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 inspiration in daily challenges
Tabetha Sullens combines graduate work at MTSU with membership on the faculty of Webb
School, Bell Buckle. She says, “Although the work has been challenging, my desire
for knowledge inspires me nightly to continue my studies and research. The experiences
within the Ed.S. online classes at MTSU provided me with a solid foundation and opportunity
to enhance my understanding of higher education, not only in an elementary, middle,
and high school administrative setting but also in a collegial one.” Sullens is working
on the specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process and researching
education trends. Her work has evolved to focus on the impact of social media and
technology on bullying. Sullens says the program has been quite beneficial to her
work as middle school head in “an extremely diverse boarding school environment.”
She praises the program for improving her daily work and is especially appreciative
of the director—Dr. Barbara Young—for her diligence and timely correspondence.
Tabetha Sullens / Spring 2018
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.
MTSU College of Graduate Studies
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:
- Educational support personnel
- Social workers
- Teacher aides
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
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 button to the right.
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 Ed.S., 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
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, mental processes, and contributions to neuroscience have on learning and teaching in general. Onsite options may be available for some courses.
Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.
Admission to the Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in culture, cognition and the learning process requires
- 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.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit three letters of recommendation;
- submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or copy of a valid Teaching license;
- submit official transcripts of all previous college work.
The Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction with an instruction, culture, cognition, and the learning process specialization requires completion of 30 semester hours.
Once admitted to the program, candidate must
- complete 30 semester hours, with a minimum of 15 at the 7000 level (see specifics in Curriculum section below);
- 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
The following illustrates the coursework requirements.
Required Core (15 hours)
FOED 7060 - Seminar in Educational Foundations
Opportunities to think reflectively and critically on the historical, philosophical, and psychological foundations of education and attendant implications.
FOED 7610 - Directed Individual Educational Research
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
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
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
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
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
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.
FOED 7080 - Contributions of Psychology to Education
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
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
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
Scope, sequence, organization, and priorities involved in the development of "continuity of educational experience" from kindergarten through grades 13-14.
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.
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.”
Rita Jane Jones / Fall 2017