STEM Instructional Leader (PreK-6)
The STEM Instructional Leader (PreK-6) certificate program at JHU was designed to prepare an exceptional cadre of STEM teacher leaders to serve teachers of PreK-6 grade students and in direct and indirect ways their students. Instructional Leaders are specially trained to lead educational contexts to develop powerful STEM learning contexts that support the development of beginning and veteran teachers of STEM.
Participants in this certificate program will explore research-informed methods for effective STEM teaching and effective leadership including policy, practice, emerging research, theory, culturally responsive education, and legislation/advocacy.
CRITICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CERTIFICATE COURSES
- Alignment with multiple professional organization recommendations for the preparation of teachers of STEM;
- Emphasis on updated research-to-practice approaches;
- Focus on equity, access, and excellence for each and every learner of STEM, including such learners as students with disabilities and English learners;
- Exploration of culturally-relevant pedagogical approaches including assets-based instructional practices;
- Inclusion of problem-based, project-based approaches that meld STEM content with pedagogy;
- Exploration of technology-enhanced instructional contexts;
- STEM exploration, inquiry, problem solving, and critical thinking;
- Instruction infused with mathematics principles and perspectives;
- Exploration of rich cross-disciplinary experiences that support a deeper conceptual understanding of STEM;
- Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary foci that support instructional leaders who can support the development of learners who are capable of thinking across disciplinary boundaries.
This 18 credit, fully online certificate program is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for those seeking the STEM Instructional Leader (PreK–6) endorsement. Pre-requisites are completion of a bachelor’s degree in education or a closely related field from a regionally or nationally accredited institution and mathematics or science teaching experience in elementary, middle, or secondary schools. Refer to the Admissions page for program admissions requirements and application instructions.
This program is designed for current teachers seeking to enhance their professional qualifications through graduate study. This program does not lead to initial teacher certification. For more information on initial teacher certification programs, please visit our Master of Arts in Teaching or Master of Science in Special Education program webpages.
Individuals who hold teaching certification in the state of Maryland and complete this certificate program will be eligible for Maryland teaching endorsement as a STEM Instructional Leader in grade levels PreK-6.
Individuals not residing and not certified to teach in Maryland are not eligible for the endorsement, and should enroll in one of two leadership recommended courses in place of the internship course.
Courses are delivered fully online in an asynchronous format that features small interactive groups, whole-class participation, and individual preparation. The expected timeframe for completion is between 12 and 24 months. This program incorporates active project-based learning, where you will develop and use skills in pedagogy, analysis, problem solving, and critical thinking.
Students enrolled in this program will learn to:
- Enhance their abilities to engage diverse learners in STEM content.
- Create equitable learning contexts through which all students will be prepared to engage with STEM concepts and skills at the PreK-6 grade level and beyond.
- Understand learning theories and their application to the teaching of STEM content and pedagogy.
- Network with STEM educators and professionals.
- Develop the ability to approach the learning of new topics in STEM through inclusive, equitable, technology-enhanced, problem-based, and student-centered approaches.
- Understand the development of children’s scientific knowledge.
- Develop age-appropriate learning experiences to foster students’ critical thinking and ability to learn through classroom activities that are interwoven and interdisciplinary (National Science Teachers Association, 2003).
- Apply their learning of effective STEM educational practices through the creation, implementation, and modification of content-specific and interdisciplinary STEM experiences.
- Evaluate and adapt local curricular materials to incorporate authentic problems related to STEM concepts and skills and serve as an instructional resource.
This program requires the successful completion of 18 credits.
