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Masters in Teaching

Masters in Teaching

The Masters in Teaching (MAT) is a degree that was developed to train school teachers faster and more effectively than the more academically oriented Master of Education degree. It was created in response to the ongoing teacher shortage in the U.S. and is essentially a degree that focuses almost completely on the methods, techniques and classroom skills associated with teaching various grade levels. If the degree is a specialization in a certain academic field, such as teaching mathematics in middle school, the MAT curriculum will include courses on how to teach math but will rarely cover the fundamentals of mathematics.

MAT Areas of Specialization

There are several specialization options for this degree as there are for an undergraduate degree designed for teacher licensure. MAT programs are available for students who wish to obtain a teaching credential in elementary school teaching, middle school teaching, mathematics for middle school or for high school, reading and literacy, the various sciences for either middle school or high school, and history or social studies. All of these options are designed to meet state requirements for the various teaching categories as defined by the state in which the university is located. For online MAT students seeking a teaching credential, it is important to check your home state requirements for the academic requirements associated with teaching credentials. MAT for Non-Teachers

The Master of Arts in Teaching is also designed to move career changers into the classroom. Individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in a field other than education and have no previous teaching experience may enroll in a MAT program and work towards a teaching credential at an accelerated pace. Many programs are designed such that a student with no classroom experience may have a provisional teacher's license at the end of one year in order to begin student-teaching while still enrolled in the MAT program. Someone engaged in a bridge MAT program like this will need some undergraduate background if seeking a teaching credential in an academic specialty.

MAT Requirements and Careers

Active teachers who enroll in a MAT program in order to upgrade their teaching credential may finish the program in as little as one year of concentrated study. Some students who are working on a bachelor's degree in education may choose to enroll in an accelerated MAT program that can be completed as a fifth year option. Career changers who are working towards a MAT will probably spend two years in the classroom and at least one semester working as an intern or student teacher.

Additional Teaching Grad Resources

University of Southern California offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree offered as an online option. The MAT@USC program is open to current teachers who would like to obtain a MAT and the pay increase that goes with it; the program is also an option for people with no teaching experience who hold a bachelor's degree in another field and would like to switch careers. The areas of specialization available with this degree include Multiple Subject Teaching, English, Mathematics, Sciences, and Social Studies.

Johns Hopkins University offers the MAT in four formats for students at all stages of career development. The SIMAT is a one-year, highly intensive immersion program. ProMAT is an eighteen month, paid internship program with the Montgomery County, MD School District that provides a teaching education for critically needed subject areas. The FlexMAT is a part time program for people who need to continue working while studying. The AMAT is for Johns Hopkins undergrads, allowing them to begin the master's level study in their junior year. There are several content areas available as options including Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and for high school there are specializations in English, Math, Social Studies, French, Spanish, and several sciences.

Emory University has a MAT program in multiple academic disciplines open to students with an undergraduate degree suitable for the subject area in which they wish to teach. The program includes a two semester internship program that provides the student teaching hours required for licensure. Areas of concentration for the Emory MAT include Middle Grades, and for grades 6-12 teaching training for English, Mathematics, History, Political Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and the Earth Sciences.

University of Washington Masters in Teaching (MIT) Degree leads directly to a Washington State teaching credential in elementary education or in one of the academic disciplines for high school level teaching. The MIT is offered through the Teacher Education Program, which works in conjunction with partner schools in the Seattle area for internship opportunities and with research projects within the School of Education. Four quarters of continuous study leads to the Residency Teaching Certificate, at which point the field work begins in actual classrooms. There are multiple secondary school teaching specializations, an elementary teaching program, and a special education specialization.

Boston College has an unusual academic structure for their Masters in Teaching programs. The MAT in English is offered by the English Department. Other versions of the degree come through the Lynch School of Education, which offers the MAT for secondary school teaching in English, history, Biology, Chemistry, Geology Physics, Mathematics, French, Spanish, and Latin & Classical Humanities. There is also a program for Early Childhood Special Education.

Professional Teaching Associations

Association of American Educators is the largest non-union organization of teaching professionals in the nation. The Association supports a program for small scholarship grants and another for classroom grants, supporting teachers who have the initiative to launch a classroom program that the school cannot underwrite. There are several membership benefits available to those who join and an excellent collection of professional resources.

National Education Association is the largest teachers union in the country, but the organization does much more than represent teachers in contract negotiations. The NEA has a long history of providing teaching resources for monthly occurrences such as historical dates of note or minor holidays; a library of lesson plans, a roster of online resources and tools, and a number of networking resources for teachers whether or not they are members.

National Council of Teachers of English is a professional organization for teachers of literacy, the language arts, English literature, creative writing, and all of the other academic disciplines that revolve around the English language. There are sections for elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, high school teachers, and college level instructors. The Council offers a jobs listing database, a library of journals and sponsors several advocacy programs.

National Science Teachers Association also has sections for elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, high school teachers and instructors working at the college level. The NSTA has a program for communities of interest that links the members of various interest groups within the association together. There is also a professional development section that offers books and online seminars for teachers broken up by grade level and academic topic.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a national organization for math teachers that has interest groups within the organization broken into elementary school, middle school, high school, and higher education divisions. There is a section devoted to leaders and professionals involved in research or advocacy projects. The website also offers a family resources center for parents who are interested in helping their child succeed in math.

Teaching Accreditation

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is one of two national organizations that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education Accreditation for accrediting teacher education programs at the university level. Most state teacher licensing requirements insist that teaching applicants be graduates of a school accredited by this organization or by TEAC, listed below.

Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) was founded in 1997 to provide quality accreditation for institutions that did not fall within the purview of NCATE for one reason or another. Both organizations have been recognized as viable accrediting bodies for public and private K-12 schools; there are ongoing discussions of a merger for the two bodies as of early 2011.

National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASTEC) is an important organization for teaching professionals because one of the things it does is provide a clearinghouse for jurisdictions in each state that license teachers. There is an active network of reciprocity agreements between states with regard to teacher licensing. A teacher with a license from one state is qualified to teach in another state if a reciprocity agreement exists. NASTEC is involved in creating those reciprocity agreements and tracking them.

Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) is the recognized body for accreditation of Montessori teaching programs worldwide. The organization provides a listing of accredited teacher training programs identified by state in the U.S. and internationally in twelve other nations. There is also an accreditation program for Montessori teacher education with online components.

Teacher Certification Requirements by State: this is a roster of links to information on each state's teacher certification requirements that is provided by the University of Kentucky. While there may be a reciprocity agreement in place between states that does not guarantee that a teacher transferring to a new state will meet all local requirements. This is a valuable resource.

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