Education

Faculty
  • Associate Professors Mackler, Spencer (Chair); Assistant Professor Mulryan; Lecturers Masciantonio, Shady.

  • The study of education is interdisciplinary and can spark profound insights about one’s own educational experience and about practices and functions of education in society. It can also prepare students for a wide range of work in education after graduation: not only teaching in a range of settings (public or private schools, schools in foreign countries, programs like Teach for America, museums and other institutions), but also careers and/or graduate study in fields such as education policy, social justice, education law, higher education, and counseling.

    The Education department offers:
    1) an Educational Studies major, consisting of 36 credits;
    2) a teaching certification program that leads to state licensure to teach specific academic subjects, mostly for grades 7–12 but in some cases for grades K–12. Certification students major in the subject they intend to teach and take 38 credits in the Education department, including student teaching. (They may also earn the Educational Studies major as a second major with the addition of eight credits in the Education department. See details below).
    3) a minor in Educational Studies, consisting of 20 credits.

    For all students, including those who might be interested in taking a course or two, the department brings a rigorous, liberal arts approach to the study of education, including a focus on the social, political, cultural, historical, and philosophical contexts in which teaching and learning take place. Education students apply academic learning to educational problems and practices, in schools as well as society.

    Requirements for Majors

    Educational Studies majors must earn a minimum of 36 credits as follows:

    • Core/foundational courses: EDUC-100, 265, 280, and EDUC/PHIL-310W;
    • Four electives from among the following: EDUC-270, 290, 320, 330, 346, 350W, 375, 380; PSYC-240, 340, 342. Students may receive departmental permission to substitute a different non-EDUC course, not on this electives list, if they provide compelling evidence for its relevance to the major. No more than two courses taken outside of the Education department can count toward the major.
    • EDUC-450. This course fulfills the oral presentation requirement.
    • Students pursuing honors should also register for EDUC-491 and EDUC-492 in succession.
    • Students who complete the teaching certification program and take two additional courses may earn the Educational Studies major; see details under “Requirements for Teacher Certification.”

    Students fulfill their writing requirement by taking EDUC-310W, and fulfill the oral requirement and major capstone by taking EDUC-450.

    Requirements for Teaching Certification

    Ursinus College is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to offer initial Pennsylvania state certification (transferable to more than forty other states), to teach in the following subject areas and grade levels:

    • Chemistry (7–12)
    • Physics (7–12)
    • Biology (7–12)
    • General Science (7–12) (offered only in conjunction with Biology, Chemistry or Physics certification)
    • Mathematics (7–12)
    • English (7–12)
    • Social Studies (7–12)
    • Latin (PK–12)
    • German (PK–12)
    • French (PK–12)
    • Japanese (PK–12)
    • Spanish (PK–12)
    • Environmental Education (PK-12)  
    • Health and Physical Education (PK–12)

    NOTE: The department does not offer certification in elementary education (though as noted above, some subject area certifications span grades PK–12).

    To pursue one of these subject area certifications, students must major in that subject and complete 38 credits in the Education department as follows:

    • Core/foundational courses: EDUC-100, 265, and 320;
    • Methodological courses: EDUC-350W, 360 (two credits), 375, and 443 (two credits) (Students seeking certification in Health and Physical Education are required to complete HEP-355 and 356 instead of EDUC-350W and 443.)
    • EDUC-453 (student teaching, 12 credits) and 454 (two credits).

    Teaching certification students must also meet various criteria, including required grade point averages (cumulative, subject area department, and Education), standardized test scores, and recommendations from the subject area department and the Education department, in order to be 1) admitted into the program (typically at the end of sophomore year); 2) approved for a pre-student teaching field placement in EDUC-443 (junior year); 3) admitted to student teaching (senior year); and to receive approval for state certification. See the Education department website for more specific details on requirements at each stage of the program, as well as recommended course sequences.

    Students pursuing the teaching certification program may also earn the Educational Studies major as a second major (in addition to the major in the content area) with the addition of eight credits in the Education department. At least one of the additional courses must be EDUC-280 or EDUC/PHIL-310W. Other possible courses are EDUC-270, 290, 330, 346, 380, and PSYC-340 or 342.

    For such students, the combination of EDUC-453 and 454 will serve as the capstone for the Educational Studies major and fulfill the oral presentation requirement. Health and Physical Education students who wish to earn the second major should include EDUC/PHIL-310W as one of their two courses, to ensure fulfillment of the “W” requirement in Education.

