Master of Education (M.Ed.)

2019-2020 Catalogue

Wesleyan's unique Master's of Education program invites practicing classroom teachers who believe in the power of authentic learning, who desire a shift from mundane educational trends, and who wish to become active inquirers to join us in a journey of self discovery, organic learning experiences, and active research around timeless and proven classroom practices.

The program is designed around 5 foundational beliefs:

1. The classroom as a community of inquiry.
2. The power of play and creativity in the learning process.
3. The importance of interacting with the natural world.
4. The value of building literacy through oral language skills.
5. The benefits of integration of content across the curriculum.
 
M.Ed. Learning Outcomes. Through course work and experiences in this program, the student will be able to:
 
  1. Develop the values, commitments, and ethics that positively impact the educational community as well as the educator's own professional growth.
  2. Develop an understanding of the relationship between content and content-specific pedagogy, instructional strategy, and teaching techniques.
  3. Develop meaningful learning experiences that improve student learning and achievement, collaborate with other education professionals, and reflect on their practices.
  4. Make data-driven decisions about student learning and achievement, continuous school improvement, and professional practice through the design and implementation of an action-research project implemented in their classrooms.
  5. Align educational objectives to content and the Common Core Curriculum/Georgia Performance Standards.
  6. Defend the effectiveness of their practices through student outcome and achievement and justify instructional choices in regard to the five foundational beliefs.
  7. Demonstrate awareness through establishing a level of consciousness, connectedness, and understanding pertaining to a chosen area of expertise. This includes a candidate's ability to evaluate and analyze current research in this area and to contribute to this body of knowledge.
  8. Convey the concept of agency by actively engaging in the educational process as change agents. Having agency implies that the candidate realizes she has the power to act within her classroom, school and community. Also, implicit in such a concept of agency is recognition of expertise on the part of the teacher. Being able to claim expertise strengthens agency as it equips an educator with a base of knowledge from which to speak with authority and conviction. Having agency means educators have the tools to fight against the de-skilling of teachers.
  9. Demonstrate competence in articulating and advocating for sound professional practices and public policies for the positive development and learning of all children.
  10. Demonstrate the process or state of acting or of being active through both physical and mental activity.By processing the theoretical concepts, research, and outcomes candidates ultimately take action toward implementing effective changes in the classroom, schools, districts, and ultimately the chosen area of expertise ultimately connected to the 5 foundational beliefs.

Program of Study. The M.Ed program is designed to allow a cohort of candidates to earn a graduate degree in the area of early childhood education (P-5). This summer-to-summer program requires a total of 35 semester hours taken in the sequence outlined .

Summer-to-Summer Program Leading to the M.Ed in Early Childhood Education

Year 1: Summer

EDU 521: The Art of Inquiry

3 hours

 

EDU 532: Creative Expressions in the Early Childhood Classroom

4 hours

 

EDU 533: Developing the Early Childhood Learning Community

5 hours

Year 1: Fall

EDU 522: The Art of Inquiry: Action Research

1 hour

 

EDU 536: Advanced Reading and Writing Workshop Methods

4 hours

  EDU 536: Advanced Pedagogy and Methods in STEM Content 4 hours

Year 1: Spring

MAT 513: Getting Excited About Classroom Data (hybrid)

3 hours

 

EDU 530: Stories Make the World

4 hours

  EDU 523: The Art of Inquiry: Analyzing Data 1 hour

Year 2: Summer

EDU 524: The Art of Inquiry: Publishing and Presenting

4 hours

 

EDU 544: Exploring Educational Venues

2 hour

 

Total

35 hours


The courses in the M.Ed program do not build upon each other in any type of sequential content hierarchical way. The major outcome for the program is the publication of an educationally focused action research thesis. The candidates formulate, research, implement, and assess this question within their classrooms throughout the program therefore the EDU 521, 522, 523, and 524 sequence of research classes are spread across several semesters to provide the necessary support for this final requirement.

