The following required courses are at the heart of the TLC masters degree with a specialization in Instructional Leadership. 

EDC&I 525: Teacher Learning and School Change: Situating Teacher Leadership in Today's Schools

This in-person summer course is an introduction to the literature and practices surrounding instructional teacher leadership. Students examine their own educational philosophies and professional journeys toward teacher leadership. They consider how educational settings can be organized to support teacher leadership and professional learning, conduct an analysis of their own educational setting along several dimensions related to teacher leadership and professional learning, and develop a theory of action for addressing local challenges.  Inquiry is introduced as a stance for the practice of teacher leadership and as a set of tools for leading investigations into problems of instructional practice.

Students will be able to:

  • Recognize teacher leadership roles and functions within the educational system
  • Situate understandings about TL within a broader knowledge base regarding leadership within education
  • Self-assess/reflect/inquire about educational philosophies/priorities as preparation for assuming leadership in schools and districts
  • Facilitate leadership development among colleagues

EDC&I 526: Inside Teacher Communities: Building Authentic Professional Community 

This in-person summer course is an introduction to the literature and practices surrounding professional learning communities. The course examines different perspectives on professional communities, drawing from work of researchers and practitioners.  Students also explore practical tools for studying, engaging, and building professional learning communities, including reflection about their own experiences in schools.  Ultimately, participants create personal definitions and visions for professional learning communities that they want to create and sustain.

Students will be able to:

  • Understand and articulate strengths and common barriers to professional community
  • Promote and facilitate collective learning opportunities such as PLCs
  • Build colleagues’ capacity to participate in inquiry-oriented, continuous learning activities.
  • Advocate for improving the delivery and impact of professional development

EDC&I 552: Coaching and Mentoring Adult Learners

This fully online course (Autumn) provides a foundation in the work of coaching in educational settings. We will explore a variety of coaching models in American public schools, and determine which elements of each make sense within different contexts. Participants will read, process, and discuss both empirical research and practitioner literature on coaching and mentoring in order to build their understandings and hone their own skills, regardless of whether they currently hold a title as “coach” or “mentor” in their jobs. We will place coaching within the context of research on adult professional learning and on learning in instructional reform. The course will have a strong reflective component, in which participants will apply their learning at their own schools or work settings by practicing skills with a colleague.

Students will be able to:

  • articulate basic knowledge about adult professional learning;
  • examine different coaching and mentoring models and articulate rationale and benefits for each one;
  • plan and implement inquiry-based, respectful cycles for coaching and mentoring individual teachers and teams;
  • develop and practice coaching strategies (e.g., ways to form coaching relationships, setting agreements for coaching, observing and responding to instruction, designing appropriate coaching goals and strategies, assessing coaching progress)
  • articulate tensions inherent to the role of coaching in a district’s plan for teacher development;
  • practice coaching in the context of an instructional vision and develop fluency in observing, describing, and analyzing instruction in relation to a vision;
  • advocate for improved delivery models of peer coaching and mentoring

EDC&I 535: Education Policy for Teacher Leaders 

This fully online course (Winter) offers an introductory investigation into key educational policy issues as they relate to teachers, teaching, and the achievement of equitable outcomes for students in all school settings. Through a critical analysis of selected contemporary policies, students will gain an understanding of how policies impact the classroom, how educational organizations can support and guide instructional improvement goals, and how teacher leaders can represent and advocate for the profession outside of the classroom.

Students will:

  • build knowledge of and articulate key educational policy issues as they relate to teachers, teaching, and equitable outcomes;
  • analyze policies through the lens of four enduring tensions (quality of instruction, equity in delivery, efficiency, and choice);
  • practice disciplined inquiry and research with colleagues to advocate for equitable teaching and learning processes;
  • represent and advocate for the profession outside of the classroom.

EDC&I 553: Classroom Assessment Strategies: Collecting, Interpreting, and Using Data for School Improvement

This fully online course (Spring) offers an examination of current trends in data use for school improvement. The ongoing discussion of data use is multi-layered and multi-leveled, and this course aims to examine data use in schools from several vantage points.  We will begin by using a macro lens to establish the landscape of current trends, then use a micro lens to dive into specific processes at work when people use data.  Next, we will widen the lens again to connect processes to organizational structures and the larger context of schools.  Finally, we will focus on application by looking closely at one example of a data use framework, and imagining potential next steps for the field.

Students will explore:

  • the overlapping and disparate dialogues around data use in education
  • the potential role of data use in supporting and constraining equity in schools
  • current research on how teachers interact with data
  • organizational structures found to support data use in schools

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