Master of Arts in Teaching

Purpose

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is designed to provide a future teacher with the content and methods necessary to be an effective teacher. Thematic strands such as critical thinking, curriculum, classroom management, cultural proficiency, action research, and technology are integrated throughout the curriculum. The themes add qualities to the program that are not reflected in single courses but are interwoven throughout the curriculum. The form of the teacher education program includes a purposeful use of current research findings on the education of teachers as translated into practical experiences and methodologies.

The Master of Arts in Teaching program may be completed in one of three ways:

  1. Face-to-Face Evenings and Saturdays (January and June Starts)
  2. Virtual Evenings and Saturdays  (January and June Starts)
  3. Face-to-Face Daytime  (June Start Only)

The program is available to individuals who have completed an undergraduate BA or BS degree in a field other than education.

Degree Outcomes

Educational Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Build on their knowledge of subject matter as they develop pedagogical skills and research methodologies
  • Gain knowledge about the psychological, sociological, historical, and philosophical foundations of education
  • Apply these understandings in early childhood, elementary, middle and secondary classrooms
  • Successfully meet the challenges of classroom teaching
Professional Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Meet the federal government's guidelines
  • Receive an Oregon Preliminary Teaching License upon completion of the core and passing scores on the appropriate standardized measures (NES Content Specific Examination for single subject licensure, ORELA for multiple subjects authorization, Protecting Students and Civil Rights exam and the State Assessment).

The Preliminary Teaching License may bear endorsements in the following areas: advanced mathematics, agriculture, art, basic mathematics,* biology, business, chemistry, drama,* family/consumer sciences, French**, German**, health education, integrated science,* Japanese**, language arts, marketing, music, physical education, physics, Russian**, social studies, speech communications,* Spanish and technology education.

* These subjects may be added to another endorsement for high school applicants; integrated science and basic math may stand alone for elementary/middle school applicants.  

**Admittance to these endorsement areas is contingent on the University’s ability to provide the curricular support necessary.  These endorsements may not be offered some years.

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the MAT program must hold a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last two years of coursework. In addition, applicants must complete the following to be considered for admission to the program:

  • Master of arts in teaching application and application fee
  • Submit one official transcript from each college/university attended
  • Completion of the character reference statement required by Oregon TSPC
  • Three recommendations
  • A group assessment with the MAT Admission Committee

If accepted into the program, a $200 enrollment deposit is required. Deadline for application is Feb. 1 for the June 1 start and Oct. 1 for the January start. Applications may be reviewed after those dates on a space-available basis. Preference will be given to those candidates who have had experience in schools working with students in their desired authorization level as well as to those candidates who have passed the appropriate ORELA exam.

Prior to full-time student teaching, students must have taken and passed the appropriate ORELA exam.  If a student has not completed this requirement, she/he may apply for an exception; however, if an exception is granted and the student does not pass the required exams prior to graduation, the director will not sign any official documents recommending the student as a candidate for licensure in Oregon or any other state.

Transfer Credit

No transfer credit is allowed toward the MAT program. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar's office for information on eligibility of transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

All 36 hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

Course Requirements

The Master of Arts in Teaching program is generally 1-2 years in length with 36 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for graduation. Of those hours, 28 are in prescribed core education courses (including practicum), 4 hours are Action Research, and 4 hours may be applied to a specialization, such as ESOL, Reading, or SPED.

Other Degree Requirements

The program structure will be characterized by:

Cohort Model

Students will work in cohorts of 15 to 20 students. Cohorts will include elementary and secondary levels. Cohorts are both blended and authorization-specific. Although they are separate cohorts, they will be blended together for certain experiences and courses.

Theory-Into-Practice Links

Practicum experiences will be a large component of the program. The involvement in a full semester practicum experience will provide preservice teachers with opportunities to apply learning from coursework. University faculty, cooperating teachers, and administrators from local districts will be involved in collaborative efforts to plan links between coursework and application in classrooms.  All practicum criteria must be met at the conclusion of the practicum or an additional practicum will be required.

Action Research

A research component will be at the end of the core courses to allow students to do their action research in the classroom following licensure eligibility. 

Thematic Strands

Major strands, such as cultural proficiency, differentiation, assessment, action research, and decision making, will be incorporated throughout the professional courses. Other topics such as classroom management and technology will also be integrated with several of the professional courses.

Study of the Subject Matter Knowledge and Structure

Students will research and discuss the nature and structure of the subject areas while concentrating on their major subject. They will engage in interdisciplinary discussions that will allow them to discern relationships between the subject areas.

