The Master of Education (M.Ed.) program being offered through DES, provides a post-baccalaureate understanding the educational theory, practice and research targeting regional and international teachers and educational administrators as well as academics not traditionally versed in education. The primary goal of the program is to create informed educationalists that understand education from a applied, academic, and research perspective. The practical goal of the program is to facilitate effective teaching and student learning based on current research and evidence-based practices in the dynamic and ever-changing field that is education.
The M.Ed. program can be seen as inter-disciplinary allowing for students who want to teach a variety of disciplines to collaborate together. Diverse perspectives will be a component of the program as students may represent a variety of levels along the education spectrum as well as a variety of disciplines. This is a crucial component of the program, due to the fact that it stimulates critical comparison and contrast. For the same reason, the diversity of the program is further strengthened by the inclusion of students who intend to teach at different levels (primary, secondary, tertiary). Courses will be designed in a way that content is applicable to a wide range of contexts. Students can personalize assignments in a way that makes them relevant to their setting/area of interest. Courses include:
Curriculum Theory and Development (3 credits)
In this course students will consider the scope, issues and research of curriculum studies, critically reviewing contemporary projects to develop curricula that meet the needs of the contemporary world, in particular the outcomes-based approach.
The course will review: the purposes of education, principles of curriculum structure, design, implementation and evaluation, approaches to formulating educational objectives, the responsibilities and roles of educators with respect to the curriculum, and issues and trends in education.
Instructional Methods (3 credits)
This core course considers theories of learning and instruction in relation to the aims of the curriculum. The course reviews theories of learning with special attention to the relationship between teaching, learning and assessment; the values of classroom interaction; the purposes of group; individual and practical learning; and moral/affective education. Students will have opportunities to formulate and share their understanding of instructional methods in a collegial environment, the culmination of which will be the development of a teaching philosophy.
Research Methodology (3 credits)
The goal of this course is to develop students’ understanding of the purposes and values of different educational research methods with a view to critiquing educational research and selecting an appropriate method for their own research. The qualities of good research, including the concepts of validity, reliability and credibility will be analyzed.
Students will learn how research projects are framed by identifying an educational problem and selecting an appropriate research design to investigate it, In addition, an overview of the purposes of empirical research design, descriptive statistics, correlations and linear regressions will provide a basis for understanding and appreciating “best evidence” research.
Research Ethics (1 credit)
After introducing bioethics as a discipline, the course explores aspects of research ethics in greater depth. The aspects investigated are guided by the interests of enrolled students and vary annually. These may include conflicts of interest; authorship and publication ethics; moral reasoning; animal ethics; public health ethics; IRBs; or others. The course introduces and examines guidance from the Declaration of Helsinki and sometimes includes a workshop on how to prepare and critique informed consent forms and processes. Students are assigned readings in research ethics literature and discuss these during class in a seminar or journal club format. Each student is required to lead one session and give a formal presentation as part of that session.
Introduction to Current Topics in Educational Research (1 credit)
This core course is designed to provide a foundation whereby students will gain an understanding and appreciation for the field of research in education as well as the major issues in contemporary education. Students will critically evaluate innovative educational projects and educational attempts that have been made to address contemporary issues in education using quantitative, qualitative and mixed method research design. This course will give students an appreciation for the value and utility of research, and provide them with the skills to become discerning in their analysis and application of it.
Educational Assessment (2 credits)
This course will address various methods of formative and summative assessment, considering how assessments are planned, constructed and interpreted in relation to the curriculum (subject matter and intended learning outcomes). The various methods will be critically evaluated in terms of their validity, reliability and utility. Students interested in undertaking a research project or thesis related to educational assessment are encouraged to take this course.
Educational Leadership and Management (2 credits)
This course focuses on strategic leadership and how it can be a power influence in bringing about and managing change in an educational institution. It will serve to prepare students with the knowledge, vision and skills to become ethical and socially conscious leaders in the field of Education. Participants will pursue theory and research focusing on the complex historical, cultural, sociological, philosophical and theoretical aspects of the leadership process. Students interested in undertaking a research project or thesis related to educational leadership are encouraged to take this course.
Educational Psychology (2 credits)
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with theories of development and consider their implications for education and learning. Social, emotional/motivational, personality and cognitive theories will be considered, together with their respective research findings. Students interested in undertaking a research project or thesis related to educational/cognitive psychology are encouraged to take this course.
Reflective Practice and Practicum (Pass/Fail)
Pre-requisites for this course are the two core courses:
In this course students will study how the development of teaching is closely associated with both metacognitive self-evaluation and critical reflection on the literature of teaching/learning (both generally and in their respective subject/s). Reflective practice is a process of continual experiential learning (Schön, D. 1983. The Reflective Practitioner. Basic Books). In this course students will learn to engage in critical self-evaluation while responding appropriately to peer/student evaluations and taking into consideration practical theory.
Practical Approaches for Research Analysis (2 credits)
This course is designed to extend beyond the content of the Research Methodology course and more fully equip students interested in conducting quantitative or mixed methods studies. It will build on students’ understanding of the basic concepts and methods related to descriptive, parametric and non-parametric analysis and provide the opportunity to run analyses and report findings using basic statistical software. Emphasis will be placed on the practical application of statistics. Students will develop the necessary skills to interpret empirical findings in published research as well as in their own applied research.
Critical Appraisal of Educational Research (2 credits)
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the literature review as they appraise educational research literature. Students will learn about the process of conducting a literature search for the purpose of constructing a literature review. A balance of class meetings and independent work will enable students to learn basic skills and strategies and then apply them to their own work. Students are encouraged to focus their reviews on their research interests. The final project for this course will be a literature review, which may serve as the basis for a research project or thesis. Students who have limited experience conducting literature reviews are urged to take this course.