Education Course Descriptions

All Education courses are listed below. Please choose from the menu at the left to access your area of educational study

Adult Education (ADTED)
Curriculum and Instruction (CI)
Educational Leadership (EDLDR)
Educational Psychology (EDPSY)
Educational Technology (EDTEC)
Education Theory & Policy (EDTHP)
Instructional Systems (INSYS)
Language and Literacy Education (LL ED)
Science Education (SCIED)
Special Education (SPLED)


Adult Education (ADTED) Courses

ADTED 505 - The Teaching of Adults (3) Examination of direct and indirect teaching; contracts, application of current technology, andragogy, motivation, evaluation; knowledge of research.

Curriculum and Instruction (C I ) Courses

C I 400 - Introduction to Research Literature (3) Introduction to research literature and methodology; stress on interpretation, sources, and research reporting.

C I 501 - Teaching As Inquiry (3) Teachers develop systematic inquiries into effective teaching and learning. May be substituted for CI 400.

C I 550 - Overview of Contemporary School Curriculum (3) Current school programs and options and their impact on pupils; problems in introducing new content into the curriculum.

C I 595 - Internship in Curriculum, Supervision, or Instruction (3) Internship in schools or other educational settings under supervision of graduate faculty in student’s area of specialization.

C I 596 - Individual Studies (1-9) Creative projects including nonthesis research, supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

C I 597 - Special Topics:  Assessment Strategies for 21st Century Teaching (3) Practical strategies for teaching (with a focus on inquiry) and their related modes of assessment, as well as current implementation strategies as they relate to national and local education standards and achieving literacy in the content areas.  Participants acquire useful information that they can immediately use in their own classrooms.  The course includes in-depth discussion of assessment topics as they relate directly to the teaching of science, mathematics, social studies, and English.

Educational Leadership (EDLDR)

EDLDR 405 - Strategies in Classroom Management (3) Managing and coping with disruptive student behavior in instructional settings so that they support the teaching/learning process.

EDLDR 480 - Introduction to Educational Leadership (3) Development of educational leadership. Relationships among local, state, and federal agencies.Introduction to current concepts and theories.

EDLDR 530 - Leadership for Inclusive Education (3) In-depth analysis and discussion of the school leader's role in creating and sustaining an inclusive learning environment for all.

EDLDR 533 - The Politics of Local School Districts (3) Theory and practice of the politics and governance of local school districts; issues and methods in studying political decision making.

EDLDR 540 - Technology Applications in Educational Leadership (3) Development and use of information technology applications to analyze common problems faced by educational administrators.

EDLDR 551- Curriculum Design: Theory and Practice (3) The analysis and use of the foundations which underlie models of curriculum design.

EDLDR 559 - School Improvement (3) The course examines how educational leaders at all levels can determine, promote, support, and achieve successful school improvement.

EDLDR 560 - Principles of Instructional Supervision (3) Social and institutional settings for instructional supervision; functions, activities, and practices of supervision; supervisory case studies.

EDLDR 562 - Methods of Classroom Supervision and Coaching (3) Strategies and techniques for supervision/coaching of instruction intended to enhance teacher reflection, self-direction, and autonomy.

EDLDR 563 - Designing Staff Development Programs (3) Designing, implementing, and evaluating effective staff development programs for personnel in educational settings.

EDLDR 568 - The Principalship (3) Principles and practices of administration of elementary and secondary schools.

EDLDR 576 - The Law and Education (3) Legal bases for education; rights and responsibilities of school board member, administrators, teachers, students and parents; due process.

EDLDR 579 - Financial Management for Schools (3) Financial management concepts and techniques for educators: district and school level budgeting process, hands-on budget preparation workshop, and budget management.

EDLDR 595 - Internship (3) Guided experience in a school or other educational organization in which the student is not regularly employed, under supervision of a graduate faculty member.

EDLDR 596 - Individual Studies (1-9) Creative projects including nonthesis research, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

ED:DR 597 - Special Topics:  Leadership for Effective Professional Learning (3) (Formerly EDLDR 563).  This course has been designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the process of professional development in education at the theoretical and practical levels as well as the ability to apply this understanding to the design, evaluation, and analysis of professional development activities and programs.  Through an examination of current literature and interaction with practicing professionals, students will have the opportunity to examine, critique, and develop professional development plans that fit into the contexts of the school systems and state mandates.

