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MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Methods and Curriculum

For students to engage, enjoy, and excel in school, it takes exceptional teachers — and a brilliant curriculum. Relevant, interesting courses that address today’s diverse classrooms are key to boosting the quality of education in your school. You may have great ideas in this arena, but an educator’s ideas really get heard when they’re rooted in research. If your goal is to develop expertise in curriculum design and student achievement, Concordia’s MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Methods and Curriculum online program is for you.

Courses in this program will provide you with a broad base of best practices in instructional theory and application essential to creating a successful instructional ecology. You’ll study STEAM education, culture in the classroom, inclusive teaching, and so much more — and graduate in just one year.

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.

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September 23rd
Program Length 1 Year
Credits 30 Credit Hours
Accreditation NWCCU
SCHOLARSHIPS* Up to $3,000
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
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
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
20,000-strong alumni
20,000-strong alumni network
93% of our online MEd grads say they are satisfied with their overall academic program experience

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Methods and Curriculum Program Goals

In addition to meeting the objectives and requirements for the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Methods and Curriculum 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



The ability to modify instructional plans and promote alternative goals and strategies when necessary, particularly in relation to assessment results


The MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Methods and Curriculum is a 30 credit-hour program

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Core Courses
12 credits

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.

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.

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.

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 - Methods and Curriculum
12 credits
This course will provide students with an intensive study of pedagogical approaches and materials for teaching in schools, curricular recommendations of professional associations, recommendations that have emerged from recent educational research, and recommendations of recent reform movements. Specific emphasis will be given to the study of alternative approaches to curriculum theory, design, practice, and evaluation. Educators will have the opportunity to apply theory to either their own classroom and school settings at the early childhood, elementary, middle school, or high school levels as well as other work environments.

Candidates will gain an in-depth understanding of the historical and contemporary practices of integrating the principles and skills of STEAM (STEM + Fine Arts: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) content into and across the PreK-12 curriculum as they understand the importance of developing critical thinkers in the classroom who value and promote investigation, inquiry, exploration, questioning, and testing. The specific principles and skills to be addressed as essential to comprehensive STEAM education throughout this concentration are presented in the new Next Generation Science Standards and include:

  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Developing and using models
  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
This course introduces the student to the theories and practice of multicultural counseling and intercultural communication by examining the cultural diversity in our classrooms and communities, defining similarities and differences in perceptual and communication style, and investigating cultural adaptation and intercultural communication skills. It examines parent and community involvement as resources that enhance the multicultural counseling and education processes.

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.

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

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.


Research Course 2
3 credits   Select one of the following:

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

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.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601.

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.


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 Methods and Curriculum concentration right for me?

Consider choosing this path if:

  • You want to gain an in-depth understanding of the historical and contemporary practices of integrating the principles and skills of STEAM content into curricula
  • You’d like to study alternative approaches to curriculum theory, design, practice, and evaluation
  • You’re eager to examine the cultural diversity in today’s classrooms and communities, and learn what you can do to address different student populations

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

Child Learning
The program taught me to gain the patience to understand everybody’s viewpoints: everybody’s way of learning, how each student is able to understand a concept.
LARRY NEWBY, MEd in Curriculum & Instruction:
Methods and Curriculum '17


What makes this program so relevant today

Here are a couple of ways curriculum can be defined:

  • Curriculum:
    From Latin Currere: to run a course
    Definition: the subjects comprising a course of study in a school or college.
  • “This is the value of the teacher, who looks at a face and says there’s something behind that and I want to reach that person, I want to influence that person, I want to encourage that person, I want to enrich, I want to call out that person who is behind that face, behind that color, behind that language, behind that tradition, behind that culture. I believe you can do it. I know what was done for me.”
    — Maya Angelou
  • “While teaching undeniably will remain an art, there is also a science to it that we are only beginning to aggressively apply to practice.”
    — Linking Teacher Evaluation and Student Learning by Pamela D. Tucker and James H. Stronge
  • “When we begin to more systematically close the gap between what we know and what we do, we will be on the cusp of one of the most exciting epochs in the history of education.”
    Results: The Key to Continuous School Improvement by Mike Schmoker

