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Curriculum and Instruction [M.Ed.] - Elementary School Education

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The M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, Elementary School Education, is a cohort-based graduate program which capitalizes on the most current research in the field of education. The structured curriculum is designed to provide classroom teachers opportunities to advance their teaching and leadership skills so that they may become more effective within the rapidly changing field of education. The program focuses on increasing classroom teachers’ knowledge and experience through research into best classroom practices; increasing pedagogical knowledge, both in content and in general in the areas of technology, assessment, and classroom management; and increasing knowledge of the impact of historical milestones in education. The cohort model of instruction allows candidates to learn, contribute, and grow in a professional learning community.

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You don’t walk alone as you move toward your master’s

You don’t walk alone as you move toward your master’s

Fifth grade math teacher Katie Cunningham is glad she decided to return to MTSU and enroll in graduate college to earn her Master's of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction. “This program has made the biggest difference in my classroom and my students. I can see how my teaching is improving for the benefit of my students,” she explains. With firm appreciation, Cunningham goes on to say that she doesn’t think the program would be nearly as successful as it is without the involved and encouraging faculty. “My professors have become like family to me. They have been there every step of the way and have continued to push me to grow as a student and teacher. Enrolling in this program has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my teaching career.”

True Blue alum says graduate work improves her teaching

True Blue alum says graduate work improves her teaching

Weekend classes attracted kindergarten teacher Spring Harris to return to her alma mater to begin work on a master’s degree. “The program has allowed me to work full time and go back to school without feeling too overwhelmed,” she says, citing also the convenience of most classes having “an online portion so I am not traveling to campus every single week.” Harris says faculty in the program are absolutely outstanding in their professional treatment of students and their knowledge base and experience. “I have also appreciated the practicality of what I am learning. I have loved being able to take new things I implemented and bring it back to my class for discussion. Overall, the program has not only improved my knowledge base, but also my daily instruction,” she explains. Not only does she see results in her students but she feels more comfortable taking a leadership role in her grade level team.

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The master’s program in Curriculum and Instruction helps prepare students to become more dynamic classroom teachers. There is a high success rate within the classroom post-graduation, as well as other opportunities in the greater field of Education.

Some potential careers include

  • classroom teacher
  • curriculum specialist
  • director of curriculum and instruction
  • instructional coordinator
  • teacher mentor
  • textbook reviewer

Alumni from the Curriculum and Instruction Program have been employed in many districts including

  • Bedford County Schools
  • Franklin Special Schools
  • Metro-Davidson Schools
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Tullahoma City schools
  • Wilson County Schools

The Department of Elementary and Special Education offers the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree with a program of study in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentrations in Elementary School Education. This program is for practicing teachers who wish to learn more about evidence-based practices and strategies for enhancing their effectiveness in the classroom. This program does not lead to an additional licensure endorsement.

Accepted students will be required to attest to their commitment to the cohort and to contribute the necessary quality and quantity of time and energy to ensure the success of this community of learners as each student prepares to lead an effort to significantly improve her/his school or school district.

NOTE: International students will be required to meet MTSU’s English language proficiency requirements in addition to the program admission requirements.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right.

Other Graduate Programs

In addition to the concentration in Elementary School Education in the Curriculum and Instruction proram of study, the Department offers an Initial Licensure Specialization for individuals interested in teaching in K-5 classrooms and who have bachelor's degrees in other areas of study. Other M.Ed. programs in the Department include programs of study in Special Education, with concentrations in  Mildly/Moderately Disabled Students (Interventionist K-8 or 6-12) and Severely/Profoundly Disabled Students, and Literacy.

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Elementary and Special Education offers four undergraduate majors, all leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree: Early Childhood Education; Elementary EducationMiddle Level Education (6-8); and Special Education with choices of Comprehensive , K-12, or Interventionist, K-8 or 6-12. 

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Curriculum and Instruction, Elementary School Education Concentration, M.Ed.

Jeremy Winters, Co-Program Director
(615) 494-7729

Tracey Huddleston, Co-Program Director
(615) 898-5500

The Department of Elementary and Special Education offers the Master of Education degree with a major in Curriculum and Instruction and a concentration in Elementary School Education (grades K-6). Please see Curriculum and Instruction with Initial Licensure if interested in earning a license.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the Master of Education program are expected to score at least 380 on the Miller Analogies Test or 281 on the Graduate Record Examination or the minimum on a National Teachers Examination that meets Tennessee licensure standards.

Applicant must

  1. have at least a 2.75 undergraduate GPA for full admission and 2.50 undergraduate GPA for conditional admission;
  2. have elementary teaching licensure, the attainment of which may require additional undergraduate courses prior to the completion of the degree;
  3. have an initial conference with an appropriate graduate advisor in the Department of Elementary and Special Education.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam (PRAXIS II), or Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Elementary Education requires completion of 33 semester hours.

Candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive exam to be taken in the last semester of coursework (may be taken no more than twice).

Curriculum: Curriculum and Instruction, Elementary School Education Concentration

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.

Required Courses (33 hours)

  • ELED 6220 - Seminar in Elementary Education  1 to 3 credit hours  
    (3 credit hours)(3 credit hours required)  dotslash:(3 credit hours required) title:(3 credit hours) 
    (3 credit hours required) 

    ELED 6220 - Seminar in Elementary Education

    1 to 3credit hours

    Explores contemporary issues in education as they relate to individual teaching and learning. Designed to be a forum for discussion and practical application of current educational research.

  • ELED 6340 - Introduction to Educational Research

    3credit hours

    Research methodologies in education. Rationalistic and naturalistic paradigms explored with respect to problem statements and literature reviews. At the 7000 level, students will broaden the scope of their research to include original data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

  • ELED 6370 - Education and Ethno-Cultural Diversity

    3credit hours

    Explores the ethno-cultural issues, concepts, and theories that impact teaching practice. Course content linked to students' (anticipated) professional needs and interests. Prior professional, cross-cultural, or international experience welcomed. Exposes participants to social dimensions of ethno-cultural diversity that increasingly impact pedagogy.

  • ELED 6630 - Digital Learning in a Digital Age

    3credit hours

    Provides graduate candidates practice and skills related to digital literacy, the nine elements of digital citizenship, and twenty-first century readiness. Candidates examine the personal and ethical implications of individual actions in digital space.

  • ELED 6570 - Methods of Curriculum Integration

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Acceptance into graduate studies and the initial licensure program. Acquaints students with the philosophy and need to teach mathematics, English/language arts, social studies, and science in the elementary classroom; familiarizes students with a variety of instructional strategies for teaching these content areas in an integrated approach.

  • ELED 6580 - Effective Management Practices for the Elementary Classroom

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of a minimum of 6 graduate hours or acceptance in the Initial Licensure Program. Introduces students to classroom and instructional strategies to build, adjust, and maintain an effective classroom learning environment.

  • ELED 6620 - Assessment of Teaching and Learning

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ELED 6010 (or taken concurrently with ELED 6010 by Elementary Education major only). Familiarizes teachers with assessment techniques that focus on the complex relationship between learning and instruction. Required for all students.

  • ELED 6290 - Research into Practice

    3credit hours

    An in-depth study of the inquiry process as it relates to teachers in the classroom. Theory and practice combine as teachers engage in their own research to improve classroom instruction.

  • ELED 6650 - Curriculum: Inquiry and Thinking

    3credit hours

    Explores the perspective of curriculum as inquiry and the theoretical and practical implications of designing content-based curriculum with an emphasis on the integration of multiple types of thinking that serve understanding across disciplines. Explores putting a system of beliefs into action.

  • ELED 6670 - Advanced Content Methods

    3credit hours

    In-depth analysis of the content pedagogical knowledge in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Field experience component included.

Program Notes

Any course requiring admission to Teacher Education may require observations, case studies, or other time in K-6 classes.

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance

This program is available .

For More Information or Explore Your Options​

Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program OR work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.

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With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person. ​

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Contact Information

Dr. Jeremy Winters

Who is My Advisor?

Dr. Jeremy Winters

Mailing Address

Elementary and Special Education Department
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 69
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN  37132

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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