Masters degree suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by cby1224, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. cby1224

    cby1224 Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 15, 2012

    I am thinking about starting my Masters degree program in the spring or possibly summer. I am currently licensed in secondary education biology and hopefully chemistry soon. My concern is what to start my Masters program in. I wavier between a M.S. in Chemistry (probably a bio or environmental concentration) and a M.A. in education (C&I or Educational Leadership, etc). What are your thoughts? Does anyone have any advice, suggestion, concerns about either of these degrees? Thanks in advance :)
     
  2.  
  3. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,934
    Likes Received:
    257

    Oct 15, 2012

    What do you intend to do with your degree? I can guarantee that an MA in education will be significantly easier than one in chemistry.
     
  4. cby1224

    cby1224 Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 15, 2012

    I guess what I intend to do is a good place to start. When I was discussing this topic with several educators, they all suggested not limiting my masters just to education unless I was 100% sure I wanted to be in the high school classroom or an admin position for the rest of my career. They also suggested thinking post career as I will be ~52 when have 30 years in. My Masters program will take several years at best to complete and I really would like to get started on it. Another question for anyone who might know or have suggestions, if I do decide on a master’s degree outside of education, can I then pursue an Eds in education?
    Also, just for background info, I am (hopefully) making a career change into education. I am currently in an environmental/biological position. My B.S. was in Chemistry/Biology- Secondary Education.
     
  5. physteach

    physteach Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    24

    Oct 15, 2012

    If you want to teach, do the degree in education. I had a bachelors in physics and did the MA in physics education. A majority of my program mates had done the same. It helped us to get jobs because we had that hard sciences degree, but had also been devoted to education as a field.

    Also to note - masters programs will help you to get certified if you are not already certified, which is a definite plus :)
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Oct 15, 2012

    You're licensed in bio, and your BS degree included pedagogy coursework... That being the case, and unless you want to go into administration, I think I'd recommend the MS in chemistry: the content emphasis will better bolster your teaching, I think.
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,428
    Likes Received:
    600

    Oct 15, 2012

    I'd go with a content area degree, also. In fact, I'm working on one right now!
     
  8. McParadigm

    McParadigm Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 15, 2012

    I highly recommend an education Masters. I've said before that, if I made a list of the 50 most successful things I ever did in my classroom, 42 of them were birthed during my Curriculum and Instruction program....and the rest I owe to the influence of my co-teacher. Ironically, as I type this, it hits me that she had just finished her own Curriculum and Instruction program in a different setting prior to coming to our district! So there you have it.

    If you go into it studiously, optimistically, and unwilling to be skeptical of anything that doesn't already fit with your constructed perceptions, it can change the course of your career.
     
  9. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,428
    Likes Received:
    600

    Oct 15, 2012

    I had an excellent undergraduate program in education in a state that was years ahead of the state in which I currently live. I learned things during my undergrad that are just now becoming the "new thing" here almost ten years later. They are becoming popular because of teachers doing graduate work. Why would I pay for a degree to learn about strategies I already learned about? If you have a strong background degree in education, there's no need to duplicate that with a graduate degree, unless you plan to go into administration, or add an area like gifted.
     
  10. McParadigm

    McParadigm Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 15, 2012

    My own undergraduate program was excellent as well. I didn't even realize they could be anything else until I moved 200 miles away and started hearing other teachers describe their own undergraduate experiences. :eek:

    That's no surprise. A lot of reform is a bit cyclical, and the pressures that have been levied against educators since the farce that was A Nation at Risk has been such that the processing of new theory and research into pedagogy has come to a near standstill. Most of what we know about the brain, we've learned in the last 25 to 30 years...and yet most of the changes to education in that time have been testing and privatization related.

    I sincerely hope that your impression of higher level degree work in education is not that it is simply "about strategies."

    Powerfully certain words for someone who has not actually had that degree experience. I'd be curious as to how you explain my experiences as someone who has experienced such a program, been reshaped by it, and ultimately led down what has been a very remarkable path as a result.

    Describing a Master's in education as being a duplication of experience in undergraduate degree programs is like saying that a 600 level stats course will be a duplication of what you learned in college algebra II.
     
  11. cby1224

    cby1224 Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 15, 2012

    I appreciate all the suggestion/advice I have received. I will definitely take all that was mentioned here into consideration when I choose. I know a lot of soul searching will go into this and I have been making a list of questions that I plan on asking some of the college educational programs. I can't help but lean toward the Chemistry degree but I know that is not an objective thought, just a personal one!

    With my type A personality, I want to have the most/best information that I can have before choosing the program I would like to start.
     