    Requirements for Minors

    A minor in Educational Studies requires EDUC-100; either EDUC-265, 280, or EDUC/PHIL-310W; and three courses from among the following (at least two of which must be EDUC):

    • EDUC-265, 270, 280, 290, 320, 330, 346, 350W, 375, 380, 491, 492; EDUC/PHIL-310W
    • PSYC-240, 340, 342
    • HEP-223 and 224 (must take both to count as one course)
    • HEP-366, 464

    Students may receive departmental permission to substitute a different non-EDUC course, not on the above list, if they provide compelling evidence for its relevance to the minor. Education minors who undertake study abroad in Education may work with the department to determine adequate substitutions for required courses.

Courses

  • EDUC-100. Critical Issues in Education

    Why do we have schools? Why are schools the way they are? This course will examine differing and competing answers to these and other questions in education. Students will explore philosophical ideas, historical influences, and social forces that shape current debates in educational policy and practice. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (O.)

    Note: Students who took EDUC-210 can count it toward the major, the minor, or certification in place of EDUC-100; however, they cannot also register for EDUC-100.

    EDUC-265. Educational Psychology

    An examination of psychological principles and how they can illuminate processes of learning and teaching, especially among adolescents. The course will explore cognitive, social, emotional, and moral development in multiple social contexts. It will also emphasize theories of learning and motivation and apply these to the development of positive and productive classroom learning environments. Field experience required. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

    EDUC-270. Education and Culture

    This course considers the intersection of culture and education, including such topics as technology, media (films, television, journalism), literature, art & aesthetic education, parenting advice, and consumer culture. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H.)

    EDUC-280. Education and Inequality

    Is education the key to providing social opportunity and reducing inequality, as many Americans profess—or do educational institutions reflect and reinforce the inequalities of society? Why do we see unequal educational outcomes between students of different backgrounds and identities, and what can and should be done about this problem? This course addresses questions such as these, with a focus on ways in which individual experiences are differentially shaped and structured by social and historical forces. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (DN, O.)

    EDUC-290. Educational Innovation and Reform

    This course explores critiques of and alternatives to prevailing norms in educational policy and practice, including such topics as democratic and social justice education, Montessori education, and the small schools movement. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    EDUC/PHIL-310W. Educational Theory and Philosophy

    A study in the theories and philosophies that have shaped educational practice and policy, both historically and in current times. Students will engage in close reading of primary texts in seminar-style classes and through extensive written work. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H.)

    EDUC-320. Diversity of Learners

    An examination of multiple forms of diversity among schoolchildren and legal and procedural aspects of educating diverse students in regular classrooms. The course will focus on foundational knowledge about students with various types of disabilities as well as those who are English Language Learners (ELLs); historical and legal factors that have shaped the education of ELLs and students with disabilities; and processes of collaboration and cooperative teaching that have become integral to the practice of inclusive education. Field experience required. Prerequisite: EDUC-100 and 265; or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (DN.)

    EDUC-330. Liberal Education

    A study of the idea of liberal education from the ancient period to present. Students will consider their own experiences at Ursinus as well as current debates in higher education through study of scholarly work in the philosophy and practice of liberal education. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H.)

    EDUC-346. Topics in Education

    Topics may include particular debates, movements, ideas, or figures related to education. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, D or G, if so designated, depending on the topic.)

    EDUC-350W. Curriculum and Instruction

    Approaches to planning, assessment, and instruction for secondary school classrooms. The course aims to provide knowledge and skills necessary for a successful student teaching experience and, beyond that, a conceptual framework for long-term professional growth and excellence. Students will construct unit and lesson plans grounded in philosophical foundations, in core ideas and standards within their academic disciplines, and in knowledge of student diversity and development. Topics will include Understanding by Design, inquiry learning and other teaching strategies, multiple forms and functions of assessment, and the evaluation and use of varied instructional materials. Prerequisites: EDUC-100 and 265. Field experience required. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    EDUC-351. Research

    Readings and fieldwork designed to introduce students to research methods in education. Students select topics and write a proposal which must be approved by an education adviser. Regular meetings and progress reports and a final paper are required. Prerequisites: EDUC-100 and 265. One semester hour.

    EDUC-352. Research

    Same as EDUC-351 but offered in spring. One semester hour.

    EDUC-360. Teaching English Language Learners

    Approaches and methods for teaching English Language Learners (ELL) in content area classrooms. Topics will include the process of language acquisition, sociocultural characteristics of ELL students, appropriate instructional strategies to make content comprehensible for ELL students, and appropriate assessments for ELL students. Prerequisites: EDUC-100, 265, 320. Two hours per week. Two semester hours.

