Curriculum and Instruction Masters Program Coursework

Perhaps it comes as no surprise that schools offering master’s programs in curriculum and instruction carefully tailor their curricula to fit the needs of teaching professionals. They recognize the importance of strong curricula, and they offer theirs as an example to their students.

Earning a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Design: Program Structure

Some schools design their curriculum development programs to serve working professionals. Evening and weekend classes and numerous online options cater to busy educators; and teachers, administrators, and curriculum specialists alike find suitable options for earning a quality education.

Master’s programs in curriculum and instruction are designed to help students develop the knowledge and skillsets immediately applicable to the field of education. This education might immediately enhance professionals’ careers as they use their new knowledge to teach and lead more effectively. For teachers transitioning away from the classroom, programs in this dynamic subject may prepare them to pursue potential career opportunities as curriculum specialists and other administrative or leadership positions.  

In curriculum and instruction master’s programs, students typically take a three-pronged approach to developing strong skills: they complete coursework, participate in practicum, and write and defend a final research project or thesis. In most cases, the coursework is divided relatively evenly between core and elective courses, and students enjoy myriad opportunities to concentrate their focus. Some common areas of concentration include:

  • Early childhood education, elementary education, or secondary education
  • Reading or mathematics education
  • Special education (with options to concentrate on areas such as Dyslexia studies and language-based learning disabilities)
  • Curriculum and instruction and educational leadership
  • Curriculum and instruction and technology integration

In addition, many teachers earn endorsements in areas such as ESL, reading, special education, or library media. They may also earn a certificate of completion in areas such as:

  • Asperger’s and high-functioning Autism
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Early childhood education
  • STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) for elementary teachers
  • Literacy education
  • Teacher leadership 

Earning a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Design: Common Coursework

Core and elective course-study commonly happens in these interesting areas:

  • Curriculum theory, development, and implementation  
  • Educational assessment, testing, and measurement
  • Instructional theory, issues, and improvement  
  • Student centered curriculum/instruction
  • Educational factors of diversity and culture  
  • Ethics and educational law
  • Learning through technology
  • Action research (writing proposals, conducting research, and writing in the discipline)
  • Guidance for classroom teachers
  • Advanced educational psychology

Through a rigorous study of these subjects and others, students might develop skills that help them negotiate the often complicated goals, rules, and limitations of educational curricula. They may also learn how to take advantage of possibilities and opportunities to provide the best possible education for our youth.

In the realm of professional development, students will have an opportunity learn how to manage all aspects of curriculum development including research, implementation, assessment, and revision. More specifically, students commonly learn how to do the following:

  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research in classrooms, school districts, and communities
  • Apply data to improve teaching and learning
  • Incorporate technology in curricula to enhance students learning
  • Design curricula units and courses of study
  • Design, implement, and assess the quality of assessment techniques to provide better assessment for students
  • Design curricula that meets the needs of a diverse student body
  • Identify and trace important issues in the field of education
  • Implement curriculum design and instruction knowledge in the classroom

Curriculum development master’s programs give teachers, specialists, and administrators critical knowledge that can shape the future of education. Do you think this option might be right for you? 

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