This department does not award an undergraduate degree in a major, but offers a minor in educational studies and supports the Master of Arts in Teaching Program (see Master of Arts in Teaching.).
The Educational Studies Department seeks to deepen our collective knowledge of, and appreciation for, schools and schooling, the self as teacher, the role of education in creating a more equitable society, and the processes of teaching and learning more broadly conceived outside of the traditional pre-K -12 classroom setting.
MISSIONThe MAT program’s mission is to create masterful teachers who are reflective practitioners able to facilitate communities of diverse learners. The minor in educational studies provides students with the course content and experiences necessary to be able to describe how learners develop and learn, and to analyze and create positive contexts conducive to learning
This department does not award an undergraduate degree in a major, but offers a minor in educational studies and supports the Master of Arts in Teaching Program. We believe that students who wish to pursue a career in K-12 education are best served by following a liberal arts curriculum at the undergraduate level, and then completing a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. Thus, there is no major offered in education; the education of our masterful teachers begins as students complete their undergraduate majors while also completing course work that takes them into the schools through service learning endeavors. Six of these courses comprise a minor in educational studies. Completing the minor – or the equivalent course work – is one of the pre-requisites for admission to the MAT However, it is also important to note that the minor in educational studies is not exclusive to students who wish to matriculate into the MAT. And, it is possible to enter the MAT without completing the minor provided all prerequisites are met
Minor in Educational Studies
The minor in educational studies is includes six (6) courses that offer a basic knowledge of many elements of the teaching and learning process. Though these courses represent most of prerequisite courses for the MAT program (see further information on the MAT.), this minor is also recommended for students who are interested in pursuing careers related to education, but do not necessarily plan to teach in K-12 settings. For the most part, the courses within the minor may be completed in any order, though it is important to acknowledge that some of the courses have prerequisites, so students need to be mindful of this fact as they plan. Note, too, that EDUC/PSYC 368 is a prerequisite for admission to EDUC 491.) For students who are interested in education, but are not planning to apply for the MAT program or teacher certification, it is possible to petition for course substitutions for a portion of the requirements. Please contact the department chair for additional information about this process.
Completion of the minor or equivalent course work is one of the pre-requisites for admission to the MAT, but because these courses are not the only requirements for admission to the MAT program, the successful completion of this minor does not guarantee that a student will be admitted to the program. Students who transfer three or more of the courses from outside institutions are not eligible to earn this minor, but they are not excluded from or otherwise placed at a disadvantage for applying to the MAT program. Students who transfer one or two courses that are not awarded the same credit equivalencies as the comparable St. Mary’s course do need to make up these credits to earn the minor by taking other education-related undergraduate courses; these courses include those not listed in the minor. There are also specific content courses required for teacher certification in Maryland. Students who are considering the MAT should meet with their department chair and/or an educational studies adviser about course selection. For a complete list of these courses, and additional information about the St. Mary’s course equivalencies for St. Mary’s educational studies courses, please contact the department chair.
To earn a minor in educational studies, students are required to satisfy all of the following requirements, so as to ensure the requisite depth, breadth, and mastery of the study area. There are also specific content courses required for teacher certification in Maryland. Students who are considering the MAT should meet with their department chair and/or an educational studies adviser about course selection.
- General College Requirements (see “Curriculum” section.)
- All requirements in a major area of study.
- At least 23 credit hours, as comprised through the successful completion of the six following courses, with a minimum earned grade of C- in each course, but with a combined minimum GPA of 3.0:
- EDUC 206: The Child in America (4 credits)
- EDUC 296: Language Acquisition and Phonemic Awareness (3 credits)
- EDSP 336: Exceptionality: Introduction to Special Education (4 credits)
- EDUC/PSYC 368: Educational Psychology (4 credits)
- EDUC 491: ESL Across the Curriculum (4 credits)
- A course with a developmental focus chosen from one of the following three:
- PSYC 331: Infant and Child Development (4 credits)
This course is recommended for students who wish to pursue early childhood/elementary certification
- PSYC 333: Adolescence (4 credits)
This course is recommended for students who wish to pursue secondary certification
- PSYC 230: Lifespan Development
This course is recommended for students who wish to pursue K-12 certification in Art, Music, or Theater.
