Courses for MAT and Initial Certification in Secondary Education Social Studies, 7-12

The faculty of the School of Education take pride in the curriculum they teach. Whether just beginning in the field of education as an undergraduate student or pursuing a graduate or doctoral degree, the coursework will prepare students to confidently and effectively make a difference in classrooms, school districts, and communities.

In addition to the School of Education's national recognition by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), as a point of distinction, the Secondary Education program in Social Studies has been accredited by and earned National Recognition from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).The NCSS has long maintained that "the primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world." With the more recent adoption of the C3 Framework for Inquiry in Social Studies (2013), NCSS further suggests that "young people need strong tools for, and methods of, clear and disciplined thinking in order to traverse successfully the worlds of college, career, and civic life." As a teaching candidate in the Graduate Leading Teacher Program in Secondary Social Studies, students will have the opportunity to develop ideas and practices that support these aims for social studies education.

Advisor: Dr. Jason Ritter,

Content-area pre-requisite courses may be required prior to acceptance. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis through a transcript review during the application process.

Fall 1 (9 Credits)

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GSCE 520

Introduction to Teaching

This course has two primary goals: (1) To explore what “good teaching” is by looking at: (a) your own experience as a learner; (b) theories of teaching and learning; and (c) current standards for teaching; and (2) To have you experiment with different approaches to teaching, with an emphasis on: (a) Reflecting on successes and areas where improvement is needed; and (b) Seeing things through students’ eyes. Hybrid Course, Lecture. Offered every semester.

GSCE 583

Introduction to Teaching Field

This transcripted course will provide the student primarily with experiences in secondary schools and occasionally in agencies, and community settings. This course must be completed during the first 12 credits of registration and is a prerequisite for student teaching. Field Work. Offered every semester.

GILT 511

Technology in Education

Examines the pedagogy of teaching digitally, the use of technology as a teaching strategy for the classroom, and the impact of school-related legislation and leadership roles available in instructional technology. Lecture, Online. Offered fall and summer.

GFDE 500

Foundations of Assessment

This course covers foundations of assessing student learning. Focuses on understanding topics in measurement and assessment including reliability and validity, teacher made tests, diagnostic, screening, achievement and other standardized tests, goals, objectives, targets and standards, ethics and legal issues, objective, subjective, performance and authentic approaches to assessment. Hybrid Course, Lecture, Online. Offered fall only.


Spring 1 (9 Credits)

GESL 501

Helping ELLs in Mainstream Classroom

English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction aims to provide English Language Learners (ELLs) with social, cultural and basic and academic language skills to improve their academic achievement. Granted that the developmental goals of ELL’s language and academic skills are inseparably interdependent. ESL instruction cannot be perceived as the sole responsibility of ESL specialists. This course aims to support pre-service content area teachers in developing adequate levels of competency in addressing the special needs of linguistically and culturally diverse learners in their classes. It also prepares pre-service content area teachers to work with ESL professionals on various levels. The course provides them with basic knowledge and skills appropriate and effective instructional experience for the ELL population. It also focuses on how content area teachers can make accommodations, adaptations, and modifications in their instructional planning and implementation to create an inclusive instructional environment for all learners. In light of PDE requirements, the course covers content related to the five TESOL standards, including language, culture, instructional, assessment, and professionalism. Lecture, Online. Offered every semester.

GSCE 631

Instructional Techniques

The focus of this course is on planning for pupil involvement with particular emphasis on selection of content, activities, materials and instructional techniques to improve school teaching in the content areas. Lecture. Offered every semester.

GSCE 632

Instructional Techniques Field

This field experience will provide Graduate Secondary Education teaching candidates with opportunities to connect, apply, and reflect upon the ideas, strategies, and theories of effective teaching explored in GSCE 631 Instructional Techniques to the practical setting of a secondary school classroom. This Level 2 field experience is the transition between previous Level 1 observational field experiences and Level 3 interactive field experiences. Field Work. Offered spring only.

GSCE 540

Adolescent Literature

Adolescent Literature Evaluation and selection of books and related materials in the subject fields of science, arts, and the humanities, with special reference to the interests of high school youth. Lecture. Offered fall and spring.


Summer 1 (6 Credits)

GSCE 522

Educating the Whole Teen

This course is designed to support educators who work with, or plan to work with, teenagers in today’s fast-changing world. We will explore various approaches to facilitating learning opportunities that account for the intellectual, social, and emotional needs of contemporary adolescents. This will be accomplished through approaches to education that draw from different spiritual traditions, educational psychological perspectives, models of schooling, community resources, technological innovations, and views on the role of the teacher. Hybrid Course, Lecture. Offered summer only.

GSPE 501

Exploring Inclusive Teaching Supports

This online course allows teacher candidates from various disciplines to explore methods and supports for delivery of instruction to students with high incidence disabilities. A foundation will be laid for acquiring the necessary background and skills in the process(es) of universal design, differentiated instruction, and co-teaching. With an emphasis on literacy development, candidates will become familiar with adapting curriculum based on student learning needs, IEP, and 504 plan goals and objectives, and environmental considerations. Online. Offered every semester.


Fall 2 (9 credits)

GSPE 655

Secondary Practices and Transitions

This course will be taken with Transition Seminar and Transition Practicum. This course is designed to provide an overview of critical issues for students with challenging needs in secondary school settings, as well as the process of transitioning to post-secondary education, employment and community involvement. The course content focuses on: secondary curriculum, strategies for successful inclusive school experiences, transition planning as well as global support strategies. These strategies are designed to support persons with challenges in becoming successful independent, as well as interdependent adults in a complex society. Lecture. Offered fall and spring.

GSCE 634

Teaching Secondary School Social Studies

This course will focus on providing the student with the concepts and techniques needed to successfully plan and deliver social studies instruction in a competent and professional manner appropriate for the secondary level. Lecture, Online. Offered fall and spring.

GSCE 593

Supervised Secondary Field Experience

This field experience provides opportunities for teaching candidates to connect, apply, and reflect upon the ideas, strategies, and theories of effective teaching promoted in the secondary methods courses to the practical setting of a secondary school classroom. These experiences are designed to foster personal and professional growth in preparation for student teaching and entry into the teaching profession. Field Work. Offered every semester.

GSCE 501

Content Area Reading

In this course, we draw on sociocultural and developmental frameworks to explore how teachers can promote the enhancement of literacy skills in instructional practices across all content areas. We discuss the nature of literacy practices in and across classrooms, disciplines, and communities. Several elements are included in our examination of literacy: a critical reflection on our own and others’ literacy development; examination of a variety of strategies for literacy instruction and assessment; examination of the use of technology as a tool for literacy promotion; and attention to the development of our writing skills. We also attend to important pedagogical concepts for teaching successfully in multilingual classrooms. Finally, we engage in an exploration of the role of literacy in equitable education for all students. Lecture. Offered fall and spring.

GSCE 502

Content Area Reading Field

This field experience is taken concurrently with GSCE 501 Content Area Reading. Graduate secondary education students will complete 15 hours of field work as assigned by the instructor of GSCE 501, to address PDE Field Competencies. Field Work. Offered fall and spring.


Spring 2 (6 credits)

GSCE 589

Secondary School Student Teaching

Student Teaching. Offered fall and spring.

GSCE 591

Secondary School Student Teaching Abroad

Student Teaching. Offered fall and spring.

3 abroad,

 Total Degree Credits 39