M.S. with a major in Brain-Based Teaching and a Concentration in Learning and Teaching
Bring the benefits of decades of cognitive and brain research into your classroom and earn your Master of Science with a major in Brain-Based Teaching and a Concentration in Learning and Teaching 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, student achievement and cognition can be translated into best practices for increasing student achievement in classrooms and schools. The brain-based teaching program is not a certification/licensure program.
EDUB 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.
EDUB 0612: Thinking for Results: Applying the Science of Student Achievement (6 credit hours)
In this course, students explore and apply how cognitive processes and strategies influence student achievement. A three-phase model of learning is discussed and analyzed. The first phase focuses on brain-based skills and strategies for gathering information, the second on processing and analyzing that information, and the third on expressing and applying what one has learned. To increase students’ capacity to maximize performance in these three phases, participants will learn to use a toolbox of cognitive assets. Specific examples of these cognitive assets in the context of the classroom will be explored, with opportunities for application. Students will learn the importance of metacognition and how to improve thinking skills. Terms associated with the brain (e.g., frontal lobes, executive function, neurocognitive plasticity), the concept of potential intelligence, and the role of mirror neurons in learning are explored. Students will use and analyze assessments and instructional methodologies for the purpose of increasing analytical and evaluative thinking. The HealthMath curriculum is presented, along with examples integrating instruction on and practice using selected cognitive assets in daily decisions involving nutrition and exercise.
EDUB 0614: Differentiated Instruction: Respecting Brain-Based Learner Differences (6 credit hours)
In this course, a deeper understanding of the potential of every brain is explored in the context of individual strengths and prior academic experience. A variety of brain and cognitive learner differences will be discussed, including gender differences, learning style preferences, and a system for better understanding students and their needs. Students will complete individual learner profiles for their own students and use those profiles to plan and evaluate lessons. This course also is designed to equip educators with a range of research-based presenting and facilitating strategies. These practical strategies will help educators adapt instruction to reach students with a variety of learning strengths in the classroom.
EDUB 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.
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.
EDUB 0619: Student Achievement and Classroom Management (6 credit hours)
This course explores how educational objectives, or learning goals, are fundamental to effective teaching and student achievement and provide a set of shared expectations among students, teachers, administrators, and the general public. Examine how developing and maintaining teacher-student relationships influence classroom management and increase a student’s likelihood to accept rules and procedures necessary for effective classroom management. By incorporating strategies to help nurture this relationship, behavioral problems are significantly decreased. Investigate, apply, and evaluate strategies proven to reduce classroom disruption and to increase on-task behavior.
Sequence and Schedule
Please note that courses are offered every other session:
NOTE: During your first term with the program, you will complete two seminars that will assist you throughout the program. The first is a short online course, EDU 5000, and you will register for it along with your first course. This seminar will support you as a student and cover topics like using the online learning tools and contacting student services. The second is an online project developed by the library to help you navigate and use the library resources. Information about the library modules will be provided by your first term instructor.
*You will register for EDUB 0699 in Session I and continue it during Session II. You do not need to register for it during Session II.