- PSYC 331: Infant and Child Development (4 credits)
OUTCOMES OF THE MINOR IN EDUCATIONAL STUDIES
By the end of the minor, students will be able to:
- Evaluate how their knowledge of, and appreciation for, schools and schooling has changed;
- Describe the role of education in creating a more equitable society, as a result of analyzing the policies and philosophies which shape schooling in the U.S.;
- Explain the processes of teaching and learning more broadly conceived outside traditional pre-K-12 classrooms;
- Relate societal conceptions of ability, race, poverty, and language proficiency to school practices for students who can be described as not representing the norms of any or all of these groups
- Articulate how learners develop, the role of motivation in learning, the characteristics of a positive learning climate, and various theoretical approaches to the teaching process; and will be able to act on the implications of this theoretical framework with skills appropriate to beginning educators.
- Identify and analyze their strengths and growth needs as potential teachers
The Department of Educational Studies offers several undergraduate courses that are not implicated in the minor in educational studies. Students are encouraged to pursue these courses to broaden their understanding of relevant issues of learning and teaching
EDSP 180. Introduction to Sign Language (2E)
An introduction to the basic language and culture of the deaf and the problems associated with being deaf in a hearing society. Emphasis is on vocabulary development, techniques of signing, and use of video equipment to improve receptive and expressive skills.
EDSP 280. Intermediate Sign Language (2S)
For students who already have achieved basic proficiency in sign language. This course will provide extensive vocabulary development, increased use of conversational signs, and introduction to American Sign Language (ASL). Prerequisite: EDSP 180 or consent of the instructor.
EDSP 336. Exceptionality: An Introduction to Special Education (4E)
An examination of individuals with special needs such as intellectual disabilities, giftedness, physical disabilities, and behavioral disorders. The emphasis is on causation, psychological and biological aspects of the exceptionality, and current educational and therapeutic approaches. This course fulfills the Maryland certification requirement for a minimum of three credits in special education. A required field experience component is built into this course, in addition to time spent in class. This course is a pre-requisite for the MAT program. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.
EDSP 338. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (4AF)
An examination of the physical and psychological causes of intellectual and other developmental disabilities, such as autism and cerebral palsy. Discusses diagnosis, treatment, education, research and theory with an end toward understanding intellectual and developmental disabilities as both biological and social phenomena. (This course was formerly named Mental Retardation.) Prerequisite: PSYC 101.
EDSP 339. Learning Disabilities (4AF)
This course is concerned with defining, diagnosing, and remediating learning disabilities. Major emphasis is on the basic psychological processes of understanding and using written or spoken language: sensory-motor, auditory, and visual processing and language development. In addition, a variety of curriculum materials in special education is examined. A field placement with exceptional children provides a realistic application of theory. Prerequisites: PSYC 101 and 4 other credit hours in psychology.
EDUC 206. The Child in America: Social Foundations of Education (4E)
A foundations course that is multidisciplinary in content and method, this course involves the examination of childhood and the world of children from the diverse perspectives of school, family, and societal influences, combining a historical overview with an investigation of the world and lived experiences of children from diverse backgrounds today. A required field experience component is built into this course, in addition to time spent in class. This course is a prerequisite for the MAT program. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World.
EDUC 210: Becoming a Reflective Leader in Human Services I (2F)
This course provides pre-professional experience for SMCM students interested in using their liberal arts background as well as knowledge about the nature of child development and the teaching/ learning process in service to the local schools or in other educational settings. Methods for organizing small groups and carrying out individualized tutoring/mentoring, as well as models for developing the disposition to reflect on one’s own actions and the processes of learning and skill in fostering learning in oneself and others will be emphasized. This course and EDUC 211 combine to count as an ELAW experience for CORE 350.
EDUC 211: Becoming a Reflective Leader in Human Services II (2S)
While spending time enmeshed in service to a community organization, participants will explore the relationship between the organization and the citizens it serves. In exploring the philosophies that underlie the creation of such organizations and the conceptualizations of power and service on which they are based, participants will examine the role of leaders within community organizations, how effective the organization is in meeting its goals, and reflect on their own potential as community leaders. This course and EDUC 210 combine to count as an ELAW experience for CORE 350.
