• Explore the influence of culture on the way brains work
  • Dr. Barbara Young’s research looks at the impact of classroom diversity on Saudi women
  • The Ed.S. in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process is delivered online
  • Program turns to educational neuroscience to improve teaching and learning

Curriculum and Instruction, Ed.S.: Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process

Smells, memories, pain, learning—all these experiences and many more are made possible by just three pounds of tissue in our heads—the brain! This program is for all who would like to learn more about cultural diversity, mental processes, and cognitive/educational neuroscience and their impact on the exciting world of teaching and learning. What makes learning harder or easier? What actually is learning? What really happens when people learn? Should educators know something about the brains of the students sitting in their classrooms and what is happening—or not—and possible explanations about how this exciting mental process is occurring? The Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree in Curriculum and Instruction includes a specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process (CC/LP). This unique 30-hour, online degree program provides students with an opportunity to consider the impact and influence of educational neuroscience and cultural circumstances on teaching and on learning in general.

Program offers perfect view from past to future

Program offers perfect view from past to future

Teachers today walk into classrooms that parallel the demographic and cultural changes found in the world at large. “In today’s educational mirror, each moment in our day is filled with reflections of new theories and norms much different from our younger surroundings,” says Rita Jane Jones, a student pursuing MTSU’s Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process specialization in Curriculum and Instruction (CC/LP). “Our classrooms are filled with a bright array of languages and expectations from many cultures.” Jones explains further that the program is giving her “a perfect view from the past to our future. For me, this Ed.S. degree celebrates each human being where she/he is, combining teaching methods with social and cognitive applications of how we learn. I find each course truly inspiring. I especially appreciate the Brain-Based Learning, Multicultural Education, and Human Learning curriculum. Each of these classes helps me see with fresh eyes.” The program’s in-depth class offerings have given her tools to further her research toward equality and individual inclusion, Jones says. “I believe this program to be a lens, showing me many mindful opportunities to share and learn from each of our journeys.”

Director’s research and work focus on cultural diversity

Director’s research and work focus on cultural diversity

Dr. Barbara Young, program director and professor in the Womack Educational Leadership Department, pursues research and work that further the goals of the specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process. She will co-lead a project funded by a Tennessee Board of Regents Student Engagement, Retention, and Success grant for the 2016-17 academic year. The goal is to implement La Communidad @ MTSU,serving a targeted population that is underrepresented, composed of many first-generation college students, and part of an ethnic minority. In addition, Young, who joined the MTSU faculty in 1989, is the principal investigator in an ongoing research project involving Saudi women international graduate students who are studying at MTSU and interacting with Americans in a mixed-gender classroom environment for the first time—a situation significantly different from the segregated-gender environment of their homeland. “Both the TBR grant and the ongoing research project focus on cultural diversity and the teaching/learning process and are clearly aligned with existing intercultural and diversity initiatives at MTSU,” Young observes.

Every year more and more cultural diversity is present within society and the public school system. Current educational research into cognition and cultural issues considers this diversity and its impact upon the teaching and learning process. This online degree program provides educators and administrators as well as all personnel involved in the educational arena with an opportunity to study emerging research in cognition and to reflect upon the impact and influence that cultural circumstances have on learning and on teaching in general. Graduates are found in settings such as school systems, daycare facilities, and community centers in a variety of positions; examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Administrators
  • Counselors
  • Educational support personnel
  • Social workers
  • Teacher aides
  • Teachers

Employers of MTSU alumni in Tennessee include but are not limited to

  • Bedford County Schools
  • Coffee County Schools
  • Franklin City Schools
  • Franklin County Schools
  • Hamilton County Schools
  • Knox County Schools
  • Memphis School District
  • Metro/Davidson County Schools
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Tullahoma School District
  • Wilson County Schools

The Womack Educational Leadership Department offers the Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) with a major in Curriculum and Instruction and a specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process. This online degree program provides an opportunity to consider the impact and influence that cultural circumstances and mental processes have on learning and teaching in general.

Applicants must have

  • a satisfactory score on the Miller Analogies Test, the Graduate Record Examination, or the Praxis II (Principles of Learning and Teaching) or a valid teacher license;
  • an earned master’s degree from an accredited university or college;
  • a grade point average (GPA) in previous academic work that reflects potential for success in the Ed.S.;
  • a valid teaching license. The licensure requirement may be waived under special circumstances.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above. 

Other graduate degrees

An M.Ed. with a major in Curriculum and Instruction is offered; also available is a concentration in English as a Second Language.

In addition are both on- and off-campus cohorts.

The Womack Educational Leadership Department offers both the Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) with a major in Administration and Supervision. The specialization in Higher Education can lead to either an Ed.S. or M.Ed.

There is also an Instructional Leader Licensure program specialization delivered through off-campus cohorts meeting at various locations.

Also under the Administration and Supervision major is a concentration in Agricultural Education Leadership leading to the M.Ed.

The major in Library Science leads to a Master in Library Science (M.L.S.).

A major in Professional Counseling includes programs leading to an M.Ed., with concentrations also available in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling.

Curriculum and Instruction, Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process Specialization, Ed.S.