Reflection

The ability to reflect on learning about teaching and on the practice of teaching will be developed in small- and large-group discussions, in journal entries, in papers, and in conferences with supervisors and cooperating teachers.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 36 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Achieve no grade lower than a B in all core courses. If a grade of a B- or lower is received in a designated course, that course must be retaken (for more specific information, please refer to the student handbook).
  • Pass appropriate exams to be recommended for licensure
Expand All

Curriculum Plan

Complete the following:
This course focuses on professionalism, purpose of education, educational law, policy, ethics and the place of technology in the field. The course includes instruction on mandatory reporting. Reflection upon professional identity and dispositional development will be facilitated.
This course provides a framework grounded in cultural humility for approaching diverse students and communities. Issues surrounding race, ethnicity, culture, and the qualities needed for cultural competency, and inclusion are explored. IEP's and 504 information as well as EL foundations and supports are addressed (introduced) in this course. Specific skills for facilitating learning for all students from an asset based perspective are explored.
This course prepares candidates to meet the curricular and instructional needs of all students including exceptional learners. Candidates learn lesson design and instructional planning. Differentiated curriculum and instructional strategies are explored. Accommodations and modifications are made operational in unit and lesson design.
This course incorporates and reinforces best practices in assessment design and implementation. Candidates focused creating and using assessments that measure growth toward standard-based outcomes. Using student data as appropriate, candidates develop plans for differentiation and intervention.
This course examines human development from an intellectual, social, emotional and physical perspective. Foundations in developmental and learning theory and their connections to development are explored. Foundational knowledge of exceptionalities is reinforced. Foundational knowledge necessary to understanding exceptionalities of all kinds is built.
This course is designed to introduce the concepts of literacy as defined by the integrated processes of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and interacting with oneself and others within the content area. An emphasis on ELL, language acquisition, assessment, RTI, and Sped with emphasis on high incidence disabilities in language development are reinforced as integral to the content.
This practicum will be completed at either multiple subject or single subjects endorsement area. Candidate demonstrates success in multiple performance and dispositional assessments.
This course studies positive learning environment strategies including procedures, routines, and clear expectations that allow educators to shape context with students in the clinical practice. Problem solving simulations are grounded in both observations and educational theory.
This course provides reflective opportunities to analyze individual and group management strategies, behavior analysis, modifications of environment, preventative strategies and positive behavioral support systems for all students within the context of the practicum experience.
Complete one of the following Specializations:

