Walden knows great teaching. Choose a master's program designed for passionate educators committed to helping students thrive.
In this specialization, you’ll learn to respond effectively to your students’ diverse learning needs. Prepare to provide authentic, differentiated learning experiences that help children master the skills required for success in the 21st century.
In this MSEd specialization, you will:
This specialization is offered in both the traditional program and accelerated option.
At the end of this program, educator professionals will be able to:
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.
|Course Code||EDUC 6610||Course||Teacher as Professional||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6730||Course||Curriculum Design for Learning||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6651||Course||Teacher Leadership in the Classroom: Increasing Learning and Achievement||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6650||Course||Enhancing Learning for Diverse Populations||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6731||Course||Assessment for Student Learning||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6657||Course||Creating an Effective Classroom Learning Environment||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6732||Course||Differentiated Instruction||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6674||Course||Designing Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Students With Special Needs||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6625||Course||Habits of Mind: Thinking Skills to Promote Self-Directed Learning||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6733||Course||Action Research for Educators||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
Effective teachers are leaders who make a positive difference in classrooms, schools, and society. Education professionals explore what it means to be a teacher leader in today's diverse and changing educational landscape, while gaining expertise in current research-based educational advancements. They examine their values, beliefs, vision, and mission, and they explore teacher effectiveness in relation to their role in the larger context of the teaching profession. They collaborate in professional learning communities and advocate for students and other educators in order to promote positive social change. They synthesize their learning throughout the course and use this knowledge to enhance professional growth and development.
Professional educators must have the knowledge and skill to make important decisions regarding what students learn and how they will learn it to ensure student success. In this course, education professionals engage in a research-based process for designing and mapping curriculum that motivates students and promotes academic success. Beginning with the end in mind, education professionals identify clear learning goals and big ideas, create authentic assessments, and develop essential questions to guide effective instructional planning and ongoing assessments using their district or state standards and/or benchmarks. They also apply the curriculum design process to a subject area they teach, keeping in mind the influence of learning environment, family involvement, and social development on the design process.
The focus of teacher leadership expands from self to students, increasing the sphere of influence of the teacher leader to the classroom context in this course. Education professionals concentrate on advancing their expertise in the field of teaching by increasing their knowledge and skills in three key areas: knowledge of learners and learning; knowledge of subject matter and curriculum goals; and knowledge of effective teaching models, strategies, and practices. They learn to apply this expertise in the classroom in ways that directly affect the learning and achievement of their students.
In this course, education professionals explore the value of linguistic and cultural diversity and the powerful learning opportunities it affords today's classrooms and schools. They examine their attitudes, beliefs, and biases regarding linguistically and culturally diverse students, families, and communities, and they learn approaches for working together to ensure high levels of learning for all students. Through real-world observations, they assess strategies for ensuring equitable access to high-quality learning experiences. Education professionals also explore effective practices, such as cultural responsiveness, anti-bias curriculum, differentiated instruction, and academic vocabulary development. Endorsement candidates must complete special education endorsement courses and receive a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher prior to moving into MS in Education courses.)
Education professionals in this course examine the historical and contemporary perspectives on assessment, including trends in high-stakes assessment and accountability. They learn types and purposes of assessment as well as how to use assessments effectively. Education professionals also analyze strengths and weaknesses of various assessment methods and use ongoing assessments to guide decisions that will improve student performance. They explore and discuss data collecting and analysis, grading, record-keeping, and reporting. Additionally, they learn the importance of student self-assessment and the best ways to support their students in monitoring learning and reflecting on how to improve personal performance.
Education professionals have the opportunity to learn to create safe, supportive, and respectful learning environments that promote social-emotional development, self-responsibility, and character, in order to optimize learning for all students. They can learn how to foster a sense of community in the classroom and develop positive relationships with and among students. Skills and strategies for managing dynamic and flexible classroom structures and for teaching conflict resolution are presented. Educators are also provided with strategies for building positive relationships and engaging in effective communication and problem solving with parents and families. Endorsement candidates must complete special education endorsement courses and receive a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher prior to moving into MS in Education courses.)
The practice of differentiating instruction is a way for educators to meet diverse learning needs and preferences without having to individualize instruction for every student. In this course, education professionals learn how to differentiate five instructional elements—content, product, process, affect, and learning environment—according to students’ interests, readiness, and learning profile. They explore flexible grouping and managing the differentiated classroom. Using their classroom curriculum, they plan and implement differentiated lessons and align them to important learning goals, essential questions, and formative and summative assessments while ensuring that their instruction includes meaningful applications of knowledge. Education professionals also learn how to draw on resources, such as staff, community members, and educators to support the “whole” child in the learning process.
Educators must recognize the importance for all students, including students with special needs, to achieve high academic standards. In this course, education professionals examine the learning challenges of students who, by definition of federal law, have disabilities as well as those of students who have significant difficulty with learning but do not qualify for special education services. Education professionals learn how to adapt curriculum, instruction, and assessment to maximize learning for students with special needs. They also have the opportunity to evaluate and describe activities and experiences through the perspective of a student with a learning disability, thus gaining empathy and a deeper understanding of how to work with students with special needs.
Education professionals in this course are helped to develop skills and strategies to prepare students for living and learning productively in today’s society. They complete a variety of assignments designed to provide practical application of course content, such as designing a lesson in which they integrate habits of mind with other instructional elements to achieve multiple outcomes. They also create a rubric that allows students to demonstrate learning in each area of the lesson. Additionally, they reflect on the theories, concepts, and strategies learned in the course and consider the influence of new knowledge on future personal and professional endeavors. Through this course, education professionals learn how to help students manage, motivate, and modify their own learning as a continuing lifelong process.
Education professionals use action research in a variety of ways to positively impact P–12 student learning. They examine, design, and implement action research. They address relevant problems, become involved in collaborative inquiry, use data and research to inform their practice, improve P–12 student academic success, and contribute to positive social change in their classrooms and school environments. Education professionals collect and analyze student data, develop and implement data-informed decisions to guide instructional planning, and engage in reflective practices to ensure continuous improvement and enhance professional growth.
Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification
This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.