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MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom

Greater access to curricula. More opportunities for interaction. Peer role models. There are numerous advantages to having students with disabilities learn side by side with typically developing students. Studies show how the latter half benefits too, from growth in social cognition to greater academic outcomes. Interested in learning how to better create a welcoming, inclusive classroom environment that also celebrates each unique student? Concordia’s MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom program is for you.

Offered fully online, this program is designed for teachers looking to work effectively with students with disabilities mainstreamed in general education classrooms. You’ll find an emphasis on instructional strategies used to differentiate instruction, to serve students with disabilities in inclusive general education classrooms, and to implement the Response to Intervention model at the classroom or school level. (This program is not designed or intended to assist with a Special Education license.)

Accredited, nonprofit, and taught by practitioners, all of Concordia’s online MEd programs reflect the same meaningful experience we’ve been delivering on campus since 1905. The convenience of 100 percent online, clearly defined coursework—paired with realistic deadlines and the ability to immediately apply what you learn in your classroom—makes our programs ideal for busy lifestyles. And the potential career benefits—from higher pay to promotions—are second only to the reward of having an everlasting impact on the lives of your students.

Step 1 of 3: What type of student are you?

Step 2 of 3: What would you like to study?

Portland Campus: Classes taught entirely at Concordia University-Portland.

Accelerated Online: Classes taught 100% online. MEd programs complete in 1 year. EdD programs complete in 3 years.

Flex Online: For online students who want to go at a slower pace - MEds can be completed in 18-36 months.

Hybrid: Students take some classes online and some at Concordia University-Portland.

Step 3 of 3: Get info about this program

Yes! By submitting this form I ask to receive email, texts and calls about degree programs on behalf of Concordia University-Portland, and agree automated technology may be used to dial the number(s) I provided. I understand this consent is not required to enroll.

What would you like to study?

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Get info about this program

Portland Campus: Classes taught entirely at Concordia University-Portland.

Accelerated Online: Classes taught 100% online. MEd programs complete in 1 year. EdD programs complete in 3 years.

Flex Online: For online students who want to go at a slower pace - MEds can be completed in 18-36 months.

Hybrid: Students take some classes online and some at Concordia University-Portland.

12
Yes! By submitting this form I ask to receive email, texts and calls about degree programs on behalf of Concordia University-Portland, and agree automated technology may be used to dial the number(s) I provided. I understand this consent is not required to enroll.
100% online
100% online (no in-person field work required)
One year
Earn your MEd in one year, one class at a time, with built-in breaks
Updated curriculum
Curriculum is up-to-date and relevant
NWCCU
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Respected
Concordia is one of the most respected names in learning today
Positive career benefits
87% of our online MEd grads report positive career benefits as a result of their degree
10,000-strong alumni
10,000-strong alumni network
Satisfaction
93% of our online MEd grads say they are satisfied with their overall academic program experience

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom Program Goals

In addition to meeting the objectives and requirements for the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom online degree program, successful candidates will also demonstrate:
Expertise in Evaluating Progress

Expertise in Evaluating Progress

Expertise in the utilization of new methods of authentic assessment and strategies as tools to evaluate student learning progress in relation to Oregon’s Common Core State Standards and specific district standards

Effective Instructional Skills

Effective Instructional Skills

Effective instructional skills in planning, implementing, and assessing instruction in settings that include diverse cultural populations and special needs students

Classroom Diversity Skills

Classroom Diversity Skills

An understanding of the ways that the specific curricular/instructional area has the potential to be responsive to classroom diversity

Moral Leadership

Moral Leadership

A clear understanding of the moral leadership required of them as advanced scholars in the chosen area of curriculum and instruction

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

The MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom is a 30 credit-hour program

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Core Courses
12 credits
EDGR 502 (3)
Developing Character Through the Curriculum

This course will provide teachers with the resources and skills necessary to integrate character themes and character development into their school curriculum. It provides a forum in which to discuss and develop one's own moral perspectives on the basis of generally accepted criteria.

EDGR 535 (3)
Theories of Teaching and Learning
This course is designed to provide leaders with the latest psychological research about learning and guide them in exploring ways to directly apply these precepts to their current work setting. Topics will include cognitive science, learning theory, and relevant teaching theories that utilize this information. The course will fuse the latest biological and psychological understanding of how the brain learns so candidates can harness this knowledge and apply it directly to learning situations.
EDGR 595 (3)
Community of Learners
Relationships constructed on trust are critical for an efficient, collegial, collaborative workplace. This course challenges candidates to confront the tremendous diversity in their current environment and develop strategies to build community in the midst of the social, ethnic, economic and alternative lifestyle differences that permeate today's 21st century workplace. In sum, this course stresses the critical importance of creating community in the workplace and illustrates how that community, once established, can generate an efficient, supportive, and positive work place.
EDGR 602 (3)
Contemporary Educational Thought

Candidates identify, review, and analyze major trends and issues impacting the contemporary state and national educational scenes. Each class session provides students with an opportunity to evaluate the advantages and liabilities of current educational reforms and issues from the perspective of prevailing educational research as well as from their own personal beliefs and current work environment. Candidates will also consider how they can impact and influence change in their own workplace.

