Teacher Leadership Curriculum

Teacher Leadership Curriculum

The curriculum of the Teacher Leadership concentration is designed to enhance teachers' professional skill sets and enable them to become leaders in the field of education.


MS_ED 406 Research and Analysis I: Discussion and Question Development

This course aims to help students meet three goals that will advance the progress of the Master's Project and develop skills of questioning and discussion that are useful in many teaching-learning contexts. The three goals include the formation of a question which the Master's Project will address, a description of the rationale for the question and the start of a literature review on the topic.


MS_ED 407 Research and Analysis II: Literature Review and Methodology

This course is a forum in which to investigate the paradigms and approaches to educational research that participants can utilize in their Master's Projects. Participants discuss and refine their research questions and examine methods of data collection within the framework of research plans they design for their projects. Teacher research and action research are particularly emphasized for practitioner researchers. Participants investigate criteria used to evaluate research relevant to education and experience peer review of their own research.


MS_ED 431 Instructional Coaching and Evaluation

This course will explore a variety of approaches to the mentoring, coaching and evaluation of teachers and other educational personnel. Topics will include new teacher induction, using data to improve instruction, self and peer evaluations, and accountability. Students will actively practice observing instruction and how to provide effective feedback and coaching to teachers.


MS_ED 437 Curriculum Design and Implementation

The course provides an overview of various approaches to curriculum design and instructional models, as well as the impact of both on student learning, classroom climate and school culture. The history and theory of curriculum and instruction will be touched upon before delving deeply into specific current models with an emphasis on leading teams of teachers and schoolwide efforts.


MS_ED 447 Building a Culture of Learning

This course will address three core areas of school culture: understanding the connection between data and instruction for academic achievement, improving teaching and learning, and supporting the affective domain of the curriculum. We will explore several components needed to create, implement and maintain an effective school while we will examine teaching and learning, diversity in student populations, the role of the community in supporting schools and new research in education.  As a final project, course participants will write a proposal that encompasses components needed to start a new school.


MS_ED 449 Teacher Thinking and Learning

This course reviews current research on teacher thinking and learning. In particular, it examines the knowledge needed for teaching and how to support teacher learning by establishing a community of learners. Participants will design supports for teacher learning at their schools through an examination of existing teaching routines and a diagnosis of challenges particular to the school.


MS_ED 450 Leading Teacher Teams

This course explores the skills necessary in leading teams in schools, including collaboration and shared governance. We will also explore project management, goal-setting, achieving results, program evaluation and accountability. Concepts learned in other leadership courses will be applied to real-world situations via projects and case studies.


MS_ED 452 School Leadership

This course provides a broad foundation in leadership theories and frameworks. Application of these frameworks will occur through school improvement efforts at the instructional, building and district levels. Special attention will be given to leading change in schools and school systems.


MS_ED 460-1, 460-2 Practicum in School Leadership

The purpose of the course is to develop teachers’ understanding of and openness to growth as leaders by helping them to think insightfully about leadership and identify strategies to improve their effectiveness as leaders in schools. We will achieve this in two ways: (1) by implementing, reflecting upon and redesigning a leadership routine (“action-observation-reflection”) to accomplish established goals at teachers’ school sites (this is the work of the practicum) and (2) by examining various aspects of leadership that can facilitate teachers’ personal leadership practice and development.


MS_ED 461 Formative and Summative Assessments

This course covers the use of formative and benchmark assessments for K-12 teachers to diagnose and redesign learning opportunities for students. It also focuses on measurement topics related to understanding validity and reliability as well as the use of data to inform instruction. In addition, teachers learn techniques for using formative classroom assessments to inform instruction.


MS_ED 462 Professional Development Design and Implementation

This course reviews current research on professional development with adult learners. In particular, it examines the knowledge needed for teaching and how to support teacher learning by establishing a community of learners. Participants will design supports for teacher learning at their schools through an examination of existing teaching routines and a diagnosis of challenges particular to the school.


Additional Focus-Related Course Work

In addition to the above 11 courses, each candidate in the Teacher Leadership concentration will complete four courses within the focus area of the candidate's choice. Sample focus areas include literacy, math, science or the gifted.


The curriculum above is subject to change.

Contact Us

Master of Science in Education School of Education & Social Policy

618 Garrett Place
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/467-1458

Email: msedprogram@northwestern.edu