What You’ll Learn: The Curriculum
Connect Learning Theory with Classroom Practice
You’ll study on your schedule — log in at night, on the weekend, or on a lunch break. Each module allows you to connect learning theory with practice and builds on what you’re doing in the classroom.
You will earn your MAT and will work toward recommendation for initial certification in New York State in one of four secondary teaching content areas:
- English, Grades 7-12 with a 5-6 Extension
- Mathematics, Grades 7-12 with a 5-6 Extension
- Science, Grades 7-12 with a 5-6 Extension
- Social Studies, Grades 7-12 with a 5-6 Extension
Note: If you wish to be certified in a different state, you must research and ensure that you meet or will meet that state’s certification requirements.
Your course work will help you learn about your students, their families, and their urban community. In the classroom, you’ll apply this knowledge as your mentor teacher starts the school year.
Knowing the individuals in our classrooms, their families, and communities are essential starting points of teaching. Building relationships with learners, learning from them and their experiences, and empowering these in the classroom establishes mutual respect and social contingencies where all class members contribute to social, emotional, and intellectual growth. Topics include: learner identities, unpacking teacher privilege, intersections of diversity, building on family/community resources, and responding to diversity through individualization.
You’ll learn about the different kinds of classrooms, and connect how you were taught to how you’ll teach. In the classroom, you’ll apply this knowledge as you understand why your mentor teacher establishes certain routines and procedures.
Where we teach and learn influences how we function and who we engage in the process. This module focuses on various contexts of learning and schooling in urban environments, including classrooms (general, inclusive, and separate); historical contexts; federal, state, and local policies that shape learning contexts, learning, and learners. Students will be able to identify models of positive classroom environments, support high expectations of all students, collaborate with families and other professionals, and create caring classrooms for diverse learners.
This module builds on previous units’ focus on knowing learners and the contexts where they learn to develop students’ understanding of their obligations to their diverse learners, and of their teaching environments. Students will be encouraged to explore more complex understandings of teaching and learning than those they may have acquired in their own schooling. They will learn classroom management and self-assessment skills and identify the teaching assets they bring to classroom environments, including their content knowledge and previous leadership experiences.
Your course work will focus on your content area and how you teach that subject to diverse learners, including bilingual speakers, students with special needs, English language learners, and students with varying literacy abilities. In the classroom, you’ll apply this knowledge to your students’ community.
This module introduces fundamentals of curriculum planning and development. Focus will be on creating content-rich curricula that provide culturally relevant learning experiences for students and enable them to connect meaningfully to other content areas and experiences outside the classroom. Students will gain valuable skills in developing curricula that meet content area standards while addressing students’ varied learning needs; providing individualized instruction (including use of IEPs in the classroom); and strategies for authentic assessment.
This course focuses on key pedagogical methods for teaching secondary subject areas (English, math, science, and social studies). Students will learn to design and deliver lesson plans that are content rich, culturally relevant and inquiry based. Topics include methods for differentiating instruction for all learners, especially students with disabilities and English language learners.
Teaching for understanding in each content area requires building students’ abilities to read and write in their discipline. Topics include differences in texts, and purposes for reading and writing across disciplines; integrating literacy into lesson planning; specific methods to support literacy; developing academic language; and approaches for teaching students with diverse literacy skills and experiences. In cross-disciplinary and discipline-specific teams, students will gain skills in planning, implementing, and improving their reading and writing instruction.
This module introduces students to the legal requirements and educational rights of students with disabilities, and includes strategies for working with students with special needs, including the use of IEPs (individualized education plans). Topics include collaboration with colleagues and families; disability as part of the continuum of human development; models of disability; Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) models of special education; and educating students with disabilities during the transition to adulthood.
This module focuses on assessment. Topics include formal classroom assessment (for example, tests, writing assignments, and projects); informal classroom assessment (as carried out in classroom discussions, monitoring of small groups, one-on-one observations and discussions, and students’ self-assessment and peer assessment); grading; and external standardized assessment. The module also includes preparation for the MAT program summative assessment.
You’ll learn about your responsibilities as a teacher and how those duties affect your relationship with your students. As the lead teacher in the classroom, you’ll apply all your course work to ensure your teaching meets the needs of your school and each student’s academic achievement goals.
At the end of the school year, you’ll finish your research project.
This module explores the professional responsibilities of teaching in connection with students, colleagues, families, and the school community. Topics include the social responsibilities of teachers, such as anti-bullying education, substance abuse prevention, and HIV/AIDS education; child abuse recognition and reporting; and school violence prevention. Students will gain skills in activating protective resources, advocating for diverse students and their families, working with colleagues and community partners, and supporting empowerment and resilience in the classroom.
This culminating module focuses on participatory action research (PAR), which is one of the programmatic themes. PAR is characterized by a collaborative process of inquiry and action for change in response to organizational or community problems. Student teachers will learn how to design, create, implement, participate in, and present a PAR program of research that focuses on a content area problem, as well as learn how to keep the everyday world problematic, how to practice radical listening, and how to be a mindful learner.
At that point, you’ll have completed the requirements for your MAT and demonstrated the skills of a highly effective teacher.
PLEASE NOTE: Completing the MAT program does not guarantee a recommendation for certification. To receive a recommendation, you must:
- Demonstrate mastery of the competencies needed to be a highly effective teacher and mentor for all learners in your classroom
- Complete your assignments as a successful co-teacher, sharing equally in classroom responsibilities with your teaching mentor
- Successfully complete your solo teaching assignment
Our teacher education programs are fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.