- About the Program
Though the core course requirements and apprenticeship cycle expectations are the same on all campuses, there are some differences in how time is integrated between graduate course work and experiences in public school classrooms. This is an effect of the different kinds of school partnerships that the Masters of Arts in Teaching has been able to establish in each location.
In New York, the Bard MAT works with partner public schools in New York City and the Hudson Valley, and academic coursework and apprenticeship experiences are scheduled in alternating cycles of engagement which works best for mentor teachers and avoids the significant problem of asking MAT students to commute between graduate courses and public schools on a daily basis.
The California MAT creates an experience of ongoing study, classroom teaching, and reflection that models the epitome of professional teaching practice. California MAT students may select either an urban pathway (Los Angeles-based) or rural pathway (Central Valley-based); all students begin their studies as a combined cohort for the summer quarter in Los Angeles.
Graduate courses and experiences in public schools are organized in a sequence of 10-week quarters. The general descriptions that follow apply to all MAT campus locations. For detailed information, please refer to specific course and location descriptions.
The one-year MAT Program begins in June with a weeklong course that introduces students to learning approaches developed by Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking. In this workshop style course, students read essential educational texts and engage in experiences that foster ongoing observation and reflection through forms of informal writing and collaboration. ED502 offers a different model of teaching and learning and an opportunity to consider and reconsider our assumptions about education and the complex dynamics of teaching and learning.
All students will complete 18 hours of coursework in education and their elective disciplines for a total of 36 hours of graduate coursework in these two areas. There are four core courses in each area, each earning 3 credit hours, and a Classroom and Academic Research Project, each earning 6 credit hours. In all courses, our goal is to structure experiences that model forms of teaching and learning that are as applicable to the public school as they are to the graduate classroom. These classroom-based courses advance understanding in critical areas of education and the academic disciplines. The two research projects engage MAT students in the practices that are implicit to the best kinds of teaching. For detailed descriptions of all courses, including the Classroom and Academic Research projects, click here: Areas of Study.
Unique to the Bard MAT Program, an additional course meets on a weekly basis that is co-taught by two members of the MAT faculty - one from the field of education and one from the academic discipline. This course is designed as a forum for exploring and connecting questions and ideas about teaching and learning that emerge from graduate studies. Theory and practice become integrated as MAT faculty and students work together to define what constitutes competent understanding in a field and how that understanding is best developed in the public classroom setting. And, of course, due consideration is given to resolving the apparent conflict between current school practices and policies and the challenging work of engaging students in authentic forms of inquiry. For detailed descriptions of this course, see: Biology 516, History 516, Literature 516, or Mathematics 516.
In all campus locations, there is a commitment to providing MAT students with ongoing experiences in public school classrooms that will balance graduate studies with the challenges of teaching. On all campuses, the classroom experience is structured as a developmental sequence that moves apprentices towards increased responsibility for student learning under the guidance of mentor teachers and MAT faculty.