Master’s degree requirements
The M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction requires a minimum of 31 hours of graduate credits. Three hours in each of these core areas is required: curriculum, teaching and learning, diversity, educational technology, and research and scholarship. In addition, at least 15 hours in an area of specialization are required. All students take the Master’s Project (1 hr.), while others also take the Master’s Report (2 hours) or the Master’s Thesis (6 hours). The requirements for each core area and for each of these specializations are described below.
A. Curriculum (3 credit hours)
This category addresses all aspects of K-12 curriculum. It is intended that one course in curriculum would address the broad range of these issues.
- The foundations of curriculum (philosophical, historical, psychological, and social foundations; curriculum theory)
- The principles of curriculum (aims, goals, objectives; curriculum design, development, implementation, and evaluation)
- Issues of curriculum (trends and issues; future directions; national standards)
Recommended courses for this core category
B. Teaching and learning
This category deals with theoretical, practical, and research-based issues associated with the creation of an environment for effective teaching and learning. The following topics are representative of the issues that might affect the creation of the learning environment:
- Teaching strategies (e.g., direct instruction, cooperative learning)
- Learning theory (e.g., sociocultural theory, schema theory)
- Theory and research into practice
- Instructional planning and design
- Learning environments (organization, management, discipline)
- Standards and practices
One course in teaching and learning may address only one of these issues; one course is not intended to provide a survey of all possible issues that affect the creation of a learning environment.
Recommended courses for this category:
C. Diversity (3 credit hours)
This category addresses the nature of learner differences and the instructional implications of these differences. Teaching students in a pluralistic society entails knowledge of many possible factors that may affect student performance, behavior, and instruction.
Student differences may be due to factors such as: ethnicity, race, language, socioeconomic status, exceptionalities, geographic region, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
One course in diversity may address only one of these issues; one course is not intended to provide a survey of all possible issues that address the nature of learner differences, the instructional implications of these differences, and the nature of the institution of schooling and biases that may exist.
Recommended courses for this core category:
D. Educational technology (3 credit hours)
This category examines:
- Roles that technology, teachers, and learners may take in any educational context
- Ways of integrating technology into teaching and learning
- Issues involved in using technology in K-12 settings
Recommended courses for this category:
E. Research and scholarship (3 credit hours)
This category deals with interpreting, using, and conducting research and scholarly activities. Scholarship might include analysis, position papers, essays, research into
practice, and other creative endeavors. Scholarship is broader and more inclusive than research. Research is a form of scholarship.
This category addresses:
- The many forms of scholarship
- Scientific and naturalistic research
- Analysis, interpretation, and application of research and scholarship to improve teaching and learning
- Designing and conducting research and scholarship
- How research relates to practice
It is intended that one course in research and scholarship would address the broad range of these items.
Students must complete the research course before starting the master’s degree project, report, or thesis (see category F).
Recommended courses for this category:
F. Project, report, or thesis (1-6 credit hours)
Students must complete a research course in Category E before starting this project, report, or thesis. The results of the research project, report, or thesis are to be reported to the student’s supervisory committee in the oral exam in the last semester of the degree program.
Project (1 credit hour)
The master’s project is conducted under EDCI 890 Master’s Project. The objective of the project is to improve the student’s own practice. Students select a topic pertinent to their own practice. This project includes the construction of a professional portfolio to represent the student’s learning throughout the master’s degree program.
Report (2 credit hours)
The master’s report is conducted under EDCI 898 Master’s Report. A master’s report is generally shorter than a thesis, and it may present the results of a more limited investigation. Alternatively, it may review the state of a particular scholarly or scientific problem, or - especially in the case of professional programs or applied disciplines - it may describe a project appropriate to the disciplines.
Thesis (6 credit hours)
The master’s thesis is conducted under EDCI 899 Master’s Thesis. The master’s thesis presents the results of an original investigation of a problem or topic approved by the candidate’s supervisory committee. Its purpose is to demonstrate the candidate’s ability to conduct original research, and to present the results in a form acceptable to the supervisory committee.
