Course Descriptions Home Page  

Catherine Leahy-Brine Educational Consultants, Inc.
P.O. Box 1060
Brockton, Ma 02303
Phone 781-331-8826              Fax 781-337-6152

Course Descriptions

Adolescent Development
Adolescence is a fascinating time of life from a developmental perspective because of the many physical and psychological changes that occur. Popular wisdom considers adolescence to be a time of turmoil and crisis, but is that really an accurate description? In order to better inform counselors, teachers and administrators in this advanced course, we will examine adolescence as a developmental phase. We will examine biological changes such as puberty and brain development, cognitive and moral development, changes in parent and peer relationships, sexuality, gender, cultural context, and ethnicity. Problems of adolescence, such as drug use, eating disorders, suicide, violence, and teen pregnancy will be covered, but normal development will be emphasized. We will learn about adolescence primarily by examining current and classic research, presented in experimental journal articles and review chapters. We will also cover the major theories of adolescence, will get some practical experience interviewing and observing adolescents, and will talk about how to apply what we learn from adolescence research in real world contexts, such as parenting, teaching, counseling, and public health.

Advanced Geometry for Teachers
Participants will study geometry in a problem-solving, technologically rich manner. The course encompasses advanced topics of plane and solid Euclidean geometry: definitions and terminology, congruence and similarity criteria, the coordinate plane, constructions, transformations, area, volume, Platonic solids, properties of quadrilaterals, the inscribed angle theorem and associated circle theorems. Applications will include compueter generation of smooth curves, tiling of the plane, figures on constant width, tangency, summation, iteration, fractuals, and graph theory. Geometer's SketchPad® will be used extensively for illustrations, experimentation and assignments.

Advanced Topics in Conservation of Natural Resources
This course offers an in-depth study of the laws of the natural environment. Conservation issues that occur in response to human use of the natural environment are examined and analyzed from a variety of physical, social, and political perspectives. The course will address demographics and population growth, air pollution, water quantity and quality, regional and global atmospheric change, land degradation and deforestation, the depletion of mineral and other natural resources and the transition to a global sustainable society. This interdisciplinary science course investigates the three science content areas of earth, life and physical science, and content subjects of chemistry and physics as they relate to conservation and natural resource issues in the context of the science and technology curriculum framework. Each individual will choose a topic relating to the above for in-depth study and research as an individual project.

Topics in Statistical Reasoning
EDUC 8007
This course is designed to provide the student with a solid foundation in the conceptual understanding, calculation, and application of statistical techniques. The student will gain a deeper understanding of topics such as measures of central tendency, dispersion, and relationship, as well as hypothesis testing using inferential techniques such as t-test, ANOVA, and chi-square. The weaknesses of hypothesis testing will also be discussed, with a view to the use and understanding of effect size methods.

Attentional Issues in the Inclusion and Regular Education Classroom
This advanced course is designed to provide SPED and regular education teachers with a deeper understanding of students with attentional issues as well as materials/programs and a variety of simple to more complex strategies for teacher to implement at their classrooms. This course will assist teachers to understand and explore AD(H)D Look Alikes that mimic learning disorders (reading, mathematics, written expression, LD-NOS ), developmental disorders (motor skills disorders, communications/tics, stuttering and PDD disorders/ASP), and psychomedical/biomedical problems that may be mistaken for or coexist with AD(H)D. By understanding how attentional issues may impact student's in the areas of listening, states of learning, memory, organizational skills, movement, and social skills, teachers will understand and expand their use of classroom strategies promoting academic success for students.

EDUC7000 Children's Literature
This course is intended for teachers in grades K-8. It is designed to provide teachers with the tools necessary to foster a love of literature in children/ adolescents. Teachers will be introduced to a broad range of literature and authors of various genres, and will critically examine literature in order to make informed choices about book selection. Grounded in Reader Response Theory, this course blends an appreciation of literature with an emphasis on the involvement of the reader. Participants in this course will expand their knowledge of children's literature as well as develop meaningful response based strategies for their literacy programs.

Education and The Law
Participants will learn knowledge of relevant and contemporary issues that affect the organization and administration of public and private schools. This knowledge will assist participants to effectively perform their professional duties within the boundaries of constitutional, statutory and case law.

Effective Discipline Strategies
This course will focus upon a discussion of practical strategies to increase the effectiveness of classroom management, which in turn will lead to more effective discipline strategies. Among the topics to be considered will be: methods for increasing on-task behavior, teaching methods and styles, developing classroom rules and expectations, classroom procedures, appropriate responses to misbehavior, strategies for handling minor disruptions, defiant behavior and violent behavior and methods for solving problems with students. This course will examine current research and theoretical models which can help educators understand how to more effectively manage a classroom, how to more effectively employ methods and strategies of discipline. Research that identifies concepts shown to be detrimental to effective classroom discipline will also be examined.

