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COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Catherine Leahy-Brine Educational Consultants, Inc.
P.O. Box 1060
Brockton, Ma 02303
Phone 781-331-8826              Fax 781-337-6152


Course Descriptions

Classroom Strategies for Character Education K-12/Save Our Youth
(EDUC 7000)
Why are American youth at such severe risk? It "it takes a village to raise a child," perhaps the answer lies in what has happened to our "village." This course will examine the current state of America's children, and the alarming increase in their violent and deviant behavior and their observed lack of basic human values. The causative factors of changing social, economic, family and work patterns will be examined as well as the classic research on the stages of moral reasoning. All stakeholders in America's youth will be represented in possible solutions to the problems of character education: family, school and community.

Creating Connections: Curriculum, Technology and Learning
This course will bring together online resources, curriculum frameworks and updated methodologies complimenting Internet resources with effective templates for seamlessly organizing and presenting learning activities that access the internet. Work achieved and projects developed in this course will be in the area of your curriculum. This course will provide evaluation tools for web sites and resources, a review or update of advanced searching strategies and enable participants to build an actual WebQuest for their grade and content focus and to build a rubric for evaluating their WebQuest activities.

Differentiating Instruction Across the Content Areas
(EDUC7000)
This course is designed to assist teachers of all subject areas in matching their instructional approaches to the needs and interests of every student in their classrooms. Faced with the challenge of increasingly diverse classrooms, participants will explore field-tested and proven ideas for how to match instructional approaches to the readiness, interests and talents of all students. Included in this course are the fundamental principles that support differentiated instruction, a variety of instructional strategies that provide multiple learning paths for students, and suggestions for managing the differentiated classroom. Closely aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Common Core of Learning Chapters, this course provides effective methods for differentiating curriculum content, student products and learning and assessment activities.

Family and Community Service Learning
(EDUC7000)
This course highlights how the home, school and community partnership enhances the academic success for all students in our community through various means of community service learning. An in-depth look at the National Standards for Parent Involvement will be discussed throughout the course, as it can be a segue for many programs and projects for Community Service Learning.

Foundations of Reading Instruction
(EDUC7000)
This course is designed to provide analysis and discussion in five areas of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. Each session will define a skill, review the evidence from research, suggest implications for classroom instruction, describe proven strategies for teaching reading skills, and address frequently raised questions.

Save our Youth: Classroom Strategies for Moral Education
Why are American youth at such severe risk? If "it takes a village to raise a child," perhaps the answer lies in what has happened to our "village." This course will examine the current state of America's children, the alarming increase in their violent and deviant behavior and their observed lack of basic human values. The causative factors of changing social, economic, family and work patterns will be examined as well as the classic research on the stages of moral reasoning. All stakeholders in America's youth will be represented in possible solutions to the problems of character education: family, school, community.

Teaching Responsible Behavior, K-12
(EDUC 7000 Topics: Fitchburg)
This course will examine psychological, social, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect the learning of children and adolescents in public schools. Participants will demonstrate an understanding of antisocial behavior and mental health diagnoses. Various science based curricula will be presented to address school issues such as bullying, conflict resolution, sexual harassment, pro social skills and strategies to counter antisocial skills demonstrated by students. Successful school and community models will be investigated.

Teaching Vocabulary Effectively Across the Content Areas
(EDUC7000, Fitchburg)
Vocabulary knowledge is critical to the act of comprehending what one is reading. This course will examine current and classic research on how individuals of all ages acquire language. Research-based teaching practices that have been proven to be effective in the teaching of vocabulary will also be presented, examined and practiced. Participants will use the knowledge gained in this course to incorporate these best teaching strategies in their instruction of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks across all content areas.

Terror in the Name of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence
EDUC 8005, Fitchburg
This course will examine the growing alliance between religion and violence from a historical, political and sociological perspective. Religion seems to be connected with violence everywhere. The September 11 assaults were only the most spectacular of a series of bloody religious incidents. In recent years, for example, religious violence has erupted among right wing Christians in the United States, Angry Muslims and Jews in the Middle East and indigenous religious communities in Africa, Indonesia and in other parts of the world. Like the activists associated with Osama bin Laden, those involved in these events have relied on religion to provide political identities that give license to vengeful ideologies. This course will examine in depth this "unholy" alliance.

Twentieth Century Literature: A Sociological Perspective
(EDUC7000, Fitchburg)
This course examines key concerns in literature in a challenging conceptual framework. The course is designed to look at pressing contemporary issues in literacy scholarship. Lectures, as well as students' discussions and reflections will be focused on in-depth investigations of the authors' purpose with respect to social issues over the last century. Themes will include, but are not limited to, postmodernism, globalization, education, religious influences, violence and taboos, pop culture, consumerism, crime and the criminal, gangs, multiculturalism, socio-economic concerns, gender roles and stereo-types.

Understanding Wellness and the Coordinated School Health Model
(EDUC7034, Fitchburg)
This course is designed to explore the six dimensions of wellness and how they relate to personal and professional goals. Participants will evaluate their own level of wellness and explore various teaching strategies that can be integrated into their everyday lessons to promote wellness for their students. The eight components of the Coordinated School Health Model will be examined as well as the current status of this initiative as it relates to academics. Participants will be given the opportunity to create action plans to increase their individual level of wellness as well as increasing wellness within their schools. Group discussions will solicit short term and long-term goals to achieve a Coordinated School Health Model.

Violence Against Children
EDUC 8011
Children have long been the recipients of a variety of forms of abuse and neglect. Infanticide was referenced in some of the oldest written documents, and continues to occur today in many parts of the world. In the United States, child abuse was regarded as a normative behavior that did not require social intervention until the Progressive Movement of the early 1900s. It then declined in attention until the 1960s, when Kempe's Battered Child Syndrome hit the press. Since then, child abuse has gained in public attention including child neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and verbal abuse. This course will review the history of violence and abuse, and then bring it into discussing other forms of violence with which children and adolescents must deal in contemporary society. These other forms include witnessing domestic violence, witnessing social violence, bullying in schools, gang membership, and the routine socialization of children for violence. Understanding the impact of racism, sexism, classism and other forms of oppression including terrorism on children will also be examined.

WebQuest for Educators
This on-line course is designed to provide teachers of all grade levels and in all content areas a means to integrate technology into their classrooms. By following the standards of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks participants will explore the concept of web quests, design their own web quest, and integrate them within their curriculum. Participants will be giving their students a diverse way to discover new ideas, think critically and share strategies to solve problems and answer questions.

This course is non-synchronous, meaning you control the time and place. This course will be comprised of eight modules and have 37.5 contact hours. Participants will spend an average of 6 to 8 hours per week on the course through a combination of reading, interacting online with the instructor and other learners, and completing assignments.

Writing Across Content Areas
(EDUC7000, Fitchburg)
This course is designed to improve the teacher's ability to develop student critical thinking skills in all content areas through the writing process. Teachers will be involved in writing activities and projects to enhance learning in all content areas by choosing key thinking and writing skills for students and evaluating student writing to plan for strategic teaching. Writing Content to be covered includes: domains of writing, audience, form, writer's role, explicit assessment criteria, and prewriting procedures.

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