The biology curriculum requires students to engage in the kinds of thinking that characterize professional work in the field. It challenges them to expand their studies with courses and research that demand the integration of disciplinary perspectives through a focus on essential questions and problems. In the work of the Teaching as Clinical Practice, and through experiences in curriculum design and implementation, independent laboratory research, and research in the public schools, MAT students translate their knowledge of biology into instructional designs that move beyond standards defined by state assessments.
Applicants for the M.A.T. degree in biology should have taken a minimum of one semester of introductory biology, a course in statistics or calculus, a course in ecology or evolution, a course in molecular biology or genetics, two semesters of introductory chemistry, and one semester of either organic chemistry or analytical chemistry.
Biology 513:Teaching Science: The Learner as Individual, A Field ExperienceVIEW MORE >>
Students spend one morning per week in a local summer school program. This introduction to the public schools provides MAT students with opportunities to work with students one-on-one or in small groups in a tutorial mode. As a first experience with the public schools, graduate students are involved with diagnostic approaches to teaching, focusing on individuals with various kinds of recognized academic needs. These experiences provide real contexts for inquiry and study in the summer teaching strand. Required noncredit course.
This independent-study course requires students to become teacher-researchers, examining the effects of particular practices or designs on student learning in the context of their particular field of study. Review of the pertinent literature, research design and implementation, analysis of data, and conclusions leading to further iterations build a practice of inquiry and reflection that are essential to developing best practices in education. Typically, research questions investigate real questions about student learning in the context of authentic practices in the academic discipline. MAT faculty act as advisers to these projects, providing support over three quarters, from the initial development of research questions and literature reviews in the summer quarter until the final "publication" of the research document at the end of the spring quarter. 6 credits
Field Studies in Natural History is just that. With the exception of a few lab projects, the coursework will examine elements of ecology and botany in the outdoor natural environment. The bulk of our field excursions will concentrate on the 500+ Bard College acres as a model of the Hudson River Valley ecosystem. Expect outdoor classes (rain or shine), quizzes on field identification, lab reports and a term paper. 6 credits.
This course will bridge gaps between laboratory and classroom, as well as between environmental and molecular biology, through microbes. Students will collect samples from the local environment, and isolate microbial species from those samples. Throughout the rest of the laboratory, those microbes will be isolated, identified through microbiological as well as molecular techniques, and tested for the ability to produce antimicrobial factors. The lecture portion of the class will involve case studies looking into how bacteria interact, with each other and with humans. Primary literature, and how to distill and pass on key points from that literature will also play a significant role in the course. 6 credits.
MAT students work as apprentices with one of their mentor-teacher partners in the fall quarter for a ten-week cycle. Students act as full-time apprentices and research partners, assuming increasing responsibility for instruction and collecting and analyzing data with their mentor teachers. In a radical departure from conventional student-teaching models, apprentices work closely with their mentors, moving gradually from participant observer to teaching assistant to co-teacher and, finally, assuming primary responsibility for classroom instruction in all its dimensions. The mentor teacher and the graduate adviser observe regularly and provide ongoing formative evaluations in close collaboration with the student. Students also meet with their MAT peers throughout the student-teaching cycle to support each other through shared writing, reflection, and discussion. 7 credits.
The MAT student completes the apprenticeship cycle with a second mentor teacher for an eleven-week period that ends in mid-May. The field experience is structured to provide the MAT student with ongoing guidance and feedback from the graduate adviser and the mentor teacher. An apprenticeship model that emphasizes the guided acquisition of teaching competencies, carefully monitored by mentor and adviser, insures that student learning in the public school classroom is not compromised and that the apprentice is held to standards in teaching that reflect program concerns for authentic learning in the disciplines. MAT students continue to meet weekly as a group to share and reflect upon their experiences. 10 credits.
Bard Master of Arts in Teaching Bard College, 7401 South Broadway, Red Hook, NY 12571