The course that introduces candidates to the rigor required in graduate level research is at the beginning of the program along with the development of learning communities and creative expressions class. This sequence provides candidates immediate exposure to some of the most current research in the field in specific content areas and in regard to current best practice and pedagogy. Being exposed to this research early in the program allows the candidate to formulate the question they intend to use as the foundation for the action research paper based on current issues and trends that are applicable to their interests and needs and supported by our foundational beliefs.

The probability and statistics course is purposefully placed in the spring semester to provide support for the candidates during the most probable time in which they will be collecting the data from the action research question. The data analysis section of the final paper is completed as part of the course requirements.

The final sequence of courses at the end of the program is meant to allow the candidate an opportunity to demonstrate what they've gained from the program. The research class is designed to provide the support the candidates need to pull together rest of the action research conducted throughout the year into a publishable format. The exploring educational venues course puts candidates in a real instructional settings with real children and asks them utilize or analyze best practices observed or attained throughout the program in a meaningful way.

The Cohort and Course Load. The candidate will enter and complete the program as part of the same cohort. Candidates will follow the prescribed course calendar along with their cohort members during the 14-month period of their degree program.

A student starting with a cohort is expected to graduate with that same group. If for any valid reason (determined by the Graduate Council and the Provost of the College) a student temporarily leaves the group, the student, upon reinstatement, will be placed in a new cohort. Students who enroll in at least 6 credit hours during the program's specified period of enrollment will be considered full-time. Students who enroll in less than 6 credit hours during the program's specified period of enrollment will be considered part-time. Refer to the cohort calendar for periods of enrollment.

Deviations from the prescribed course calendar are not allowed except in cases of emergency. These will be decided on a case-by-case basis by majority vote of the Graduate Admissions Committee with the approval of the Provost of the College. Candidates are required to participate in all cohort activities, including the two travel/study experiences and occasional cohort meetings.

Course Descriptions

EDU 521: The Art of Inquiry.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
Vital elements expected of and required within graduate level research will explored, explained, and practiced. Utilizing search engines, APA style formatting, in-text citations, academic writing style, and various other elements pertaining to research will be incorporated into this class. Establishing the question and a timeline for implementation for the final thesis paper will be a vital outcome of this course.
(Learning Outcomes 2, 4, 6 & 7-10).
Prerequisite: Admission to M.Ed program.
Co-requisites: EDU 532, EDU 533.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
EDU 522: The Art of Inquiry: Action Research.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
Putting the plan established in EDU 521 into practice in a realistic action research oriented method within personal classrooms will be the focus of this research supportive course. Collecting and maintaining data collections and meeting for individual checkups regarding progress will be essential components of this course.
(Learning Outcomes 2, 4, 6 & 7-10).
Prerequisite: EDU 521, EDU 532, & EDU 533.
Co-requisites: EDU 535, EDU 536.
Credit: 1 hour.
 
EDU 523: The Art of Inquiry: Analyzing Data.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
Summarizing and analyzing the data collected in EDU 522 will be the focus of this research supportive course. Candidates will also be taking MAT 513 to assist them during this period in the statistical analysis aspects required to correctly interpret and report on the results yielded by their data. Producing the data analysis section of the final thesis paper will be the focus of this course.
(Learning Outcomes 2, 4, 6 & 7-10).
Prerequisite: EDU 521, 532, 533, 522, 535, & 536.
Co-requisites: EDU 530, MAT 513.
Credit: 1 hour.
 
EDU 524: The Art of Inquiry: Publishing and Presenting.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
Demonstrating expertise in reading, analyzing, critiquing, and synthesizing research the candidate will work to pull together the full year experiences from EDU 521, 522 & 523 to produce a graduate thesis paper suitable for a peer-reviewed publication. The paper will be presented to the candidate's peers and venues for possible publication, and presentation of the content to larger audiences will be explored.
(Learning Outcomes 2, 4, 6 & 7-10).
Prerequisite: EDU 521, 532, 533, 522, 535 & 536, 523, 530, & MAT 513.
Co-requisites: EDU 544.
Credit: 4 hours.
 
