Courses to Take and Skills to Study in an Education Degree Program

Pursuing an advanced education degree typically means you've committed yourself to improving and expanding the ways you can serve students. You may be eager to explore what opportunities the latest educational tools and technology can help you bring to the classroom, or your passion may lie in developing a deeper understanding of how different learning theories and instructional methods can be tailored to students' various learning styles.

With so many possible ways to enhance and further your impact as an educator—not to mention the highly diverse needs and age groups you may be interested in working with—how do you know exactly which courses to take and skills to study in an education degree program?

Below we review some fundamental skills and courses that may help you better serve students no matter what role you move into after completing your Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree.

Core Courses in AIU's Master of Education Degree

While the upper-level courses at AIU you'll need to focus on will be largely determined by the students you hope to work with and which education specialization you choose, AIU students also must take four core courses that establish a strong foundation of knowledge for these later classes:1

  • The Education Leader
  • Legal, Regulatory, Educational Standards and Ethics
  • Research Resources for the Classroom
  • Educational Specialty Capstone

Specialization courses also will be introduced, focusing in-depth on topics such as student development, classroom diversity, data applications for educators and managing the learning environment.

Important Skills to Study in an Education Degree Program

Outside the material included in your courses and books, what are the important skills to study in an education degree program?

Being an educator requires a unique combination of organizational and interpersonal skills unlike many other professions, and you must be able to adjust teaching styles and lesson plans to suit your students' unique needs. Try to pay special attention to developing these skills while completing coursework for your degree.

Critical Evaluation and Planning

One of the most important things to keep in mind when trying to help students learn is that the same thing doesn't always work for different individuals. In order to be an effective instructor and to design curriculum materials that will be helpful for a wide range of students, educators must be able to clearly assess what works for whom (and in what distinct academic settings).

Proficiency in the Latest Education Technology

Whether you're teaching or working in an administrative capacity, you should make a concerted effort to keep yourself updated on the latest educational technology as well as the numerous ways to use technology in the classroom. In order to best serve a diverse student population (whether you're teaching K-12 or developing course materials for adult learners), you need to have as many tools at your disposal as possible.

Patience and Flexibility

While it's incredibly rewarding every time you get to see a student learn something new or develop some of their core skills, education can also be frustrating at times. You'll need to be patient when students need a little extra help with a lesson or activity, and you should also be willing to examine whether course materials or your teaching style need to be adjusted for certain students and situations.

Strong Organization and Time Management

Before you can focus your time and energy on students and desired learning outcomes, you should make sure all your materials and administrative responsibilities are in order. Because your schedule as a teacher may vary throughout the year, multitasking can be a huge help when you have to juggle daily assignments alongside long-term course planning.

Having a clear system to keep everything organized can make it easier to log grades, stay on top of important emails and other communications, and still make time to prepare for each class period. This ensures that when it comes time to work directly with students, you can direct 100% of your time and attention to their needs.

Keep in mind that you also have a network of instructors and advisors at your disposal—if you have more questions about what courses to take and skills to learn in the education field, don't hesitate to ask for advice.

Ready to learn more? Explore education degree programs at AIU.

1 Specific courses are subject to change. Visit the AIU catalog at http://aiuniv.smartcatalogiq.com/en/current/Catalog for the latest program curriculum.

AIU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Find employment rates, financial obligations and other disclosures at www.aiuniv.edu/disclosures.