Differentiated Instruction Institute


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The Differentiated Instruction Institute offers courses to help educators build a framework and deepen their skills to support and empower diverse learners. Courses cover strategies to: help learners process, construct, and make sense of ideas; engage learners; monitor progress and make informed instructional decisions; and help all learners succeed. Students work with an advisor to craft the right set of courses based on each students’ needs and goals.

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For more information contact us at 413-538-3478 or graduateadmissions@mtholyoke.edu.

Mount Holyoke College has consistently prepared outstanding educators who have transformed communities around the world. Mount Holyoke College is a member of the Consortium for Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE) and the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).

Courses in this institute

X.EDUC-441 | Fostering a Collaborative Culture for Learning

Offered: Summer

Credits: 2

Description: This course is centered around Domain One of the Teacher Leader Model Standards, with an emphasis on creating cultures in our schools that support educator development and student learning. Modules include defining teacher leadership, exploring formal and informal teacher leadership roles, adult learning theory, facilitation of group learning and discussion, mitigating difficult discussions and building consensus, organizational change and the change process, building trust, and other skills to create inclusive cultures for professional growth (and student learning!).

Restrictions: This course is limited to Mount Holyoke MAT, MAMT and MATL students only

X.ELL-403 | Research in Teaching English Language Learners

Description: This course introduces teacher candidates to the sociocultural context of schooling and examines current research in the field of ELL teaching and learning. The course will support teacher candidates in developing an orientation toward teaching as inquiry, as well as the ability to read and conduct classroom research. Critical qualitative methods (e.g., ethnography, case study, action research) will be considered and teacher research in the ELL classroom will be emphasized. Teacher candidates will develop and complete a qualitative inquiry project that investigates an aspect of language teaching or learning of interest to them.

Restrictions: This course is limited to graduate students; others may register with permission of the instructor.

Credits: 3

Offered: Summer 1  

Format: online

 

X.ELL-416 | Language Assessment and Classroom Practice

Offered: January Intersession  

Credits: 2

Description: Brief introduction to theory and practice in assessing students' academic English proficiency. Students will learn about purposes of and types of language assessments (e.g., large-scale standardized tests like WIDA ACCESS, alternative assessments like portfolios, formative assessments) and practice designing oral language assessment tasks and using rubrics  to evaluate student writing.

X.ELL-418 | Second Language Acquisition and Classroom Practice

Description: This course will a) introduce students to theories of second language acquisition (cognitive, social, and linguistic influences) and how these inform teaching practices, and b) introduce teaching methods and approaches to teaching ELLs so students can begin to make informed context-sensitive decisions about language teaching methods, techniques, lesson planning, materials, classroom management, etc.

Credits: 2

Offered: Summer 2  

Format: online

X.ELL-421 | Linguistics for Teachers

Offered: Fall

Credits: 2

Description: This course provides teacher candidates with an in-depth analysis of the structural and functional components of language: syntax, phonetics, phonology, morphology, semantics, register, and genre. Teacher candidates will apply concepts to language teaching and learning. The course will also include an in-depth look at functional linguistics and critical genre theory, focusing on how language functions in academic speech and writing.

Restrictions: This course is limited to graduate students only.

X.ELL-426 | Methods in Teaching English Language Learners (ELL Methods)

Offered: Fall  

Credits: 4

Description: This course focuses on applying theories, principles, and evidence-based methods of second language acquisition to the development of materials, lessons, and curricula for teaching disciplinary English to K-12 speakers of other languages. Teacher candidates will cultivate skills in the design and delivery of contextualized lesson plans, develop expertise in the selection and evaluation of materials such as textbooks, computer-assisted materials, and realia, and demonstrate their understanding of critical issues in teaching ELLs. Teacher candidates must simultaneously be participating in pre-practicum observations.

Restrictions: This course is limited to Mount Holyoke graduate students only. Students must complete X.ELL 426, X.ELL 418, X.ELL 421.

Advisory prerequisites: Requires a field experience in an educational setting.

X.ELL-451 | English Language Development Standards and Assessment Framework

Offered: January  

Credits: 1

Description: This course introduces teacher candidates to the WIDA English language development standards and assessment framework, with a particular focus on understanding the large-scale standardized assessment of English language learners (e.g., WIDA ACCESS 2.0). This course will prepare teacher candidates to understand test design, prepare to participate in administrator training, and interpret score reports in ways that support their ability to use assessment to inform instruction and communicate with students and families about students’ English language development needs and progress.

Restrictions: This course is limited to graduate students only.

X.ELL-463 | Teaching English Language Learners: Sheltered English Immersion Endorsement (standalone course)

Description: This course is offered for teachers seeking SEI endorsement. It serves as the ReTELL course that provides an overview of pragmatic pedagogical strategies for including English Language Learners in content area classroom instruction. Readings in language acquisition theory, language learning and teaching, effective lesson design and assessment, Sheltered Instruction Observation  Protocol and knowledge of intercultural learners are covered. Students will have experience developing and adapting lessons and curriculum to address the needs of students in their pre-practicum settings.

