M.S. Curriculum and Instruction Areas of Study

WGU Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction

The Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction is a competency-based program and represents a path for K-12 educators and corporate trainers wishing to advance their knowledge and skills in the application of sound, empirically-based principles of education to their instructional setting: curriculum content and pedagogy. Intended to be practical, real-world, and application-based, the program revolves around four primary themes: Design, Evaluation, Problemsolving, and Instructional Leadership. These four pillars are the foundations of a sound, empirically based education that meet the needs of educational leaders in the 21st century. The principal competencies of this program area focus on knowledge, skills, and abilities in curriculum, instruction, and research fundamentals.

Curriculum and Instruction

Introduction to Curriculum Theory
For over 200 years, educators in the United States have debated the purpose of education. Should education be for enlightenment or to prepare students for the life of work? Should education be for many or for a select few? These questions continue to be debated today. Through curriculum theory and reflection, educators have an educational framework by which to understand how theory and one's philosophical views can impact the design, development, and implementation of curriculum and instruction. With this in mind, Introduction to Curriculum Theory focuses on exploring and applying an understanding of Scholar Academic, Social Efficiency, Learner Centered, and Social Reconstruction ideologies in various instructional settings and on the development on one’s own curriculum philosophy.

Learning Theories
Learning Theories focuses on the complexity of the current learning environment and how behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, and personal learning philosophy can assist in the development of appropriate curriculum and instruction.

Educational Psychology
Educational Psychology examines the latest findings in child and adolescent development and provides educators the opportunity to apply educational psychology to various instructional settings. Students will explore the areas of applied educational psychology to teaching, cognitive development, social development, and cultural development. They will design, develop, modify, and evaluate curriculum and instruction in various educational settings according to child/adolescent development.

Curriculum Design
Curriculum Design focuses on exploring curriculum design theory, educational standards, and design frameworks for what to teach. Together these topics will provide educators with the ability to take principles of curriculum design theory and related models and apply them when developing, designing, and modifying curriculum to meet learning needs in their instructional setting.

Curriculum Evaluation
Curriculum Evaluation focuses on exploring evaluation systems and student data to determine the effectiveness of curriculum. It also focuses on differentiating curriculum based on student data.

Assessment for Student Learning
Assessment for Student Learning focuses on developing the knowledge and skills to identify, develop, and design instrument tools for evaluating student learning. It also explores the use of objective and performance-based, formative, and summative assessments and their results in the evaluation of curriculum and instruction for student learning.

Differentiated Instruction
Differentiated Instruction focuses on developing and implementing curriculum and instruction that that best meets the needs of all learners within a given instructional setting.

Current and Emerging Technology

Instructional Theory
Instructional Theory focuses on exploring instructional design theory and related models and processes. Students will apply instructional design principles to the design and delivery of plans to meet the learning needs found in the instructional setting.

Research Fundamentals

Research Foundations
The Research Foundations course focuses on the essential concepts in educational research, including quantitative, qualitative, mixed, and action research; measurement and assessment; and strategies for obtaining warranted research results.

Research Questions and Literature Review
The Research Questions and Literature Reviews for Educational Research course focuses on how to conduct a thorough literature review that addresses and identifies important educational research topics, problems, and questions, and helps determine the appropriate kind of research and data needed to answer one's research questions and hypotheses.

Research Design and Analysis
The Research Design and Analysis course focuses on applying strategies for effective design of empirical research studies. Particular emphasis is placed on selecting or constructing the design that will provide the most valid results, analyzing the kind of data that would be obtained, and making defensible interpretations and drawing appropriate conclusions based on the data.

Research Proposals
Research Proposals focuses on planning and writing a well-organized and complete research proposal. The relationship of the sections in a research proposal to the sections in a research report will be highlighted.

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