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Middle and High School Education

About the Program

Philosophy

In the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, we don't teach you how to teach. Instead, we teach you how to think deeply about teaching and the relationships that are critical for effective teaching and learning. These relationships exist within what Joseph McDonald calls the wild triangle: "Real teaching, I learned in time, happens inside a wild triangle of relationships - among teacher, students, subject - and the points of this triangle shift continuously" (1).* To prepare to be teachers, we begin our work together by exploring our own experiences with these relationships in our own education.

Overview

Students ordinarily complete the program, which requires completion of ten to twelve courses, within one academic year and two summer semesters. Candidates may choose to extend their studies and student teaching for a longer time period. Advisors work with candidates to ensure that their coursework meets all the requirements for Massachusetts Initial license, developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Eight of the required courses are in education, including field-based experiences. Each student also takes two to four graduate level courses in the academic field for which license is sought.

Objectives

Candidates for the MAT degree will demonstrate the ability to:

Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Understand the "triangle" of education and how we learn to understand its components (the teacher, the students, and the subject) and consider them carefully.
  • Maintain a strong academic knowledge of the content they want to teach and an understanding of the pedagogy that best meets students' needs.
  • Understand the research in human development and learning, working with exceptionalities in the classroom, learning theory and cognitive development, adolescent psychology and the impact of these strands of research on classroom practice.
  • Understand the culture and structure of schools and how schools shape the values and work of teachers and students.
  • Understand the importance of learning about the community in which they teach and to think of themselves as teachers in a community.
  • Understand the literature and research on developing the "professional stance" of a classroom practitioner and how to establish positive collegial relationships.
  • Understand the profound ethical and moral considerations embedded in the decisions that teachers must make every day in their classrooms and the impact of those decisions on students and their learning, their families and community.

Job Placement

Since 2009, 100% of the candidates who completed the MAT program and sought a teaching position have found teaching positions. These include positions in schools throughout the greater Boston area, central and western Massachusetts, throughout New England, in various corners of the country, and even overseas. While most of our graduates work in public schools, some graduates teach abroad or in independent schools. Because of our strong reputation and healthy network of alumni, many school administrators actively recruit our graduates.


*McDonald, Joseph (1992). Teaching: Making sense of an uncertain craft. New York: Teachers College Press.