Wittenberg University's graduate program is designed for select numbers of practicing P-12 teachers. The goal of the program is to develop teacher leaders who can improve instructional practices through research and reflection and who are both willing and able to share their professional knowledge with colleagues. The program expressly fosters the habits of inquiry necessary to investigate programmatic options directly affecting student learning. Graduates will be required to complete a substantial research effort which has relevance to classroom needs.
Graduate work at Wittenberg will offer distinct advantages. A recent review of exemplary teacher preparation programs emphasized the way many schools like Wittenberg focus on inquiry in powerfully integrated and multi-disciplinary ways. Liberal arts graduate programs in education tend to involve teachers in continual reflection about all of the considerations which impact upon classroom performance -- personal philosophy, the developmental and social needs of students, and understandings of curriculum and pedagogy. Smaller and more focused programs are able to craft coherent and developmentally appropriate course offering, form adaptive relationships with local school systems, and involve the talents of content specialists. Correspondingly, Wittenberg's program builds upon the expertise of education faculty in the areas of pedagogy, curriculum, and social foundations. It is structured to incorporate the expertise of arts and science faculty. Finally, through partnerships formed with local school systems, it provides a vehicle to develop courses closely tied to the emerging needs and interests of practicing teachers.
The mission of Wittenberg's Master of Arts in Education is to serve current practitioners by addressing the issues of teaching in challenging and rapidly changing environments. The program combines teacher-directed investigations of best practices with opportunities for deepened content knowledge. It connects teacher education to liberal learning by strengthening capacities for reflection, systemic inquiry, and collaboration.
The mission of the graduate program closely mirrors the mission of the whole university. It builds on the general goal to educate the talented minority for positions of leadership. Social, academic, moral and spiritual goals are prized. Its curricular program depends upon and fosters close ties to faculty and peers. More specifically the graduate program follows the goals adopted by the university which provide that Wittenberg graduates will:
1. Respond with understanding to the depth and complexity of human experience
The program involves teachers in on-going conversation about the intricacies of instruction--the multiple and complex ways which diverse social and cultural contexts affect the particular lives of students.
2. Recognize, define, and solve problems
The program strengthens the capacity of teachers to form questions about effectiveness, conduct research, and share knowledge with colleagues.
3. Develop a sense of vocation
The program begins with an examination of professional responsibility that builds upon personal mission and requires that teachers serve students and colleagues by continually monitoring and attempting to improve practice.
4. Assume leadership
The program sets a rigorous standard for scholarship which includes the responsibility to share knowledge about best practice with colleagues.
5. Take moral responsibility
The program requires that students consider moral goals as unavoidable aspects of a teacher's responsibility.
The Master of Arts in Education program has the following features:
1. Attends to the mission of Wittenberg University and the needs of the local school community.
2. Incorporates a research requirement which adds rigor to the program and serves to encourage educators to take charge of their own learning and professional development.
3. Creates relevant practical educational opportunities which are fluid and flexible enough to encourage the participation of Wittenberg faculty and master teachers in the area.
4. Highlights a set of core courses which provides participants with a common grounding in the philosophy and purposes of the program and ensures guidance for students as they pursue particular research interests.
5. Provides for expansion into more speciality areas as graduate enrollment grows.
Standards in the Field
The graduate program proposal has been constructed to meet program approval standards for the Ohio Board of Regents and for the North Central Accreditation Agency (NCA). In the spring of 2003, the program was reviewed according to standards established by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). At this time, the NCATE has not established separate standards for graduate programs. However, the organization is exploring the standards of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
Although Wittenberg's graduate program does not directly lead to National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification, it was developed with the processes of national certification in mind. It emphasizes improving instruction by strengthening the ability of practitioners to reflect upon practice. As indicated above, we see this particular graduate school emphasis as consistent with liberal arts purposes.