840.670 ADVANCED METHODS IN THE ELEMENTARY STEM CLASSROOM
This course will engage students in technology-enhanced, problem-based, and student-centered instructional strategies. Participants will learn to create an integrated, inclusive, and equitable STEM environment to support PreK-6 student learning and positive affect toward STEM. The course will include skills essential to the STEM learning environment. (3 credits)
840.600 INSTRUCTIONAL STEM LEADERSHIP & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SETTING
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of theoretical perspectives and research influencing STEM instructional leadership in elementary schools. Students will consider curriculum development, supervision, and evaluation of teaching, assessment of student learning, and design and implementation of school improvement programs. Strategies for developing a constructive, collaborative approach to supporting STEM teachers to improve student learning outcomes will be emphasized. (3 credits)
840.601 MATHEMATICAL FOUNDATIONS IN THE PREK-6 CLASSROOM
The goal of this course is to support Pre-K-6 content knowledge for teaching related to the following topics: patterns; number and operation; measurement, statistics, and probability. Connections of these topics to an integrated approach to curriculum and instruction will be emphasized. (3 credits)
840.650 PHYSICAL SCIENCE IN AN INTEGRATED PREK-6 CLASSROOM
The goal of this course is to provide PreK-6 teachers a rich understanding of foundational physical science concepts and their applications in an integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematical world. Topics will include: structure, properties, and interactions of matter; physical and chemical properties of materials; mechanics, force, and motion; gravity, energy transformation, energy sources, electricity, magnetism, light, sound, and wave interactions. Problem-based inquiries will be organized to engage the participants in planning investigations, gathering and analyzing data, offering plausible explanations, and developing a deeper knowledge base in the physical sciences. The engineering design process will be integrated throughout the course. (3 credits)
840.651 EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE IN AN INTEGRATED PREK-6 CLASSROOM
The goal of this course is to provide PreK-6 teachers a rich understanding of Earth and space science content and pedagogy. Topics will include: chemical and physical interactions of the environment, Earth, and the universe; weathering and erosion; processes and events causing changes in Earth’s surface; Earth history; plate tectonics; and astronomy. Problem-based inquiries will be organized to engage the participants in planning investigations; gathering and analyzing data; offering plausible explanations; and developing a deeper knowledge base of Earth and space science. The engineering design process will be integrated throughout the course. (3 credits)
840.652 LIFE SCIENCE IN AN INTEGRATED PREK-6 CLASSROOM
The goal of this course is to provide PreK-6 teachers with a rich understanding of life science content and pedagogy. Topics will include living organisms and their interactions, diversity of life, genetics, evolution, flow of matter and energy, and ecology. The applications and impact of technology on human life will be an important feature of the course. Problem-based inquiries will be organized to engage the participants in planning investigations, gathering and analyzing data, offering plausible explanations, and developing a deeper knowledge base of Life Science. The engineering design process will be integrated throughout the course. (3 credits)
To complete the clinical experience as required by MSDE, students employed in the state of Maryland and seeking the endorsement will also enroll in a specially designated 3-credit internship course.
Students not residing in Maryland and not pursuing the licensure endorsement will take, in consultation with their faculty advisor, a content course from the Mathematics Instructional Leader (Pre-K) certificate or one of the following two courses:
851.705 EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP
Students review the principles and techniques required of principals, assistant principals, and teacher leaders. The course emphasizes diagnosis of the school climate, principles of distributed leadership, motivation of faculty teams, and the dynamics of working in and with groups to accomplish school improvement goals. Emphasis is placed on the leader’s role in creating a collaborative vision or mission for a school and in establishing meaningful working relationships with the larger community. (3 credits)
893.634 TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP FOR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
Education leaders need to understand the use of technology for teaching, learning, and managing their school environment. These skills include school-wide technology planning and leadership that incorporate instructional design, curriculum integration with standards, logistics of technology implementation, professional development, and evaluation. Students will develop an understanding of how to create and support technological change through a systems approach. Topics include sources of resistance to change, tools for planning, decision-making and change, creating and supporting a culture for learning and change, and managing and institutionalizing change systems. (3 credits)
State-specific Information for Online Students
Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.
Gainful Employment Disclosure
This program is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for those seeking the STEM Instructional Leader (PreK-6) endorsement.