Ed.S. in Leadership in Curriculum and Teaching
The Educational Specialist program, Leadership in Curriculum and Teaching, builds upon master's degree programs in curriculum and instruction (and related areas) to address leadership by classroom teachers in curriculum and teaching. Teachers play a decisive role in all aspects of school life and their leadership, both formal and informal, is crucial to the success of every innovation, reform, or change in schools. This Education Specialist (Ed.S.) program is designed to help classroom teachers assume a variety of collegial leadership responsibilities in schools and districts. These teacher leaders do not become school administrators, nor end their roles as classroom teachers. Rather, they provide leadership and expertise as professional educators to their colleagues, schools, and communities in areas of program, curriculum, and staff development in both general areas of curriculum and teaching as well as traditional content fields. In the program, they examine various approaches for making the schooling experiences of students more meaningful, experiential, holistic, reflective, and collaborative. The program leads to an Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) but carries no certification or endorsement. Rather, it leads to increased personal involvement in issues and programs in the schools.
The Education Specialist program emphasizes teachers working collaboratively with colleagues. Therefore, most of the program's course work takes place in an intensive, reflective experience with the same group of about 15 colleagues over two years. Opportunities, experiences, issues, and problems of teacher leadership are the substance of group discussion under the guidance of a team of instructors from National-Louis University. To enhance the continuity and clarity of ideas and experiences, the course work is deliberately integrated during three program terms of about eight months each. Six core courses, two per term, along with required internships, define the heart of the Ed.S. program.
Through internships the teacher-leaders undertake leadership roles for various tasks and activities in the schools and districts. Ed.S. students are assisted in designing internships each term that are integrated into their course work.
Education Specialist students are also required to complete a limited number of elective (post-masters) courses that enrich their backgrounds. Electives are individual courses that do not necessarily coincide with the course work of the Ed.S. group in the terms of the program.