EDLDR 597 - Special Topics: Collaborative Mentorship and Coaching (3) Major concepts and research involved in the theory and practice of successful collaborative peer-coaching and mentorship in school districts.

Educational Psychology (EDPSY) Courses

EDPSY 421 - Learning Processes in Relation to Educational Practices
(3) An introduction to the empirical study of variables and conditions that influence school learning.

EDPSY 526 - The Psychology of Reading (3) Psychological principles underlying the process of reading and comprehending, with application to instruction.

Educational Theory And Policy (EDTHP) Courses

EDTHP 411 - Ethics Minorities and Schools in United States (3) Analysis of the social and cultural factors which affect educational outcomes among minority pupils, especially blacks, Hispanics, and Indians.

Instructional Systems (INSYS) Courses

EDTEC 448 -Using the Internet in the Classroom (3) Methods and models of using the Internet effectively in classrooms. PSU World Campus delivery.

EDTEC 566 - Computers as Learning Tools (3) Amplifying thinking or organizing mental functions with computers.

INSYS 415 - Systematic Instructional Development (3) Use of a systematic model for analyzing instructional problems and developing solutions.

INSYS 441 - Design, Development, and Evaluation of Internet Resources (3) Design, production, and evaluation of instructional materials for delivery on the Internet.

INSYS 447 - Instructional Design for Multimedia Technologies (3) State of the art multimedia technology hardware such as interactive video, CD-ROM and digitizing audio and video.

INSYS 471 - Introduction to Educational Systems Design (3) Systems theory and how components of educational systems interact; insights on current issues and models in Educational System Design.

INSYS 497 - Special Topics: Socioeconomic Difference and Education (3).  The overall goal of this course is for students to gain a better understanding of how socioeconomic difference affects education from a programming perspective; understand the correlation between lower socioeconomic status and individual issues such as lower literacy skills, lack of access to information, and continued education; and, explore ways those working in educational settings can recognize the effects of socioeconomic difference in their own work setting and be more attentive to this group in practice.

INSYS 497 - Special Topics: Literacy, Learning, and Creativity: Digital Storytelling with New Media (3).  What is new media?  How do you create digital stories?  How can you learn through digital stories?  This course will introduce you to how new media is used to enhance literacy, learning, and creativity.  We will explore the use of online open source tools to tell, produce, and publish digital stories - a new type of media literacy.

INSYS 497 - Special Topics: Social Networking Media: Web 2.0 Tools for Learning (3). This course introduces many social networking tools including blogs, wikis, podcasts, and social bookmarking. You will create your own social network, research and reflect through the use of these new tools, and plan for the implementation of social networking.

INSYS 497 - Special Topics: Dynamic Modeling as a Constructivist Mindtool (3) Dynamic modeling is an emerging technology that has become indispensable in some work settings, for example, weather forecasting. This course is both a seminar of the modeling research related to learning but also provides hands-on applications with STELLA, the industry standard modeling tool. The enduring understandings of this course revolve on how the tool affects student attention and engagement. Students create a dynamic model final project that directly applies to their real-world education/training professional practice.

INSYS 497 - Special Topics: Facilitating Organizational Change Through Workplace Learning and Development (3) The role of designer, trainer, consultant, or manager in the process of defining and facilitating change. Key concepts of change and their impact on the design and implementation of learning interventions in organizations including both theoretical underpinnings and practical models for change and proven strategies for leading individual and organizational change.

INSYS 497 - Special Topics: Designing Multimedia and Web Interfaces for the Workplace (3) Design of multimedia, Web and other technology product interfaces for greater usability by their intended audiences leading to abilities to oversee or work with a team to develop Web and multimedia projects and enhance usability and functionality. The course does not teach the use of software to create advanced products on your own. Such courses can be found in other departments at Penn State Great Valley.

