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Where Can I Find Free Online Educational Leadership Courses?

Free online courses in educational leadership topics can help you learn more about the field. These courses are self-paced, and you won't have access to instructors. Check out topics covered in classes offered online for free by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

What You Need to Know

You can take free educational leadership courses through accredited universities that have OpenCourseWare platforms. Topics of discussion may include school reform or the economics of education. These non-credit courses may include readings, lecture notes, optional assignments, exams and voluntary projects. No prerequisites are required for these courses, but one requires a corequisite (a class you take simultaneously with another) and another recommends previous knowledge in the discipline. Additionally, classes were created so students could participate in activities with each other and perform classroom observations. As such, you may not be able to get the full gamut of concepts covered - but there are plenty of downloadable materials you can use to assist in your learning.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT offers three OpenCourseWare (OCW) classes in education leadership that were previously taught to on-campus students. Classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level are provided. Below are the classes available for study.

Economics of Education

This course was taught by Professor Frank Levy to undergraduate and graduate students in Spring 2007. The class includes readings, lecture notes, assignments and exams.

What Will I Learn?

Some knowledge of microeconomics is helpful, because you will use economic theory and econometrics to study the economics of educational issues. Topics covered include human capital theory, financial aid, charter schools and school reform.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

The Economics of Education course includes four problem sets, two midterm exams and one final exam accompanied by review notes. You can check your answers using the solutions provided.

What Materials Are Provided?

You can download lecture notes that explain topics using a question-and-answer format. The course includes readings in textbooks, policy briefs, articles, journals and papers.

Technological Tools for School Reform

Another OCW course, Technological Tools for School Reform was initially a for-credit course taught to graduate students at MIT during fall 2005.

What Will I Learn?

The course covers the national school reform controversy and the impact of technology on the debate. You will research projects related to technology and school reform and study the challenges to implementing changes.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

You will complete a project that uses technology to develop new materials and activities to improve learning at schools. The course provides a specific school for you to use as a reference for the project.

What Materials Are Provided?

You may download five examples of student projects. A list of reading materials is provided which includes links to readings that are available online.

Educational Theory and Practice I

This course was originally taught to undergraduate students on the MIT campus during Fall semester 2006, but was updated for the Fall 2011 semester. You will not receive credit for the course, but you have free access to assignments, lecture notes and exams.

What Will I Learn?

You will learn the educational theories and methods required to teach in secondary schools. The course covers student motivation and behavior, classroom management, special education, the teaching profession and curriculum design.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

The first assignment requires completion of a questionnaire that includes questions, such as why do you want to be a teacher? Other assignments include writing papers on successful teaching practices and classroom observations and completing a portfolio project.

What Materials Are Provided?

Materials include an extensive list of suggested readings with links to textbooks you can purchase, articles on the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework and Standards you can download in PDF or Microsoft Word format and a Web-based publication on the Common Core Standards.