American Pathways Univeristy

M.A. Course Descriptions

M.A. Concentration in Education Course Descriptions

EDU 501: Classroom Environments & School Culture

Principles, policies, procedures, and strategies for establishing a climate for success within the urban classroom, with the goal of the educator being breaking through negative perceptions and feelings and inspiring students to believe in themselves and engage in learning. Students will learn strategies ranging from developing an effective and welcoming physical classroom environment to establishing boundaries within the classroom, while inspiring students to learn and achieve. Students will develop a comprehensive plan for establishing a climate of support and success within their classrooms.


EDU 502: Relational Dynamics & Communication

Theories, strategies, and models for communicating with students in order to manage student behavior, developing effective conflict management, promoting student/teacher relationships, and encouraging the development of positive self-esteem. Praxis is considered for implementing such skills in the classroom environment and in student-teacher communication.


EDU 503: Cultural Awareness & Understanding

Understanding cultural differences, at-risk environments, and impoverished communities and developing strategies for scaffolding instruction for all learners, breaking through prejudices, and establishing a supportive and inclusive school culture.


EDU 504: Methods in Education I: Learning Outcomes, Standards, and Assessment

Methods of developing instruction driven by standards, course content, and student understanding through learning goals and plans, essential understandings, and assessments that show evidence of authentic learning, which will be further used to drive instruction and develop effective unit and lesson plans.


EDU 505: Methods in Education II: Student-Centered Learning & Instructional Methods

Researched and proven strategies for fostering learning through engaging and meaningful experiences; structures and best practices of inquiry-based, project-centered, and cooperative learning models for students, where students are at center stage and play a critical role in the instruction, discussion, and collaboration within the classroom; unit and lesson planning directly derived from state standards, desired learning outcomes, and evidence from assessment; developing meaningful and purposeful learning experiences that engage the learner in exploration, cooperation, and inquiry; use of information technology teaching tools by teachers in the classroom to excite and enhance learning.


EDU 506: Methods in Education III: Differentiated & Responsive Instruction

Sound pedagogy for meeting the needs of each student within the classroom, including those with special needs, those who are English language learners, and those with varying learning styles and intellectual abilities; learning to evaluate and recognize students who require differentiation and to respond with effective and meaningful instruction for each student within the classroom.


EDU 507: Advocacy & Student Support

Enhanced understanding of the needs of urban youth and the role of the educator in reaching and teaching each student; proven methodologies for influencing and encouraging students who may see little future for themselves in school or in life, including such critical elements of student advocacy and transformational support as mentorship, accountability, and relationship building; develop a future focus with students and establish college, training, and career plans to inspire and support students in believing in their own abilities and future.


LAS 590: Capstone Thesis: The Liberating Arts in Education

In addition to original research on a specific subject, students review, reflect, and apply learned knowledge from the liberal arts and education studies (theory, methods, praxis), consider their own experiences during coursework, and develop future plans for adaptation and implementation of crucial strategies. A capstone reflection  incorporates five components: (1) information from the liberating arts (i.e., liberal arts disciplines of social and physical sciences and the humanities, and educational literature); (2) reflection papers written for courses EDU 501 through EDU 507; (3) the student’s future plans for improving professional education practices and utilization of the liberal arts; (4) a statement of the student’s educational mission, including philosophy of education and values-based instruction and professional objectives; and (5) an Action Plan that establishes specific plans, procedures, and practices for implementation of components 1-4 in the classroom.

American Pathways Univeristy