INSYS 497 - Special Topics: Leveraging Curriculum, Assessment, and Technology in the Classroom (3) As a result of the No Child Left Behind legislation, all educators face new levels of accountability. Software allows educators to aggregate and disaggregate student performance data on multiple measure (e.g. state and district assessments, as well as classroom assessments linked to standards) to determine what works for each child over time. The powerful performance resources available from Microsoft, Edmin, and Scantronis used to help teachers make informed decisions to improve student performance.

INSYS 497 - Special Topics: Technology-Based Lesson Planning and Student Evaluation (3) Integrating technology into any lesson requires skill with the technology. But more critically, many deeper issues must be considered and balanced in order to make good instructional decisions, and these are the enduring understandings of this course. Types of available technology are reviewed and critiqued.

INSYS 521 - Instructional Systems Analysis (3) Conducting needs analysis, performance analysis, task analysis, learner analysis, and environmental analysis in preparation for instructional design.

INSYS 522 - Analyzing Outcomes and Learners (3) Analyzing instructional outcomes, analyzing tasks, and writing objectives for the instructional design; analyzing learners characteristics.

INSYS 525 - Instructional Design Models, Strategies, and Tactics (3) Application of instructional design models and design of appropriate instructional strategies and tactics.

INSYS 527 – Designing Constructivist Learning Environments (3) Designing learning environments based on constructivist principles of learning that provide modeling, coaching, and scaffolding.

INSYS 551 - Performance Technology for Instructional Designers (3) Methods of identifying human performance problems in organizations and developing instructional and non-instructional interventions.

INSYS 553 - Managing and Consulting for Instructional Development (3) Knowledge and skills in managing and coordinating an instructional development project and consulting with subject matter experts and clients.

INSYS 575 - Designing Experimental Research in Instructional Systems (3) Designing research studies in Instructional Systems of a quantitative and experimental nature resulting in a research proposal.

INSYS 590 - Colloquium (1-3) A structured opportunity for students to complete a research-based literature review and presentation on the topic of the student's choice.

INSYS 595 - Internship (3) Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction, including field experiences, practicums, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.

INSYS 596 - Individual Studies:  Design Apprenticeship (3) Creative projects, including nonthesis research, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

INSYS 597 - Special Topics: Designing Advanced e-Learning Solutions (3) Students design robust e-learning solutions that address a variety of real-life instructional, technological, and organizational needs. This skill set is vital for in-house e-learning professionals as they are often called on to define broad strategies in response to organizational needs, write Requests for Proposal (RFPs), and evaluate vendor proposals. It is also critical for external e-learning consultants as they are often called upon to generate proposals in response to RFPs, present and defend their design ideas, and drive the development process.

INSYS 597 - Special Topics:  Learning Technology in E-Learning Solutions (3)  This design strategies course helps you work out your strategic thinking muscles and tap into your design creativity.  You will develop and present a design strategy proposal that incorporates e-learning.  Our emphasis will be on high-level design strategies and approaches that can be applied to the design of a blended curriculum, not merely to a single course.

INSYS 597 - Special Topics: Current Topics in LearningTechnology (3)

In this design strategies course, students  develop and present an e-learning proposal.  Students analyze an organizational performance problem and how to apply a solution that optimizes the effectiveness and efficiency of learning, leveraging instructional technologies in combination with innovative instructional approaches.  The emphasis is on high-level design strategies that can be applied to the design of a blended curriculum, not merely to a single course.

Language and Literacy Education (LL ED) 

LL ED 450 - Content Area Reading (3) Study of reading skills and materials for specific content areas; diagnostic and instructional procedures for classroom teachers.

LL ED 497 - The Art of the Picture Book (3) How to assist children to find meaning in picture books.

LL ED 497 - Fantasy Literature for Children (3) Examines work by writers of classic fantasies (H.C. Andersen, A. A. Milne, etc.) written for children, as well as the work of contemporary authors (J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, etc.). Looks at the role of imagination in the lives of children.

LL ED 500 - The Reading and Writing Classroom (3) Analysis of reading and writing processes and the development of integrated language arts programs for elementary schools.