I. Learning Goals
A. Knowledge (Respond with understanding to the depth and complexity of human experience, develop a sense of vocation)
Graduates will be able to:
1. Explain current developments in their teaching fields
2. Articulate ways schools and teachers have responded to the challenges and opportunities of diverse social environments
3. Frame curriculum in developmentally appropriate ways
4. Describe educational missions in personal and institutional terms
5. Describe models of school change in reference to the need for teacher leadership
B. Skills (Recognize, define, and solve problems)
Graduates will be able to:
1. Respond flexibly and coherently to classroom problems
2. Assess the effectiveness of instruction and interpret student response and work
3. Access and apply best practice techniques in the classroom
4. Form collaborative networks for problem solving in and beyond the classroom
5. Develop and carry out research projects which directly affect student learning
C. Attitudes and Values (Take moral responsibility, assume leadership)
Graduates will be able to:
1. Respond positively to the opportunities, challenges and issues of diverse environments
2. Form, articulate, and defend personal and collective senses of mission
3. Value opportunities to supplement their existing knowledge through new and imaginative research
4. Form supportive learning communities in their buildings and classrooms
Success of the Program
We have identified several indicators of success which are consistent with the mission and goals of the program and the vision of the education faculty. The program will be a success as:
A. Area P-12 educators enroll in the program. We expect this to be a modest program with the well-defined mission of providing a rigorous professional development experience for a select group of P-12 educators. In addition, we expect to attract many teachers who wish to take graduate level courses for the sole purpose of renewing licensure and improving instruction. To be a financial success, we estimate that the program needs to attract 12-15 new students per year for the Master of Arts in Education degree. We also to expect to attract over 100 practitioners per year who will enroll in the professional development offerings.
B. Arts and science faculty become substantially involved in teaching and constructing courses for the program.
C. Qualified teachers in the P-12 community become involved as adjunct faculty in the program.
D. Graduates of the program collaborate with education faculty by serving as mentors and cooperating teachers for preservice teachers.
E. The program maintains firm ties to area school systems both for the purpose of program assessment and for the purpose of making firm connections to the improvement of student learning in the schools.
F. Research generated by the program helps inform and enhance undergraduate teacher preparation.
G. Graduates of the program demonstrate improved levels of teaching competence with the students they teach.
H. Graduates of the program engage in leadership endeavors related to school reform initiatives and the professional development of colleagues.
Master of Arts in Education Faculty
Dr. Stefan Broidy, Director of Graduate Studies
Professor: Robert Welker
Associate Professor: Kathyrn Calabrese, Lora Lawson, Lowell Monke
Assistant Professors: Sally Brannan, Debbie Harrison, Gina Post
Instructors: Phil Fraley, Deb Mallonee
Wittenberg University's Master of Arts in Education program is designed for select numbers of practicing P-12 teachers. The goal of the program is to develop teacher leaders who can improve instructional practices through research and reflection and who are both willing and able to share their professional knowledge with colleagues. The program expressly fosters the habits of inquiry necessary to investigate programmatic options directly affecting student learning. Graduates will be required to complete a substantial research project which has relevance to classroom needs.
Upon admission to the degree program, graduate students will be assigned an advisor. They should meet with the advisor during the first term in order to plan their course of study and review the procedure for admission to candidacy.
Policy on Admission
Admission to the Master of Arts in Education program is selective. To be considered for admission, the candidate must:
Have completed a teacher education program from an institution accredited at least at the state and regional level,
Have attained a baccalaureate cumulative average of 3.0 or higher,
Have completed one year of teaching,
Submit three references from qualified professionals,
Complete an application process which includes a personal interview and a writing sample.
At least 36 semester hours including 16 hours of core courses, 16 hours of professional development courses, and 4 hours of directed research. Education 550 is a prerequisite to all other core courses. The professional development courses have no prerequisites, but students are required to take at least 4 semester hours in each of three designated categories: Topics in Human Development and Learning Theory, Topics in Effective Pedagogical Practices, and Topics in Curriculum. All students are required to take one course which incorporates technology as an essential means of teaching and learning. These courses will be specially designated with a "T".
After successful completion of the required core courses and after completing at least 10 hours of the professional development courses, students can conclude their program by successfully completing 4 hours of Directed Research and by defending a research project.
Core Courses: Education 550, 560, 570, 580, and 600. Professional Development courses totaling 16 hours with at least 4 semester hours selected from each of the three designated categories: Education 510, 520, and 530. Education 600: Directed Research.
Procedures for Directed Research
To fulfill degree requirements students must complete Education 600 and an approved research project following these steps:
1. Register for Education 600.
2. Prepare a preliminary project proposal following department guidelines. The proposal will be developed in consultation with a faculty advisor.
