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

Course Descriptions

Action Research Parts I and II
EDUC 9350 and EDUC 9501
Action Research Parts I and II are designed to be the unifying element of the Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching. The courses are offered in concert with other courses in advanced content, advanced pedagogy and advanced research in the content areas. Action Research is the forum in which the advanced practice of content and pedagogy related to content are studied and discussed. A year-long experience, Action Research Parts I and II are intended to advance the development of self-directing educators who initiate, facilitate, participate in, and evaluate all aspects of educational practice. Through these courses, candidates are given the realm in which to accomplish advanced planning, organization, and evaluation of proven advanced content and advanced teaching techniques to improve curriculum, instruction and assessment. Under the guidance of the instructor, candidates implement educational change which is research-based and which has been ultimately documented as the candidate's Capstone Project. All of the Capstone work is carried out under the supervision of the instructor who is the candidate's faculty advisor.

Advocating for the Whole Child: Understanding the social, emotional, physical, mental and environmental health of students and its impact on school success
Through action-based research, participants will identify and analyze research around social, emotional, mental, physical, and environmental health and its impact on student overall well-being and academic achievement; survey, interview, and conduct an inventory of all programs in their district that impact the “whole-child”; identify strengths, gaps, and make recommendations; examine case studies and hear first-hand experiences from specialists in the field; and create a SMART goal to be included in their School Improvement Plan around one area that will positively impact the “whole-child” of their students..

American History Through Drama and Theatre
The purpose of this course is to enrich candidates' understanding of American historical time periods through studying drama and to develop the use of drama and theatre in the classroom to offer students a window to the past. Candidates will be provided with several thematic periods to explore. Each theme will include historical context and choices for relevant plays to study. Emphasis will be placed on integrating materials into the classroom and developing essential questions. As a culminating project, teachers will utilize course materials and readings to create document-based questions and lesson plans.

SPED 8022 Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Candidates will examine communication options for individuals who are unable to meet their daily communication needs through speech. Emphasis will be placed on conceptual and technical aspects of augmentative and alternative communication as well as intervention strategies and procedures used by teachers when supporting and expanding the individual's ability to communicate.

Brain-Based Learning (Introduction to)
This course focuses on how the brain learns and processes information. Candidates will learn about their own brain preferences, and explore teaching strategies that are compatible with current knowledge of brain functioning in order to enhance learning experiences for their students.

Classroom Management and Community Building for Early Childhood Education (PreK-3)
EDUC 7000
This course is designed to help educators of young children (PK-3rd Grade) manage a classroom setting while also providing opportunities for students to mange their own behavior. It is designed to deepen your understanding of community building and recognize its crucial role in creating a safe and respectful learning environment. Based on the Cooperative Discipline method and the Responsive Classroom model, this course will help teachers avoid power struggles and create an environment where students can function, learn, and thrive in an urban or suburban setting via community building activities. At the completion of this course you will have a skill set and materials that will help you in your classroom management.

The content and skills mastered in this course enable the candidates: [1] to become more aware of how to manage young children based on current research, models and techniques, thus enhancing their ability to effectively run a classroom; and [2] to improve their own instructional practice by developing a deeper knowledge of the content area.

Curriculum and Technology
IDIS Topics
This course looks at the integration of educational technology in the classroom and its relationship to effective, child-centered learning. Participants will explore the use of the Internet as a classroom resource, the hardware and software necessary to go online, search engines browsers, URL’s, online journals, education websites, online interest groups, and will develop the skills needed to design a WebQuest, a Powerpoint presentation, and lesson plans with technology integration. This course will enable participants to integrate curriculum and instructional technology that enables students to develop in-depth projects pertaining to their own grade level, academic discipline, or school-based priorities. Participants will develop advanced projects by using a multiplicity of technologies and present their results through multimedia formats. Participants will develop projects that require direct involvement with students in their own classrooms. Participants will make use of advanced telecommunication platforms such as BlackBoard.com to engage in online asynchronous threaded discussions and virtual groups.

Developing 21st Century Skills through Community Service Learning
EDUC 7000
This course is designed to provide teachers with an understanding of 21st Century skills and how they can be integrated into their existing curriculum. teachers will develop their expertise in creating community service learning experiences that will foster these 21st century skills. the course will provide teachers core strategies and best practices that will assist them in working more effectively with students, parents and community.

Discrete Mathematics with Applications for the Middle and High School Teacher
MTED 8006
This course is designed to cover topics in Discrete Mathematics by exploring the connection between Discrete Mathematics and real-life conditions. Some of the topics covered will include: Estate Division, Election Theory, Weighed Voting, Fair Division, Matrices, Mathematical Induction, Recursion, Combinatorics and Probability, Codes, Pascal, Euler and Hamiltonian Circuits, Graphs and Networks, Traveling Salesman Problem, Critical Path and Graph Coloring.

Empowering Teachers & Students through Character Education
This course explores the dimensions of character education and social-emotional programs. In today's world, children are often attending school with problematic behaviors and attitudes. Children are confronted with teasing, taunting, bullying, harassment and exclusion at an early age. Therefore, character education and social-emotional Programs have become a necessity in schools to support and promote the social and mental/emotional development of children.