Family System Theory for Teachers, Counselors and Administrators
EDUC 8010
This on-line course is intended for counselors, teachers and administrators who want to better understand family systems theory in order to explore interpersonal relationships within a family context for professional and personal applications. Course content has potential applications for family and personal relationships, community practitioners, educational and counseling contexts.

History Through Film and Literature
The purpose of this course is to use film and relevant literature as a way to study historical topics. The basic questions that the course will address are: What does the film get right? What does the film get wrong? In cases where a film is based on a historical novel, what does the novel get right and wrong? Where does the film get creative? To what extent is the film and novel affected by events and conditions contemporary to when it was made? Some of the movies and novels for consideration are: Alexander, The Name of the Rose, Gospel According to Mathew, Cleopatra, Grapes of Wrath, The Mission, Kingdom of Heaven, Braveheart and a Tale of Two Cities.

(The) Internet in the Classroom
(EDUC 7000)
This on-line course is designed to provide teachers of all grade levels and in all content areas a means to integrate the Internet into their classrooms. By following the standards of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, participants will explore the Internet as a research tool and as a curriculum resource. Participants will develop lessons that engage students in using the Internet. This course is asynchronous, meaning that the participants control the place and the time. The course is comprised of six modules and has 37.5 contact hours. Participants will spend an average of 6 1/2 - 8 hours per week on the course through a combination of reading, interacting on-line with the instructor and other learners and completing assignments.

Introduction to Strategies for Effective Literacy Instruction Across the Disciplines
EDUC 7057
This course, designed for middle school and high school teachers offers instruction in specific, research-supported "best practices" focused on improving students' reading, writing, speaking, and reasoning skills across the content areas. Focusing on inter-disciplinary activities such as previewing a text, reading non-fiction, building vocabulary, analyzing metaphor, and using film in the classroom, students will learn how articulation of student thinking - in speaking and in writing - can increase rigor while melding course content to literacy development. Each session will allow participants to reflect on the materials and work collaboratively on crafting lessons that employ the targeted strategies in their own content areas. To facilitate this activity, participants are asked to bring with them the textbooks they are currently using in their classrooms.

Literacy Through Literature
EDUC 7070
This course organized by historical periods, is focused on achieving literacy through literature. Candidates will receive a list of books and poetry about the period, most of which will be fiction. Non-fiction books will be mentioned for use as background material. This course, organized by historical period, will have a strong U.S. Literature content and include some material for all core subjects as well as activities that address Gardner's intelligences and that will help develop literacy skills at all levels.

Multicultural Competencies for Teachers, Counselors and Administrators
EDUC 7000
The purpose of this on-line course is to enhance cultural competence among professionals by fostering congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enables that system, agency or those professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Operationally defined, the purpose of this on-line course is to facilitate the integration and transformation of knowledge about individuals and groups of people into specific standards, policies, practices and attitudes used in appropriate cultural settings to increase the quality of services; thereby producing better outcomes.

Succeeding with the Resistant Student
EDUC 8009
The objectives of this course are to introduce teachers to strategies to help the most resistant students love school, believe in their own ability to succeed and always want to do their best. Many of these strategies are simple movements and activities that are easily used pre-K through the twelfth grade and even with adult learners. The course draws on activities of Brain Gym, Neuro-linguistic Programming and the latest brain research to maximize learning. Teachers using these strategies report an average of 50% reduction in classroom disruptions, improved achievement and special education students successfully moving to regular education classrooms.

Your Classroom vs. The World: the Social and Emotional Influences on Your Students' Development
This course is designed to teach the educator about the effects of many individual, family and community influences on children’s social and emotional development. Focus will be on the effects of gender, culture, media (including the Internet) and different forms of trauma, and will teach methods designed to enhance children’s resiliency and socio-emotional skills in the classroom. Significant student discussion and participation are expected, as course content depends heavily on students’ experience and interests. Readings, discussion, videos and research will all be utilized.

Voices Seldom Heard - A Literature Sampler
EDUC 7054
This course is designed to investigate the portrayal of under-represented people in literature. During this course the participants will define why different groups of people throughout history have come to be seen as outside the mainstream and the image of these groups' experiences as seen through literature. Through literature, the participants will explore the portrayal of these groups, how it has changed over time because of personal prejudices, local and global events, and other factors that have impacted how they are represented in literature. Participants will select, analyze, evaluate and assess a wide variety of literature by and about these groups. Through knowledge gained in this course they will then create ways to share their understanding with their students and create a community of respect.

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