGR 546 LITERACY ASSESSMENT   3 hours
This course is designed to provide the elementary teacher with a thorough understanding of concepts and vocabulary associated with the wide range of reading and literacy assessment and evaluation processes used in today’s classrooms. Students will use a variety of formal and informal methods, including an informal reading inventory (and miscue analysis), to assess and evaluate the developmental progress of K-6 learners in the language arts. Students will summarize information regarding learner performance and will synthesize instructional recommendations to ensure learner success.

EDGR 548 EMERGENT LITERACY   3 hours
This course is a study of language acquisition in young children from birth to eight years of age. The emphasis is on the nature and relationship of oral and print language in the developing mind. The focus is on the knowledge and activities the teacher needs to work with young children, their families, and their caregivers. It is practical in nature.

EDGR 549 READING INTERVENTIONS   3 hours
This course focuses on the diagnosis of strengths and needs in individual readers. A variety of formal and informal assessment options and possible teaching procedures are studied.

EDGR 550 ADVANCED PRACTICUM AND INSTRUCTION IN READING   3 hours
This course is primarily an on-site practicum experience supported by regular class meetings on campus. Students identify, diagnose and tutor struggling readers at two different age levels.

EDGR 553 READING RESEARCH SEMINAR   3 hours
This is an advanced research course including reading and discussion of current research in the area of reading.

EDGR 561 PRACTICUM I   9 hours
Students will assume all teaching responsibilities of a regular teaching position. Working with an experienced professional to reflect upon teacher identity and vision for classroom practice, students will plan, teach, and assess all instruction for the first half of the school year. Students follow the school calendar and all other district policies. This course is unique to the Partner Professionals Program and is taken concurrently with 583.

EDGR 562 PRACTICUM II   9 hours
Students continue to assume all teaching responsibilities of a regular teaching position. Continuing the partner professional relationship through the end of the school year, students will reflect upon teacher identity and vision for classroom practice. Students will plan, teach, and assess all instruction for the second half of the school year. Students follow the school calendar and all other district policies. This course is unique to the Partner Professionals Program and is taken concurrently with EDGR 584.

EDGR 580 SPECIAL TOPICS   1-3 hours
The course is designed to offer an in-depth study of selected topics related to instructional leadership or reading/literacy.

EDGR 583 EVIDENCED-BASED DECISION-MAKING   3 hours
Students take this course with their professional partners. Together, the partners will examine the needs of the students in their classroom, and based upon the data they gather, and teaching practices that are grounded in researched learning theory, make plans to address those student needs and assess the outcomes. This course is unique to the Partner Professionals Program and is taken concurrently with EDGR 561.

EDGR 584 EVIDENCE-BASED APPLICATION   3 hours
Students take this course with their professional partners. Together, the partners will continue to cyclically examine and report the results of their plans to maximize student progress. This course is unique to the Partner Professionals Program and is taken concurrently with EDGR 562. 

EDGR 585 ACTION RESEARCH   6 hours
Ordinarily, this course may not be taken until at least 24 hours in the education department graduate program have been completed; exceptions require consent. This course complements the Tier II Career Development Plan that supports the veteran teacher in his/her professional development while providing for the ongoing assessment of the career teacher’s mastery of the Iowa Teaching Standards/Domain 5. The teacher creates a Career Development Plan that emphasizes continuous appraisal of performance with a focus on professional development planning process that is flexible, creative, and stimulating. The Career Development Plans shall be based on the needs of the teacher, the Iowa Teaching Standards/Domain 5 components, the student achievement goals of the attendance center, the school’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) and ultimately on improved student learning. Students will identify a question or an issue within their sphere of influence (classroom or school) and follow a thoughtful, proactive and/or responsive process toward making data-based action decisions to initiate change. Throughout the entire process, students will continue to pose questions and find answers through the completion of in-depth research, literature reviews, critical friend feedback, class/school data collected and analyzed from various sources and perspectives (e.g., learners, teachers, parents, administration), and attendance at conferences or workshops or visiting days regarding their topics.

EDGR 590 INDEPENDENT STUDY   1-3 hours
Ordinarily, an independent study is taken when the information being sought is not available in an existing course listed in the catalog.

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