Master of Arts (M.A., 34, 35, and 38 credits) | English Education | Arts and Humanities

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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English Education

English Education

In the Department of Arts & Humanities


Required courses include:

  • A&HE 4057 English methods (3)
  • A&HE 4058 Teaching of reading (3)
  • A&HE 4151 Teaching of writing (3)*
  • A&HE 5518 Teaching English in diverse social and cultural contexts (2-3)**

*Taken as a 6 credit block with A&HE 4156, Writing: Nonfiction 

**A&HE 5518 meets both the College-wide and the New York State diversity requirements.

In addition, students must choose at least one topic-specific methods course, such as:

  • A&HE 4050 Literature and teaching (3)
  • A&HE 4152 Literacies and technologies in the secondary English classroom (3)
  • A&HE 4550 Teaching of poetry (3)

As a part of the M.A. program, students also must fulfill a Content requirement. Content coursework consists of one course in writing and one course in literature. Courses may include the following:


  • A&HE 4156 Writing: Nonfiction (3)
  • A&HE 4561 Teaching narrative and story (3)


  • A&HE 4050 Literature and teaching (3)
  • A&HE 4053 Cultural perspectives and literature (3)

Foundations/Breadth Requirement

Foundations courses are intended to broaden students’ knowledge of the history of education, philosophies of education, and educational issues and practices beyond their particular area of concentration. All students must take at least 6 points of such courses (courses in Teachers College not designated “A&HE”) in close consultation with their advisors and with the TC Office of Teacher Education (for those students enrolled in programs leading to certification). Foundations credits must be used to meet the New York State requirements for classes in History/Philosophy of Education, Disabilities/Special Education, and Human Development/Psychology if these have not been taken in previous college-level coursework. These courses may be taken as pass/fail. 


Electives provide students the opportunity to explore particular interests as they design their own programs in consultation with an academic faculty advisor. Students whose program permits room for electives may take any graduate-level courses at Teachers College or Columbia University.

Master’s Seminar

All M.A. students are required to enroll in the A&HE 5590, Master’s seminar: Teaching of English. Students in the 38-credit program enroll in A&HE 5590 the same semester they enroll in phase 2 of A&HE 4750, Supervised teaching of English. Students in the 34-credit program enroll in A&HE 5590 during their final semester. All students work with an academic faculty advisor to design and complete their master’s projects.

Student Teaching

Students in the 38-credit Teaching of English program have two separate semesters of student teaching. As required by New York State, one of these experiences is in a middle school and the other is in a high school. Most placements are made in urban public schools in New York City. Commuting to one of the outer boroughs should be expected.

Student teaching experiences differ by semester. In the first (Phase 1) semester, a pair of students may be placed in a classroom under the direction of a single cooperating teacher. The cooperating teacher has primary responsibility for designing the curriculum. While students do not have the major responsibility for designing or organizing the course of instruction, they are active participants in the classroom and school communities. Although the Phase 1 experience varies, students are engaged in observation, group work with students, conferencing, and teaching. During this semester, students understand, appreciate, learn from, and coach students as readers and writers. During phase 2 of student-teaching, when student-teachers are immersed in teaching – responsible for planning and conducting classes, assessing student work, and participating as faculty members in the life of their school – M.A. students do not ordinarily enroll in any academic course except those that define and are an integral part of the student-teaching experience. Hence, students enroll in A&HE 4750: Supervised Teaching of English (3 credits), A&HE 4057: English methods (3 credits), A&HE 4751: Fieldwork and observation in secondary English (1 credit), A&HE 5204: Fieldwork in teaching English (1 credit), and A&HE 5590: Master's seminar: Teaching of English (1 credit). These courses together constitute the student-teaching experience in its active, creative, and reflective dimensions.

Example Full-Time Schedule: M.A. Initial Certification Program (38 pts)

Fall Semester (13-16 points)

  • Teaching of Reading (3)
  • Teaching of Writing (3)
  • Writing: Non-Fiction (3)
  • Supervised Student Teaching: Phase I (3)
  • Fieldwork and Observation: Phase I (1)
  • Fieldwork: Workshops - Phase I (1)
  • Foundation, Lit, or Topic Methods* (2-3)

Spring Semester (8-11 points)

  • English Methods (3)
  • Supervised Student Teaching: Phase II (3)
  • Fieldwork: Workshops - Phase II (1)
  • Masters Seminar: Phase II (1)
  • English in Diverse Social Contexts* (2-3)

Summer Semester (8-14 points)

  • Foundations Course I (2-3)
  • Foundations Course II (2-3)
  • Literature Course (3)
  • Topic-Specific Methods Course (3)
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