Masters of Education and Middle School Extension

During the course of earning a teacher certification in adolescence education at Canisius College, students have the option of adding a few classes to also earn either a Masters of Science in Education or a Middle School Extension, or both. This additional degree and certification add versatility and flexibility to their resumes which will, hopefully, ease their finding of careers once graduating from Canisius.

The requirements for the Masters degree include two additional classes to the required courses for certification: EDAD 538: Contemporary Issues and EDAD 616: Research Methods. The first of these classes, Contemporary Issues explores many of the most controversial topics in modern education including concepts like teachers’ unions, school funding, the No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top legislation, and technology use in the classroom. In Research Methods, students are asked to write a full research paper concerning a relevant educational issue. In the Masters program, the focus is not on practical classroom issues and pedagogy, but rather more on education theory and issues that extend far beyond the classroom. Most of the issues extend into the realm of public discourse and involve legal issues about the role of education and how it is to be carried out. (more…)

Literacy Instruction at Canisius

Canisius’ adolescence education program places a very strong emphasis on teaching literacy skills to students across the curriculum. There are two required classes in the program that explicitly deal with literacy and literacy issues, EDAD 502 – Foundations of Literacy and EDAD 503 – Literacy Skills for Teaching Professionals. While at first glance literacy seems to belong primarily to an English classroom, Canisius requires that all students take these classes no matter what area they wish to teach.

At the beginning of 502 many students, particularly the math and science ones, grumble about having to take a class that has traditionally had but a very small place outside of English class. By the end of the class, however, most students become more open to the concept because of the variety of very practical pedagogical techniques that can be used in almost any classroom and circumstance. An example of this is (more…)

Engaging Teaching

One of the adolescence education program at Canisius’ strong points is its across-the-board stress of using engaging pedagogical techniques in the classroom. These techniques are actions that attempt to make learning and education impactful, relevant and stimulating for students. It is the teacher’s job to try to find methods of instruction that fit these criteria and to make the material meaningful to the student in the “space” he or she is. That is, material must have meaning to the student’s life or they are not as likely to learn and retain the important lessons being taught.

This seemed to me to be a daunting prospect when I first entered the classroom at Canisius. I did not graduate from high school THAT long ago (only 10 years), but my experience is drastically different than that of students now. Cell phones were not commonplace. Most of the exciting educational technologies that we have now were in their infancy, if they existed at all. In fact, Facebook did not exist yet. It was the golden age of AOL Instant Messenger. I was very nervous about how I could go about relating to my students in a meaningful way in a technological world that is evolving so rapidly that even devices I bought a year ago are now obsolete. High school students are among the most tech-savvy people in the world and they expect that education be brought to them if they are to learn. (more…)

Pre-Student Teaching

One of the most important and work intensive parts of the adolescence education program at Canisius is the pre-student teaching aspect that goes along with the “Advanced Methods” class. Each subject area has its own class, but the requirements for the graduate students in these classes are all pretty much the same.

The class itself meets like a normal class, but students are expected to complete 70 hours of classroom observation with a cooperating middle or high school teacher. During these hours, students are expected to complete a wide variety of activities, including teaching at least 5 lessons, one of which must be observed by the professor. (more…)

Preparing for an Ever-Changing World of Education

One real strength of Canisius’ adolescent education program is in preparing its students for the future eventualities of teaching. Every class that I have been enrolled in thus far has emphasized the ever-changing world in which new teachers will be working. Students have grown up with the internet and nearly instant access to information as the norm. Because of this, traditional methods of teaching are no longer as effective as they once were. Canisius does a very good job at preparing future teachers to handle this difficult situation.

For example, the Foundations of Education class explores many different theories offered by current educational thinkers about how the realities of teaching have changed dramatically in the past decade or so. In this class, which meets online, we have discussed and covered the pros and cons of the thoughts of many leading educators about where the teaching profession and student education is headed. (more…)