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Teachers College, Columbia University
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English Education

English Education

In the Department of Arts & Humanities

Degrees Overview

Master of Arts

An English teacher creates hospitable contexts and promising opportunities for students to develop as readers, writers, speakers, and listeners, and in the cultural knowledge and critical thinking processes that nourish and refine the arts of language. Classroom teachers of English must therefore possess a deep understanding of the contexts and conditions that foster the development of the arts of language, and they must be accomplished practitioners of those arts in their own intellectual and creative lives. Effective teachers must also be keen and responsive readers of their students as learners and of the obstacles that might obstruct learning in classrooms. English teachers must, therefore, function as exemplary learners in their own classrooms, committed to developing themselves as reflective, flexible, and professionally well-informed practitioners who can accommodate their instruction to serve the needs of a diverse population of students.

The M.A. programs in the Teaching of English at Teachers College are designed to prepare pre-service and in-service teachers for productive careers as exemplary instructors and leaders for the profession of English both regionally and nationally. Our programs seek a balance between strengthening and refining the disciplinary knowledge and practices of our M.A. students on the one hand, while preparing them for the pedagogical application of their knowledge in their professional practice as classroom English teachers. Our course offerings, therefore, include a range of courses in literature, literary theory, rhetoric, and writing, along with a constellation of courses that focus on curriculum development, assessment, and instructional practices directly relevant to the everyday challenges of teaching English in grades 7-12. Our programs are unique in the degree to which they are focused on preparing our graduates to serve as cutting edge experts in pedagogy for the English classroom, while building that expertise on their continuing study of the target disciplines of literature, composition, and the range of traditional and newer multi-literacies that define the changing field of English studies.

The Teaching of English Program offers the following M.A. degrees:

  • Teaching of English leading toward Professional Certification in New York State in Teaching of English (34 credits)
  • Teaching of English INSTEP Program for Inservice Teachers leading toward Professional Certification (34 Credits)
  • Teaching of English leading toward Transitional B Certification (35 Credits)
  • Teaching of English leading toward Initial New York State Certification (38 credits)

Please note: The GRE is required for those seeking New York State Teacher Certification.

Master of Education

The Master of Education (Ed.M.) degree is a 60-credit program designed for individuals interested in advanced study in the field of English Education. The Ed.M. degree is well suited for individuals who are currently teaching and who wish to concentrate their studies further within the field of English education and/or individuals who are thinking about undertaking doctoral work in English education. Individuals applying to the Ed.D. program in the Teaching of English sometimes are asked to complete the Ed.M. program before gaining admission to the Doctoral program. The Ed.M. program does not lead to certification for teaching.

Doctoral Programs

New Policies Governing English Education Doctoral Programs

This file contains new policies beginning Fall 2016 for all new doctoral students regarding flexibility in scheduling the Doctoral Certification Examination #1. Click on the link above to download a pdf containing the full policy change.

The English Education program at Teachers College offers three doctoral degrees: Doctor of Philosophy in English Education (Ph.D., 75 Credits), Doctor of Education in the Teaching of English (Ed.D., 90 Credits), and Doctor of Education in the College Teaching of English (Ed.D.C.T., 90 Credits). The primary purpose of the doctoral programs in English Education at Teachers College is to advance knowledge relevant to the teaching and learning of English and to prepare expert teachers of English for careers as scholars, researchers, and teacher educators in the field of English education. The doctoral programs in English Education are hospitable to a wide range of interests, backgrounds, and professional ambitions in its applicants. However, all students are expected to become conversant with the principal theories, research methods, and pedagogical traditions of the field of English education. Beyond these fundamentals, students work in close consultation with faculty members to develop individualized programs of study. Applicants to the doctoral programs ordinarily possess a master’s degree in English, Education, or a related field and have three to five years of prior teaching experience at the secondary school or college level.

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