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Degrees & Programs
The HGSE Ed.M. is built on a strong foundation of comprehensive knowledge that will give you the capacity to drive change across the education sector.
Through our four Foundations courses — How People Learn; Leading Change; Evidence; and Equity and Opportunity — you will gain core skills central to the profession of education. With innovative instructional approaches and tools, these foundational courses will foster discussion and analysis of complex education issues and enable you to apply your learning to real-world scenarios.
You will build on these foundational experiences as you progress toward your master’s degree and develop personal and professional pathways that align with your chosen area of impact. Through our Foundations, you'll build knowledge in critical areas in education, insights from developmental self-work, and interpersonal skills that will help you communicate, collaborate, and engage in dialogue with fellow cohort members who bring different backgrounds and perspectives to HGSE.
All students working toward an HGSE Ed.M. degree are required to take Foundations courses, which for residential Ed.M. students fulfill 14 of the 42 credits needed to graduate, and for online Ed.M. students fulfill 12 of the 42 credits. These courses begin in June.
Education is not “one size fits all” — namely, what works for one age group, one type of learner, and one context does not necessarily work for others. How can educators draw from and build on existing research and effective practices to support the learners and communities they wish to serve?
Our first Foundations course, How People Learn, is designed to help you develop a flexible and functional understanding of how people develop through their lifespan; how learners understand and make sense of material and experiences; and how you can successfully design, lead, and create systems to support learning and growth. It is grounded in Field Studies — authentic problems of practice drawn from international and U.S. sites — that relate to learners of various ages, from early childhood to adulthood. You will choose which Field Studies to pursue based on your professional or personal goals and interests.
How People Learn is an online experience taking place June-July that takes full advantage of all that digital learning has to offer — multimedia experiences, digital conversations, and opportunities to personalize your learning around your interests. It allows for flexible asynchronous progress within each week-long module, but also features numerous optional opportunities for live, synchronous engagement with the teaching team and your fellow students. The course concludes with an opportunity to propose a design for a learning experience you would like to create — one that is grounded in insights about learning and development, and that you might further refine in the months ahead.
Lecturer on Education
In order for you to lead teams, champion initiatives, and move critical work forward to improve outcomes for all learners, you must understand how organizations and systems work — and how to generate change within them. Whether you are interested in working in a school, a school district, a nonprofit organization, a university, an entrepreneurial venture, a technology firm, or government, Leading Change will provide you with powerful learning experiences, concepts, and tools for leading and managing change.
Building on takeaways from How People Learn about how best to support others' learning, in Leading Change you will learn how to move desired initiatives forward at the individual, group, and systems level. Since change is rarely accomplished in isolation, Leading Change will focus on techniques designed to build effective teams and cultivate a better understanding of organizational behavior.
Our Foundations course in Evidence turns to another set of critical questions you will face in the field: In a landscape where studies emerge each day, how do we become critical consumers of new information and distinguish myth from fact? How do we use existing research to make decisions that are likely to generate the best possible outcomes for our learners?
This course provides a framework for understanding and classifying the main types of evidence that can inform education decisions. Using research-informed Team-Based Learning approaches and class discussions, you will learn what makes for stronger or weaker evidence of various types and practice using evidence to inform decisions rooted in authentic educational problems of practice. By the end of the course, you will be equipped to evaluate many of the forms of evidence you will face in the field and to apply evidence to improve education systems.
Our Foundations experience in Equity and Opportunity has two key components. You will start by taking Equity and Opportunity: Identity in Context, which will immerse you in academically and personally rigorous inquiry around a particular dimension of social identity. Topics to explore may include race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class, language, dis/ability, or citizenship and nationality. You will engage deeply with key concepts around equity, systems of power and oppression, cycles of socialization, identity, and transformation within the context of education writ large, as well as in relation to the particular social identity focus you have chosen. You will also have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with others, while reflecting on your own educational experiences and actions across cultures and contexts.
As a residential Ed.M. student, you will continue your personalized Equity and Opportunity learning by selecting one or more E&O courses from a curated list that address a range of topics, but share a focus on identity, power, justice, inequality, or equity in education. You may choose an E&O course that aligns with your program, concentration, or professional work. As an online Ed.M. student, you will deepen your Equity and Opportunity learning by exploring E&O concepts in the context of your existing professional pathways courses.
Through these combined courses you will develop foundational knowledge and skills to recognize and disrupt inequity, and to advance educational equity and opportunity, in diverse contexts across the United States and around the globe.
Master's students share students some valuable takeaways from the Foundations courses that kicked off their year at HGSE