Study Format

  • Online
  • On Campus
  • Hybrid

Program Length

  • 30 Credit Hours
  • 24 Months

Application Deadlines

Apr, 29

Domestic Students

Summer 2024 Application Due | Classes Start May 6,2024

Mar, 13

International Students

Summer 2024 Completed File Due | Classes Start May 6, 2024

Concordia University Chicago's Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction provides graduate candidates with an innovative, world-class learning experience. Courses are taught by experienced education leaders and scholars, who assist candidates throughout a rigorous degree track by stressing the importance of integrity, competence and servant leadership.

Faculty methods utilize the latest technology and engage students through real-world applications using multiple instructional models. We establish a critical theoretical and practical approach for well-rounded learning environments which prepare candidates for success in the field of education today and tomorrow for education leaders.

The master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction is directed toward the preparation of master classroom teachers. The program enables teachers to increase mastery of curriculum methodology, pedagogy and theoretical applications and apply these skills to their teaching to achieve a deeper penetration into subjects, enhance understanding of the learner and the process of education, and become a resource person for curriculum development.

In addition to the overall mission and vision of the Concordia University Chicago graduate programs, candidates will acquire the following knowledge and competencies in the Curriculum and Instruction program:

  • Have a proactive approach to the principles, practices, and problems in school reading programs with an emphasis on application of current theory and research.
  • Be knowledgeable of curriculum models and theories and the selection and organization of learning experiences. Learn to investigate of contemporary types of curriculum organization, factors affecting curriculum, and pertinent research.
  • Examine contemporary educational issues in the United States. Obstacles and challenges faced by educators. Explore basic assumptions and social forces that influence current educational policy making and reform.
  • Develop knowledge and skills regarding effective teaching and instruction. Thoroughly analyze current and emerging research in pedagogy.
  • Understand effective teacher leadership in classrooms, schools, and other social institutions. Comparative educational systems, organizational theory, and school change and reform processes.
  • Develop and organize curriculum to facilitate acquisition, maintenance and generalization of skills for students with special needs. Instructional planning and design based on knowledge of learning needs, pedagogy and curriculum goals.
  • Examine and apply action research in educational settings. Focus on development of basic action research skills for improved teacher practice. Development of skills for interpreting published research is also emphasized.
  • Examine major perspectives of cognitive development throughout the life span, including the developmental and information processing approaches. Explore the implications for work with various age groups in educational and other settings.

Throughout the program, candidates will be required to integrate their new knowledge, skills and instructional practices into their current educational settings. At the completion of all coursework candidates for the master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction are required to complete a capstone assessment that demonstrates their understanding of content and theory, and their ability to apply this new knowledge to practice.

Program Information

Core: 15 hours

Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction

The course examines the philosophical, historical, social, and psychological foundations in education and their impact on teacher practice in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Curriculum Construction

Educational objectives and the selection and organization of learning experiences. Investigation and analysis of curriculum development. Enhanced theoretical perspectives as they relate to the process of curriculum. A thorough explanation of pertinent research, curricula issues, and the completion of a curriculum project.

Assessment, Evaluation, and Data-Driven Decision Making

This course will enable teacher leaders to examine assessment as a system of integrated assessment practices in various educational settings. Integrity is fostered as students learn about the elements necessary for an assessment system to be one of high fidelity. This course lays the foundation of a school-improvement conceptual framework upon which assessment systems are designed. Students become competent in the purposes of assessment, assessment cycles, data analysis and how assessment and data can be used to make academic decisions to enhance and improve student achievement. Servant Leadership skills are developed and nurtured as students become more aware of their roles in fostering the assessment literacy of teachers, staff, and other stakeholders in education settings.

Teacher as Practitioner

Knowledge and skills regarding effective teaching and instruction. Analysis of current and emerging research in pedagogy.

Teacher as Leader

This course promotes effective teacher leadership in classrooms, schools and other social institutions. Course content examines comparative educational systems, organizational theory, and school change and reform processes.

Electives: 9 hours (select 3)

Instructional Methods of the Differentiated Classroom

Candidates will develop the knowledge and skills of how to build a democratic learning community inclusive of a broad set of effective teaching strategies. Through this process, the candidates will learn to shape and maintain learning conditions that facilitate effective differentiated instruction, including effective classroom management as an ongoing, maintenance-oriented process which involves motivating students to learn, providing appropriate instruction and feedback, and managing student work.

Providing Instructional Support

This course aims to instruct teacher leaders about the distributed nature of professional development; provide a theoretical understanding about concepts of induction, retention and resilience; help manage the anxiety common to new teachers; and develop and apply a teacher support plan based on a case study of their choosing among several case studies provided in the course. These theories and strategies will be practically implemented through the development of an individual action plan that focuses on providing instructional support for teachers.

Integrating Technology Across the Curriculum

This course is an introduction to the disciplined practice of integrating technology into teaching and learning. It provides an overview of current instructional technologies and theory-based design strategies for effectively using these technologies.

Studies in Literacy and Multiliteracies

Examination of the correlates of effective literacy instruction. Emphasis on application of current theory and research in literacy and multiliteracies as it applies to P-12 classrooms. Not open to candidates in the M.A. Reading program.

Socially, Culturally, & Linguistically Diverse Students

This course seeks to prepare teachers for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students and to explore issues of language and culture involved in teaching diverse and/or marginalized students in American schools.

Special Education Curriculum & Pedagogy

Information and skills necessary to develop and organize curriculum to facilitate acquisition, maintenance and generalization of skills for students with special needs. Instructional planning and design based on knowledge of the disability, pedagogy and curriculum goals.

Issues and Trends in Curriculum & Instruction

This graduate course explores in-depth/emerging topics and issues in curriculum and instruction. It maintains a consistent disciplinary framework while the content changes each term.

Trauma-Informed Pedagogy

This course focuses on best practices in trauma-informed pedagogy to address the needs of students experiencing trauma, which can interfere with learning and interpersonal relations. This course explores the impact of the following dimensions of trauma on children – social, emotional, physical, and academic.

Capstone Experience

A master’s capstone is required for all master of arts candidates. This culminating project highlights the candidate’s mastery of content throughout his or her studies. Capstones are traditionally a summary of work demonstrating overall growth and specific understandings of the professional standards. The capstone serves as a performance-based evaluation and promotes reflective practice. It also demonstrates the professional’s proficiency in integrating technology and his or her ability to interpret theory into practice.

Teacher as Researcher

Principles of teacher research. Focus on development of basic research skills to carry out action research, self-study, or other practitioner research projects with the goal of improved teacher practice. Skills for interpreting published research are also emphasized.

Seminar in Reflective Practice

A capstone seminar that explores teaching as a reflective practice. Reflection on one's own beliefs and assumptions as they relate to teaching and learning.

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