 

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - The Inclusive Classroom
12 credits
EDCI 528 (3)
Foundation Concepts for Inclusive Teaching

The general education classroom teacher’s role in identifying and teaching a growing population of students with other special needs in the general education classroom is the major focus of the Foundation Concepts for Inclusive Teaching. This course presents the fundamental concepts related to teaching students with disabilities and students with other special needs in transformative general education classrooms. Information on the history of special education and the federal policies related to serving students with disabilities in public schools is reviewed in the initial phase of the course. Included in this review is an analysis of the general education teacher’s role in the various phases of serving students with disabilities in the general education classroom including the implementation of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan. The second phase of the course will examine: the characteristics and needs of students with persistent academic disabilities, students with significant cognitive disabilities, and the categories of disabilities (high incidence and low incidence disabilities) as they relate to teaching students with disabilities in general education classrooms and are defined within the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA). A similar analysis of the characteristics and needs of students with other special needs who are served in general education classrooms will also be conducted. Accommodations, modifications and adaptations that support the success of students with disabilities and students with other special needs in transformative general education classrooms will conclude this course of study.

EDCI 548 (3)
The Inclusive Classroom: Instructional Strategies and Interventions
The effective use of transformational instructional strategies and interventions to maximize teaching and learning for all students in an inclusive classroom will be studied. Accommodations and modifications that provide access to the general education curriculum specific to the categories of disabilities defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) will be identified. A focus on differentiated instruction and adaptations appropriate for students with other special learning needs (students with gifts and talents, English language learners and low language native English speakers, and students at-risk for school failure) will be included. Emphasis will be placed on practical instructional strategies and interventions that promote learning and can be readily implemented by the general education classroom teacher in an inclusive learning environment.
EDCI 549 (3)
Effective Classroom Management Strategies
The focus of this course is the use of strategies and procedures proven effective in establishing and maintaining a positive and supportive learning environment for all students in an inclusive general education classroom. Practical, preventative strategies rooted in positive teacher-student relationships and well-designed learning activities as well as more formal classroom management strategies will be studied. In addition, effective responses to inappropriate and disruptive behavior will be identified with an emphasis on appropriate academic and social behavior development that results in optimal student motivation and engagement.
EDCI 545 (3)
Principles of Collaboration and Partnerships
The role of the general education inclusive classroom teacher in establishing and working effectively in building partnerships through collaboration with school personnel, parents and community agencies will be defined and explored. Specific partnering and collaboration responsibilities of the general education classroom teacher as part of providing services to students with disabilities will be addressed including the general education pre-referral process, implementing a response to intervention model, co-teaching, and practices and procedures essential to the successful inclusion of students with disabilities.

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

Research Course 1
3 credits
EDGR 601 (3)
Educational Research

This course provides students with the basic competencies necessary to understand and evaluate the research of others, and to plan their own research with a minimum of assistance. This course includes the basics of both qualitative and quantitative research.

The Master of Education culminates with the choice of either EDGR 698-Action Research or EDGR 696-Practitioner Inquiry. Either option provides candidates with an understanding of the role of research in the field of education as a tool to solve problems and as a way to improve student learning.

SELECT ONE CAPSTONE COURSE:

Research Course 2
3 credits   Select one of the following:
EDGR 696 (3)
Practitioner Inquiry

Practitioner Inquiry focuses on the reflective acts of the candidate as an educator seeking to improve teaching practice. Premised in the self-study research methodological traditions (Samaras, 2011), Practitioner Inquiry provides the opportunity to reflect on teaching practice and generate improvements based on classroom observation. Practitioner Inquiry focuses on the educator and her/his own practices, developing skills of inquiry, observation, reflection, and action in teachers. Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601 Educational Research

EDGR 698 (3)
Action Research

Action research is one of the capstone projects for the Master of Education program. During this five-week course, candidates will learn more about the action research methodology, complete final edits of the Literature Review, and design a complete Action Research proposal including data collection methods and analysis approaches. (During this course, the proposal will NOT be implemented with students/participants.)
This design provides students with the requisite skills and means to pursue the transformative practice called "Action Research" in their classroom, school, district or other work environment. The design method for the capstone project closely aligns with current classroom realities, with district and school requirements, and the needs of teachers and students.

