Year One in Educational Leadership

Students begin to explore the theories behind educational leadership and policy. They earn concepts, principles, and practices associated with effective leadership and sound management of individuals, groups, teams, and organizations are addressed. 

Required Courses

Introduction to Educational Leadership and Public Policy

This course introduces students to key topics in organizational theory, school administration and educational policy. In doing so, students will also be introduced to leadership theory as applied to educational settings,  explore the nature of organizations, and review the various conceptions of leadership in American Education with an emphasis on recent efforts to reform schools and the people that work in them. They will also review various analytical models used in public policy analysis and their application to education. Structural components of the doctoral program will also be discussed.

Organizational Behavior in Educational Settings

This is an interactive skills building course designed to improve managerial and team performance in educational settings. Students will address concepts, principles, and practices associated with effective leadership and sound management of individuals, groups, teams, and organizations. The focus is on organizational contexts and dynamics of school processes and outcomes, promoting shared responsibility and civic engagement, and the importance of collaboration in decision making processes.

Transformative Educational Leadership

In this course students will address theoretical, cultural, political and ideological frameworks in leadership and management as a transformative practice. They will explore issues of hierarchy, shared collective political processes, perceptions of leadership, organizational responsibility, shared accountability, and systemic change and community relationships. Emphasis will be placed on transformative leadership as an ethical dimension of sustainable democratic environments.

Social, Historical and Philosophical Foundations of American Education

In this course students will gain a historical and philosophical understanding of change in American Education from the colonial times to the present. They will analyze the interdisciplinary nature of the foundations of education with a focus on the intersections of culture, knowledge and power. The course will examine various schools of thought such as perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, social reconstructionism and scientific management and their nexus with dynamics of change and innovation in American Education, such as the politics of disciplinarity, comprehensive schooling, child driven curriculum vs. society driven interests, outcomes driven curriculum, (in)equality challenges, bilingual education, special education, school choice, vouchers, and homeschooling.

Design and Evaluation of Educational Systems

In this course students will study how public school systems have been designed, organized, implemented and evaluated in the United States.  Throughout the course students will be confronted with historical and contemporary dominant and counter-dominant designs and evaluation formats as well as with various programs and issues akin to the elementary, middle and secondary levels.

Research Methods I: Methods and Design

This course will familiarize students with key concepts and skills involved in understanding and analyzing research in education and related areas. It will first provide a quick survey of the various research methods and designs, including historical and descriptive research and program evaluation. It will then introduce students to methods and strategies to conceptualize and develop a framework upon which to implement a solid qualitative research plan around a current issue or controversy in American Public Education. Emphasis will be placed on the use of case studies, action research, interviews, and ethnographic methods as well as issues related to the gathering and trustworthiness of data.

Colloquium I - Politics and Education

In this colloquium, students and faculty will explore issues involving the intersection of politics and educational policy and practice and the impact it may have or that has had on the nation (e.g. United States), states (e. g. Massachusetts) and a particular geographical locality (e.g. the South coast region in Massachusetts). Emphasis will be given to the discussion and analysis of the role that the federal and state governments exert through legislative, executive, and judicial action pertaining to education as well as to roles state agencies, school districts, school boards and elected (or appointed) government officials (legislators, mayors, state officials)  play in the formation, analysis, and practice of educational policy.

Colloquium II: Critical Issues in Teaching and Learning

In this colloquium students and faculty will analyze critical issues in teaching and learning related to school improvement. The course will emphasize the examination of issues quite influential in the daily life of teachers and students such as cognitive coaching, cooperative learning, differentiated instruction, multiple intelligences, thinking skills, learning styles, democratic teaching and learning, emotional intelligence, accelerated learning techniques, effective classroom instructional strategies, diversity within unity, transformative teaching and learning,  methods of assessment,  and innovations in educational technology.


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