Colorado College has long held that students’ depth of knowledge in the liberal arts is a significant part of teacher education and needs to be balanced with an equally strong emphasis on clinical preparation. In order to accomplish these two goals, the college has established several fifth-year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree programs that lead to initial licensure in K-6 teaching and in secondary science or mathematics teaching. The fifth year design allows the college to recruit well-qualified candidates from a national pool of prospective teachers who have depth of content knowledge as well as initial experience in K-12 classrooms.
Using a 15-month design, elementary MAT candidates take education courses and engage in working with children their first summer, while secondary candidates take additional subject matter courses in science or mathematics. Both programs work with several local schools to identify appropriate placements that begin with the school year in late August for each cohort. In the first two months, candidates work half days as teachers’ aides at the school while completing two educational methods courses. They then complete 8-10 weeks of full-time student teaching. A full-time internship follows in the second semester, contingent upon demonstrated performance during student teaching and receipt from the state of a Letter of Authorization, which permits these candidates to teach on their own with limited supervision. Additional coursework in education is taken during the second summer, completing the candidate’s program.
Since 1997, faculty in the secondary science MAT program have used funds from the MacArthur Foundation (through the American Association for the Advancement of Science) to implement changes that link methods coursework, the student teaching/ internship, and the induction period of a candidate’s first year of teaching in local schools. Additional information about this program is available at <http://www.coloradocollege.edu/education>.
Georgia Southern University’s middle grades science program is based extensively on team teaching and collaboration. The science methods course is team-taught by faculty in both the College of Education and the College of Science and Technology. In addition, the students in this course are blocked together in a mathematics methods course. Activities and field trips are planned and shared by both courses and