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Online · School of Education · Graduate Education

Middle Grades Curriculum and Methods
EDUC-676

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

An overview of the current issues and trends in the field of middle grades teaching and curriculum.

Requisites

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

The purpose of this course is to provide a knowledge base concerning issues and trends in the field of middle grades teaching, specifically in the area of curriculum. Candidates should have a sound knowledge base of middle grades curriculum terminology and issues, a plan to effectively implement and assess middle grades curriculum, and should begin to develop a network with other educators in the field to discuss and make recommendations concerning instructional and curricular issues at the middle grades level.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop a resource list that promotes effective teaching strategies for middle school students and curriculum content.
  2. Describe diversity and learner characteristics, specifically relating to the middle grades level, using current research.
  3. Analyze an integrated unit and provide evidence that one has met/exceeded the requirements.
  4. Develop a network with other educators in the field to discuss and make recommendations concerning issues and trends in the field of middle grades teaching and curriculum.
  5. Demonstrate mastery of vocabulary, concepts, and principles associated with middle grades teaching and curriculum.
  6. Utilize resources to develop an integrated unit that is current, accurate, meets necessary standards, and is meaningful and engaging for learners in grades 6–8.
  7. Approach middle grades curriculum and methods from a Christian worldview perspective.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchase

Manning, M. L., & Bucher, K. T. (2012). Teaching in the middle school. (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN: 9780132487351.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Recommended Resource

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (current edition). Washington, DC: Author.

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio and video equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Office

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

There will be 4 Discussion Board Forums throughout this course. The candidate is required to provide a thread in response to the provided topic for each forum. Each thread is to be 300 words (except for Discussion Board Forum 2) and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150 words.

Middle School Needs Analysis

The candidate will complete a chart that depicts the different developmental, cognitive, social, etc., needs for middle grades students. Then, the candidate will address strategies to meet the needs in each.

Lesson Plans (2)

The candidate will complete 2 Lesson Plans in this course. The candidate will construct the first lesson plan addressing how to teach listening skills within his/her content area. The candidate will construct the second lesson plan incorporating course information regarding inclusion, grouping, and gifted populations within his/her discipline and reflect on how needs are met for each.

Restructuring the Curriculum

The candidate will write a 4–5-page paper in current APA format that focuses on evaluating and restructuring a middle school curriculum. The paper must cite 3–5 references in addition to the class textbooks and the Bible.

Assessment of Learning

The candidate will create a chart comparing traditional and authentic assessments. He/she will give 5 examples of each type of assessment and include the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Management Plan

The candidate will create a management plan for promoting a positive middle school environment, outlining specific strategies. There must be a citation for each strategy from at least 2 sources.

Community Involvement Plan

The candidate will develop a plan to engage parents and caregivers in the students’ educational experience. He/she will address obstacles including cultural considerations, diversity, and incorporating his/her biblical perspective. The candidate must include 1 example of how to implement ongoing communication with caretakers, include 5 ways parents can be involved in student learning, and write up a parent teacher conference plan. Additionally, he/she must suggest 3 topics for a parent-education presentation for middle school grades. The plan must include at least 2 scholarly references.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussion Board Forums (4 at 50 pts each)

200

Middle School Needs Analysis

100

Lesson Plans (2 at 100 pts each)

200

Restructuring the Curriculum

100

Assessment of Learning

100

Management Plan

150

Community Involvement Plan

150

Total

1010

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

EDUC 676

Textbook:    Manning & Bucher, Teaching in the Middle School (2012).

Module/

Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Manning & Bucher: ch. 1

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Introduction/Welcome Discussion Board

Advising Guide Acknowledgement

DB Forum 1

10

0

0

50

2

Manning & Bucher: chs. 2–3

1 presentation

Middle School Needs Analysis

100

3

Manning & Bucher: ch. 4

1 presentation

DB Forum 2

Lesson Plan 1

50

100

4

Manning & Bucher: ch. 5

1 presentation

Restructuring the Curriculum

100

5

Manning & Bucher: chs. 6–7

1 presentation

DB Forum 3

Lesson Plan 2

50

100

6

Manning & Bucher: ch. 8

1 presentation

DB Forum 4

Assessment of Learning

50

100

7

Manning & Bucher: ch. 9

1 presentation

Management Plan

150

8

Manning & Bucher: ch. 10

1 presentation

Community Involvement Plan

150

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.