Single Subject Specialization 

A study of instructional strategies and the design, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum for content-specific secondary classrooms. The pattern of course topics presented includes the nature of content knowledge, general pedagogical methods, subject-specific pedagogical methods, and integrated pedagogical methods. Inclusion emphasis. For single subject endorsement candidates, this course offers an intensive exploration of pedagogical practices within the content area.
A study of instructional strategies and the design, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum for content-specific secondary classrooms. The pattern of course topics presented includes the nature of content knowledge, general pedagogical methods, subject-specific pedagogical methods, and integrated pedagogical methods. Inclusion emphasis. For single subject endorsement candidates, this course offers an intensive exploration of pedagogical practices within the content area.
A study of structures, strategies, issues, designs, and possibilities for the organization of middle schools and implementation of curriculum to meet the specific needs of mid-level students. Inclusion emphasis.
Note: Secondary/Mid-Level Authorization students will enroll in MATG 555 Secondary Content Pedagogy according to their specific content area: art, biology, business, chemistry, family and consumer science, mathematics, music, integrated science, physics, social studies, technology education, German, Japanese, or Russian.
Multiple Subjects Specialization
This course focuses on the pedagogies of science and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education at the EC/EL and EL/MS levels. The science pedagogy assists teacher candidates in how to navigate the three-dimensional, inquiry-based learning aspect of the Next Generation Science Standards and implement strategies and assessments for fostering student centered learning and inclusive classroom environments. The STEAM pedagogy equips teacher candidates in developing content and pedagogical content knowledge, integrative STEAM strategies, and efficacy to plan, apply, and evaluate STEAM challenges using project-based learning.
This course is a study of instructional strategies and the design, implementation, and evaluation of language arts curriculum for multiple subjects/elementary classrooms. The pattern of course topics presented is the nature of content knowledge, general pedagogical methods, subject-specific pedagogical methods, and integrated pedagogical methods. Emphasis will be placed on ELL, Dyslexia, RTI and Inclusion.
This course seeks to integrate effective mathematics teaching and learning pedagogies within the framework of the common core state standards. The development of personal understanding of mathematical concepts and processes is emphasized; this process requires the student to expand his/her own learning beyond the course assignments to examine the relationships between mathematical concepts and the real world. Teaching mathematics effectively to diverse learners is emphasized. The course is interactive and dependent upon student participation.
Complete the following:
Students must complete 4 hours of Action Research.
This course is designed to develop conceptual and technical skills needed for designing and implementing action research studies in classrooms, schools, and other educational settings. The focus is on the following: observing and recording behavior in school settings; problem definition and focus; sampling; data storage and retrieval systems; and trustworthiness of action research. Emphasis is placed on defining and investigating problems which require the educator to investigate strategies for improving their practice and student learning. Prerequisite: MEDU 530, Overview of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methodology.
This course is part two of the master's research project in which the student continues to work under the direction of the advising professor. In this final stage the student completes a written paper, publishes the work on an open-source site, and publicly presents results of the research project.
AND choose 4 semester credits from the following options:
Master of Education Courses
This 3 semester-hour course will focus on analysis and investigation of current research in effective teaching methods as related to specific subject and focus areas in k-12 education. Specific methods relating to subject matter, learning styles and effective teaching practices and strategies will be studied and applied. Students will have an opportunity to thoroughly investigate best practice philosophies and methodologies in k- 12 education. Participants will benefit from interacting with each other concerning issues of best practices in teaching, implementation of best practices, and examining solutions to educational issues in k-12 education.
This course will focus on designing curriculum units and instructional plans for a standards-based curriculum while utilizing research-based best practices for teaching, learning and assessment. There will be an emphasis on the development and implementation of an integrated interdisciplinary unti for the candidate's specific teaching or educational assignment that utilizes concept-based curriculum strategies and instructional techniques to "teach beyond the facts for the thinking classroom." In addition, students will be participating in a Professional Learning Community that will focus in on a data collection cycle to inform and evaluate practice. Students will develop assessment instruments and procedures that relate to their own disciplines. Current methods of formative assessment - including portfolios, rubrics, and other forms of authentic assessment - will guide and inform discussions.
This course will introduce students conceptually to research as a way of thinking for classroom or school improvement. As consumers of research, students will learn to search databases, analyze data, identify and summarize results to inform educational decisions. Students will be exposed to both qualitative and quantitative research paradigms, and begin to develop a literature review for their research project.
This course examines how belief structures undergird the methods educators use to motivate people to learn. Through the light of ethical theory, students examine how organizational leaders respond to the situations they face. Students also reflect on and apply their own values and ethical understanding to shed light on case studies that represent situations they often face as educational leaders.
ESOL Endorsement Electives
Examines the fundamental elements, processes, and patterns of oral and written language for the teacher of English to speakers of other languages. Topics include phonetics, phonology, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, morphology, orthography and writing conventions, syntax, semantics, and discourse analysis. English is the primary focus of the course, with reference to other languages commonly spoken by students in Oregon classrooms.
Examines various factors, concepts, and theories about first and second language acquisition processes and their interrelationships. The course also focuses on the application of this knowledge in ESOL classes for maximizing ESOL students' language development and academic achievement. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment in EDFL 570.
Examines the diverse and dynamic role of culture in the ESOL students' language development and academic achievement. The course also emphasizes the application of this knowledge for instruction and the involvement of community and its resources for maximizing ESOL students' academic achievement. *Students who have successfully completed a Master of Arts in Teaching degree at George Fox University are not required to take ESOL 572 for this endorsement.
