Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)
For the Master of Arts in Teaching, we seek highly motivated and dedicated students with a strong academic background, a commitment to teaching diverse students in an urban setting and a demonstrated capacity to work collaboratively and reflectively with others.
(Clark undergraduates who qualify for the Accelerated B.A./Master's Degree Program are eligible for the M.A.T.)
Master of Arts in Teaching
The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) is an intensive, full-year program designed to qualify students interested in elementary, middle or high school teaching in urban settings for the "initial" teaching license in Massachusetts. The program is a unique blend of school and university experiences. It requires summer courses and a full academic year of teaching in one of the partner schools of the Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education. The Massachusetts initial teaching license qualifies students to teach in most other states.
Students enter the M.A.T. program having completed a liberal arts degree. Students interested in teaching at the secondary level normally have fulfilled a major in their planned teaching field, such as English, history, mathematics or biology. Students must pass the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure before the end of the fall of their M.A.T. year to retain eligibility.
Clark undergraduates may qualify for the M.A.T. as one of the University's accelerated degree programs (contact Marlene Shepard at the Hiatt Center for Urban Education for information). All other applicants must submit a completed application by January 15.
Please note that the admissions process is competitive and that final admission decisions are made by Education faculty.
Minorities and women are strongly encouraged to apply.
Program Values and Admissions Criteria
The Hiatt Center is dedicated to preparing outstanding beginning teachers highly qualified to serve students in urban schools. We have constructed our Master of Arts in Teaching program carefully in order to meet this goal. We also have established a core set of attributes that we believe students need in order to prepare for and be successful in the program, and to teach urban students from low income neighborhoods and diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. These attributes will guide our admissions process and assessment of student progress in the program.
We ask all applicants to reflect on and demonstrate their readiness for the program in terms of the first six of the seven areas below. We will focus on the seventh area, "performance as a best practice teacher," once you are in the program.
- Vocational commitment: Great teachers approach teaching as a vocation, as a calling to serve young people in their formation as whole persons, with a focus on their intellectual, academic, and social development. Strong applicants will reflect deeply on their reasons for entering teaching, and test and demonstrate their commitment by working in a youth program, preferably one serving urban youth.
- Ability to relate to youth: Great teachers are empathetic towards and enthusiastic about working with young people. They respect, trust, and believe in their students. They understand their developmental concerns, their hopes, and their yearnings. They communicate with and engage young people well. They bring their hearts as well as minds to their work. Strong applicants will demonstrate their commitment to teaching young people by working in some interactive role in a youth program, preferably in a setting with diverse children (for example, in a mentor or tutor program, big brother/big sister program, summer camp, or youth recreation program).
- Subject matter understanding: Great teachers believe in the subject matter they are teaching. They are great learners themselves, and show enthusiasm for and deep understanding of the subject matter. At the same time, they recognize that their subject matter knowledge is not something simply to give to students, but must be integrated with a pedagogy that makes learning meaningful and accessible for all. Successful applicants will have excellent academic records, and demonstrate a commitment to the subject matter of their teaching.
- Cultural awareness: Great teachers value the different cultural backgrounds of their students, and use their cultural awareness in an effort to relate to and support them in learning. Successful applicants will be able to illustrate their commitment to cultural understanding, with reference to specific coursework and other experiences.
- Capacity for critical reflection: Great teachers think critically about the beliefs and assumptions they make about their students, and that inform their decision-making about what and how to teach. Urban teachers especially must be able to take a critical stance to their work and the institution of school, with a commitment to education as fundamentally a moral and democratic activity, grounded in values of equity, equality, freedom, and responsible participation in civic life. Strong applicants will address how they have developed this capacity.
- Ability to collaborate: Great teachers must be able to work openly and collaboratively to create a strong culture of learning and mutual support for themselves as well as their students. Strong applicants will address their commitment to a program in which planning and the examination of teaching practice occur frequently in a collaborative process.
- Performance as a best practice teacher (by the end of the M.A.T. program): Great teachers know their students as well as their subject matter well. They combine their subject matter knowledge and understanding of their students to engage, support, and challenge all students in meaningful learning. they facilitate their students' development as thinkers, readers, writers, and active and capable learners in multiple ways. They have high expectations, help each student believe in himself or herself as a learner, and encourage high aspirations. They help students develop as respectful, supportive, and responsible members of their learning community. Upon entering the M.A.T. program, students will become immersed in a highly demanding and reflective, but also highly supported process of developing their teaching practice along these lines.
Program of Study
All students in the M.A.T. program take the Human Development and Learning course and a sequence of three "teaching and learning" courses during the program year. These common courses address some of the core themes that unify the program, and support students in the development of their portfolio-a culminating assessment in lieu of a thesis. Additional required courses are tailored to students' specific teaching areas or levels.
The program is committed to developing teachers who:
- believe that all students can learn;
- foster authentic learning, i.e., who try to engage all students in meaningful thinking, reading, writing and speaking activities;
- support all students in learning, with an emphasis on academic literacy, personalization, and equitable "best practice" teaching;
- build learning communities with their children based on values such as respect, mutual support and collaboration, and likewise collaborate with colleagues for the benefit of children;
- continually reflect on and assess their own teaching.
Among many other distinguishing features, the Master of Arts in Teaching program:
- immerses students in cohort groups with support from mentor teachers, teacher-leaders and Hiatt Center faculty in one of the partner schools working with the Hiatt Center for the full academic year.
- integrates school and University perspectives in required courses, with both teachers from partner schools and University faculty in instructor roles;
- connects school experience and study in all phases of the program;
- provides students with collaborative learning experiences such as "rounds," a signature practice that brings together students, teachers and University faculty for structured classroom observation and reflection;
- provides students with teaching responsibility for the majority of the academic year.
In 2007, The Hiatt Center was awarded the Richard Wisniewski Award for innovation and significant contributions to teacher education by The Society for Education Professors.
One of our partner schools, the Jacob Hiatt Magnet Elementary School, was recognized in successive years by the U.S. Department of Education, first with an award acknowledging the professional learning that takes place there, and then with the Blue Ribbon for Excellence, the highest national award for students achievement. At the University Park Campus School, both the teachers (many of them graduates of Clark programs) and students have been recognized locally and nationally for outstanding achievement.
The Clark-Worcester Collaborative has been cited for innovation and quality in national publications, such as the Journal for Teacher Education and National Research Council bulletin, and has been supported by federal grants including the Title II Teacher Quality Enhancement and Teacher Recruitment program. In 2001, the Hiatt Center and the Worcester Public Schools were one of seven partnerships in the country awarded major funding by the Carnegie Corporation to transform the district's high schools into small learning communities that would match the University Park Campus School's record of success.
For more information regarding the program or to apply, interested students should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (508) 793-7222.