K-8 Certification

The MEd in Elementary Education K–8 Certification concentration prepares students for state certification to teach grades K–8 in New Hampshire. The program is designed to address both state and national standards for teachers, and integrates theory and practice in balanced coursework and field experiences.

Certification-only Option: Students would complete 39 credits as listed below, excluding the Master’s Core Component.

Program of Study

  • Elementary Education Component – 27 credits
  • 3
    An introduction to the teaching profession and the realities of teaching in today's schools. A series of seminars includes such topics as the history and structure of education, societal issues, the role of the teacher, instructional planning, legal rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, learning styles and effective teaching. A school observation/participation experience of a minimum of 30 hours is required.
  • 3
    Provides the pre-service elementary education classroom teacher with knowledge of theories of children's growth and development for the purpose of building capacity for developmentally appropriate decision-making ('habit of mind') throughout the career. Examines the characteristics and needs of children, and the multiple interacting influences and the interrelated domains of development - physical, cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic, and aesthetic. Reviews child development knowledge base, research, and theoretical perspectives. Introduces a multitude of means for assessing children's growth and development in schools, including, but not limited to: observation and record keeping, informal and formal classroom assessments, district-wide standardized test data, interviews with families and/or caregivers, children's self-assessment, and testing done to determine the presence or absence---and nature of---an "educationally handicapping condition", as defined by federal special education law. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Prepares pre-service elementary education professionals to design curricular units of study in the content areas. Familiarizes candidates with state and national standards for children's learning in the social studies, sciences, and health education, and the integration of the Common Core Standards into content-area instruction. Introduces a curriculum design model that utilizes the alignment of learning goals and assessments as the anchor for instructional practices. Students are required to design a content-rich unit of study for an elementary classroom. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Designed for both pre-service educators, as well as practicing teachers, the course introduces differentiation in the elementary classroom as a means to educational equity and excellence. Introduces cognitive frameworks of differentiation including student characteristics (readiness, interest, learning profile) and curricular elements (content, process, products). Examines the process of planning instruction and assessment that affords all children with access to learning. Considers the impact of differentiation applied to the learning environment, and supports teachers to ?unlearn? classroom management in favor of learning classroom leadership. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Seeks to examine the manner in which the behavior, feelings, or thoughts of one individual are influenced by the behavior or characteristics of others. Topics to be considered include social perception, attitudes, gender, social cognition, conflict, social influence, intercultural awareness, prejudice, discrimination, aggression, and group behavior. Fall, spring, and summer.
  • 3
    Introduces to pre-service elementary education professionals, and renews in practicing teachers, the values of inclusive education, and the belief that all children can learn. Provides basic information about special education laws and systems, and outlines the role of the classroom teacher in the identification, instruction, and evaluation of children with disabilities. Considers the current deficit-driven categorical framework for special education, and introduces the concept of neurodiversity in it's place. Supports candidates to understand and implement a menu of classroom supports and accommodations for children with and without disabilities, teachers, related service providers, and families, including but not limited to: Universal Design for Learning, assistive technology, educational specialists and related service providers, peer and adult supports, and social relationships. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Prepares the pre-service elementary educators to teach mathematics to all children in K-8 public school settings. Teaches mathematical concepts and pedagogical skills via active engagement and self-reflection in learning concepts such as fractions, ratio and proportion, Geometry, and measurement. Familiarizes students with national and state math standards for elementary educators. Thoroughly examines the Common Core Standards in Mathematics for K-8 learners. Considers the developmentally appropriate use of technology in math education. Finally, considers the differentiation of "scripted curriculum" so that all children---regardless of their diverse learning needs----can access mathematical learning opportunities in the classroom. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Provides the pre-service elementary education classroom teacher with the foundations and framework for designing and implementing literacy instruction, with an emphasis on curriculum, methods and materials for the primary grades. Introduces foundations of reading and writing instruction taught in the context of one another, and thoroughly examines the Common Core Standards for Language Arts for K-8 learners: literature, informational text, foundational skills, writing, speaking and listening, and language, including visual literacy and visual representation. Focuses on word study, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, core reading programs and stages of writing development in a balanced reading framework. Considers the differentiation of language arts instruction, assessment and environment so that all children---regardless of their diverse learning needs---can access language arts learning opportunities in the classroom. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Practicum-based course introduces students to the value and practical application of incorporating the arts into educational, cultural, recreational, and human service settings. In addition to classroom lecture and discussion, a series of workshops with professional artists and teachers will allow students to observe a variety of teaching methods and philosophies. Basic skills and materials will be developed and discussed in creative drama, puppetry, music, theatre, poetry, art, and movement.
