Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum & Instruction Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

The Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis on Curriculum and Instruction is a course of study designed for educators who wish to strengthen their understanding of curriculum theory, integrated curricula, the role of technology in curriculum, curricula and global issues, and the ways in which action research can be used to shape more effective curriculum. This degree is intended for candidates who already have initial licensure. Candidates who are not planning to obtain a teaching license may also obtain this degree.

Students completing the master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction will demonstrate their successful realization of the following learning outcomes:

  • Philosophy and Educational Organizations - Castleton University Curriculum and Instruction program graduates will have a comprehensive understanding of the philosophical, historical, social, political and cultural understanding of schools and society.
  • Curriculum - Castleton University Curriculum and Instruction program graduates will understand that curriculum should be relevant, engaging, challenging, personalized, and integrative for the learner. They will know how to select, adapt and reflect on theories and engage in reflective practices in light of curriculum standards, theories, models and learners.
  • Instruction - Castleton University Curriculum and Instruction program graduates will understand the principles of instruction, know a wide variety of teaching strategies and learning theories, and incorporate relevant technologies while teaching core concepts, skills of inquiry, problem posing/solving, collaboration, and communication to facilitate student learning.
  • Assessment and Evaluation - Castleton University Curriculum and Instruction program graduates will analyze and understand the various roles of multiple types of assessments for monitoring, evaluating and responding to student learning; they will understand, develop, use and critique formal, informal, and performance assessment techniques, including local, state, and national assessment systems to improve student learning. Assessment practices will emphasize Proficiency-Based Systems (Vermont Act 77) where students are instructed and assessed based on pre-determined expectations of what the student will know and be able to do.
  • Research - Castleton University Curriculum and Instruction program graduates, as critical consumers of educational research, will appreciate the role of educational research for informing practice, will develop the skills to conduct classroom research, and will collect and analyze data, and formally share their research findings.
  • Diversity - Castleton University Curriculum and Instruction program graduates will understand human diversity as a valued component of educational systems; understand how to appropriately engage with diverse population; effectively structure learning experiences with diverse population; and effectively engage with diverse populations of students, parents, and colleagues.
  • Subject Knowledge - Castleton University Curriculum and Instruction program graduates will demonstrate their knowledge of the content they teach through content coursework included in the degree and ongoing analysis of their work in connection with the Vermont Core Teaching Standards.

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum & Instruction are required to take the following combination of required courses and electives:

Required Courses:

Code Course Credits

EDU 6550

Foundations and Current Issues In Education

This course focuses on the historical and philosophical foundations of education; an understanding of the teaching profession; political, economic, legal, and social concerns; and current issues in education in today’s world. Students will develop position papers on various topics from a broad, interdisciplinary viewpoint. Lectures, videotapes/films, and presentations by graduate faculty are employed. Required of all entering graduate students.

Offered fall, spring, and summer sessions.

EDU 6560

Curriculum Development

In this course students will study curriculum development concerning state requirements contained in the Vermont Public School Approval Standards. New innovations in curricular design will be explored with the aid of area resource people. The findings of recent research and reports on teaching and learning will also be studied. The impact of such social issues as the back-to-basics movement, child abuse and sexual abuse, alcohol and drug use, and changes in federal government priorities will be discussed. Each student will complete a multi-grade curriculum development project in a field of his or her choice (e.g. language arts, science, math, social studies, health, vocational education, the fine arts).

EDU 6920

Educational Research

Designed to develop attitudes and skills to permit in-service teachers to become intelligent consumers of research literature, the course will deal with the selection, evaluation, and delineation of a problem, use of the library for review of relevant literature, interpretation and reporting of research results and other research tools of practical use.

Offered fall and summer sessions.

EDU 6740

Graduate Seminar

(note that EDU 6920 must be taken before EDU 6740)

Designed to integrate the aspects of public education represented in the various emphases in the master's program, the course will include presentations in each area. The major portion of class, however, will be the development, presentation, and analysis of relevant educational issues by the seminar participants. Students are also required to write a major paper that explores educational philosophy, theory, foundations or current issues in their fields of study. The major paper functions to demonstrate the student's competence as a consumer and/or generator of educational research and requires full setting forth of both the procedures and findings of the research and a discussion of the implications of the findings and their relationship to other knowledge in the field.

Prerequisite: Approval of Director of Education is required.

Offered spring and summer sessions.

EDU 7960

Master's Thesis

The Master's thesis is a scholarly construction and presentation of a culminating research project. It is a zero (0) to six (6) credit course/project that you register for in the semester prior to its completion and submission to 'readers' and after completion of all other course work. All Master's theses require a "proposal" to be developed and approved by the candidate's advisor and/or 'primary reader' prior to registration for thesis. This "proposal" may be developed in consultation with the candidate's advisor or 'primary reader' of the thesis prior to or during Graduate Seminar (EDU 6740). When appropriate, candidates will also submit a request to the university's Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (HSIRB or IRB) for approval to proceed with their research. Thesis Proposals will be included with an IRB request.

Prerequisite: By permission only


Additionally, the candidate chooses a combination of 18-21 credits of electives in education and the liberal arts relevant to their educational interests.

(Minimum credits required for the degree: 36 cr)

Within the first 12 credits of the MA.Ed Curriculum and Instruction program, each student is required to take EDU 6550 - Foundations and Current Issues In Education.

EDU 6740 - Graduate Seminar may be taken only after completing a minimum of 28 credits (including EDU 6920), usually during the penultimate semester.

All MAE candidates must write either a 3‐credit or a 6‐credit thesis. A thesis proposal must be completed and approved by the Director of Education prior to the semester in which the research begins. Graduate students must formally register for the thesis (EDU 7960) according to the published registration deadlines in the same manner as required for any regular course.