Course Descriptions

Selected Course Descriptions

Political and Academic Issues Facing Gifted Students – This course has been designed to assist educators to understand the beliefs and misconceptions about the political, academic, social, and personal decisions related to gifted and high-ability students. This course is intended to uncover the reasons contributing to both the achievement and underachievement of gifted and high-ability students. Learning theories and teaching practices that contribute to nurturing and/or denying the realization of potential in gifted and all students will be examined for their implications to develop curriculum, improve pedagogical practices, and design the intellectual environment of a classroom. Relationships with peers, parents, community members, and policy makers that foster the multiple dimensions of gifted and high ability students of cultural, linguistic, and economic diversity are areas of study in this course. An outcome for course participants is to become an “educational leader” in the field of gifted education. Education leaders are defined as teachers of the gifted, coordinators of gifted services, counselors working with gifted students, curriculum developers, professional development consultants or advocates.

Differentiated Curriculum and Pedagogy for Gifted Students – While the major goal of the course is to recognize and nurture the talent and potential of gifted and high ability students, a concomitant goal of the course is to address how gifted education can provide the “spill-over effect,” or the means by which the tenets of gifted education can be generalized to affect the education of all students. The issue of the isolation versus impact of gifted education on general education is an ever-present concern. Differentiation of curriculum and pedagogy for gifted students provides the foundation for understanding what could constitute academic rigor, challenge, and advanced learning for ALL learners. The multiple elements and models proposed to design and implement differentiated curriculum and differentiated pedagogy will be emphasized to determine the answers to these questions: (a) What constitutes differentiated curriculum and instruction?, (b) How are differentiated curriculum and instruction developed and implemented?, and (c) How are differentiated and regular curriculum and instruction related? Acquiring the knowledge and the skills needed to articulate and design the progression from a regular or basic to a differentiated to an individualized curriculum is a primary outcome of this course.

Multimedia Literacy is designed to provide candidates with the opportunities to explore an emerging body of literature where media and communication studies converge with educators, researchers, and public policy makers. This course will prepare candidates to facilitate the convergence of students’ interests in communications, cultural studies, media production, and literacy education. This course will focus on a set of specific multimedia tools and seeks to increase candidates’ multimedia literacy skills to enable her/him to facilitate student learning using these tools.

The course will enable candidates to explore several types of multimedia and build an understanding of:

  • How each technology works;
  • How to exploit each tool to facilitate learning and increase student academic achievement; and
  • How to evaluate resources related to each form of multimedia literacy.