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

ON-CAMPUS/HYBRID OPTIONS

In addition to fully online, Concordia offers several Master of Education programs in an on-campus or hybrid format. See the options here.

Is the MEd in The Inclusive Classroom concentration right for me?

Consider choosing this path if:

  • You believe students with disabilities and other special needs should be taught alongside typically developing students
  • You want to learn practical instructional strategies for a variety of special needs
  • You’re passionate about creating a supportive environment for all students in an inclusive general education classroom

Still unsure? We know we offer a lot of programs! Let’s talk more about your professional and personal goals.

Child Learning
I found myself so excited each week just to see what the reading would be, so I could use it in my classroom. It was very rewarding. I never expected it to be so aligned with what I was doing daily.
ANDRE'-MAR'QUIZ MITCHELL-FRANKLIN, MEd in Educational Leadership '18

Course Spotlight

EDCI 549: Effective Classroom Management Strategies

This concentration course—designed for new and veteran teachers—gives you the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers and to share your own most successful classroom management strategies. This allows teachers to support one another by sharing their best inclusive classroom management strategies, like how to handle a disruptive student without interfering with the learning process of the rest of the class.

MORE ON THE TOPIC OF THE INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM

What makes this program so relevant today

In inclusive classrooms, students with disabilities work and learn alongside with typically developing students—giving them the same access to lesson plans and more opportunities to interact with their classmates. In special education classrooms, students with disabilities are often separated from other students, and have a different set of lesson plans and course curricula.

Teachers in both inclusive classroom and special education programs learn different, practical instructional strategies for a variety of special needs, but the focus in an inclusive classroom curriculum is on creating a welcoming environment for all types of students.

(This program is not designed or intended to assist with a Special Education license.)

Studies show that inclusive classrooms lead to benefits for both students with and without disabilities. For the former group, those benefits include:

  • Higher grades and test scores in literacy, writing, and social studies
  • Better communication skills, improved social skills, and more friendships
  • Fewer absences and referrals for disruptive behavior
  • A positive understanding of themselves and others

Benefits for typically developing students include:

  • Higher grades and test scores in reading and math
  • New learning opportunities, including the chance to be a peer model
  • Exposure to different teaching methods (including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic)
  • Increased social cognition and an understanding of diversity, student differences, and acceptance

Sources: PBS, International Journal of Special Education, Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education, European Journal of Special Needs, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals, National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

The Response to Intervention model is a multi-tier approach to identifying and supporting students with learning and behavior needs. It includes a series of screening, observing, and responding to needs of each individual students. It’s designed for making decisions in both general and special education classrooms, and its goal is to create a cohesive system of instruction and intervention.

For the RTI model to work best, it must include:

  • High-quality, scientifically based classroom instruction
  • Ongoing student assessment
  • Tiered instruction
  • Parent involvement

In Concordia’s MEd in Curriculum & Instruction : The Inclusive Classroom concentration, you’ll learn how to effectively implement the Response to Intervention model at the classroom or school level and to help improve student outcomes.

Source: The RTI Action Network

In addition to the Response to Intervention model, educators in this concentration will learn a number of instructional and management strategies to create the most welcoming classroom possible. They include:

  • Accommodations and modifications to curriculum for different disabilities as defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA)
  • Differentiated instruction and adaptations for students with other special learning needs, including students with gifts and talents, English language learners and low language native English speakers, and students at risk of failing
  • Practical, preventative strategies rooted in positive teacher-student relationships
  • Effective responses to inappropriate and disruptive behavior that result in increased student motivation and engagement

Room 241 blog posts about Inclusive Classroom

CAREER OUTCOMES

See where an MEd focused on the inclusive classroom could take you

Planning to stay in your current teaching job? Many MEd graduates do! But in addition to potential benefits like increased salary and more self-confidence, an MEd could also expand your career opportunities within the education industry.

Potential careers include:

  • Higher education instructor: the inclusive general education classroom
  • Consultant/advisor, inclusion of students with disabilities and other students with special needs
  • Inclusion general education classroom teaching advisor to state legislatures/Congress
  • Professional development (K–12), strategies for inclusion
  • General education inclusion classroom tutor: accommodations, modifications for students with disabilities, and adaptations for students with other special needs
  • Schoolwide general education classroom inclusion coach/mentor

(Some states may require specific licensure for some of these positions. Check with your state’s Department of Education for more details.)

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