About Bard MAT

What Makes Us Unique?

What Makes Us Unique?
BardMAT alum Xhosa Frazier '10 teaching a group of high school visitors from area districts (Photo credit: C. Maple)

The MAT Program requires an equal amount of advanced study in the elected academic discipline and in education courses challenging preservice teachers to apply the results of research and pedagogical analysis to their teaching. MAT students are engaged in public school classrooms throughout the year, reflecting an intensive residency model of professional preparation.

This residency model offers a singular opportunity to pursue graduate study while participating in classroom apprenticeships, thereby grounding theory in the work of teaching and learning. The program’s instructionally innovative courses provide the basis for critical reflection about education practice.

Preparing Teachers

Research indicates that teachers tend to teach in the same way they were taught. In response, the MAT Program focuses on teaching as a clinical profession, and on the teacher as a professional. MAT graduates are strongly grounded in their subject areas and skilled in applying their knowledge of learning to the different needs of individual learners; in short, MAT graduates are prepared to teach and to lead.

Yearlong Residency Programs

Maximizing the amount of time that a pre-service teacher spends in public school classrooms working side-by-side with experienced teachers is widely recognized as a key factor in the best teacher education programs. It is structured in various ways by different programs but with an effort to ensure that active work in classrooms is a consistent frame of reference throughout the academic year.

Improving Secondary and Postsecondary Education

In pursuing the goal of making positive changes in the public schools, the faculty of the MAT Program supply leadership in developing and applying a variety of approaches that differ from conventional classroom practices. The MAT Program’s teaching internship provides an opportunity to question the tacit assumptions so often made by teachers and students alike, and to construct, instead, a new educational perspective based upon classroom experience and advanced study in the academic disciplines.

Continued Revision of Public School Programs

The MAT Program’s partnership with public schools involves teachers, MAT students, and MAT faculty who meet regularly to pose critical questions regarding education. These meetings engage students and mentors in inquiry and research that lead to productive changes and, in turn, to further questions. In conjunction with the Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking, the BardMAT seeks to enrich and deepen learning in all disciplines areas with programs that focus on the role of writing in teaching and learning.