Curriculum and Teaching

Welcome to the Program in Curriculum & Teaching

The Curriculum & Teaching master's programs at Teachers College, Columbia University, go beyond traditional teacher education to examine the issues in the field of curriculum through both theory and practice. You will have opportunities to become an expert in areas such as curriculum design, school change and reform, action research, and other school-based inquiry strategies. This distinctive program also has a strong commitment to social justice and equity in education. The Curriculum & Teaching master's programs are ideal for educators who want to lead — in the classroom and in the field. Students may attend full or part-time and often choose to continue to work while pursuing a graduate degree.

This C&T program entails diverse approaches to the study of curriculum, pedagogy, and society. The following core tenets reflect the collective interests, concerns, and commitments that shape coursework and student experiences: 



Curriculum and teaching as inquiry. The basis of all educational work is asking critical questions about learners and the sociopolitical contexts of communities and learning environments, and uncovering questions that have not yet been asked. 

Inquiry is central to the tasks of education.

Teaching as curriculum making. Educators are designers of curricula informed by critical and creative understandings of teaching and learning in authentic contexts.

Pedagogy is part of the curriculum.

Curriculum and teaching as social justice. Educators in all contexts are responsible for critically analyzing the enduring complexities of difference and equity to enact change in education and society. 

Critical analysis is essential for disruption.

Assessment as core to teaching and learning. Assessments reflect shifting conceptions of knowledge and sociopolitical realities and therefore must themselves be analyzed for assumptions, biases, and consequences. 

Critical analysis is the core of assessment practices.

Curriculum and teaching in motion. Creative and multimodal work is needed to contend with historical conceptions of schooling, to recognize the enduring embodiment of knowledge, and to reimagine possibilities in education. 

Curricular knowledge is everywhere.

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The M.A. program in Curriculum and Teaching is a 32-credit program that does not lead to certification. The program aims to assist educators who expect to exert leadership in their school settings or in other curricular spaces. 

It is typical to complete the Master's degree in four or five semesters. A longer timeline allows students to deeply engage in coursework and take the time to fully benefit from the rich experiences and community offered by a Teachers College education. The program may also be taken part-time at your own pace. This program offers considerable flexibility since it is not tied to certification requirements.

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The Curriculum and Teaching Professional Certification program develops educators who exert leadership in their school settings and with their colleagues. Students in our program graduate with a master of arts degree in either secondary or elementary education with New York State Professional Certification in grades 1-6 or 7-12 in English, Social Studies, Science, Technology, or Mathematics.

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The Ed.M. is an advanced master’s degree (between an M.A. and an Ed.D.) that offers a flexible program of study focusing on leadership in curriculum and teaching in a range of educational settings. This degree program offers students the opportunity to develop specialized understandings and a capacity for leadership in curriculum and pedagogy. Leadership is interpreted broadly in this program to include developing curricula, studying teaching, designing professional development, and engaging in action research, all with a focus on challenging inequalities and imagining new possibilities for education.

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The Department of Curriculum and Teaching offers a Doctor of Education (90-credit) degree with different areas of concentration. The program requires 90-credits of graduate study beyond the baccalaureate.

The concentrations within the Ed.D. program are:

  • Curriculum Studies
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Policy
  • Educational Leadership and School Change
  • Gifted Education
  • Literacy Education
  • Urban and Multicultural Education

Doctoral students in all concentrations may also take coursework to prepare themselves as teacher educators. For more information, please contact us directly.

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Research in Curriculum and Teaching

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