This program leads to initial certification and is designed for individuals who are entering the field of secondary English teaching. To earn this degree, students must complete 38 credits of coursework in the Teaching of English Program at Teachers College, including two semesters (Fall and Spring) of student teaching. Although most courses are held in the evenings, students must be available during the school day in order to student-teach.
* For details about rolling deadlines, visit our admission deadlines page.
Master of Arts (M.A., 34, 35, and 38 credits)
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 (3)
**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)
A&HE 4551 Teaching of Shakespeare (3)
A&HE 4100 Teaching of Drama and Theater (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)
A&HE 4052 Adolescents and Literature (3)
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). For those seeking Initial Certification (38-credit program), 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.
All M.A. students are required to enroll in the A&HE 5590, Master’s Seminar: Reflective Practice. 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. Within the context of this course, all students work with an instructor to design and complete their master’s projects.
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. Students begin to take over full responsibility for lessons for the purpose of benefiting from feedback and evaluation during University Supervisor visits. Later, toward the end of the Phase 1 experience, at a time mutually agreeable to both cooperating teacher and student teacher, the student teacher is expected to assume full responsibility for one class. A three to four week unit of study might be appropriate at this point.
During Phase 2 of student teaching student teachers are immersed in teaching, responsible for planning and conducting two classes, assessing student work, and participating as faculty members in the life of their school. Phase 2 student teachers do not ordinarily enroll in any academic courses 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 4751: Fieldwork and Observation in Secondary English (1 credit), A&HE 5204: Fieldwork Workshops in Teaching English (1 credit), and A&HE 5590: Master's Seminar: Reflective Practice(1 credit). These courses together constitute the student teaching experience in its active, creative, and reflective dimensions.