Our certification program is a 13-month program which begins in June of Year I and is completed by the end of the following June. In Year II and while in their first Induction Year, our Fellows take two research seminars (one in the fall and the other in the winter semester) followed by a course in the spring. As result, they will complete their Master of Arts in Teaching Program (MAT) in 25 months.
Our program focuses on “practice-based learning” -- weaving educational theory with classroom practice so that fellows learn how to transform knowledge gained from coursework into skilled practice. As a whole, the program emphasizes the use of technology, research, inquiry, and data analysis as tools to continuously reflect on and improve practice. Clinical experiences focus on exposing fellows to a variety of educational settings and the complexities of everyday life as a practitioner. Most of the clinical experiences take place alongside an experienced mentor to become familiar with various aspects of everyday instructional planning and delivery. Fellows’ clinical experiences begin in summer I and with the first course they take (Analysis of Teaching in Urban Schools). As fellows observe teachers in practice and progress into developing instructional and inquiry activities to implement in the classrooms, they begin to advance their understanding of the intricacies related to becoming a teacher practitioner. Their clinical experiences increase in the fall semester as fellows, in pairs, spend 3 days a week in a classroom with a teacher mentor. During this time fellows use educational theory, discussed in the courses they are taking and translate it into educational curriculum, assessments, and lines of inquiry to understand student learning, increasingly taking on roles of a teacher practitioner. The fellows bring data and insights gained in the classroom back for discussion with course instructors and other fellows and examine its implications for teaching and learning. During this time a Master Teacher meets periodically with groups of fellows as learning communities in which fellows reflect on their practice, share successes and challenges they are experiencing, and exchange resources. Fellows’ clinical experiences increase the following semester (winter), during which they spend 5 days a week in the classroom, taking over the development and delivery of instruction under the guidance of teacher and university mentors. During this time fellows are putting into practice the skills gained previously, meeting often with their mentors and other fellows to discuss their practice, exchange ideas, resources, successes and struggles in a true community of practice. During these experiences fellows continuously reflect on their practice, collecting data to be used to develop and implement instructional changes, thus realizing the role that research plays in educational practice. Innovative technologies are woven throughout these experiences so that fellows gain skills in the use of various technology tools for communication, to prepare and deliver instruction, and to foster personal and professional growth.