Phone: 866-762-7861
Reading and Literacy


M.S. with a major in Brain-Based Teaching and a Concentration in Reading and Literacy

Bring the benefits of decades of reading, cognitive, and brain research into your classroom and earn your Master of Science with a major in Brain-Based Teaching and a Concentration in Reading and Literacy with Nova Southeastern University in as little as 12 months. Delivered through convenient and user-friendly distance education systems, this unique degree program allows you the flexibility to complete your program of study from home while maintaining your full-time job. The program focuses on equipping participants with knowledge of how breakthroughs in brain research, reading achievement and cognition can be translated into best practices for increasing reading achievement in classrooms and schools. The brain-based teaching program is not a certification/licensure program.

The M.S. with a major in Brain-Based Teaching and a concentration in Reading and Literacy is a Georgia "in-field," NCATE-accredited program.

The Courses (listed in numerial order; see below for sequence)

EDU 0610: BrainSMART Science, Structure, and Strategies (6 credit hours)
In this course, students study how people learn according to research from the fields of education, cognition, and the brain. Participants will evaluate and apply the research-based BrainSMART model for improving student achievement, specifically focusing on instructional strategies to address positive learning state and engagement, making meaning, attention, retention, and transfer. Teachers will explore the body-brain system and specific areas of the brain and their function, including the limbic system and the processes that make each brain as unique as a fingerprint. They also will examine how emotions, motivation, and positive relationships influence how the brain pays attention, learns, and remembers. Finally, students will develop and evaluate specific strategies to aid the visual, kinesthetic, and auditory processing styles and understand how the brain processes what it sees and hears.

EDU 0617: Courageous Learners: Tools for Teaching Students at Risk (6 credit hours)
Students today are arriving in the classroom with an enormous variety of skills, experiences, and attitudes. Many are at risk of academic failure, but the vast majority of students can achieve academic success when they are provided with effective instruction and an environment of respect. This course presents a model for addressing this challenge by guiding educators to master a new approach for understanding and reaching students with learning challenges; to discover tools for increasing motivation and enhancing academic achievement by all students; and to review model strategies that work well with students who learn differently. Particular attention is paid to challenges that relate to the learner’s neurobiological system; two particular areas of study are attention deficit disorders and dyslexia. Students also explore and apply ways to link with parents and community resources to assist struggling learners in reaching their potential.

EDU 0621: Brain-Based Foundations for Beginning Reading (6 credit hours)
This course focuses on an introduction to brain structure and function related to language development and beginning literacy in the primary grades. Phonemic awareness, reading readiness, emergent literacy, and multiple approaches to the teaching of phonics are addressed. Classroom assessment that guides teachers to appropriate interventions with young students is a focus. Emphasis is placed on a balanced approach to reading that includes diverse methodologies for vocabulary development, as well as increased comprehension and fluency in the primary grades.

EDU 0622: Connecting the Brain to Higher-Order Thinking and Literacy (6 credit hours)
In this course, students will learn the importance of metacognition and the use of specific cognitive strategies in reading classrooms of upper elementary grades. An introduction to terms associated with the brain (e.g., frontal lobes), its executive function capability, and the importance of thoughtful reading are explored. Research that focuses on model upper elementary grade reading classrooms will be analyzed, and current issues such as the importance of nonfiction and learning across the content areas will be examined. Teachers will use assessments and instructional methodologies for the purpose of increasing thinking, and specifically, comprehension, in reading.

EDU 0623: Brain-Based Differentiated Reading Instruction (6 credit hours)
In this practical course, students will learn brain-based principles and strategies for differentiating instruction to increase the likelihood that all students will have success, including those who have reading challenges. Specifically, the focus will be on teaching methodologies to reach boys effectively, as well as girls; reaching those who have difficulty maintaining attention during reading; teaching Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students; and identifying the brain system differences that occur when readers struggle. Participants will complete assessments and instructional plans for a balanced reading program, as well as an individualized reading roadmap appropriate for all types of readers.

EDUB 0699: Teacher Leadership Institute: Action Research Project (6 credit hours)

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards calls for “teachers to think systematically about their practice and learn from experience” and to “critically examine their practice on a regular basis to deepen knowledge, expand their repertoire of skills, and incorporate new findings into their practice.” This course engages students in action research as a way to critically analyze, reflect on, and improve their teaching practice. Implementing a BrainSMART strategy or skill within the classroom, students will demonstrate competency with that strategy or skill to assist student acquisition of new knowledge and use the action research process to assess how the strategy or skill helps to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. Students also will analyze and discuss the connection between action research and teacher leadership. This course is the capstone course of the master’s program and includes a minimum 40-hour field experience as students will teach, implement, and evaluate strategies as part of their action research projects.

* Please note that EDUB 0699 is a full-term course . You will register for during Session I and take it alone in Session I.  During Session II, you will continue to take EDUB 0699 at the same time as EDUB 0619.  You do NOT need to register for it during Session II.  Extending the course across both sessions gives you flexibility and an extended window to complete your action research project.


Please note that not all courses are offered every term. When you start the program, we will provide you with a sequence that allows you to complete the program within one year. If you want to pace the program differently, please be sure to let us know so that we can give you an exact schedule of when each course will be offered.