The M.A. program is designed for educators who wish to deepen their knowledge, skill, and vision, as teachers and educational leaders, and as developers and designers of curriculum. At TC, we conceive of all teachers as adapters and designers of curriculum, and all curriculum specialists as grounded in first-hand understanding of teaching and learning. We also understand educators in all contexts to have the opportunity and the responsibility to orient their work to ever-present, variously manifested, needs for and goals of social justice.
Our program is especially well suited for students who are intellectually curious, and who wish to play a vital role in shaping their course of study. The program is organized around a core of common coursework, and associated field experience, dealing with principles, history, and skills of curriculum design and of pedagogy, in context of an alert and critical attention to social, ethical, professional and other challenges facing educators and children/young people in schools. This core comprises just under half of the required points. Beyond the common requirements, M.A. students, work closely with an advisor to design a course of study that reflects their particular interests, needs, and desired area(s) of professional expertise. All students conduct an “Integrative Project,” focused on an issue, problem, and/or question identified by the student.
The M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching is designed so that it can be completed by full time students in three semesters (fall, winter, summer). This calls for careful planning and advisement, and some flexibility. The program may also be taken part time, in multiple configurations. Please contact us for questions about scheduling.
*Note that this program does not lead to certification.
2018 – 19
Overview The MA program in Curriculum and Teaching (MA-CURR) is a flexible, yet structured, 32-point program.
The MA in Curriculum & Teaching is designed for educators who wish to deepen their knowledge, skill, and vision as teachers and educational leaders, and as developers and designers of curriculum. A basic premise of the program is that teachers are adapters and designers of curriculum, and curriculum specialists are grounded in first-hand understanding of teaching and learning. Equally fundamental is the belief that educators in all contexts have the opportunity and the responsibility to orient their work to ever-present, variously manifested, needs for and goals of social justice.
The program is especially well suited for students who are intellectually curious and who are willing to play a vital role in shaping their own course of study. It is organized around a core of common coursework, and associated field experience, dealing with principles, history, and skills of curriculum design and of pedagogy, in context of an alert and critical attention to social, ethical, professional and other challenges facing educators and children/young people in schools. Beyond these common requirements, MA students, working closely with an advisor, design a course of study reflecting their particular interests, needs, and desired area(s) of professional expertise. As a source of continuity, and a culminating activity, all students conduct an “Integrative Project,” focused on an issue, problem, and/or question identified by the student.
Please see “MA in Curriculum & Teaching Program Guide” for further information about program purposes, structure and expectations; and for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
Advising All students are assigned an advisor upon admission. It is essential that students begin working with their advisor well before arriving at Teachers College. Advisors can help students decide what program timeline makes best sense for them; students and advisors work together to develop the Program Plan; students are required to consult with their advisor prior to initial course selection and registration.
Please see “MA in Curriculum & Teaching Program Guide” for further information about advising.
Courses Requirements and schedule notes are correct as of printing. Please check the online schedule for most current scheduling information: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/tc-schedule/schdsearch.cgi. In case of confusion, consult with your advisor. Students are responsible for meeting all program requirements. Please plan accordingly.
Common (core) courses. All students in the MA in Curriculum & Teaching are required to take the following (13-14 points):
C&T 4005 Principles of Teaching and Learning (4) Fall only
(includes a required 50 hour practicum/field experience
component: consult instructor or advisor)
to be taken concurrently with C&T 4502
C&T 4002 Curriculum Theory and History (3) Fall, Spring, Summer
C&T 4052 Designing Curriculum and Instruction (2-3) Fall, Spring, & Summer
register for section designated for MA-CURR students
One of the following three age/level specific courses:
C&T 4114 Multicultural Approaches to Teaching Young Children [Preschool
through 2nd grade] (3) Fall, Spring, Summer
or C&T 4130 Critical Perspectives in Elementary Education (3) Fall only
or C&T 4145 Critical Perspectives in Secondary Education (3) Fall only
C&T 4502.01 Integrative Project (0) Fall only
register for section designated for MA-CURR students
to be taken concurrently with C&T 4005
C&T 4502.02 Integrative Project (1) Spring only
to be taken immediately following first semester of C&T 4502
Practicum (field experience) (in conjunction with C&T 4005) Program staff work with students to find placements in New York City schools or informal educational spaces for 50 hours of observation and reflection on instructional practices, interactions between and among students and teachers, critical issues, curricular enactments, and design activities. The field placement typically spans ten weeks and averages five hours per week.
Elective courses In addition to the common, core courses, students create their own program plans in consultation with advisors. Advisors may recommend coherent sets of courses or course possibilities aligned with particular student interests and departmental strengths, for example, early childhood, literacy, diversity, equity, urban education, inclusive education (elementary and/or secondary), gifted and talented education, and, of course, further depth in curriculum theory and design. Advisors may also recommend or approve courses reflective of student interests that do not fit neatly into these categories but that cohere around other desires, needs, and purposes. Please note that a minimum of 20 credits must be earned in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching.
Breadth Requirement In order to assure breadth of study, the College requires students to earn at least six credits (which may mean two or three courses) outside of their home department (i.e., outside of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching).
The Integrative Project (C&T 4502) (only 1 credit is earned, but the work is substantial, and spans an entire year). The Integrative Project is an opportunity for MA – CURR students to design and conduct a disciplined and searching study of an issue, problem, and/or question of particular interest, germane to the student’s curricular, pedagogical, investments and professional contexts and aims. Students’ inquiries may take multiple forms, for example, action research, design study, or academic paper synthesizing and critiquing prior research. In all cases, an end goal is for students to arrive at a well-grounded, articulated perspective and/or a set of recommendations for their own practice and continuing thought.
The Integrative Project is initiated in the fall in C&T 4005, with observation and reflection on teaching, learning, curriculum, and assessment. These observations and reflections, in conjunction with course readings, support compelling essays and lead to potential inquiry questions to propel the Project. The Integrative Project seminar sequence (C&T 4502, fall and spring), provides the primary site and support for conceptualizing, designing, and carrying out the project. Full time students take the seminar sequence beginning in their first fall semester in the MA program; part time students take it later (and/or, as advised), keeping in mind that the fall and spring semesters are to be taken consecutively, and as close to the student’s intended final semester as is feasible.
New Student Advising and Online Registration
Please see note above and the MA in Curriculum and Teaching Program Guide: Newly admitted students need to consult with an advisor and begin to draft their Program Plan. Once the student has consulted with their advisor, a PIN will be assigned, and the student is then able to register for courses online.
If you have not been notified of your advisor, please seek guidance from the Program Director.
Online registration for newly admitted students can be done here:
Teachers College students must apply (i.e., declare their intent) to graduate by a specified date well in advance of each of the College’s three annual graduation dates: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/registrar/pages/degree-information/how-to-file-for-a-masters-degree/
Please note there is only one commencement ceremony each academic year, in May. Participation in this ceremony presumes successful completion of all degree requirements as of the end of the spring term.
Graduation application due
Date of degree award