  • Learning Technology Course (choose one of the following) – 3 credits
  • 3
    This course provides an in-depth look of the use of technology with diverse learners. An overview of two federal laws (IDEA and NCLB) and the examination of the research of learning technologies will be presented. Students will be engaged in hands-on experience with desktop software, online resources and specialized software designed to support diverse learners. Opportunities will be provided for students to develop classroom activities and curriculum planning guidelines for integrating technology tools into the content areas to accommodate a range of student learning differences.
  • 3
    The evolution of the World Wide Web from what is being called Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 has brought about a new way of teaching and learning in this digital age. The use of Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, podcasting, videocasting, and a host of other free tools are allowing educators to connect to knowledge and each other like never before. Learners will gain hands-on experiences with Web 2.0 tools and explore the learning theory that supports their use a networked classroom environment.
  • 3
    This collaborative, project based online course will provide K-12 educators with a framework, information and resources necessary to explore, create and share multimedia content globally; to use multimedia to communicate and participate in authentic, interactive, networked learning communities, to inspire and motivate student learning. Exploring a variety of online resources and tools, students will collaborate in an online, constructivist environment to create a multimedia based authentic project. Educators will share how they integrate multimedia across the curriculum, using the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) for Students as a foundation with a focus on media literacy.
  • 3
    This instructional technology course is designed to provide technology educators, School Media Specialists, K-12 educators, and administrators with an understanding of ways current and emerging technologies can be used to facilitate teaching, learning, and managing instruction. Discussions will focus on issues, trends, and current uses of technology in K-12 education. Sessions will focus upon gaining experience integrating digital technology within the Common Core Standards, evaluating web 2.0 tools, exploring video resources, and designing technology enhanced lessons utilizing digital storytelling for K-12 curriculum integration.
  • 3
    Exploring Writing and Technology is designed for those wanting to learn about the connection between writing and web technologies such as social networking, online collaboration, blogs, wikis, Google applications, and more. Teachers will learn about and explore uses of technology and writing and design projects for their classrooms.
  • 3
    This course is designed to investigate the principles of assessment educational technology that relate to the design, development, and assessment of electronic portfolios. Students will learn about the history, types, components, process, delivery, presentation, and assessment of electronic portfolios. Student will be expected to define the assessment approach, construct an electronic portfolio, and collaboratively design assessment tools that will be used to evaluate electronic portfolios. Additional areas of study in the course may include the influence of educational policy on the implementation of electronic portfolios, the role of the electronic portfolios in professional development and recertification, or innovate technologies used in electronic portfolio development.
  • Literacy Component (choose one of the following) – 3 credits
  • 3
    This course provides an introduction to the use of multicultural literature appropriate for K-12 classes to increase cultural understanding. Students will apply a spectrum of intercultural sensitivity as a guide for working with their students. The course involves the planning and implementation of a unit of study involving the teaching of multicultural literature in the K-12 school and integrating writing and the arts.
  • 3
    This course is designed as an active and reflective experience of reading and process writing. Students will be immersed in literature and process writing as they develop a portfolio of their own work as lifelong readers and writers. They will review theory and practice regarding process writing, writing to learn, and writing across the curriculum. They will work in the format of the reading/writing connection to explore a range of non-print and print genres, including but not limited to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, fantasy, timed writing to a prompt and multicultural literature. Further topics to be examined in this course are the development of practical classroom applications of creating a literate environment, supporting the reading/writing connection in the classroom, exploration of the question `what makes good writing', assessment in the reading/writing workshop, the mechanical aspects of writing, and the needs of diverse learners. This course is recommended for students in the Reading and Writing masters' program and the certification Program, as well as for any other students who teach reading and writing in the elementary, middle, and secondary schools.
  • 3
    To provide literacy instructors with practical suggestions, approaches, and tools to engage all K-12 students, including adolescents themselves, in focusing on improving student reading, writing, thinking, and listening. A three tiered model will examine the areas of student motivation, integrating literacy and learning, and sustaining literacy development. The final product will be the formation of a differentiated instructional plan in the content area demonstrating the use of strategies presented in the course. Participants will be using their own existing school curricula or be planning to use the strategies with future students. A district wide presentation can be developed from the culmination of all student's artifacts.
