M.Ed. with Emphasis in Gifted Education Curriculum (Elementary & Secondary Teachers)

Director's Welcome & M.Ed. Overview

The Master in Education Gifted program is designed as an endorsement program for persons who already have Missouri Teacher Certification.

“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”
- T.S. Eliot

Some students come to the institution of education, for one reason or several, ahead of expectation. They may think faster, they may know more through prior experience, or they may seem to understand more deeply. In any event, teaching these students something new every day is just as valuable, and no less difficult, than it is with others. Meaningful learning cannot be a right for the many and a privilege for the few.

Gifted education is the field that focuses on the education of such students. Drury University offers a fully online program for a Master in Education (M.Ed.) in Gifted Education, which includes an endorsement for teachers who already possess Missouri teacher certification. The program provides access to gifted students through summer gifted programming sponsored by the Drury University Center for Gifted Education, as well as the extraordinary gifted program in the Springfield Public Schools.


Lindsey GathrightLindsey Gathright graduated from Drury in 2009 with her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and continued her studies with an M.Ed. in Gifted Education in 2015. While at Drury, online courses gave Lindsey the opportunity to continue her education whilst balancing her first year of teaching and family life with a new baby. She credits her degree with allowing her to do a job she loves: working as a gifted education teacher at Phelps Center in Springfield. 

"Drury was the only university in the area that offered a graduate program for gifted education. With my Masters in Gifted Education I am able to be a part of an amazing program, and I go to work every day doing something I absolutely love.-Lindsey Gathright, '15
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Every member of the gifted education faculty has direct experience with students identified as gifted. The team includes three gifted educators, two administrators of gifted programs, and a clinical psychologist whose practice targets the needs of this population.

Meet Dr. Lenae Lazelle, Director of the Phelps Center for Gifted Education, and hear what she has to say about Drury's program

Faculty access is a high priority at Drury, and for those pursuing their graduate degree, there are research opportunities available through the instructors.


Betsy Cannella

Betsy Cannella graduated with her M.Ed. from Drury in 2008 and was certified in Gifted Education in 2010. Recently, Betsy was the recipient of the Sharon Price Alumni Award for exemplary leadership and professionalism.

[Drury professors] taught me patience, differentiation, quality in work and working with students, and so many life lessons.-Betsy Cannella, '10
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Scholarship Opportunity:

Master/Certification in Gifted Education Scholarship Fund 


Required Core Courses (18 hours):

It is recommended that the required courses be taken in the following order:

SCI 621: Educational Technology
3 credit hours

Students are required to take this course during their first two semesters of graduate study. This course is required for all programs leading to the master in education degree, and provides an introduction to educational technology. This course uses a research-based approach to explore how educational technologies can be applied to enhance educator effectiveness and assist learners in reaching their objectives. Students will also develop strategies for evaluating new educational technologies as they emerge.

EDUC 605: Advanced Educational Psychology & Assessment
3 credit hours

This is an advanced study of the cognitive process, the psychological foundations of educational practice, and the assessment processes utilized in the K-12 classroom setting. The course addresses cognition, conditions for optimal learning, assessment designs, formal/informal test construction, alternative assessment strategies, data collection and analysis, instructional decision making based on assessment results, and current issues/research regarding assessment.

EDUC 621: Social Justice and Diversity in Education
3 credit hours

This course focuses on issues of diversity, oppression and social justice. It is designed to prepare pre-service teachers to be knowledgeable of biases, based on race, ethnicity, culture, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, social and economic status, political ideology, disability and how these contribute to discrimination and oppression. Students will learn about diverse cultures, family structures, roles, immigration and assimilation experiences of marginalized groups. Students will also learn about the influence of dominant culture on these diverse and marginalized groups. Additionally, this course will examine the adaptive capabilities and strengths of these marginalized groups and how such capabilities and strengths can be used in effective educational settings. The course will assist pre-service teachers in understanding the complex nature and dynamics of social oppression, diversity and social functioning. Students will explore their own personal values, beliefs, and behaviors that may limit their ability to effectively interact in educational settings with people of diverse backgrounds, in particular, disadvantaged and oppressed persons. Themes include justice, suffering, the role of government, poverty, and society’s response to them. Initiatives and responses of both secular and faith-based groups to injustices in the past (e.g. Civil Rights, abolitionism), will be examined.