Curriculum can manifest in multiple ways. Here are some adaptations from Planning And Organizing For Curriculum Renewal by Allan A. Glatthorn, Judy F. Carr and Douglas E. Harris:

  • The Written Curriculum is found in the written lessons and sequence documents made by the state, district, or teacher.
  • The Supported Curriculum is a curriculum with accompanying materials like textbooks, apps and other resources.
  • The Tested Curriculum connects to tests (standardized, assessments, etc.) developed by the government, district, and teachers.
  • The Taught Curriculum is what teachers actually teach to students.
  • The Learned Curriculum is what students learn and take away from a teacher’s lessons.
  • The Hidden Curriculum is the unwritten lessons students pick up from school culture. For example, when math gets 6 periods a week and music gets 1, students learn that music is less important.
  • The Excluded Curriculum is all the content that gets left out purposely or accidentally. For example, the history of Native Americans may be excluded in favor of covering Columbus’ “discovery” of America.

The world is changing — and fast — and the curriculum in our nation’s schools must develop along with it. For example, the teaching of skills like farming or archery were once the norm and were considered necessary skills for survival. Today’s students have vastly different needs than those of 100, 50 or even 25 years ago. Our classrooms now work to prepare 21st century learners for a global, technological world. 

  • “A curriculum, ideally, should give young people the knowledge they need to approach the future with a dynamic, accountable, forward-thinking mindset.”
    Fernando Reimers, Faculty Director of International Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Effective teachers use techniques that best serve the learning needs of their students. Effective teachers have a thorough knowledge of their subject’s content and skills. Through this, they inspire in their students a love of learning. They also understand how students best learn concepts, content, and skills.
    Western Australia Department of Education
  • “Good curriculum plays an important role in forging lifelong learning competencies, as well as social attitudes and skills, such as tolerance and respect, constructive management of diversity, peaceful conflict management, promotion and respect of Human Rights, gender equality, justice, and inclusiveness. At the same time, curriculum contributes to the development of thinking skills and the acquisition of relevant knowledge that learners need to apply in the context of their studies, daily life, and careers. Curriculum is also increasingly called upon to support the learner’s personal development by enhancing their self-respect and confidence, motivation, and aspirations.”
    — UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)
  • The school curriculum goes to the heart of our conception of ourselves as a civil society. We define the values and the aspirations we hold, collectively, through our choices of what to teach our children.
    — Dr. Mary Bousted, General secretary, Association of Teachers and Lecturers, UK
  • “There is no more critical educational issue today than the curriculum. To put the issue more directly we need to answer the question “what should all students know by the time they leave school?”
    Curriculum theory: What it is and why it is important? by Michael Young, Institute of Education of University of London

In our Curriculum & Methods concentration, you’ll learn a number of pedagogical and curriculum design strategies as well as develop a background in educational ethics and theory. You’ll learn:

  • How to create curriculum and assessments to meet the needs of 21st century learners
  • Pedagogical approaches for teaching in early childhood, elementary, middle school, or high school levels as well as other work environments
  • How to link your school with the community such as parents, citizens, and special interest groups
  • Alternative approaches to curriculum theory, design, practice, and evaluation
  • Legal and ethical issues in education
  • Major trends and issues impacting education
  • How to integrate character themes and character development into the school curriculum


See where an MEd focused on methods and curriculum 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:

  • Curriculum coordinator
  • Higher education instructor in curriculum and instruction
  • Curriculum/ instructional specialist, instructor, supervisor, or director (K–12)
  • Education consultant (public or private)
  • Assistant chief academic officer (public or private K–12)
  • Chair, district curriculum/ instruction committee (K–12)
  • Director of curriculum and instruction (K–12)
  • Curriculum & instruction leader, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) district or state school intervention team (K–12)
  • Professional development leader, K–12
  • Division or department chair (K–12)

(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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