  • 2
    This course will explore how to use writing to examine the history, culture and ecology of the place in which we live. Participants will develop educational units appropriate to their teaching situations, explore the use of artifacts in their lives and in our history and culture, and examine how these reflect relationships of power.
  • 3
    In this course students will study the foundations of language/literacy processes and instruction. Topics include the psychological, cultural, and linguistic theoretical foundations; current practices, research, and historical developments; reading and writing language development related to their acquisition as well as cultural and linguistic diversity; major components of reading curriculum; major components of writing instruction; reading and writing instructional strategies and curriculum materials. The course will be in an interactive seminar/workshop format with an online component.
  • 3
    The aim of this course is to provide all participants with a background in the theory and practice of writing in the content areas. Through their own writing and through inquiry related to their individual professional goals, educators will relate theory and practice in terms of using writing for learning, and more process-based writing in their disciplines. They will become familiar with the basics of what research has demonstrated about writing across the curriculum, assessment, how writing intersects with content material.
  • 3
    The aim of the open institute is to allow participants the time, space, and optimal conditions to work on their own writing, explore theory and research in the teaching of writing, and to transform learning into practice for teaching. The institute is divided into two interwoven sections: Theory and Research Into Practice (TRIP) and Writing and Reflective Practice (WRP).
  • 3
    This course is designed especially for mainstream teachers who want to know more about how to better meet the needs of English language learners (ELLs) in their classroom. It provides an in-depth examination of widely-used, evidence-based techniques for teaching non-native speakers of English within the mainstream classroom. In addition to an overview of current theories for teaching English language learners, the course foregrounds strategies and practical hands-on ways for engaging, teaching and assessing ELLs within the K-12 mainstream classroom. Participants gain a theoretical grounding as well as practice with scaffolding content for language learners, and developing individualized learner strategies. This course includes instruction in using CALLA, the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach, and SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol), with ELLs.
  • 3
    This introductory course will cover the following areas: definition of LD, reading problems, language deficits both oral and written, mathematics underachievement, social skills deficits, attention and behavioral problems, academic achievement, and comorbidity with other disabilities, prevalence, environmental factors, standardized, criterion referenced, informal reading, curriculum-based measurement, and testing. Educational approaches such as explicit instruction, content enhancement, and placement alternatives will be explored. Current issues and future trends in the field of LD will be discussed.
  • Capstone Experience – 6 credits
  • 6
    This culminating field-based teaching experience for elementary certification candidates affords the candidate with an opportunity to apply theory to practice, and to build upon the dispositions, understandings, knowledge and skills developed thus far in the program. The successful candidate does not leave the experience knowing fully "how to teach", but instead has a strong and balanced practice, and knows how to learn to teach---an important distinction given the dynamic nature of the field, and of our times. The successful candidate will demonstrate competence in all state and national initial teacher certification standards for elementary education professionals and document these competencies in a professional portfolio. Candidates will work with a University supervisor and field-based mentor teacher to determine a schedule for the experience that includes observation, co-teaching, and solo teaching. Four (4) observations will be conducted by the University supervisor. The mentor teacher provides daily feedback. Both will complete formal midterm and final evaluations of candidate's teaching. Participation in an online seminar is required of all teaching interns. There are three (3) options for scheduling 300 hours of the teaching internship experience: 1. a focused 300 hour (12 weeks) full-time public school placement approved by the Office of Educator Preparation. 2. a part-time (minimum 2 days per week) public school placement totaling 300 hours approved by the Office of Educator Preparation. 3. 300 hours integrated into the work responsibilities of an employed elementary education paraprofessional or professional, per approval of the employing school district and the Office of Educator Preparation. Candidates must submit passing Praxis II Scores to the University prior to registration.
  • Master’s Core Component (to be taken last) – 6 credits
  • 3
    Understanding the Imagination, Creativity and Innovation Continuum and its place in education and the work place, plays an increasingly important role in the success of learner and workers in our society. The ability to imagine or to conceive of something new, leading to the creation of new realities and possibilities that advance current practice in our classrooms, businesses and organizations in new and innovative ways is an essential skill set needed in the 21st century. Whether in a classroom of learners, a non-profit organization or the boardroom of a major corporation, imagination, creativity and innovation are an essential component of success, leading to increased engagement, ownership and vision in all that human beings touch. This course is an exploration of the important role imagination, creativity and innovation play in our everyday lives, seeking to demystify and honor the creative process, unlocking the power of possibility in each one of us.
  • 3

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    • Total for MEd in Elementary Education, K–8 Certification Concentration – 45 credits

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