Master of Science in Education – Educational Studies (Independent Schools Option)


The Master of Science (MS) in Education with a concentration in Educational Studies (Independent Schools option) is designed for individuals currently teaching or planning to teach in independent schools. The 33-credit graduate program option leads to a master’s degree, but not certification.

Teacher candidates will be prepared through the practical application of theories learned in class and taught by faculty with expertise and practical day-to-day experience in teaching or supervising teacher candidates in independent schools. The goal of the program is to provide candidates with the foundational pedagogy and knowledge base necessary to become successful teachers in independent schools.

Since the program is designed for educators with a range of experiences, it draws on the InTASC Standards (which now embrace all levels of teaching experience), and will also be informed by the principles and standards of the Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools (AIMS), the Council on Exceptional Children (CEC), and those of the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE).

Program Objectives

  1. To provide coursework in pedagogy that meets the unique needs of independent schools.
  2. To provide each candidate with instructional and classroom/behavioral management skills needed to teach successfully at all levels of independent schools.
  3. To integrate practical experience in actual classrooms with concepts taught in the university classroom.
  4. To base all coursework on the InTASC, ISTE, CEC, and AIMS standards and principles.
  5. To use portfolio assessment to demonstrate the candidate’s understanding of and adherence to the principles employed throughout the program.


Core Courses (9 Credits)

851.633 Introduction to the Independent School
This course will focus on the unique quality of the independent school. A specific focus will remain on the relationship between the parent and the teacher, reworking curriculum to fit the diverse needs of the student, understanding the importance of pedagogy and history in the independent school, and fostering a love of learning in each child.

851.634 Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Independent School Settings
Students consider the philosophical, historical, and psychological foundations for lower and upper school curriculum and explore the linkages between assessment-based curriculum and instructional strategies. After examining the scope and sequence of the lower and upper school curricula, students evaluate options presented in various school reform plans that pertain to independent schools and contemporary research findings on effective schools and effective instruction.

855.610 Seminar in Teacher Leadership
Students in the final year present and evaluate their projects and plans for implementing change in their work environments. In addition, participants examine selected topics and current issues in educational leadership. This course can only be taken in one of a student’s final two semesters.

Required Courses (9 Credits)

Group 1: Technology (candidates choose one 3-credit course)

893.508 Technology and the Science of Learning
New technologies are part of the intellectual landscape in which new kinds of knowledge are breaking down the boundaries of previous distinct disciplines. The design and use of new technologies make possible new approaches to learning, new contexts for leaning, new tools to support learning, and new understandings of the dynamics of the learning process itself. This course examines the role of technology relative to the key concepts of active learning, metacognition, and transfer of knowledge from multidisciplinary perspectives on learning. Based on the new science of learning, students will develop and implement technology related strategies that align instructional technology to standards-based instruction, teach problem solving and higher-order thinking skills, promote cooperative learning, and use reflective teaching and inductive approaches to increase student achievement.

893.645 Designing and Delivering Online and Blended Learning Environments
This course explores how educators use online collaborative technology tools in the classroom and in professional development so that all learners achieve at higher levels. Online collaborative tools provide a new set of technologies that focus on the social collaborative aspect of the Internet. These tools include, but are not limited to: learning management systems, wikis, webinars, image repositories, document sharing, and bookmarking tools. The collaboration and interaction aspect of these tools provide novel opportunities for K-12 students to understand rigorous content, think critically, solve problems, collaborate, communicate effectively, and become responsible for their own learning. In addition, the infusion of online collaborative technologies into professional development allows educators the opportunity to utilize methods and strategies for effective collaboration beyond the walls of the schoolhouse. This class will introduce online collaborative tools and, together, participants will explore instructional implications, best practices, and learning activities and objectives that benefit students in the K-12 classroom setting and teachers in their professional development.

Group 2: Special Needs (candidates choose one 3-credit course)

871.502 Educational Alternatives for Students with Special Needs
Designed especially for general educators, counselors, supervisors, and administrators, this course examines differentiated instruction for students with special needs in general education classrooms. Students review the legal foundations and requirements of special education and the collaborative role of general and special educators in the implementation of individualized educational programs in general education classrooms. (3 credits)

885.501 The Gifted Learner
Students survey a historical overview of gifted education and examine research literature, intelligence theorists, and current practices used with gifted learners to gain perspective on the academic, social, and affective nature and manifestations of giftedness. Special needs populations are examined for unique characteristics and needs to further support the premise of a diverse gifted audience. Emphasis will be placed on gifted learning characteristics as they inform identification, planning, and support strategies. Participants explore the potential role they play in working with gifted youth, alternate placement opportunities, and the identification process through case studies.

Group 3: Development

851.635 Educating the Whole Child: Teaching to the Developmental Needs of the Child
This course will provide students with a whole picture of the child they will be, or are, teaching. In depth examination will be on the cognitive, physical, and emotional development of a child from age 4 through 18 years.

Elective Courses (15 Credits)

Candidates, subject to the approval of their academic adviser, will take 15 credits of elective courses from the JHU School of Education online course schedule.

Admissions Requirements

  • Completion of online application
  • Submission of application fee
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (Cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or better)
  • Essay
  • A current resume or CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Selected applicants who meet the entrance requirements may be invited to interview
  • For more information on the application process, please view the SOE Admissions page.

Contact Us

Academic Program Coordinator
Liesl McNeal