Participants will examine various theories and practices of Character Education and identify Social Emotional Programs that can be integrated into a safe, caring and cooperative classroom and school environment. This course will assist educators to prepare lessons and materials, analyze and critique lessons, children's literature, and curriculum programs that could be used in their classrooms.

Having Conversations with Difficult Students
EDUC 7000
This course will provide classroom teachers grades K-12 with insight into different psychological perspectives, most importantly Narrative Therapy. This more in depth view of the individual can be used as a tool assisting with classroom discipline. The course will allow teachers to become more knowledgeable about personality theories along with treatment modalities such as Narrative Therapy and Self-Psychology. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and learn more about how personalities and environmental factors make their way into the classroom, is the disruptive student. A better understanding of “acting out” behavior via an eclectic approach along with real case examples will enhance ones ability to intervene with the difficult student more effectively.

Issues in Adolescent Literacy
EDUC 7000
This course will introduce middle and high school teachers to the construct of Adolescent Literacy and suggest solutions to the literacy problems unique to adolescence. Course participants will investigate concepts of:

In addition to the required course text, students will be provided with a variety of documents through the Course Documents section of this on-line course. Students will work with a variety of sources to construct a paper which will eventually describe their personal understanding of the concept of Adolescent Literacy. They will produce a lesson plan specific to their content area which illustrates their knowledge and comprehension of the concepts presented.

Language Development, Differences and Disorders
SPED 8300
This course addresses normal development of receptive and expressive language in terms of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. It focuses on the language performance exhibited by different populations of children/adults with disabilities. The language of the bilingual-bicultural children and language disordered adolescents are addressed. Students develop an understanding of the principles and practices related to assessment and intervention for children with language disorders. Students assess language needs and plan appropriate strategies.

Methods and Materials in ESL
ENGL 8042
The major methodological approaches to teaching English as a Second Language, including an historical survey and a review of current applications, are explored in this course. The following topics are discussed: interactive, communicative classroom practices, teaching reading and writing, listening, oral communication, grammar, and vocabulary, testing and designing and evaluating classroom materials.

Psychology of Reading, Reading Development and Disabilities
READ 7017 3 cr.
This course is designed to provide analysis and discussion in the five areas of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. Each session will define a skill, review the evidence from research, suggest implications for classroom instruction, describe proven strategies for teaching reading skills and address frequently raised questions.

Reviving Character Education in the Classroom and as School and Community Initiatives
EDUC 7000
This course is designed for educators to explore the dimensions of Character Education and the role of educators in developing moral and ethical behavior in their students. Children’s beliefs about what is right and wrong traditionally have been strongly influenced by their families. However, with today’s family structure and the influences of the popular culture, children are often attending school with problematic behaviors and attitudes. Therefore, Character Education has become a necessity in schools to support and promote social, emotional and ethical development in children.

The School as a Microcosm of Society
EDUC 7000
This course examines the ways in which today's schools serve as a microcosm of the larger society in which they operate. Course content examines the issues in schools relating to gender, race, class, violence, religious affiliation and sexual orientation. This course aims to foster critical thinking of our educational system and examine components that may inherently create dis/advantage. By considering education as a social institution, this course will enlighten students regarding their role in this process and illuminate ways to successfully advocate for necessary changes to foster a more equitable and inclusive educational system. Participants will examine various theories and practices of Character Education and identify skills that can be integrated into a caring and cooperative classroom and school environment. Educators will identify their own personal character traits and be an effective model for their students. This course will assist educators in preparing lessons and materials, and analyze and critique lessons, children’s literature, and curriculum programs that could be used in their classrooms. It is the intent that this course will carry over to the classroom, the entire school, and the community.

Specialized Reading Approaches
This course is designed to give students a comprehensive instruction based course focusing on a variety of specialized reading approaches used in many of today's schools. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of language and reading development that is based in research. Candidates are expected to develop knowledge, skills and competency in utilizing current research to analyze the components of various programs developed as supplements or alternatives to regular education programs. Candidates will also develop the skills to develop effective reading instruction programs to match the needs of students with diverse and/or cultural needs.

Twentieth Century Spain: A Survey of History, Culture and Literature
This course is designed to give Spanish teachers an introduction, brief overview and/or refresher into some major personalities, historical themes, cultural and literary themes of Spain in the Twentieth Century. This course will help to provide a well-rounded view of Contemporary Spain in order to impart this to their own future students. Topics covered will include but are not limited to Pedro Almodovar, The Spanish Civil War, Ana Maria Matute, Federico Garcia Lorca, Picasso, and Dali.

Understanding the Structure of the English Language
This course examines linguistic structure of modern English and applies this knowledge to classroom instruction. The course begins by comparing previous historical knowledge about the nature of language with today's current theoretical issues. Next, we will particularly describe modern English in terms of its linguistic structure, the sound system, English spelling, morphology, the semantic system and word formation, grammar, and sentence structure.

The Effective Teaching of Vocabulary Across the content Areas
EDUC 700
Vocabulary knowledge is critical to the act of comprehending what one is reading. This course will examine current and classic research on how individuals of all ages acquire language. Research-based teaching practices that have been proven to be effective in the teaching of vocabulary will also be presented, examined and practiced. Participants will use the knowledge gained in this course to incorporate these best teaching strategies in their instruction of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks across all content areas.




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