New Courses!

Cognitive Approaches to Learning and Teaching

EDUC 718D

Principles of efficient and effective learning and teaching are presented in highly approachable texts based on decades of research in cognitive psychology. Traditional study habits - underline, review, memorize, cram - are ineffective and waste time. Better are questioning, self-quizzing, spaced retrieval and avoiding traps that lead to false confidence. Traditional teaching methods - lecture, homework problems, test - similarly are less fruitful than focusing on what students will think about during lessons, relating current content to already-present knowledge, and encouraging deep understanding. The two books approach the same issues from complementary viewpoints. The course first presents research and practical approaches to making your learning more efficient, and as you experience these methods, you can appreciate how effective they can be for your students. The course then focuses on research and practical approaches to your teaching. While you know your own, adult, ways of learning, your students may approach learning entirely differently. You will learn new ways to keep them focused and from going astray.

 

Understanding and Teaching the Rewired Brain

EDUC 718C

Frequent use of technology may alter our intelligence, our attention span, our self-esteem, our memory, our critical thinking processes, our empathy, and our social relationship by rewiring our brains. By examining and learning how technology is changing the way students’ brains function, educators can adapt to keep students motivated to learn.

This course includes information relating to how technology is rewiring the brain and strategies for engaging attention, memory, thinking, and social behavior with technology. Additional topics include effects of television on children's thinking, how information overload affects decision making, critical thinking and technology, effects of technology on rewiring social behavior, engaging students with the flipped classroom, improving thinking by integrating the arts into other subject areas, and the benefits of educational video games. Strategies for mentoring students in the responsible use of technology are included, as are teaching examples, k-12 lesson ideas, and a teacher-friendly technology glossary.

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The Special Needs Brain: Helping It Learn

EDUC 718B

This course provides knowledge of possible causes of special needs, an understanding of brain systems that have gone awry, diagnostic issues and criteria, research on practical approaches to helping special needs students learn, and a variety of strategies to consider when planning lessons. This course addresses essential background information, ADD/ADHD, autism, disabilities in speech, writing, and mathematics, and emotional and behavioral disorders. Upon completion of this course, the student will demonstrate an understanding that special needs students are in a precarious motivational state and will become familiar with a rich array of strategies the special needs student requires.

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How the ELL Brain Learns

EDUC 718A

About 10% of public school students live in households where English is not the primary language.  These English Language Learners (ELLs) typically become proficient in “social” English within 2-3 years but require several more years to become proficient in “academic” English.  It is largely the latter that determines advancement in American society so bringing ELLs up to grade-level competence in academic English becomes a top priority. 

This course provides understanding of the problems faced by ELLs and offers strategies for addressing them in contexts devoted to teaching English across all required subjects. Brain mechanisms for language learning are presented and referenced throughout the text for a broad understanding of how ELLs acquire language. Methods used for teaching ELLs are identified and highlighted with the educator in mind. Upon completion of this course, students will understand the amount of effort ELLs exert in order to master course content, and which teaching methods should be applied to meet their specific needs.

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Special Education Law

EDUC 717Z

Understanding the ins and outs of special education law can seem like a daunting and sometimes overwhelming feat. This is especially true for general education teachers, who are usually the first to notice when a student might require special education services. With ever changing laws, how do you know your legal responsibilities, and more importantly, how can these students reach their maximum potential despite their limitations? Through jargon-free and easy to understand texts, the student will learn how to understand student disabilities, the pre-referral, referral, and evaluation process, Individualized education programs (IEPs), Section 504 plans, transitional services, roles of education professionals and their responsibilities, detailed descriptions of laws and related court cases, storing and maintaining records, and many more related topics.