Many educators have a passion for the classroom and no desire to move into administration, but some feel a strong pull into positions of leadership. The most dedicated teachers, however, have one thing in common: the desire to sharpen their teaching skills, become more familiar with current teaching methodologies and research, improve their understanding of the learners in their classrooms, and be a catalyst for change. The intense and varied coursework included in the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Mississippi College is designed to meet the needs of the experienced educator who is always striving to improve.
Methodology in Instruction
The New England Complex Systems Institute explains that, in the past, teaching was “the transmission of knowledge by the teachers to the students.” Classrooms were teacher-centered and students were passive recipients of knowledge and information.
Currently, however, “the goal of education is viewed as facilitating students’ autonomous learning and self-expression.” Students are expected to actively participate in the learning process, setting goals, choosing topics to study, and creating self-selected projects to demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills acquisition. Determining how students learn best is a vital component of this process. As students feel understood and respected, they feel more empowered to make decisions about their own learning and stay engaged in the learning process they helped develop.
In addition, advances in technology have improved instruction and become an integral part of the classroom. Teachers must be able to prepare, select, apply, evaluate, and integrate media and technology in appropriate and varied instructional settings.
Teachers at all grade levels must stay current with cutting-edge methodologies in teaching and the educational process. They must keep up to date with current trends in teaching the content areas, such as math, language arts, and project-based science and technology. Earning a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction that includes coursework in these areas keeps teachers fresh and informed.
Research in Education
Due to the increase in data-driven instruction and research-based decision making, teachers can no longer depend on the curriculum and materials provided by the district to meet the needs of their students. Teachers may need to conduct their own research projects to provide specific information to help their students succeed. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development states, “As professionals, teachers can become more effective and powerful by developing the skills to recognize scientifically based practice and, when the evidence is not available, use some basic research concepts to draw conclusions on their own.”
Gaining the skills and knowledge required to conduct and determine the results of reliable research is possible by earning the Mississippi College master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Experienced teachers learn how to conduct reliable research, assess results and use research methodologies to improve their own teaching practices. Instead of relying on the findings of others that may or may not align with their classroom needs, teachers can conduct research on their own or in teams with other educators.
Educational Leadership and Teaching
Strong teachers are also change-makers. Whether an experienced teacher has the desire to move into a position of administrative leadership or wants to promote change as a teacher-leader, it is important to develop knowledge and skills in the areas of planning, decision-making and curriculum development. When teachers are equipped and ready to step into a position of leadership, they do not have to hesitate when asked to assume responsibility for initiatives designed to improve instruction, morale, facilities use or technology in the classroom, the school and the district.
Pursuing a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction through the online program at Mississippi College is one of the best ways to prepare for unexpected opportunities as a teacher and as a leader. By completing coursework in a variety of subjects from curriculum development to cutting-edge technology, experienced teachers will find themselves on a path to leadership and teaching success. They will have the knowledge, skills and tools to reach their goals in any facet of the field of education.
Learn more about the Mississippi College online M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction program.