Watson Chronicle


Education Updates and Features

Grad Programs in Curriculum Studies Focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Monday, May 03, 2021

UNCW’s Watson College of Education offers a master’s degree and add-on licensure in curriculum studies. In 2018 the programs were re-designed to provide asset-based approaches to pedagogy, learning and community engagement that foster a culture of equity and inclusion.

“As the U.S. population grows more racially and ethnically diverse, curriculum leaders need to expand their repertoires, embrace diverse approaches to learning and inquiry and become critically conscious about what and how we teach,” said WCE associate professor Donna DeGennaro, coordinator of the Curriculum Studies for Equity program.

The program is designed to help educators diversify their pedagogical knowledge, examine unconscious beliefs, values and knowledge and draw on indigenous and historically disenfranchised voices and knowledge in order to cultivate culturally responsive teaching. The ultimate goal of the program is to help educators enhance the learning experiences of a diverse population of students.

“I have been an educator for over 20 years. The Curriculum Studies for Equity in Education program has helped me to progress both as a teacher and as a learner in a multitude of ways,” said Amanda Holliday ’21M. “It provided me a strong foundation in curriculum theory, as well as teaching me valuable research skills. More than anything though, the program grounded my understanding of education in a context for social justice. The program really taught me much more I need to learn and that it’s a continuous process for us all. It also taught me how to advocate for - and enact change in - education in valuable and real ways.”

Kim Gray ’21M and Annie Andrews ’21M are also recent graduates of the re-designed curriculum studies program.

"UNCW’s CSE program has been an amazing experience that has helped me grow personally and professionally,” Gray said. “I began my journey within the program four years ago. At that time, I was a classroom teacher. Since then, I have transferred into a curriculum role. The courses I have taken have been highly applicable professionally and have pushed me to see the world through various lenses. Although I will never stop learning and growing, the CSE program has helped build a solid foundation in my professional and educational career.”

Andrews said the Curriculum Studies for Equity in Education program has made her a more reflective and impactful teacher.

“My coursework has challenged me to think critically about how to support the education of students across a diverse set of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds,” she said. “The program has also equipped me with strategies to disrupt inequities which have historically permeated educational systems. My professors have supported my learning interests and have provided tools to help me succeed. I would recommend this program to any educator interested in curriculum and instruction, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn from many devoted, knowledgeable instructors."

About the Curriculum Studies in Equity Programs

WCE’s Curriculum Studies programs are designed for classroom teachers, school administrators, teacher educators and other professionals in a variety of educational settings including museum and nonprofit organizations who are interested in reimagining, redesigning and transforming learning experiences as well as organizational structures that center race, ethnicity, culture, and language as positive assets. Courses are offered online to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.

Candidates for the master’s degree will complete 30 credit hours of courses and participate in research projects and applied learning experiences. Candidates for add-on licensure will complete 12-18 credit hours of graduate-level courses. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in any field are eligible to apply.

For more information visit the CSE website.