LL ED 501 - Teaching Writing in Elementary and Secondary Schools (3) In-depth examination of writing development and the development of writing components of language arts programs K-12.

LL ED 502 - Studies in Literature for Children (3) Study of various genres of children's literature from various critical perspectives. Emphasis on role of literature in children's lives.

LL ED 512 - Teaching Language, Literacy, and Literature in Secondary Schools (3) Collaborative inquiry into the curricular design and experience of language, literacy, media, and literature in adolescents' personal and social lives.

LL ED 541 - Adolescent and Children's Literature Related to Ethnic and Social Issues (3) Literature, K-12; study of literary symbolism, ethnic literature, issues, e.g., sex, death, adoption, divorce in trade books.

LL ED 544 - Cross-Cultural Research in Bilingual Education (3) Analysis of cross-cultural research methodology in bilingual education.

LL ED 545 - Literacy and Language Assessment for Instructional Decisions (3) Diagnosis of reading difficulties; genesis of reading problems; achievement, diagnostic, and capacity tests; application in simulation activities.

LL ED 550 - Theory and Practicum in Assessment and Remediation of Reading Difficulties (3) Links theory and practice in supervised practicum involving design and analysis of appropriate assessment and instructional procedures for elementary and secondary students.

LL ED 595A - Practicum: Remedial Procedures and Diagnosis (3) Advanced practicum; diagnostic testing and remedial instruction of more severe types of reading disability; supervisory experiences, if appropriate.

LL ED 596 - Individual Studies/Master's Paper (1-9) Creative projects, including nonthesis research, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

LL ED 597 - Special Topics (3) Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently.

LL ED 597 - Special Topics:  Myth and Folklore for Children
(3) Myth as something alive in the human psyche- a means by which we make sense of our lives and the workings of the cosmos.

LL ED 597 - Special Topics: Issues in Teaching Reading, Writing to English Language Learners (3) This course is designed to provide insight into the issues English Language Learners (ELL's) face when learning to read and write in English.  Topics discussed in this course include:  theories of second language acquisition, curriculum methods fore teaching ELL's, types of language programs available, and academic and sociocultural aspects of language learning.  Course participants also read about and discuss ELL populations in their own community and the wider US context.

Science Education (SCIED) Courses

SCIED 551 - History, Philosophy, & Sociology of Science and Science Teaching (3) Examination of the implications of history, philosophy, and sociology of science for science teaching.

SCIED 558 - Research Problems in Science Teaching (3) Problems and research dealing with curriculum, materials, evaluation, and supervision of science teaching and learning.

SCIED 596 - Individual Studies/Research Project (1-9) Each student carries out a faculty-supervised applied research project (e.g., software development and testing, mini-course development and evaluation, or classroom-based action research). For more information on the M.Ed. project, please consult the Curriculum and Instruction's Master's Program Guide. Master's degree candidates are encouraged to expand and enhance their science content backgrounds.

SCIED 597 - Special Topics:  Motivation and Science Learning (3) A review of motivational theories and perspectives concerning the teaching and learning of science with emphasis on gender, racial, and cross-cultural issues in students' engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

SCIED 597 - Special Topics:  Astrobiology for Everyone (3) This course is designed to introduce K-12 teachers to current research in the field of astrobiology and to help teachers use this exciting topic to engage students in scientific inquiry.  Participants will create a definition for a living organism, collect data on an anaerobic environment thriving with microbes, and debate the rarity of our planet as they learn about the co-evolution of Earth and life.  Teachers will explore how our understanding of the requirements of life has changed over the past 30 years, and learn how current research is revealing an ever-greater diversity of life.  Scientists will share the latest research about the rise of oxygen on Earth, extreme conditions in which life exists, and plans for NASA's search for life in the universe.

SCIED 597 - Special Topics: Astronomy for Teachers (3) Promotion of astronomy phenomena focusing on physical concepts, laws, and conceptual models and the curricular content needs of elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Includes physical and computer models, inquiry activities, sky stories (ancient and modern), and historical case studies.