EDU 530: Stories Make the World.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
Theories of social studies pedagogical content knowledge (history, geography, social education, democracy, cultural studies) are explored with the intent of synthesizing personal pedagogical styles with proven constructivist practices. Various PK-5 social studies content themes are examined. Special attention is given to the role of story telling in elementary social studies instruction.
(Learning Outcomes 1-10).
Prerequisite: EDU 521, 532, 533, 522, 535, & 536.
Co-requisites: MAT 513, EDU 523.
Credit: 4 hours.

EDU 532: Creative Expressions in the Early Childhood Classroom.
Instruction is grounded in the Discipline-Based Arts Education model. Students learn to use the various creative expressions such as Art, Theatre, Dance, Music, etc. to enhance teaching and learning in the other disciplines. Skills and theory based. (Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 & 11).
Prerequisite: Admission to M.Ed. program.
Co-requisites: EDU 521 & EDU 533
Credit: 4 hours.
 
EDU 533: Developing the Early Childhood Learning Community.
Introducing the 5 foundational beliefs; the classroom as a community of inquiry, the power of play and creativity, the importance of interacting with the natural world, building literacy through oral language skills, and the benefits of integrating content across the curriculum will be focus of this class. Candidates will actively Explore ways to break the mundane patterns to create unique and engaging learning communities. (Learning Outcomes 1-10).
Prerequisite: Admission to M.Ed program.
Co-requisites: EDU 521 & EDU 532.
Credit: 5 hours.
 
EDU 535: Advanced Pedagogy and Methods in STEM Content.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
This course conducts an in-depth study of various theories and models of teaching STEM-based content (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in the early childhood setting. Early childhood teachers draw from their broad understanding of these connections and ideas as they plan and implement integrative activities. Modules to support STEM initiatives will be explored and created.
(Learning Outcomes 1-11).
Prerequisites: EDU 521, 532, & 533.
Co-requisite: EDU 522 & EDU 536.
Credit: 4 hours.
 
EDU 536: Advanced Reading and Writing Workshop Methods.
This course is designed to enhance the advanced candidate's reading and writing content and pedagogical strategies in the early childhood classroom specifically pertaining to the Workshop method of instruction (P-5). Candidates will participate in in-house versions of both methods and establish plans for implementing these techniques and procedures within their own classrooms for the coming school year.
(Learning Outcomes 1-11).
Pre-requisite: EDU 521, 532, & 533.
Co-requisite: EDU 522 & 535.
Credit: 4 hours.
 
EDU 544: Exploring Educational Venues.
The cohort will participate in three educational venues specifically chosen to support and advance the skills, dispositions, and theoretical applications of the courses taken throughout the program. The cohort will travel to participate in a two-day Educational Conference at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. The cohort will plan, teach, and assess integrated art, environmental science, and literacy lessons with onsite summer camp attendees during the last summer of the program. Finally each cohort will work together to plan and design an thematic and unique learning opportunity to support an area of interest or study that has emerged from the concerted research efforts throughout the program. This final trip will take place during the final summer of the program. (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10 & 11).
Prerequisites: EDU 521, 532, 533, 522, 535 & 536, 523, 530, & MAT 513.
Co-requisite: EDU 524.
Credit: 2 hours.

MAT 513: Getting Excited About Classroom Data
This course is designed for teachers. Emphasis is placed on the practical implications of content, structure, processes, and technology related to data collection, probability, and statistics, and associated critical thinking skills. Each candidate will be expected to utilize knowledge of various data collection tools utilized in school setting. All candidates will learn to categorize and interpret classroom data in order to make effective instructional decisions (Learning Outcomes 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 & 11).
Prerequisites: EDU 521, 532, 533, 522, 535, & 536.
Co-requisite: EDU 523 & 530.
Credit: 3 hours.
 

Master of Education Graduate Faculty

Virginia Wilcox, Associate Professor of Education. B.A., Wesleyan College; M.Ed, Ph.D., Auburn University.

Master of Education Adjunct Faculty

Kristen Applebee, Adjunct Instructor of Education. B.F.A., Brigham Young University; M.F.A., Ohio State University.

Barbara Rowan, Adjunct Instructor of Business. B.A., Malone College; M.S., Georgia College & State University; Ph.D., James Madison University.

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