- About the Program
Two-year students complete half of the required academic credits during their first year, enrolling in two courses during the summer and fall quarters and completing an academic research project in the winter and spring quarters. In the first year of, students also participate in a weekend writing workshop. The remaining required courses are completed in the summer and fall quarters of the second year, followed by full-time immersion in the public schools as apprentice teachers from January through June. Two-year students do not begin placements in the public schools until their second year of study.Course Work
Courses are structured to emphasize best practices in teaching and learning and to immerse students in classroom experiences that challenge them to reexamine the secondary school learning environment.
Each course meets for 30 hours of classroom time; an additional 20 hours of laboratory time are devoted to experiences in research and teaching that build critical competencies. The two strands of each course create a critical dialectic: the laboratory component connects to a complementary component in a parallel course. For example, a MAT student who is taking Math 514 may be tutoring a student in a local high school and, simultaneously, taking ED 514, a course that requires him or her to consider current research related to issues in adolescent learning. All courses are paired in this way, connecting classroom time with laboratory time in order to model the best teaching practices. (See "Areas of Study" for a sample course sequence.)
The four required education courses in are meant to prepare teachers for the classroom.
To that end, MAT students are expected to develop practical knowledge across a range of educational inquiry. This means that students read about cognitive psychology, for example, to help them understand the sociocultural contexts of classroom practices or the role of language in the construction of understanding. They read from the history of the field to help them recognize how different purposes and intentions in education offer alternative critiques of learning and teaching. As a result, MAT students learn to think about education from a new perspective. (See "Areas of Study" for details).
Six required graduate-level courses in their chosen field build on the student's undergraduate learning.
Fundamental ideas of the discipline and its evolution as a field are emphasized to deepen the student's understanding of the subject, with a particular concern for improving instruction at the secondary level. Each student completes a graduate-level research project to acquire and demonstrate expertise in his or her field. (For details about the curriculum in each of the disciplines, see "Areas of Study.")
During the summer and fall quarters of their second year of study, all two-year MAT students meet for an additional weekly three-hour class called the "teaching strand" or "laboratory."
The class is taught by two faculty members-one from the field of education, the other from the academic discipline. Each week students turn their own academic questions into questions about teaching and learning. For example, a student in Math 514 (Algebra) might consider how a particular understanding of algebra they have gained at the graduate level could become a mode of approach to teaching algebra at the 9th-grade level. The student's investigation would incorporate models of learning and developmental concerns they were studying in ED 514 (Issues in Teaching and Learning), applying them to answer this particular teaching question. This laboratory class turns the more theoretical work of the graduate courses into investigations of practice in teaching and learning. Looking at educational standards as well as current demands in public education, students engage in a synthesis of the studies and experiences that characterize the MAT Program.
Two-year students complete ED 536/546 (Teaching Practicum I and II) during their second year in a continuous cycle from January through May.
MAT students start their field experiences in the public schools as tutors and as participant observers. They become further engaged as they help with lesson planning and student assessment and, finally, take responsibility for a full teaching load during their apprenticeship. Throughout their student teaching experience, MAT participants investigate research questions and engage in the kinds of reflective practice that are essential to becoming effective teachers and succeeding in their future profession.
Mentor teachers and graduate school advisers conduct regular observations and evaluations of each MAT student's teaching practices. Throughout the program, mentors and advisers collaborate with MAT students on research initiatives and projects. MAT students also meet regularly to support each other's work through shared writing, reflection, and discussion.
Two-year students enter the public schools in January of their second year; ED 536 is a continuous experience of nine weeks in the public school classroom.
During the January Research Cycle, students take required, noncredit workshop sequences designed to develop teaching practices and communication skills, including public speaking. Other workshops focus on preparing MAT students for the professional job market.
Advisers work with students on résumé preparation, cover-letter writing, interview skills, and strategies for locating openings in upstate and New York City schools. At the conclusion of the series of workshops, students are prepared to begin searching and applying for teaching positions as they become available.
Two-year students complete these workshops during their second year of study.
Students in each field of study are required to complete a research project that engages them in inquiry and the development of knowledge in their discipline.
These projects are initiated during the summer quarter; they are described in more detail for each academic area as course descriptions, below. They represent an opportunity for students to pursue questions of personal interest while engaging in original work as independent scholars under the guidance of a faculty adviser. The results of these projects are presented during symposia in the closing week of the program in early June.
Two-year students complete their academic research projects during the winter and spring quarters of their first year of study.
Students work as teacher-researchers, collaborating with a mentor teacher to explore classroom issues in teaching and learning.
Research work begins in the summer quarter as students begin developing a literature review that helps to frame theoretical perspectives and support research design through a summary examination of pertinent research articles. Initial explorations in the fall quarter help mentor teachers and their apprentice partners design investigations that are implemented and completed in the winter or spring quarter. The results of these projects are shared at a gathering of the larger educational community during the closing week of the program.
Two-year students complete their classroom research projects during the winter or spring quarter of their second year of study.