Program Goals, Objectives and Standards

The main focus of the Curriculum Studies Department is to provide educators with opportunities for advanced scholarship and preparation within their chosen fields. CS offers master’s degrees, graduate certificates, add-a-fields, and the PhD in Education, Curriculum and Instruction specialization.

The Department of Curriculum Studies offers a 30-credit program leading to the Master of Education in Curriculum Studies (MEd-CS) degree. It is designed to serve licensed teachers who wish to learn about and inquire into the school levels of Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 3 or K-12 education.

Within the K-12 level, the program offers diverse tracks in a concentrated content area or interdisciplinary approaches to education.

Content Area tracks are generally un-cohorted and focus on the in-depth study of a particular content area. Students in these different tracks share common core coursework and have the flexibility to take electives determined by their focus area.

Interdisciplinary tracks are cohorted and designed around thematic approaches to the study of education. These students generally take a prescribed set of courses together.

The program equips teachers to fill a variety of teaching and resource roles at an advanced level. It does NOT lead to initial teacher licensure, however, students may Add-a-Field to an existing Hawai‘i teacher license in Ethnomathematics and the following two tracks: Literacy Specialist and Teacher Leader. The program also prepares students for doctoral and other advanced degrees and certificates. Students may attend part-time, but graduate programs must be completed within seven years of admission date. The average time to complete a MEd is 2.4 years.

The Department has seven graduate certificates, but is currently offering five graduate certificates in Ethnomathematics, Literacy Leader, Multilingual Multicultural Professional Practice (pending approval), Sustainability & Resilience Education, and Teacher Leader that range from 15-18 credits. Students may gain a graduate certificate, with or without the MEd-CS degree.

The MEd-CS program is research-based and grounded in theory. Its goals are to:

  • Develop well-informed and reflective practitioners;
  • Enhance teachers’ knowledge and improve their instructional skills;
  • Foster the application of new knowledge in the schools;
  • Enhance teachers’ ability to understand and implement research; and
  • Encourage and increase the professionalism of teachers in Hawai‘i, as well as other states and nations of the Pacific Rim.

Objectives of the program are that students:

  • Increase knowledge in one or more areas of inquiry;
  • Reflect on practice;
  • Become better informed about the developmental and educational needs of children and adolescents from various types of communities;
  • Become more skillful in developing educational programs to meet individual and group needs;
  • Become more versatile in the use of a variety of teaching strategies;
  • Learn about new issues and trends in their fields;
  • Increase understanding of educational issues related to diversity and multiculturalism;
  • Enhance ability to implement culturally responsive teaching practices;
  • Investigate issues and trends in assessment;
  • Increase understanding and ability to apply and conduct educational research;
  • Acquire understanding of ethical dimensions of classroom research; and
  • Become more able to provide leadership in a classroom, school or school system.

General information, policies, requirements and procedures are on the Office of Graduate Education, (, College of Education ( and Curriculum Studies ( web sites. Students interested in graduate study should read these sites carefully.

MEd CS Standards

What candidates should know, do, and care about in:

Standard 1: Field of Education

This standard includes knowledge, skills and dispositions relating to:

  1. Current issues and evolving trends relating to teaching and learning;
  2. Historical, socio-cultural, political and economic influences on education;
  3. Research into education as a social and political institution;
  4. Issues relating to language and culture in educational programs; and
  5. The range of programs and services available to students in a concentration area.

Standards 2: Curriculum & Pedagogy

This standard includes knowledge, skills and dispositions relating to:

  1. Curriculum and pedagogical knowledge needed to design an appropriate program for students in a concentration area;
  2. Current issues and appropriate methods/approaches for teaching;
  3. Assessment and evaluation of learning;
  4. Equity across all indexes of difference, e.g., ability, language, socioeconomic status, sexuality, gender identity, race, ethnicity
  5. Mutually-constitutive relationships between theory and practice and between teaching and learning; and
  6. Further development of reflective practices to improve teaching and learning.

Standard 3: Research in Education

This standard includes knowledge, skills and dispositions relating to:

  1. Critical review and synthesis of research and evaluation literature;
  2. Strengths and weaknesses of experimental, survey, and qualitative research designs;
  3. Strategies of qualitative and quantitative inquiry;
  4. Research design and/or evaluation protocols suitable for inquiry in one’s area of concentration and practice;
  5. Research that uses descriptive and inferential statistics;
  6. Collection and interpretation of qualitative data; and
  7. Ethical dimensions of educational research.

Standard 4: Professionalism

This standard includes knowledge, skills and dispositions relating to:

  1. Effective communication;
  2. Collaboration with families, community members, educational personnel and professionals from diverse backgrounds and cultures (including those from other disciplines);
  3. Reflection on practice, through connecting theory and practice;
  4. Professional ethics and ethical behavior;
  5. One’s own professional growth;
  6. Growth of the profession;
  7. A caring attitude towards students, colleagues and the community;
  8. Leadership in the classroom, school, school district, and/or state.