SCIED 597 - Special Topics: Science Education Curriculum (3) Science curriculum theory, analysis, and design. Classes are split between a graduate seminar and in-class curriculum tasks examining critical reading and discussion of reviews and current research in science curriculum. In-class curriculum tasks engage students collaboratively in work related to curriculum organization, analysis, evaluation, and design. The last class meetings are devoted to curriculum design projects. Participants develop and evaluate original curriculum materials.

SCIED 597 - Special Topics: Environmental Science Education (3) Environmental science education and science education research. Students conduct research on environmental science education, develop skills in investigative methods appropriate to that research and assist each other in developing complementary projects of educational research and development with an environmental focus.

SCIED 597 - Special Topics: Science Content for Teachers - Food Science (3) Using everyday kitchen and food items to teach basic concepts in life and physical sciences. Participants explore science content and develop a portfolio of inquiry-based activities aligned to the national and state standards for teaching science. The course was developed in collaboration with scientists at Penn State, and designed to help teachers master essential science concepts and principles and become more confident in teaching science.

SCIED 597 - Special Topics: Strategies for Science Teaching & Assessment (3) The examination and selection of science curriculum materials and assessments as well as current implementation strategies as they relate to national and local science education standards. The course includes evaluating and reformulating materials for relevance to various grade level classrooms.

SCIED 597 - Special Topics: The Nature of Science and Evolution (3) In light of recent controversies regarding the teaching of evolution in our nation's schools, this course  provides teachers with a solid, scientifically-based foundation of the nature of science and evolution. This course examines the nature of scientific inquiry and the study of evolution as they relate to the teaching of science at the K-12 level. The course aligns content and activities to national and local standards. Topics include Darwin's theory of natural selection, evidence for evolution, the processes of evolution, addressing students' misconceptions, and how to handle controversy.

SCIED 597 - Special Topics:  Science Content for K-12 School Teachers - FOSS & STC Kits for K-2 (3)  This differentiated course assists teachers to evaluate eligible content/assessment anchors for the Science PSSA and Keystone Examinations in Biology and Chemistry using FOSS and STC Kits.  The course covers essential science concepts and science process skills using several kits in order to help teachers become more competent in teaching vertically articulated content K-12.  The course also addresses research related to cognitive development and learning theory, pedagogical content, inquiry and assessment strategies, as well as management and integration with math and language arts.

Special Education (SPLED)

SPLED 401 - Motivating Exceptional Learners (4) Group and individual techniques to promote student task engagement and prosocial behavior. Prerequisite: SPLED 425

SPLED 402 - Human Rights: Historical and Current Issues in Special Education (3) Litigation, legislation, regulation, and advocacy issues impacting on educational and related services for individuals with academic and/or physical disabilities. Prerequisite: SPLED 425

SPLED 404 - Working with Families and Professionals in Special Education (3) Strategies for productive interactions between special educators and others such as colleagues, employers, parents, service providers, professionals, and students.

SPLED 409A - Fundamental Literacy Skills for Students with Special Needs (3) Effective reading curriculum and teaching methodstoteach students with special needs. Prerequisite: SPLED 425 concurrent SPLED 401

SPLED 409B - Writing and Content Literacy for Students with Special Needs (3) Effective curriculum and materials for teaching writing and content literacy to students with special needs. Prerequisite: SPLED 425concurrent SPLED 401

SPLED 409C - Mathematics Instruction for Students with Special Needs (3) Research-based practices for teaching mathematics skills to students with special needs. Prerequisite: SPLED 425 concurrent SPLED 401

SPLED 411 - Intervention for Students with Severe Disabilities (3) Assessment, teaching strategies, curricula, materials, and assistive techniques for use with individuals having severe disabilities (mental and physical).

SPLED 412 - Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities (4) Appropriate teaching strategies, curriculum sequences, and materials selection and evaluation for children with mild special needs. Prerequisites:SPLED 401 ,409, and 454

SPLED 425 - Foundations of Special Education, Etiologies, Law, and Implications for Practice (4) An introduction to exceptional individuals being served in special education programs across the life span.

SPLED 454 - Assessment for Instruction (4) Orientation to evaluation of special students with emphasis on the creation, use, and interpretation of teacher-made assessment procedures.