Barbara Young, Program Director
(615) 898-2209
Barbara.Young@mtsu.edu

The Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction major offers a specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process. This online degree program provides an opportunity to consider the impact and influence that cultural circumstances and mental processes have on learning and teaching in general. Onsite options are available for some courses.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in culture, cognition and the learning process requires

  1. a satisfactory score on the Miller Analogies Test, the Graduate Record Examination, or the Praxis II (Principles of Learning and Teaching) or a valid  Teacher license;
  2. an earned master’s degree from an accredited university or college;
  3. a grade point average (GPA) in previous academic work that reflects potential for success in the Ed.S.;
  4. a valid teaching license. The licensure requirement may be waived under special circumstances.

NOTE: Students pursuing an Ed.S. degree must be fully admitted to the program prior to the completion of their initial semester of coursework.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit three letters of recommendation;
  3. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or copy of a valid Teaching license;
  4. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.

Degree Requirements

Once admitted to the program, candidate must

  1. complete 30 semester hours, with a minimum of 15 at the 7000 level (see specifics in Curriculum section below);
  2. successfully complete a written comprehensive examination or research project during the semester of graduation (exam may be retaken once).

Curriculum: Curriculum and Instruction, Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process

Candidate must complete 30 hours in the following course of study:

Required Core (15 hours)

 

  • FOED 7060 - Seminar in Educational Foundations

    3 credit hours

    Opportunities to think reflectively and critically on the historical, philosophical, and psychological foundations of education and attendant implications.

  • FOED 7610 - Directed Individual Educational Research

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: SPSE 7010. It is recommended that this class be taken the semester following enrollment in SPSE 7010. Culmination of research sequence (FOED 6610 and SPSE 7010) which requires studying a professional educational problem through completing and presenting a research project.

  • SPSE 7010 - Educational Research Methodology

    3 credit hours

    Designing research studies, including development of understandings, as well as skills and techniques needed in gathering, structuring, interpreting and presenting data required for educational research. SPSE 7010 is a prerequisite for enrollment in FOED 7610, which is recommended to be taken the following semester.

  • SPSE 7020 - Classroom Management: Methods and Models

    3 credit hours

    Introduction, examination, and practice in approaches to classroom management through evaluation within a diverse setting. Research on classroom management and discipline within the classroom presented for analysis and interpretation. General topics include theories/models of discipline, management, organization, teacher behaviors, individual differences, and legal issues that impact the teaching and learning environment. Emphasis placed on importance of informed decision making and reflection in relation to classroom management and evaluation.

  • SPSE 7170 - Learning Theories and the Educational Process

    3 credit hours

    Examines the historical and current learning theoretical principles, concepts, and research findings as related to education in a variety of settings. Focuses on cognitive, behavioral, constructivist, and humanistic learning theorists, theories and applications.

*Note: SPSE 7010 is a prerequisite to FOED 7610

Specialized Core (12 hours)

 

  • SPSE 7710 - Historical and Social Contexts of Multicultural Education

    3 credit hours

    Explores the history of multicultural education, social policy, equity issues and legislation from the settling of America to the current national education initiatives that impact classrooms. Examines the relationship between societal influences, equity issues, and classroom practice in light of the cultural milieu and challenges existing in today’s classrooms.

  • SPSE 7720 - Brain-Based Teaching and Learning in the Classroom

    3 credit hours

    Focuses on applying brain-based learning principles in the classroom. Examines standard educational practices today in light of what we now know about the brain.

  • SPSE 7730 - Human Diversity in a Variety of Learning Environments

    3 credit hours

    Diversity issues such as race, ethnicity, and culture covered through issues that impact society in general and classroom dynamics (teaching/learning) in particular.

  • FOED 7080 - Contributions of Psychology to Education

    3 credit hours

    Concepts and generalizations of the various theories of psychology and their relationships to education in such areas as motivation, retention, evaluation, discipline, capacity, practice, understanding, transfer-creative thinking, problem solving, and methods of instruction.

Elective (3 hours)

Choose one from the following:

  • FOED 6211 - Educational Psychology for Classroom Teachers

    3 credit hours

    Examination of physical, social, emotional, and mental development of humans from birth to maturity. Basic theories of learning including behaviorism, constructivism, and humanism plus theories of motivating and facilitating learning processes in classroom settings.

  • FOED 6850 - Cultural Issues in Education

    3 credit hours

    Explores our unique American multiculture and fosters exploration of teaching for diversity while promoting unity. Explores basic components of multicultural education and aids educators in developing awareness, understanding, and sensitivity to the needs and interests of ethnic and cultural groups.

  • SPSE 7130 - The Curriculum: Structures and Functions

    3 credit hours

    Scope, sequence, organization, and priorities involved in the development of "continuity of educational experience" from kindergarten through grades 13-14.

Program Notes

Students taking courses for licensure renewal, add-on endorsements, or "plus 30" upgrade on teacher licensure should register as non-degree-seeking students. Students enrolling in 6000-level courses must hold a bachelor's degree, and students enrolling in 7000-level courses must hold a master's degree. Non-degree-seeking students cannot register for 7000-level courses without departmental permission.

Candidates must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the semester in which the student intends to graduate.

Contact and Student Information

Barbara Young
Barbara.Young@mtsu.edu
615-898-2209

Barbara Young
Barbara.Young@mtsu.edu
615-898-2209

Womack Educational Leadership Department

College of Graduate Studies

Department of Educational Leadership
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 91
Murfreesboro, TN 37132 

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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