The Master of Arts in Teaching, English (5-12) is a competency-based degree program that prepares students at the graduate level for licensure to teach English in grades 5-12, through the development of pedagogical skills in English curriculum development, design, and evaluation. All work in this degree program is completed online with the exception of the Demonstration Teaching and in-classroom field experience components. Students enter this program with an English major or equivalent and build on the existing knowledge base of English through the Foundations of Teaching, Teacher Education Diversity, Instructional Planning and Presentation, English Pedagogy (Grades 5-12), video-based classroom observation, Preclinical Experiences, Demonstration Teaching and Research Fundamentals.
Foundations of Teaching
Foundational Perspectives of Education
This course provides an introduction to the historical, legal, and philosophical foundations of education. Current educational trends, reform movements, major federal and state laws, legal and ethical responsibilities, and an overview of standards-based curriculum are the focus of the course. The course of study presents a discussion of changes and challenges in contemporary education. It covers the diversity found in American schools, introduces emerging educational technology trends, and provides an overview of contemporary topics in education.
Psychology for Educators
This course prepares candidates to meet the expectations of society and prepares future educators to support classroom practice with research-validated concepts. The course helps future educators to create a framework for refining teaching skills that are focused on the learner, through engaged inquiry of integrating theory, critical issues in psychology, classroom applications with diverse populations, assessment, educational technology, and reflective teaching.
Fundamentals of Diversity, Inclusion, and Exceptional Learners
Students will learn the history of inclusion and develop practical strategies for modifying instruction, in accordance with legal expectations, to meet the needs of a diverse population of learners. This population includes learners with disabilities, gifted and talented learners, culturally diverse learners, and English language learners.
Classroom Management, Engagement, and Motivation
Students will learn the foundations for effective classroom management as well as strategies for creating a safe, positive learning environment for all learners. Students will be introduced to systems that promote student self-awareness, selfmanagement, self-efficacy, and self-esteem.
Educational Assessment assists students in making appropriate data-driven instructional decisions by exploring key concepts relevant to the administration, scoring, and interpretation of classroom assessments. Topics include ethical assessment practices, designing assessments, aligning assessments, and utilizing technology for assessment.
Instructional Planning and Presentation
Instructional Planning and Presentation in English
Applications in Instructional Planning and Presentation in English, as a continuation of the Instructional Planning and Presentation course, helps students apply, analyze, and reflect on effective classroom instruction.
Secondary Reading Instruction and Interventions
Secondary Reading Instruction and Intervention explores the comprehensive, student-centered Response to Intervention (RTI) assessment and intervention model used to identify and address the needs of learners in grades 5–12 who struggle with reading comprehension and/or information retention. Course content provides educators with effective strategies designed to scaffold instruction and help learners develop increased skill in the following areas: reading, vocabulary, text structures and genres, and logical reasoning related to the academic disciplines. This course has no prerequisites.
Secondary Disciplinary Literacy
Secondary Disciplinary Literacy examines teaching strategies designed to help learners in grades 5-12 improve upon the literacy skills required to read, write, and think critically while engaging content in different academic disciplines. Themes include exploring how language structures, text features, vocabulary, and context influence reading comprehension across the curriculum. Course content highlights strategies and tools designed to help teachers assess the reading comprehension and writing proficiency of learners and provides strategies to support students' reading and writing success in all curriculum areas. This course has no prerequisites.
Preclinical Experiences in English
Preclinical Experiences in English provides students the opportunity to observe and participate in a wide range of inclassroom teaching experiences in order to develop the skills and confidence necessary to be an effective teacher. Students will reflect on and document at least 75 hours of in-classroom observations. Prior to entering the classroom for the observations, students will be required to meet several requirements including a cleared background check, passing scores on the state or WGU required basic skills exam and a completed resume.
English Pedagogy examines pedagogical applications for the teaching of reading, literature, composition, and related English Language Arts (ELA) content and skills for middle and secondary schools. Focused on fostering and developing pedagogical content knowledge in the aforementioned areas, students will analyze assessment strategies and incorporate methods of literacy instruction into their instructional planning to meet the needs of diverse learners. This course helps students prepare and develop skills for classroom practice, lesson planning, and working in school settings. C397 Preclinical Experiences in English is a prerequisite.
The Research Foundations course focuses on the essential concepts in educational research, including quantitative, qualitative, mixed, and action research; measurement and assessment; and strategies for obtaining warranted research results.
Supervised Demonstration Teaching in English
The Supervised Demonstration Teaching in English courses involve a series of classroom performance observations by the host teacher and clinical supervisor that develop comprehensive performance data about the teacher candidate’s skills.
Teacher Performance Assessment in English
The Teacher Performance Assessment serves as the final, culminating project in your degree program. It is a formal, scholarly piece of work. You are required to design and develop a two-week-long (minimum), standards-based curriculum unit. You will then implement (i.e., teach) the unit in your classroom and gather data as to its effectiveness.
You will create an online teaching portfolio that includes professional artifacts (e.g. resume and Philosophy of Teaching Statement) that demonstrate the skills you have acquired throughout your Demonstration Teaching experience.
The Cohort Seminar provides mentoring and supports teacher candidates during their demonstration teaching period by providing weekly collaboration and instruction related to the demonstration teaching experience. It facilitates their demonstration of competence in becoming reflective practitioners, adhering to ethical standards, practicing inclusion in a diverse classroom, exploring community resources, building collegial and collaborative relationships with teachers, and considering leadership and supervisory skills.