Culminating Experience

Curriculum and Instruction: Literacy


I am Jamie Morales and I teach seventh grade ELA in Las Vegas, Nevada. This webpage was designed to capture my experience and coursework in the Department of Teaching and Learning at UNLV. By clicking on the title of each component of the project, you will be taken to a linked document or artifact. The information is organized as follows:
-Course Work
-Teaching Philosophy
- Artifacts
- Directed Learning Experience
- Reflection
-Contact Information

Thank you for your time!


M.Ed. Literacy Education (K-12) Course Work

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction (37 semester hours)

I. Core (9 semester hours)
Research (select one: 3 semester hours)
CIG 690 Teachers as Action Researchers (formerly CIG 705)

Foundations (select one: 3 semester hours)
EPY 708 Human Growth and Development

Curriculum and Instruction (select one: 3 semester hours)
CIS 684 Secondary Education Curriculum (formerly CIS 705)

II. Concentration: Literacy Education (18 semester hours)
Foundations (6 semester hours - enrollment recommended before taking other literacy courses)
CIL 601 Foundations of Literacy Learning (formerly CIL 701)
select one
CIL 680 Contemporary Literature for Children and Young Adults (formerly CIL 740)

Literacy Courses (12 semester hours)
CIL 684 Multicultural Literature and Materials (formerly CIL 741)

Other CIL 600-level courses approved by advisor; maximum of 6 semester hours of CIL 702 topics classes accepted toward a degree.

CIL 653 TESL Curriculum (formerly CIL 752)

CIL 642 Instruction English Education (formerly CIL 712)

CIL 643 Curriculum Development English/Language Arts (formerly CIL713)

III. Cognate Area (6 semester hours)

CIL 617 Southern Nevada Writing Project (6 semester hours) (formerly CIL 717)

IV. Culminating Experience (4 semester hours)
CIL 699 Literacy Research Seminar (formerly CIG 717; 3 semester)

CIG 697 Curriculum and Instruction Culminating Experience: Literacy (formerly CIG 715; 1 semester hour)


During my undergraduate work much of my education was centered around training and familiarizing myself to use and base instruction off of standards. I came to think that if I had each memorized and calendared out I would be a better teacher. I also spent a good deal of my time in courses designed to shift my mindset from English student to English teacher, learning how to design thematic literature circles and tap into multiple learning modalities. These elements were the guidelines of a successful teacher. I thought.

What I perceived an English teacher to be and what my research and instruction in this master’s program has shown me, is vastly different; there is no limit to what literacy can do to improve a child’s education, what literacy can do for his or her lifelong learning, and for what literacy can do to instigate positive change. From the time I was in seventh grade, I can remember setting goals and having deadlines to be “done” with chapters of my life. One more year until high school. Four more years until college. Four more years until graduation. I had imagined that completing my master’s program would be like those past chapters; I would be moving on to new and unique places in the plot, never to look back. Rereading my teaching philosophy and examining the artifacts of my culminating experience, I see that the future path of my career will not be part of this paradigm or the elements I had previously thought made a successful English teacher. Instead of my master’s being the end of something, I see it as the beginning.

I am just now finding out who I am as a teacher and what I stand for. These things are more important and I will be more effective than any ever-changing standards or thematic unit, as I focus on what students’ meaningful ownership of their literacy can do for them. I look forward to continuing my person education into social justice and exploring how I can help students become more active participants in changing their world. I will be continuing my life-long education studying the power of literacy.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
-Nelson Mandela

Winter 2013 Commencement

Tuesday, Dec. 17th 2013 at 4pm

4505 South Maryland Parkway

Las Vegas, NV