3. Establish a Project Review Committee which must include three members including the participant's advisor, one other member of the Education Department, and one other professional working either at Wittenberg University or in P-12 schools. The committee serves as the primary source of evaluation for the student's project.
4. Upon completion of the project, submit two bound copies of the project to the Director of the Graduate Program.
Professional Development Courses
Education 510: Topics in Human Development and Learning Theory
1 - 4 semester hours
Specified study in the field of human development and learning theory as it relates to classroom practice and the academic and social needs of P-12 students. Emphasis will be placed on the social, moral, and psychological development issues affecting instruction. All courses have a research and practice component, but specific prerequisites vary by section. Students enrolled in Wittenberg University's Master of Arts in Education program are required to take a minimum of four hours of course work from this area.
Education 520: Topics in Effective Pedagogical Practices
1 - 4 semester hours
Designed to facilitate the application of theory to practice in instructional design. Emphasis will be placed on teacher decision making, instructional effectiveness, student interaction, and evaluative processes. All courses have a research and practice component but specific prerequisites vary by section. Students enrolled in Wittenberg University's master of arts program are required to take a minimum of four hours of course work from this area.
Education 530: Topics in Curriculum
1 - 4 semester hours
Specified study in the development, organization, and assessment of curriculum and materials. Emphasizes leadership skills as related to the responsibilities of teachers as curriculum planners. All courses have a research and practice component but specific prerequisites vary by section. Students enrolled in the master of arts in Education program are required to take a minimum of four hours of course work from this area.
4 semester hours
Designed to inform practice in P-12 classrooms, this course explores philosophical and pragmatic issues affecting teacher leadership. By the end of the course, participants will have the opportunity to analyze case histories, examine the philosophy and history of teacher professionalization efforts, critique and analyze research articles, develop basic strategies for research review, and formulate initial professional development plans. A major outcome of the course is personal assessment and planning of professional development goals.
As the introductory course in the Master of Arts program, this course must be taken prior to any of the other required core courses (560, 570, 580).
1. Philosophy and Ethics in Teaching
2. Professionalization History and Culture
3. Professional Assessment and Advancement
4. Research Review Analysis and Strategies
4 semester hours
This course provides participants with the sociological and historical background for examining school reform/renewal models. In analyzing these models, participants will consider current research about assessment, outcomes, and implementation processes. Connections will be made to personal and local circumstances and to the institutional cultures that support personal and building-wide educational change. The reading and construction of case studies will allow participants further opportunity to reflect more personally on teacher leadership roles in school change efforts. Prerequisite: Education 550.
1. Sociology and Politics of Educational Change
2. School Renewal Approaches
3. Building Supportive Institutional Cultures
4. Teacher Leadership in School Renewal
4 Semester hours
This course will focus on examining diversity in personal and local contexts and on analyzing how diversity is reflected in curriculum and instruction. Diversity applies to teachers, students, administrators and staff within the school as well as the various populations in the larger school community. Teachers will develop plans and strategies about parental partnering, tolerance, conflict resolution, curriculum sequencing and presentation, assessment, and community building. Prerequisite: Education 550.
1. Theory and Practice of Multicultural Education
2. Practical Classroom Approaches to Curriculum, Instruction, and Community Building
3. Working with Diverse Communities Outside the School
4 semester hours
The major purpose of this course is to help participants identify research interests, determine strategies, and form designs to complete research projects. Participants will learn action research strategies that help them define questions and determine methods of gathering information and assessing it. Participants will also examine the theory and practice of both quantitative and qualitative research. By the end of the course, that students will clarify a research question and be able to write a research proposal with a relevant research design. Prerequisite: Education 550.
1. Action Research Theory and Practice
2. Qualitative and Quantitative Methodology
3. Determining Research Questions and Proposals
4. Forming Research Designs
4 semester hours
Directed Research serves as the capstone experience in the Master of Arts in Education degree. Participants will work with individual advisors to craft and complete a substantial, high-quality research project. Although the completed projects will differ, they all must include a written research review. They must document the research process and assess the project's relevance, value, and significance. Passing the course requires a project proposal, the successful completion of the project, and an oral defense before a Project Review Committee. This will be composed of the participant's advisor, one other Education Department faculty, and one other professional working either at Wittenberg University or in P-12 schools. Prerequisites: 550, 560, 570, and 580.
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