  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,428
    Likes Received:
    600

    Oct 15, 2012

    My husband was working on his graduate degree in education while I was finishing up my undergraduate degree. We often were assigned similar assignments, but my work was often more detailed, and more in-depth than his. My program also had more of a focus on applying theory and included more modern theories and research than did his graduate program.

    Many graduate courses are taught at the 400/600 level. So while there may be extra work involved for grad students, the material learned is basically the same. If I already took the course at the 400 level, will I really get any more out of it at the 600 level? Many graduate programs in education are designed as certification programs, and are not designed for people who have undergraduate degrees in education. I'm sure some programs are quite excellent, but those are going to be at major research universities. I'm simply not finding those types of programs at local universities, based on the experiences of my friends and colleagues.

    In general, I would recommend a content degree for someone who already has a background in education. Content degrees open up additional opportunities: teaching dual enrollment, teaching adjunct, presenting papers at conferences, etc. Also, I've found that I'm better able to guide my students through my subject matter now that I am understanding it at a deeper level. If you can find an excellent education program doing action research in education, and that's what you're interested in doing, then go for that.
     
  13. bondo

    bondo Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 15, 2012

    Go for what you enjoy and have a passion for. Do you really enjoy chemistry? Or, do you just enjoy teaching and chemistry is content subject? You want to learn more because you will use it and because you enjoy it.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,479
    Likes Received:
    1,610

    Oct 15, 2012

    How would an education degree advance you? How about one in your core subject? My goal in my school is to be the equivalent of a department chair or curriculum instructor, so I'm aiming at degrees that would give me a Teacher Leader endorsement. I love the classes that would come with an advanced degree in my subject matter, but they don't mesh with my goals as much as the M.Ed would.
     
  15. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,877
    Likes Received:
    159

    Oct 15, 2012

    It all depends on what you truly want to do, but try your best to have a range, so you're not necessarily stuck doing 1 type of job forever if you want to branch out.

    I have my MA in Special Ed. I went back to school & am now working on my MS in Communication Sciences & Disorders in Speech-Lang Pathology. Both degrees go hand-in-hand, but of course it wasn't necessary to get both. I just decided to swtich career fields that required a grad degree in that field.
     
  16. McParadigm

    McParadigm Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 15, 2012

    What an unfortunate experience. My own graduate program was intensive and in many ways personally explosive. I'm not kidding when I say that I would not have attempted, let alone conceived of, many of the things I did in my classroom without it...and that's notable because some of those approaches and designs are what first got me published. One in particular put me on the editorial board of a research journal, another landed me an offer to work as an instructional designer and curriculum guide for a university, and got me an invitation to speak at a conference. And a collection of them led to this thread, which admittedly may yet turn out to be nothing, but feels like an accomplishment of sorts regardless.

    And please understand I'm not trying to brag, or to indicate that I'm overly impressed with my own accomplishments. I'm literally saying that choosing to get an advanced degree in education (which I did, by the way, in a very off-hand and "oh, why not" youthful kind of way) changed the way I approached teaching forever. I'm not overly amazed by what I've managed, but I'm not ashamed to say I'm proud, either...nor am I ashamed to acknowledge the debt I owe to past experience.

    Like I said, my Master's program was far more intensive and valuable than my undergraduate, which was not a bad program either. So the level to which the material was covered, and the language with which they were discussed, were significantly enhanced. I would not categorize my Master's program as suffering from an overlap or repetition in any way.

    Having said that, I reread Eisner's Arts and the Creation of the Mind, Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, Kohn's The Schools Our Children Deserve, and Sousa's Mind, Brain, and Education (among other texts) every 12-15 months or so, and I always glean new insights, interesting perspective changes, and reflections on forgotten verbiage. I've taught the same lesson 3 years in a row and managed to learn new things about what made it work or ways that I could enhance it every single time. Heck, even how I experience a glass of water changes dependent upon the circumstances and experiences that contextualize it. So while I would not describe my graduate program as repetitious of my undergraduate, I do not think an amount of overlap would have been detrimental, either. A thinking, reflective, curious human being is always going to find new discovery in research and theory, if they're after it.
     
  17. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 15, 2012

    My masters is in Ed Leadership, but then I had to go back to get my 6th year (30 more credits) in order to get my administrative certification. Had I realized that not all of my masters classes would apply toward the certification, I probably would have gotten a degree in my content area. Actually, I would have loved a masters in literacy in the content areas. No universities around here offered that when I was going for mine, though. Now I see that degree being advertised everywhere.
     
  18. cby1224

    cby1224 Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 16, 2012

    That is something I would have never thought about :eek:. If I do press forward with a M.S. in education I need to assure that it will lead to the additional certification. I suppose I can research that on the state's DOE website.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. txmomteacher2
Total: 354 (members: 3, guests: 329, robots: 22)
test