Advisory prerequisites: This course is offered for licensed Massachusetts teachers and teacher candidates seeking SEI endorsement

Credits: 3

Offered: Summer 1  

Format: on-campus

X.MTHED-473 | Creating Accessible Mathematics Classrooms

Offered:  Fall     

Credits:  2

Description:  Supporting students with disabilities in mathematics can be enhanced by developing teachers’ mathematical content and pedagogical knowledge. This course will broaden teachers’ understanding of universal design for learning, EDC accessibility strategies, and the implementation of effective instructional routines. The course will also review the history of the disability rights movement with a lens on mathematics education and the importance of respecting neurodiversity. Students in the course will leave with specific skills and strategies they can implement in their own educational settings.

Restrictions: Course is open to matriculated and non-matriculated graduate students. Credit and non-credit options available.

X.SPED-416 | Interventions for Behavior and Classroom Management

Offered: January Intersession

Credits: 1

Description: In this course students will review research, theories, and practices for responding to challenging behavior. Topics will include establishing effective rules and procedures, classroom-and school-wide behavior management systems, and approaches for addressing individual student behavior and developing relationships with children and support professionals to improve behavior across settings.

Restrictions: This course is limited to Mount Holyoke MAT, MAMT, and MATL students only

X.SPED-421 | Assistive Technology for Special Education

Offered: Fall  

Credits: 1

Description: This course provides an introduction to teaching with technology and, more specifically, how assistive technologies can be used by individuals with disabilities, PreK-12, to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Students will have the opportunity to explore a range of devices, applications, software, etc. that enhance access to academic and non-academic learning in schools. Course assignments will help students develop an understanding of how to assess student assistive technology needs, employ and monitor interventions, and improve teaching through the use of technology.

Instructor permission required for all who register.

Restrictions: This course is offered for graduate students only.

X.SPED-426 | The Inclusive Classroom

Description: This course surveys the etiology, diagnosis, and remediation of learning differences including dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, autism, as well as factors that influence a child's readiness to learn. Students present, discuss, question, and exchange ideas that contribute to an overall understanding of special education in the field. With an emphasis on inclusion in schools, students explore the impact of current policies, assessments, and practices. Students will have the opportunity to examine and practice applying interventions and approaches that support student engagement and prosocial behavior. The focus is on adapting the learning environment, classroom structures, and teaching approach so that all children, regardless of learning strengths and needs are supported to reach their potential and achieve meaningful goals.

Credits: 2

Offered: Summer 2  

Format: limited residency: online with a 5-day campus-based residency 

X.SPED-441 | Differentiated Instruction for Diverse Learners

Description: This course will address the design and modification of curriculum, instructional materials, and general education classroom environments for students with moderate disabilities. Students will learn ways to prepare and maintain students with disabilities to succeed in general education classrooms, to monitor academic and behavioral progress, and to make instructional decisions accordingly. Students will experiment with a variety of technological tools for teaching PreK-12 such as applications and web-based tools for student engagement and progress monitoring. Coverage will include instruction on assistive technology, including AAC, to support students with disabilities to learn in the least restrictive environment.

Credits: 2

Offered: Summer 2  

Format: limited residency 

X.SPED-447 | Assessment and Instruction for Exceptional Learners

Offered: Fall  

Credits: 3

Description: In this class, students will examine legal policies and ethical principles of measurement and assessment related to special education referral, eligibility, and placement for individuals with exceptionalities, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Through course activities students learn to: administer psychoeducational and achievement tests; explore formal and informal assessments that minimize bias; interpret results and use data to guide educational decisions for individuals with exceptionalities; make collaborative, data-based decisions with and about learners; monitor the learning progress of individuals with exceptionalities.

Instructor permission required for all who register.

Restrictions: This course is limited to Mount Holyoke MAT, MAMT, and MATL students only

X.SPED-463 | Foundations of Reading: Development, Comprehension, Instruction, and Assessment

Description: Reading development, assessment, comprehension and instruction are central to the course. Through a combination of readings, lectures, & experiences, this course will provide students with the knowledge & skills to assess literacy needs and implement effective language arts instruction for all learners. The course includes a study of the writing process, with coverage of phonics, spelling, & grammar. The Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy is addressed, as are all content objectives for the Foundations of Reading MTEL test required of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8 and 5-12) licensure candidates in the Commonwealth.

Credits: 4

Offered: Summer 1

Format: on-campus

X.SPED-471 | Legal Perspectives in Special Education

Description:This course will review state and federal laws and regulations that represent the requirements for special education. Participants will be introduced to concepts including educational terminology for students with mild to moderate disabilities; preparation, implementation, and evaluation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs); review of federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to special education and the history of special education

Credits: 1

Offered: January Intersession

Format: online

Professional Development Option: Yes

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X.SPED-481 | Special Education Law: Transitions, Collaboration, and Applications

Description: This course will review state and federal laws and regulations which governing special education and their implications, including preparation, and evaluation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), knowledge of transition services and services provided by other agencies, strategies for building and maintaining collaborative partnerships with team members, the role of families in advocacy and planning, and cultural variables that influence school culture and accessibility.

Credits: 2

Offered: Summer 2  

Format: online