HFA 656: Academic Writing and Digital Literacy
3 credit hours

This course will develop proficiency in academic writing, focusing on accuracy, authority, voice and format. The course will also develop the skills required to locate, evaluate and integrate information into academic work using online resources and digital tools. Participants will learn how to effectively search for information and objectively assess its value and meaning in context. This course is recommended for all graduate students.

EDUC 689: Introduction to Educational Research
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: 27 completed graduate hours.
This course is designed to acquaint students with different methods of educational research and statistical procedures. Emphasis is placed on procedures for writing research papers and proposals. This course is designed to be completed the semester prior to EDUC 700 Capstone Seminar.

EDUC 700: Capstone Seminar (for all graduating students except those pursuing tracks where this course is not specified)
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 689
This course must be taken within the final nine hours of degree work. It is deemed appropriate that every person completing a master in education degree be familiar with the current innovations of the profession. It is of equal importance that he or she relate knowledge derived from various courses to his or her own area of specialization and evaluate personal cognitive and affective growth. The Capstone Seminar aims to fill these needs. Completion of a seminar paper or project is a requirement for a satisfactory grade in this course. The paper will focus on the area of specialty for the graduate student. Successful completion of a written or oral, comprehensive, master’s degree examination is required as a part of the Capstone Seminar course. The course is graded satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

SCI must be taken within the first two semesters.
EDUC 689 and EDUC 700 must be taken in the last 9 hours of the program. 

Courses Required in Emphasis (18 hours):

It is recommended that the required courses be taken in the following order:

EDUC 676: A Survey of Gifted and Talented Education
3 credit hours

This is an introduction to knowledge of the nature and needs of gifted children, identification strategies, broad programming issues and concepts and teacher qualities and skills. This course presents entry-level concepts and is a prerequisite for future study in the field.

EDUC 677: Curriculum and Instruction for the Gifted
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 676.
This course delineates the core issues and provides a framework for understanding the content, process and product considerations in developing a comprehensive, articulated curriculum for the gifted. Skills are developed in scope and sequence, promoting appropriate higher-level cognitive functioning and assessment of individual student learning styles and needs.

EDUC 678: Administration and Supervision of Gifted Programs
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 676
This course introduces the fundamental principles of program planning and development for the gifted. Topics include screening, assessing and evaluation of gifted students, role functions and referent groups, general educational procedures, steps in basic program development, provision for appropriate resources and refinement of effective supervision strategies.

EDUC 679: Counseling and Guidance of the Gifted
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 676
This course focuses on the differential affective characteristics and needs of gifted students. General counseling theories are studied as they apply to helping gifted students discover and utilize effectively their special gifts and talents to aid in the development of potential.

EDUC 686: Practicum in Working with Gifted Students
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: EDUC 676EDUC 677EDUC 678, and EDUC 679.
This is an intensive practicum, which involves the application of knowledge, skills, strategies, and competencies delineated in the basic courses for teachers of the gifted. Emphasis is given to working with gifted pupils.

EDUC 643: Gifted Conference
1 credit hours

This workshop covers a variety of topics including characteristics, curriculum, social and emotional needs, communication, specific activities and other opportunities for gifted students. The participants will interact with experienced teachers of the gifted in large group and small group sessions. The main intent of this workshop is to give teachers of the gifted some special strategies and confidence as they enter their new field. Course may be repeated for credit.

  • Fall - Gifted Education Conference
  • Spring - Symposium in Gifted Education
  • Summer - New Teachers in Gifted Workshop