    EDUC-375. The Inclusive Classroom

    Methods of teaching to meet the needs of diverse learners. The course will emphasize planning, instructional, and assessment strategies that enable regular classroom teachers to meet individual needs while fulfilling common curricular goals. Topics will include the establishment of positive and inclusive learning environments, literacy development and instruction, assistive technology, and principles and practices of differentiated instruction. Prerequisites: EDUC-100, 265, 320. Field experience required. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    EDUC-380. Ethics and Moral Education

    This course inquires into the relationship between ethics and education, including such topics as moral education, religious education, professional ethics, and the cultivation of human flourishing. Three hours per week Four semester hours. (H, O.)

    EDUC-381. Internship

    An off-campus academic/work experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Students must document their experience according to the requirements delineated in the College catalogue section on Internships. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Prerequisites: Students must have completed 12 semester hours of education coursework and have permission of the supervising faculty member to be eligible for an internship. Graded S/U. 120 hours.Three semester hours.

    EDUC-382. Internship

    An off-campus academic/work experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Students must document their experience according to the requirements delineated in the College catalogue section on Off-Campus Study. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Prerequisites: Students must have completed 12 semester hours of education coursework and have permission of the supervising faculty member to be eligible for an internship. Graded S/U. 160 hours. Four semester hours.

    EDUC-443. Methods Practicum

    A field-based exploration of teaching and learning in the various subject areas offered in the College’s teacher education program. Students will be placed in field experiences according to their broad field of specialization (mathematics, science, world languages, English, or social studies), with teachers who will immerse them in the observation, analysis and application of instructional approaches in that subject area. Students must budget time to visit schools roughly once per week, for a total of 30 hours over the course of the semester. On-campus evening sessions will be devoted to subject-specific group work, discussion of field experiences, and the distribution and discussion of important resources in the various subject areas. Prerequisites: EDUC-100, 265, 320, and 350W. Field experience required (25 hours). Usually taken the semester prior to student teaching. Two hours per week.Two semester hours.

    EDUC-450. Seminar in Educational Studies

    This capstone course combines an intensive study of a special topic in education with the opportunity for students to pursue in depth an area in educational scholarship of their interest. Students will receive ongoing feedback and present work orally and in writing. Open to juniors or seniors with at least eight credits in Education or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    EDUC-453. Student Teaching

    A clinical experience in which students teach a full load of courses in their subjects in a local school, under the guidance of a cooperating teacher in that school and a faculty supervisor from the Ursinus Education department who regularly observes the student teacher and provides feedback in one-on-one conferences. Emphasis is on applying and deepening understanding of theories and methods from previous coursework and demonstrating mastery of program and professional goals. Student teachers must earn at least a “B” in this course to receive the College’s recommendation for teacher certification. Enrollment is open only to students who have been approved by the Education department and completed all other certification courses and program requirements. Taken concurrently with EDUC-454 Twelve semester hours.

    EDUC-454. Professional Seminar

    This course is taken concurrently with student teaching and provides an opportunity to analyze, reflect on, and make ongoing improvements in the student teaching experience using theories and methods from Education coursework. Students produce a written analysis and give a public, oral presentation of a unit of curriculum that was written and taught in the placement school, emphasizing the use of assessment as a tool to improve practice. Two hours per week. Two semester hours.

    EDUC-491. Research/Independent Work

    Independent inquiry into scholarship in education. Oral progress reports and significant written work are required. Written consent of the research adviser must be presented at the time of registration. Four semester hours. (XLP.)

    EDUC-492. Research/Independent Work

    A continuation of EDUC-491. Open only to candidates for honors. Prerequisites: EDUC-491 and permission of the department. Four semester hours. (XLP.)

    EDUC-493. Student Teaching

    A clinical experience in which students teach a full load of courses in their subjects in a local school, under the guidance of a cooperating teacher in that school and a faculty supervisor from the Ursinus Education department who regularly observes the student teacher and provides feedback in one-on-one conferences. Emphasis is on applying and deepening understanding of theories and methods from previous coursework and demonstrating mastery of program and professional goals. The course is open only to 9th semester/post baccalaureate students who have been approved by the Education department and completed all other certification courses and program requirements. Student teachers must earn at least a “B” in this course to receive the College’s recommendation for teacher certification. Taken concurrently with EDUC-454. Four semester hours.