Jun 13, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in the Practice of Teaching

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Coordinators/Advisors: Carol Crumbaugh (Curriculum & Instruction), Lynn Nations Johnson (Curriculum & Instruction), Regena Fails Nelson (Early Childhood), Marcia Fetters (Foundations of Teaching), Andrea Smith (Early Childhood), Paul Vellom (Curriculum & Instruction), Dini Metro-Roland (Curriculum & Instruction).

Contact Person:
Tammara Klinger
4121 Sangren Hall
(269) 387-3465
e-mail: tammie.klinger@wmich.edu

The Master of Arts in the Practice of Teaching provides a comprehensive professional development program for current Pre K-12 teachers. In order to address the ever-changing and complex challenges faced by today’s teachers, this degree allows teachers, along with their academic advisors, to customize programs of study to meet individual needs and professional goals. The Foundations for Teaching specialization is a post-baccalaureate master’s program for candidates seeking initial teacher certification for secondary science (biology, chemistry, earth science and physics).

The Master of Arts in the Practice of Teaching is designed to enhance the knowledge and skill of reflective practitioners for a variety of educational settings.  It is our belief that teachers ought to be effective practitioners, leaders, change agents, intellectuals, researchers, and learners.  They should be passionate learners who embrace diversity, actively inquire and reflect upon their own practice, nurture the development of new knowledge and skills, and weave the complexities of modern society into the learning process.  This is accomplished through a process of continuous professional, intellectual, and social growth within an interrelated spiral of academic content preparation, professional knowledge, pedagogical skill, and guided practice.  The Master of Arts in the Practice of Teaching is predicated on the assumption that theory, research, policy, and practice must be continuously integrated in ways that provide innovative models leading to the improvement of teaching, learning, and reflective practice.

The goal of reflective practice is to help teachers develop the ability to analyze their own teaching, inquire into how teaching can be improved, and develop strategies to improve teaching that build on individual strengths.  Reflective practitioners must also be able to situate their practice within the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of relationships among schooling, society, and the natural environment.  It requires teachers to examine, interpret, and evaluate the teaching-learning process using the best practices described by research and experience as the referent for reflection.

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  2. An overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4 point scale) in the last two years of undergraduate work. Applicants with a GPA of less than 3.0 may be granted a Conditional Admission. This will be converted to a regular admission if students receive a grade of B or better in the first two graduate courses (six credit-hours) taken.
  3. A concise written “statement of purpose” (250 words) indicating the applicant’s reasons for seeking admission to the program and what the applicant hopes to accomplish during the program of study. Congruence of applicant’s written “statement of purpose” with the parameters of this degree program. Experience in a professional setting.*
  4. A valid Michigan Teaching Certificate** will be required for students seeking to obtain additional endorsements.

*Waived for individuals in “Early Elementary Teaching” concentration seeking initial certification.
**Required only for individuals seeking to obtain additional endorsements.

A review of transcripts will be required for students in the Early Elementary Teaching concentration to determine if the student has taken 45 credits of required content pre-requisites for elementary education certification.

Upon admission, each student will be assigned an advisor who will assist in the preparation of a program of study.  The program of study should be prepared during the first semester of enrollment.

A maximum of 9 Western Michigan University graduate credits taken before admission may be applied to the Master of Arts in the Practice of Teaching with advisor approval.

Program Requirements

(30 - 33 hours) for practicing teachers
(57 hours) for individuals in “Early Elementary Teaching” concentration


ED 6330 and ED 6340 are prerequisites for ED 6010 and should be taken early in the program if possible. In addition, students must complete 21 hours in their masters program before enrolling in ED 6010.

Select either:

Area of Specialization (18 hours)

Student may select, with approval of their assigned advisor, 18 credit hours in one of several area of specialization. (examples of specialized program follow below).

Program Examples

Example 1: Specialization in Early Childhood Education - General and Special Education (ZS endorsement)

Program Requirements:

Example 2: K-12 Curriculum and Instruction

Program Requirements:

Example 3: Curriculum & Instruction: Culturally Diverse Students and Social Justice

Program Requirements:

Early Elementary Teaching Concentration - Initial Teacher Certification

Program Requirements:

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