This graduate program in intended for teachers who are interested in pursuing further studies in the teaching of English at the secondary level. Designed to offer both substantive work in the content knowledge of English studies and flexibility for practicing professionals, the program emphasizes knowledge, inquiry and community.
- Knowledge: In keeping with the interdisciplinary knowledge base that is at the center of English education, students in this program study in the areas of literature, writing and language, having the opportunity to complete course work in all these areas. Throughout this study, students also focus on pedagogical content knowledge - considering the research base, historical precedents, current conversations and controversies surrounding the teaching of English at the secondary level.
- Inquiry: Students are encouraged to study this knowledge base from an inquiry stance: raising important questions about how such knowledge connects to their own contexts and circumstances and pursuing their own inquiry questions from the very beginning of the program. This inquiry stance is capped off by the program’s culminating project: a year-long immersion in teacher research in which students design a research question based in their own concerns and study their own teaching and their students’ learning.
- Community: Current understandings of professional development support the notion of teacher learning communities as an important means of helping teachers both sustain new knowledge and transfer that knowledge to the classroom. In keeping with that stance, this program strives to help teachers make connections - both within the program (through a cohort group structure and structured online conversations) and as part of a larger professional community (participating in local, state and national conferences and completing a culminating project intended for publication).
In keeping with these three general emphases, the program sets the following as its goals and objectives:
- To immerse students in ongoing professional conversations in the field of English education.
- To invite students to reflect upon their own pedagogies and to situate them within those professional conversations.
- To urge students to raise strategic questions about pertinent issues in teaching secondary English, especially as reflected in their own teaching and the teaching encouraged in their school districts.
- To immerse students in further, concentrated reading in English studies, increasing their knowledge base in language, literature and writing.
- To understand the elements of classroom-based research, so that they can begin serious study of their own classrooms.
- To introduce students to the larger professional communities available locally and nationally: Eastern Michigan Writing Project, National Writing Project, Michigan Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of English, etc.
- To prepare students to take leadership roles in their own schools.
To complete the program, students will demonstrate their participation in the larger professional community in two ways:
- Presentation of their final research project at the annual Master of Arts in English Studies for Teachers Celebration Conference.
- Attendance at two local, regional or national conferences focused on the teaching of English. Short reflective pieces about these conferences should be turned in to an adviser in the student’s last semester of the program.
- Applicants must have:
- a teaching certificate in English;
- at least two years experience in teaching; and
- an undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
- Applicants must submit a portfolio containing the following:
- two letters of recommendation;
- statement of purpose describing both their philosophy of teaching English and reasons for pursuing this program;
- a transcript; and
- one other document which will give a better understanding of the applicant as an English teacher (i.e., a writing sample from an undergraduate class, a grant proposal, a curriculum unit, etc.).
Conditional admits are possible. In order to satisfy the condition, students must receive at least a B+ in their introductory course, ENGL530 Issues in English Studies for Teachers. Other expectations may be specified based on the academic backgrounds of particular students.