The Elementary STEM Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program at Tufts is designed to prepare STEM teaching leaders in urban elementary schools.
Elementary schools are the ultimate interdisciplinary institutions. Elementary school teachers are asked to teach reading, writing, mathematics, science, engineering, social studies, art, and other skills and practices. More and more, those teachers with strengths and expertise in specific areas—the STEM disciplines, for example—are becoming valued resources in their respective schools.
This 12-month program begins with the study of how minds work and proceeds to develop practices of close attention and responsiveness to children's ideas, reasoning, and engagement. Our faculty view children as nascent scholars and the core of teaching as eliciting, recognizing, and cultivating the productive resources children bring with them into the classroom. Along with STEM disciplines, the program is designed to address multiple literacies, integrating reading, writing, social studies, and art throughout the curriculum. Students in the program are encouraged to think critically about issues such as matching children's learning needs with instruction, promoting equity, cultivating productive learning environments, and establishing and maintaining productive, respectful relationships with parents, communities, and school faculty and staff.
Graduates from this program will:
- Understand teaching as an intellectual, collegial, and rigorous profession.
- Reflect critically on classroom practice, student understandings, cognitive and social-emotional development, and teaching every student in elementary school classrooms.
- Practice close attention and responsiveness to students' thinking and the practices of the STEM disciplines.
- Develop a foundational understanding of how children learn to read and write, while considering multiple "literacies" that span STEM, ELA, social studies, and the arts.
- Construct understandings of the role of schools in communities and societies, and examine urban schools as complex and dynamic places using social justice and equity perspectives.
Our graduates are teaching in local schools such as the West Somerville Neighborhood School, Putnam Avenue Upper School in Cambridge, and the Linden STEAM Academy in Malden, as well as in public and independent schools in other regions of the country. Since the program began in 2012, 100% of our graduates have jobs in education, more than 80% as teachers.
Students in the Elementary STEM program are placed at a partner school with a supervising practitioner for their practicum experience. MAT students are in their placements for the majority of the school year, beginning in late August. They meet with the supervising practitioner, participate in school meetings and professional development, and assist the supervising practitioner in preparing the classroom for the school year. Typically, students spend four to five days per week in their placement during the first three weeks of school. After this time, MAT students scale back their field work to three days per week to allow time and space for coursework and reflection. In January, MAT students begin going five days per week for the remainder of their placement, which typically ends in May.
We have established partnerships with a number of districts and schools in the greater Boston area, including the Linden STEAM Academy (K-8), the King Open School (K-8) in Cambridge, and the Mission Hill K-8 School in Boston.
Students in the Elementary STEM program are assigned a Program Supervisor who serves as a coach by observing teaching, debriefing observations, reviewing lesson plans and assessments, and supporting the MAT student's development as a practitioner. The supervisor will observe the student's teaching at least 4 times over the course of the year. The experience culminates with the Supervising Practitioner (the cooperating teacher), the Candidate (the MAT student), and the Program Supervisor completing the Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP), which is a required component of license endorsement.
Program taught in: