Master's degrees in curriculum and instruction teach educators how to assess current classroom curriculum, develop new curriculum and curricular activities, implement curriculum changes and assist teachers in improving the effectiveness of their instruction. Courses in these programs cover topics such as teaching and learning in diverse classrooms, theories and trends in curriculum development, reading and literacy, integrative curriculum and effective instruction and learning. A wide range of jobs is available for educators holding this type of degree.
A curriculum and instruction master’s degree can aid in enhancing a teacher’s capabilities. Coursework in these programs assists teachers in learning how to create new and engaging lesson plans that reinforce skills and enhance content proficiency for their students. Teachers will also learn how to strengthen students’ learning though integrative curriculum, which is the practice of combining more than one subject into a lesson plan to strengthen a student’s learning outcomes. For example, a global studies class may learn about the Civil War while the same students are reading books by authors from that period.
Curriculum Development Coordinator
Schools are redeveloping and redesigning their curricula to better prepare students for state-mandated assessment tests. Curriculum development coordinators, also called curriculum specialists, curriculum interventionists or curricular consultants, review, evaluate and make changes to a school district’s curriculum. They must also work with principals, department heads, teachers and support staff to implement curriculum changes and ensure schools are achieving the new learning standards in the classroom. Often, curriculum development coordinators will create assessments and review the outcomes to see how effective their changes have been.
Principals are responsible for managing a school. They oversee their staff of teachers and support personnel, communicate with parents over student-related issues and discipline students for behavior issues. Equally as important as these public roles is the job of overseeing the school’s curriculum. Principals make sure their teachers meet the goals set by the school district for educational standards. They set objectives for their teachers and work to help ensure educators have the resources they need for student success.
Corporate Education and Training
Many public companies, private organizations and government agencies encourage their employees to participate in professional development and training. These programs, designed by corporate trainers, further develop the skills of a company’s workforce. A background in curriculum development and instruction helps corporate trainers assess the skill level of employees, map out coursework and curriculum that can enhance an employee’s skills and develop instructional techniques that engage workers. All of this can enhance productivity and contribute to a company’s growth.
Laura La Bella has worked as a marketing communications writer and editor in the fields of advertising, development and higher education for more than 15 years. She has authored more than two dozen nonfiction books for young adults, covering biographies of socially relevant people, timely social issues and career paths.