EDUC 240. Special Topics in Educational Studies (1-4)
An examination of a specific area of Educational Studies. The course will explore research, and application relevant to the selected area. Course content varies from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit if topics are different. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
EDUC 296. Language Acquisition and Phonemic Awareness (3E)
This class will provide future teachers and parents with the theory, research, and best practices related to the developmental nature of learning to read and write and to the individual differences that come into play in the learning process. An introduction to language structures including spoken syllables, phonemes, graphemes, and morphemes as applied to both first- and second-language acquisition, typical development, and exceptionalities will be provided, as well an overview of the contributions of neuroscience to our understanding of the phases of literacy development. There is a field experience component required for this class. This course is a prerequisite for the MAT program. This course fulfills a Maryland certification requirement in the teaching of reading. A required field experience component is built into this course, in addition to time spent in class This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World.
EDUC 340. Advanced Special Topics in Educational Studies (1-4)
An in-depth examination of a specific area of E educational S studies. The course will explore theory, research, and application relevant to the selected area. Course content varies from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit if topics are different. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
EDUC 366. Children’s and Young Adult Literature (4)
A survey of the field of children’s literature and other materials for teaching reading, and of the various strategies and techniques for introducing stories, texts of various sorts, and books into any learning situation. A selection of exemplary books/textbooks written for elementary school youngsters is read and analyzed, and opportunities are provided to “teach” some of them in simulated settings. This course is recommended for future elementary teachers and required of future teachers of English, and it is recommended for anyone interested in children and the literature written for them.
EDUC 368. Educational Psychology (4E)
This course explores the teaching/learning process. Students analyze various factors that affect the process: developmental and learning theory, motivation, planning, content, methodology, and discipline. Attention is also given to human interaction in educational settings through a study of maturation, individual differences, self-concept, group processes, and socioeconomic stratification. Lecture and field experience. This course is cross-listed with PSYC 368. Students may receive credit for either course but not both. This course is a pre-requisite for the MAT program. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.
EDUC 392. The Teaching of Theater in the Schools K-12 (4AS)
This course provides pre-professional experience in a school setting for students seeking teacher certification in drama K-12. It serves as an introduction to the problems, issues, curriculum, and methods for teaching drama to students of all ages based on what is known about their developmental nature and needs. Topics include instructional objectives, teaching strategies, reading and writing across the curriculum, and evaluation techniques. Class members will practice a variety of effective instructional strategies, participate in field experience, and study generic issues of discipline and management that cross content-specific boundaries. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World. This course is open to any student with an interest in working with students in public school classrooms or teaching at any level. Prerequisite: PSYC 230, EDUC/PSYC 368, or consent of the instructor.
EDUC 491. ESL Across the Curriculum (4E)
This course explores theoretical and practical considerations in teaching students in K-12 classrooms who speak English as a Second Language. This course will consider: theories of second language learning and acquisition, the social experience of English Language Learners, teaching strategies (including specific attention to written and oral language literacy), methodological approaches, and effective assessment and evaluation techniques. Class members will draw on their theoretical understandings to resolve practical problems, perhaps by participating in a field experience. Lecture and potential field experience. This course is a prerequisite for the MAT program. Prerequisites: EDUC/PSYC 368, or permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have received credit for EDUC 394 or EDUC 495.
EDUC 398/498. Off-Campus Internship (1-8E)
A variety of off-campus experiential learning opportunities can be arranged through the Career Development Center. The off-campus internship is an individually designed experience that allows the student to explore the relationship between learning in the classroom and the practical application of knowledge in everyday work situations. All interns are required to maintain regular contact with the faculty supervisor. Credit/no credit grading. May not be used to satisfy requirements for the minor in educational Sstudies, unless the credit amount is being used to close a credit shortfall because of course transfers. Consult with the director of Internships. Prerequisite: Admission to the Internship Program. (See “Internships” under “Academic Policies” section).
EDUC 493/494. St. Mary’s Project (1-8E)
The project, which may take many forms, draws on and extends knowledge, skills of analysis, and creative achievement developed through previous academic work. The student initiates the project, identifies an area to be explored, and proposes a method of inquiry appropriate to the topic. The project should include a reflection on the social context, the body of literature, or the conceptual framework to which it is a contribution. It must be shared with the College community through posters, presentations, or other means. The project is supervised by a faculty mentor, with the approval of the department chair of the student’s major(s). This course is repeatable for up to a total of eight credit hours. Prerequisite: Coursework in research methods or permission of the mentor; Approval of faculty mentor and department chair of the student’s major(s). Consult faculty mentor for project guidelines.