A Unique Curricular Approach

Education is a complex undertaking and understanding its various elements demands an interdisciplinary approach. The MA in Educational Transformation embraces four foundational principles: an integrative, interdisciplinary approach to education that stresses systemic thinking; a commitment to an asset-based, culturally relevant approach to children’s learning that reflects the university’s focus on educating the whole child; a commitment to education as a central component of social justice; and an emphasis on graduate learning anchored in both experiential learning and research, as well as the utilization of “knowledge in action” through residency programs.

As an MAET graduate, you will gain the in-depth and interdisciplinary knowledge needed to be an effective professional through coursework anchored in a set of research-based practices that advance the learning of students and the transformation of education policies.

Core Coursework

The MA in Educational Transformation requires 30 credit hours over four semesters. During the fall and spring semesters, students split their time between classes and their residency. Our two summer semesters – required for both Advocacy & Policy and Learning & Teaching – bring students together across concentrations to explore the intersection between life inside the classroom and the external political forces which shape and constrict that environment.

Culturally Relevant Approaches to Education & Social Justice. This course will apply a systems thinking approach to the exploration of the relationship between education and social justice in a democratic society. In this course, students will examine historical and contemporary research and theoretical frameworks for education as a tool for addressing social inequality and structures of power as they relate to the purpose of education, access to educational opportunity, and disparities in outcomes. Examining the frame of education as a public good, particular attention will be paid to the education of diverse student populations and the potential of education to address both individual and societal needs. In this course, students will also examine, learn, and apply research and theory about culturally relevant practices in education. Focusing on an asset-based stance toward working with students, families, communities, and colleagues, students will learn strategies that recognize and value K-12 students’ identity and culture in order to cultivate a classroom community that supports student autonomy, motivation, self-regulation, and achievement and that facilitates effective, respectful partnerships with families and community members. As a result of the course, students will begin to situate themselves within the intersection of education and social justice while articulating a professional identity and purpose.

Advocating for Learners & Learning. This course serves as the capstone experience for the MAET program. In this course, students will synthesize their learning experiences throughout the program and develop the skills and dispositions needed to develop as teacher leaders and advocates. Students will examine the role of teachers in education advocacy efforts and develop a professional identity as it relates to advocacy and leadership. Using a project-based learning format, students will work collaboratively in cross-track groups to address inequity in education from a systems-thinking perspective.