SPLED 495E - Experience With Exceptional Children (3) Supervised activities with exceptional children in a variety of possible settings, e.g., schools, institutions, day care centers, vocational settings.

SPLED 497 - Special Topics: Autism/Pervasive Development Disorder - An Educational Perspective (3) This course is designed to provide an understanding and overview of Autism/Pervasive Development Disorder teaching strategies and current trends in programming.

SPLED 501 - Administration and Supervision of Educational Programs for Exceptional Children (3) Problems connected with the instituting and organizing of classes for atypical children; the legal phases, finances, teaching personnel, pupil personnel, housing, equipment, courses of study, curriculum, etc.

SPLED 510 - Problems in the Education of the Mentally Retarded (3) Study of existing curriculums, instructional practices, educational programs, experimentation in curriculum building and materials construction.

SPLED 530 - Problem in Education of the Learning Disabled (3) Review of the research and theoretical implementation in the educational and behavioral management of learning disabled children.

SPLED 570 - Problem in Education of the Emotionally Disturbed (3) Current issues, methods, and problems associated with the education of the emotionally/behaviorally disturbed.

SPLED 573 -Introduction to Research in Special Education (3) A seminar to review and design research in special education.

SPLED 575 - Grant-Proposal Development in Special Education (3) Grant development and proposal writing techniques for submission and funding by student researchers.

SPLED 594 - Research Topics (1-15) Supervised student activities on research projects identified on an individual or small-group basis.

SPLED 595A - Practicum (3) Supervised clinical experience on campus in University-managed diagnostic and remedial settings. Prerequisite: SPLED 401 , 409, 411, 412, 425 and 454.

SPLED 595B - Field Experiences in Off-Campus Laboratories (3-6) Supervised off-campus field experiences in selected laboratory settings with exceptional children. Prerequisite: SPLED 595A . (For certification students)

SPLED 595C - Internship in Special Education Supervision (3) Internship in day/residential school setting under supervision of field supervisor and University faculty.

SPLED 596 - Individual Studies (1-9) Creative projects, including nonthesis research, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

SPLED 597 - Special Topics: Evidence-based Instruction for Adolescents with Learning Difficulties:  The Strategic Intervention Model (3) Evidence-based instructional techniques to use in general and special education classrooms with adolescents with learning difficulties, including content enhancements and learning strategies.  These instructional routines and learning strategies have been developed and validated through the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning.

SPLED 597 - Special Topics: Advanced Grant Writing (3) Advanced skills in writing grant proposals for Federal/State, foundation, and corporate marketplaces as well as administrative strategies needed to successfully implement grants.

SPLED 597 - Special Topics: Legal Issues in Special Education (3) Federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing the provision of services to students with disabilities.  Provides skills to 1) identify legal issues pertaining to students with disabilities; 2) accurately reference legal doctrine relevant to the issues pertaining to students with disabilities; 3) consider the legal ramifications of decisions made by special educators; and 4) apply knowledge of laws and processes to education.

SPLED 597 - Special Topics: Advanced Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis (3) Applied behavior analysis provides teachers of children with disabilities with data regarding the functional relationships between child behavior and the environment to discover the function of problem behavior using a variety of methodologies.These assessments allow the development, implementation, and evaluation of behavior management programs for children with disabilities who display problematic behaviors.

SPLED 597 - Special Topics: Content Enhancement for Secondary Students (3) This course for middle and high school teachers presents effective methods for teaching content to academically diverse classes. Participants learn how to use the Content Enhancement Curriculum, a set of routines developed by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning in order to plan and deliver academic content in ways that improve all students' ability to organize, understand, and remember critical information. The teaching devices and routines are developed and used with the explicit goals of:meeting the needs of both the group and the individual;maintaining the integrity of the content; selecting the critical features of the content;transforming the content in ways that promote student learning; and carrying out instruction in a partnership with students. Students need to bring textbook(s) or curriculum materials from courses/content they teach beginning the first day of this week-long course.

SPLED 597 - Special Topic (3) Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently.

SPLED 600 - Thesis Research (1-6) Completion of thesis research.