Examines strategies for planning, managing, and teaching English as a second language and discipline-focused content to ESOL students. Emphasis is placed on curriculum, teaching, and learning approaches that accommodate a diverse population within the classroom. This course also focuses on strategies for collaborating with educators and community members in order to provide comprehensive, challenging educational opportunities for ESOL students.
Examines principles, issues, and approaches useful for assessing the English competencies of ESOL students. Emphases are placed on developing appropriate assessment tools for the ESOL classroom and on properly interpreting tests that are used for program placement.
A supervised practicum in an approved school demonstrating knowledge and strategies developed in the ESOL courses. Candidates set goals for professional growth in the English-language teaching field. Prerequisites: successful completion of all required ESOL courses (or their equivalent).
Reading Endorsement Electives
Thoughtful classroom practice depends on sound theory. This course examines some current competing theories, looks at the implications of various literacy theories as they impact classroom decision making, and, through reading and discussion, develop a personal understanding of literacy processes. The linguistic framework of reading and its place in the language arts will also be explored.
Classroom teachers become acquainted with a wide variety of methods for assessing student progress in reading and writing. Administration and scoring of these tests will be explored. Information about how testing results can facilitate teaching and learning is the goal.
This course focuses on current methods and materials for reading/literacy instruction. The strategies used by proficient readers will be explored and teaching methods will be modeled and implemented. Methods of assessment and strategies for remediation will also be explored.
This course focuses on the issues related to public and school-based concerns about literacy learning. The discussion of issues will lead to research-based applications that can be translated into the classroom practice at the elementary, middle, or high school level.
This course explores theoretical principles and practices based on current research. Emphasis is on strategies for coming to print, print conventions, and reading aloud. Shared, guided, and independent reading and writing is also explored. These strategies are based on theoretical assumptions from the psychology of language and cognition development and linguistics.
The content of this course includes: the organization of reading programs within the context of state and federal regulation and within the structure of the school-wide program; the types of testing used to diagnose and monitor student progress; the methods that can be used to involve parents, paraprofessionals, and volunteers; and the methods available to assess program effectiveness. Observations in a variety of school settings will be organized.
The reading practicum will provide a context in which to apply methods, assessment techniques, and teaching strategies in a school setting. It will also provide opportunity for an observation of a reading program in application. The practicum setting must include assessment, teaching, and evaluation of students at both authorization levels. Prerequisites: READ 530 History and Foundations of Literacy Learning; READ 531 Analysis of Reading and Writing Assessments; READ 532 Advanced Strategies in Literacy Instruction; READ 538 Organization of Reading Programs; or by permission.
SPED Endorsement Electives
This course will focus on the historical foundations and purpose of special education, theory, special education law and policy, including legislation and litigation, and ethics. The course provides the foundational knowledge needed to understand exceptionalities of all kinds.
The theoretical and practical aspects of human development with emphasis on - birth through young adult – and the connection to developmental psychology and learning theory. Functional knowledge of exceptionalities: autism, dyslexia, executive functioning are developed as it relates to learning.
This course prepares candidates to meet the needs of school students with high incidence learning disabilities in general education classrooms. Develops curricular modifications and adaptations to evaluate content curriculum, and to provide assistance to general education teachers. Develops knowledge and skills to adjust curriculum content using Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and informal assessments to provide information on student progress in the general education curriculum.
This course prepares candidates to meet the needs of school students with low incidence disabilities. Candidates explore, discuss and learn how to plan and implement curriculum that includes CCSS as well as informing disability eligibility decisions as well as instruction in academic and functional low incidence disabilities including: intellectual disability, hearing impairment, visual impairment, deaf/blindness, communication disorder, emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairment, traumatic brain injury, autism spectrum disorder, and other health impairments. Functional living skills are incorporated into content planning.
This course will focus on developing candidates’ ability to evaluate technological and assistive supports and determine appropriateness for exceptional learners. Candidates will design and develop assistive technology tools for use in academic and functional settings.
This course addresses assessment and evaluation as the means for informing special education disability decisions as well as instructional decisions. The candidate will learn and practice multiple ways of assessing students. These include informal assessment, progress monitoring, formal evaluations, and standardized achievement tests. Candidate will learn to write formal reports that emphasize proper administration of assessments and ethical complications of the evaluation process to synthesize all that data to create a cohesive picture of the student’s standing, and continue to use the appropriate assessment tools to generate the information needed to make curricular and program decisions.
Candidates will gain knowledge and skills in writing effective, compliant Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and acquire communication and collaboration strategies to facilitate IEP meetings and interactions with families. Candidates will identify key issues that could lead to litigation. Course content includes communication, organization, compliance and administrative management.
This course will focus on preparation of candidates to work with students who demonstrate significant emotional/behavioral, trauma, and fetal alcohol/drug issues and use interventions that are research-based. Candidates are instructed on the methods of behavior analysis and accommodation strategies to include development of behavior support plans.
This course will focus on the families, individuals, and community supports for individuals with disabilities ages birth - 21. Candidates will identify age-appropriate services such as Head Start, early intervention, vocational educational programs, community experiences, employment and other post-school adult living objectives, acquisition of daily living skills, if appropriate, and access to state and federal services. Candidate will also learn all required federal/state requirements for secondary transition plans. They will learn how to apply and develop an individual Education Plan for students of transition age.
Other Program Electives
This practicum may be completed at either multiple subject or single subjects endorsement area. Candidate demonstrates success in multiple performance and dispositional assessments.
The seminar focuses on issues related to current trends and questions in education and the ethics/values in teaching. Professional induction topics will include resume writing, job-search strategies interviewing skills, and PLC's.