G. Area of specialization (15 credit hours)
Students must select one of the following areas of specialization (details for each are on the following pages):
G1. Elementary/Middle-Level Curriculum and Instruction
G2. Reading/Language Arts
G3. The Reading Specialist Endorsement
G4. Middle Level/Secondary Curriculum and Instruction
G5. Educational Technology
G7. English as a Second Language
G8. Learning Skills/School Improvement
G9. Mathematics Education
G10. Civic Education
G1. Elementary/middle level curriculum and instruction (15 credit hours)
This specialization is intended for elementary teachers who teach a variety of subjects and middle-level teachers who teach in more than one subject field. Core and elective courses for this specialization are intended to focus on curricular issues of the subjects that elementary/middle level teachers teach (e.g., math, science, social studies, science, language arts, reading).
G2. Reading/language arts (15 credit hours)
Master’s degree candidates may specialize in reading/language arts course without taking the particular courses for the reading endorsement (that endorsement can be obtained with specialization G3). Students may choose any 15 hours of approved elementary/middle level and/or secondary courses that emphasize reading and the language arts. Some of the courses may have prerequisites; see the catalog for that information.
G3. Reading specialist endorsement (15 credit hours)
Special licensure requirements exist for K-12 school teachers of special reading classes in Kansas. In addition to degree certification and teaching experience, a planned sequence of graduate reading courses are required for licensure endorsement. Students seeking this endorsement must hold a valid Kansas Professional teaching license.
Required courses (15 credit hours):
Required practicum (3 credit hours):
After completing the required courses and practicum, the applicant must fulfill these additional requirements to obtain an initial reading specialist license:
- Hold a currently valid Kansas professional teaching license.
- Present a score of 164 or above on the Praxis II exam for the Reading Specialist (test number 5301).
- Hold a masters degree. (It is permitted but not necessary to include the required courses as part of the masters degree.)
- Have a 3.25 grade point average in graduate coursework.
- Have recent teaching experience or coursework (i.e., at least one year of teaching or 8 credit hours within the last six years.)
G4. Middle level/secondary curriculum and instruction (15 credit hours)
This specialization is intended for middle-level and secondary teachers who teach in one subject field. This specialization is intended to enhance one’s knowledge and skills about their teaching field (e.g., education in math, science, social studies, language arts, family and consumer sciences, agriculture, vocational fields).
A curriculum course in the teaching field (3 hours)
Electives (12 hours)
These courses may relate to the content being taught, the curricular program, or instructional aspects of the teaching field.
G5. Educational Technology (15 credit hours)
This area of specialization focuses – following guidelines prescribed by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) – on the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. While K-12 educators constitute its largest audience, this specialization is equally appropriate for those from higher education or corporate/industry backgrounds who want to explore the role of educational and communications technologies in enabling effective teaching and meaningful learning. This specialization also provides a solid foundation for those wishing to pursue a doctoral program in Educational Technology.
Required Foundations Courses
Area of Specialization Courses
Required (12 credit hours)
Electives (select at least 3 credit hours from the following)
G7. English as a second language (ESL endorsement) (15 credit hours)
(For students seeking the ESL endorsement, any substituted course must closely address the content of the course it is replacing.)
G8. Learning Skills/School improvement (15 credit hours)
This area is appropriate for educators who want to develop knowledge and skills to work with others in the school or district on improvement in curriculum and instruction. Course selection should be done with the guidance of an advisor.
G9. Mathematics Education (15 credit hours)
This area of specialization is designed for teachers who wish to further their understandings of mathematics curriculum, content, and pedagogy. Courses are designed to provide a contemporary perspective on teaching mathematics in K-12 schools.
G10. Civic Education (15 credit hours)
This area of specialization is designed for teachers who wish to further their understandings of civic education curriculum, content, and pedagogy. Courses are designed to provide a contemporary perspective on teaching civic education in K-12 schools.