The Graduate School of Education will modify its Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program next year in an effort to provide closer contact between students and faculty and to bridge the gap between scholars and administrators.
The innovations will involve course changes in two of the three major study areas in the Ed School syllabus, "Behavioral Sciences" and "Professional Education.'
In the first change, the Ed School will feature a new "vaudeville" lecture series given by experts both in the University and from outside on educational problems. Tutorial groups of about eight students will study one or two problems extensively, attempting to coordinate the lecture series with their student teaching experience. The lectures replace a now-required course on "The Foundation of the American School."
"The function of a tutorial is to push students around, intellectually speaking: it is the most effective answer to the problem of getting a student to take a sophisticated position on the problems that will face him," Theodore R. Sizer, Director of the MAT program, explained last night.
The second change will give students their choice of either of two new conference courses, one in government or one in history, instead of a currently required course in "Curriculum and Methods."
These courses, which will have small sections, will be taught jointly by instructors from the Ed School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).
Most Ed School student now about half of their courses in the GSAS, but there are no courses where they are simultaneously exposed to faculty from both schools.
The main purpose of the courses is to "combine content and methodology," Donald W. Oliver, Associate Professor of Education, said Tuesday. This summer, Oliver and a Rutgers professor taught a course in the Ed School with a format very simular to the proposed plan.
David E. Purpel, Assistant Professor of Education, said that the changes had been approved by the Administrative Board of the Ed School last December. He indicated that although the proposed innoavtions are still tentative, "the final form they take will be very close to what is now projected."
The MAT program is a two semester course of study in a special Graduate field, combined with courses in education and with practical teaching experience. Upon completion of the program, the student receives a joint degree from the Ed School and the GSAS. An estimated 125 students will be affected by the changes next year.
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