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What is Divergent Learning?
Over the past decade, the term “at-risk” has become more prevalent in the educational realm, and more attention has been concentrated on this group of underachieving students who are not succeeding in the public school system.The review of literature and recent studies tend to indicate that students who have been identified as at-risk and do not qualify for special services are generally considered to be those who are disadvantaged and are from single parent families, low socioeconomic backgrounds, or various minority groups. However, significant numbers of at-risk students who are highly intelligent and capable of becoming productive, influential young adults are not reaping the benefits of these resources. These underachieving students are divergent learners and are at-risk in the present educational system because of specific personality traits and learning styles, which are not being adequately addressed in the classroom.
Traditional classrooms provide teacher-centered instruction with a strong emphasis on linguistic information to accommodate analytical thinkers. The desired outcomes in traditional classrooms are predetermined, measurable, and observable skills, which fit neatly into our traditional education paradigm (Driscoll, 1994). Generally, students whose thinking, learning, and behavior are contrary to this paradigm are at-risk of missing the central benefits of the American educational system and the benefits of productive adulthood which tend to spring from that education because of divergence in the style of thinking, learning, and behaving.
The Master of Education in Divergent Learning program is designed to develop a more in-depth comprehension of at-risk divergent learners and present alternative instructional methods and strategies to meet the needs of this population. This program will present a new focus for educators, new methods for delivery of instruction in the classroom, use of e-mail communication and Internet research, program designs by students, peer support groups, and joint projects for action research.
Benefits of the Divergent Learning Degree
This program will benefit all educators and support persons involved in interaction with youth, K-12, and adult divergent learners. This includes teachers, guidance counselors, department chairs, team leaders, assistant principals, principals, curriculum coordinators, staff developers, and social workers.
The uniqueness of the program is in the design, structure, and content offered in the course of study. The program offers weekend courses that accommodate students’ schedules. The program content and strategies are appropriate for K-12 and adult divergent learners, with special emphasis on personality traits, learning styles, hands-on interactive activities, cooperative learning and collaboration, different methods of instructional delivery, and joint projects within a community of learners. The traditional master’s thesis and written comprehensive examination have been replaced with action research in your classroom or school. With action research, you can study education questions and issues that interest you and present them in a journal article format, that is ready for publication.
For More Information:
Joann Nagy, Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
803.786.3191 or firstname.lastname@example.org