Curriculum & Foundations (C&F)

Curriculum & Foundations (C&F) - Message from the Department Chair


Associate Professor Marius Boboc Ph.D

Welcome to the Department of
Curriculum
and Foundations!

C&F plays an active role in the education of teachers and other education professionals. We offer courses and professional experiences that accommodate busy student schedules, including online courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. For aspiring teachers at the undergraduate and post-baccalaureate levels, our department provides the sequence of core professional courses. Students are introduced to teaching as a profession by practicing teachers, learn about the purposes and politics of education in the wider American social context, come to systematic understandings of how children and adolescents develop as learners, gain hands-on experience in applying up-to-date educational technology to teaching practices, and embark on their first field experiences in middle schools and high schools. During the practicum and student teaching semesters, our department also guides students in crafting classroom assessments that gauge student progress and pinpoint teaching strategies that raise academic achievement.

At the graduate level, C&F offers courses that expand the professional expertise of educators. All graduate students---in educational administration, counselor education, adult learning and development, and in all of the curriculum and instruction programs---take a course in educational research. This helps educators to hone their skills in two ways. It enables them to inquire, systematically, into their own teaching and professional practices with an eye toward improvement, and it provides them with qualitative and quantitative frameworks for making sense of educational policies and practices. Most graduate students also take at least one course in educational technology, to enhance their skills as researchers and disseminators of information. Within the Curriculum and Instruction programs, which include specializations in educational technology, early childhood education, elementary education, educational research, gifted and talented learners, health and physical education, literacy development and instruction, secondary education, urban secondary teaching, and special education---the core course in curriculum theory and instruction, taught by members of our department, provides students with theoretical guideposts to navigate the politically-charged waters of curriculum and pedagogical reform. Electives in comparative and international education, history of American education, sociology of education, and philosophy of education comprise our department’s graduate-level offerings in social foundations of education. In human development, our department offers graduate courses in educational psychology---psychological foundations of education, psychology of the adolescent learner, and psychology of learning and instruction. Our department also offers courses tied to the introductory field experiences for graduate students who are not yet certified to teach.

Four graduate-level curriculum and instruction specializations are housed in C&F. In educational technology, under the direction of Associate Professor Selma Vonderwell, students work with the very latest in web- and computer-assisted educational technologies that apply to both kinds of classrooms, virtual and bricks-and-mortar. In educational research, guided by Assistant Professor Karla Hamlen, our department offers advanced courses for those seeking an in-depth exposure to research practices that enable them to use data and theory for informed decisions, both as classroom educators and as school leaders. In Gifted and Talented Education, under the direction of Associate Clinical Professor Susan Rakow, the courses prepare students to lead programs for academically gifted students. The Gifted and Talented program is also highly useful for all educators seeking the best ways to meet the differentiated learning needs that they encounter in PK-12 schools. In Chinese language instruction, under the direction of Professor Chen Wang, prospective teachers, fluent in Mandarin Chinese, gain valuable experiences practice teaching in area schools. The Chinese language program culminates in a masters’ degree and an Ohio teaching license.

There is also an exciting alternative program for bringing new teachers into the classroom that I’d like to bring to your attention. If you are a college graduate considering a career move into big-city teaching, our MUST Program---the Masters in Urban Secondary Teaching---might be for you. Coordinated by Associate Clinical Professor Diane Corrigan, this accelerated masters’ program prepares students for urban classrooms in 13 months. The heart of the program is a guided, 9 month-long internship in an urban high school. The MUST Program is especially popular for those professionals whose undergraduate coursework positions them to be secondary teachers of math, science, English, or social studies. PK-12 certification in foreign language or art is also an option for MUST students. Comprehensive scholarships are available for those interested in becoming science and math teachers.

Many of the department’s faculty members have administrative responsibilities across the College and University. Dean Sajit Zachariah, holds a professorship in the department, and Associate Dean Brian Yusko is an associate professor here. The Doctor of Urban Education Program is directed by Professor Graham Stead, and several C&F professors teach courses and advise doctoral students at this level. Professor Lih-Ching Chen Wang directs the Confucius Institute in the College of Education and Human Services. The Institute promotes Chinese culture and language instruction and, in conjunction with Capital University in Beijing, sponsors exchanges of faculty, teachers, and students between China and Ohio. Professor Rosemary Sutton is the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Studies, Professor William Beasley directs the University Center for Teaching Excellence, Associate Professor Marius Boboc directs student learning assessments, and Associate Professor Emeritus Sanza Clark directs Mali Yetu.

A group of colleagues who hail from across the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia, C&F faculty members are outstanding instructors who maintain active research agendas and publish in the top journals in their fields. The department also calls on the services of adjunct instructors and practitioners who have proven and up-to-date track records as educators in Northeast Ohio’s schools. Our faculty members serve as caring student advisors, creative instructors, and leading researchers, assuring that our students have stimulating and productive learning experiences.