Child and Family Contexts Concentration

This concentration provides exposure to various teaching and learning methods, while focusing on the larger contexts of schools, families, and society. 

Schools, families, and society interact in many ways that affect student learning and success. Students will receive extensive grounding in teaching methods for a wide range of academic subjects and will also gain insights into the important roles that families and societal conditions have on schools and learners. 

Degree Requirements

A. Educational Studies Core

ED250 Human Relations, Cultural Diversity and Indian Cultures (2 cr.)

This course provides a general introduction to human relations, cultural diversity and Indian cultures as these concepts relate to teaching and learning in the K–12 classroom. Emphasis is placed on providing the students with additional knowledge, expertise or skills in creating a classroom learning climate conducive to supporting differences in cultural, ethnic, racial and gender backgrounds. Special emphasis is placed on gaining an understanding of Minnesota and Wisconsin Indian cultures.

ED306 Learning and Development (5 cr.)

In this course, the concept of learning is examined through the cognitive, social-emotional, moral and physical developmental stages of learners.  Principles of teaching and learning are developed in the context of learning theory, teacher effectiveness, learner differences, and building a positive classroom climate.  Students engage in the central question:  What do highly effective teacher leaders know, think and do with respect to learning, development, and learner differences?  Students also participate in a significant clinical experience.

ED307 Educational Technology (1 cr.)

This course is designed to prepare future teachers to utilize 21st century technology tools in and out of the classroom to improve student-learning opportunities.  Pre-service teachers will learn how to engage with current technologies for instruction, identify multi-media tools to support student learning, and become familiar with tools of technology that can be used to communicate effectively with parents and students. An electronic portfolio will be used to demonstrate learning.

PY111 General Psychology (3 cr.)

General Psychology provides an overview of the methods, fundamental principles, and major perspectives which define the discipline of psychology. Intrapersonal and/ or interpersonal psychological processes involved in the biological basis of behavior, sleeping and dreaming, conditioning and learning, cognition, lifespan human development, abnormal psychology, and psychological treatment. Classical and contemporary research and perspectives including the biological, cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic, humanistic, sociocultural and evolutionary perspectives are explored. Students are actively involved through application, interactive exercises, simulations, and projects.

B. All of the following:

ED301 School and Society (5 cr.)

The initial focus of this course emphasizes historical, philosophical, and sociological foundations of education.  Students examine connections between theory and practice on topics within these contexts. Topics include today's students, teachers, school, teacher effectiveness, current issues, school reform, and professionalism. A second focus of the course is an extensive field experience where students observe and participate in elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms. Throughout the course an emphasis is placed on developing skills in human resources and the use of reflective practice in teaching.

ED302 Substance Abuse Prevention and Community Health (1 cr.)

This course is a general introduction to the effects of substance abuse and provides basic familiarization with chemical and public health education programs in the school and community. The course is designed to meet the Minnesota statue for obtaining a teaching license.

ED310 Music Methods: K–8 (1 cr.)

This course emphasizes further work in kindergarten, elementary and middle level philosophy, curriculum and instructional strategies. An emphasis is placed on the integration of music into various curriculum areas to meet the needs of diverse learners. Students are actively engaged in: 1) understanding the creative developmental characteristics of children and adolescents; 2) designing and teaching appropriate lessons; 3) musical production; 4) using music as an alternative assessment tool; and 5) the reflection process as a means of professional development. The pre-service teacher is expected to demonstrate professional dispositions of a principled and purposeful instructional decision-maker.

ED316 Science Methods: K–8 (2 cr.)

This course is designed to help pre-service teachers develop knowledge, methods, and evaluative tools to become competent in teaching science in kindergarten through eighth grade. Students learn how to plan science programs, to choose from a range of effective teaching techniques, and to evaluate student learning using current informal and formal assessment practices (using science content standards for primary, intermediate, and middle school).  Topics include lesson and unit planning, the Minnesota content standards, national standards, and questioning skills.

ED317 Social Science Methods: K–8 (2 cr.)

This course is designed to help pre-service teachers develop knowledge, methods, and evaluative tools to become competent in teaching social studies in kindergarten through eighth grade. Students learn how to plan social studies programs, to choose from a range of effective teaching techniques, and to evaluate student learning using current informal and formal assessment practices (using science content standards for primary, intermediate, and middle school). Topics include lesson and unit planning, the Minnesota content standards, national standards, questioning skills, and sample activities in each strand of social studies.

ED320 Art Methods: K–8 (1 cr.)

This course emphasizes further work in kindergarten, elementary and middle level philosophy, curriculum and instructional strategies. An emphasis is placed on the integration of art into various curriculum areas to meet the needs of diverse learners. Students are actively engaged in: 1) understanding the creative developmental characteristics of children and adolescents; 2) designing and teaching appropriate lessons; 3) artistic production; 4) using art as an alternative assessment tool; and 5) the reflection process as a means of professional development. The pre-service teacher is expected to demonstrate professional dispositions of a principled and purposeful instructional decision-maker.

ED325 Mathematics Methods: K–8 (2 cr.)

This course emphasizes the math concepts and skills taught in childhood and early adolescence settings and the instructional methods that enable students to learn those concepts. National and state standards are studied in relation to math instruction in kindergarten through eighth grade. Students also learn to prepare lesson plans and performance assessments using the state and national math standards for primary, intermediate, and middle school.

ED330 Reading, Language Arts Methods & Children's Literature: K–8 (6 cr.)

Students participate in constructivist learning experiences to master the knowledge, dispositions, and skills needed to teach literacy from kindergarten through middle school, with a focus on phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. National, state, and Common Core standards and curriculum guides are used to develop appropriate teaching plans for primary, intermediate, and middle school students. Students master lesson planning and performance assessments using the literacy content standards.  Field experiences augment classroom readings, discussion and activities of developmental stages of listening, speaking, reading and writing in children.

ED335 Health, Physical Education Methods: K–8 (1 cr.)

This course presents learning activities and methodologies for teaching children/early adolescents health, physical education, and outdoor education. The pre-service teacher is expected to demonstrate professional dispositions of a principled and purposeful instructional decision-maker.

ED370 Educational Measurement and Assessment (2 cr.)

The purpose of this course is to help students understand and apply assessment theory to real-world situations. Appropriate practices for the construction, analysis, and interpretation of teacher-made and standardized assessment instruments are examined. Methods of monitoring student progress, evaluating student work and grading are practiced through a variety of student activities.

ED380 Middle Level Education (2 cr.)

This course provides pre-service teachers with philosophy, organizational structure, and methods central to middle level education. Particular emphasis is placed upon interdisciplinary planning, team teaching, student advising, and cooperative and exploratory learning. An emphasis is placed on developmentally appropriate practices and addressing diverse needs of learners.

S320 Children and the State (4 cr.)

This course focuses on the concept of youth in contemporary society in terms of their behaviors, roles, experiences, and treatment. It does so within the context of the evolution and structural development of two major social institutions: the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The course uses a sociological framework to emphasize the social, economic, and political realities of childhood in American society.

S443 Sociology of the Family (3 cr.)

A comprehensive study of the family and associated institutions, theories and research in American family structure and function, cross-cultural comparisons, family interaction dynamics, disorganization, and change is included.