The Master of Arts in Teaching prepares students to become critical teachers of visual culture and fulfills requirements for certification in the State of Illinois for K-12 Art Education. The MAT curriculum connects theoretical knowledge, everyday experiences, social critique, and creative expression through structured and sequenced coursework, field experience, research, and thesis production.
Students begin their coursework with seminars that investigate connections between experiences inside and outside of public schooling within a larger framework of cultural and historical analysis. These seminars provide a common ground for students to understand art, education, and curricula as both products of history and potential sites for cultural change. In the following semesters, MAT students apply their curriculum development experience through fieldwork in established elementary and secondary programs. In addition, MAT students pursue relevant research and praxis that culminates in the production of a master’s thesis.
In their final semester of study, MAT students engage in action research while student teaching in K-12 schools. Through a series of critical lessons, MAT students focus on the interactive context between individuals and society, and attempt to help K-12 students understand, critique, and challenge how individuals, institutions, and social practices are inscribed in power differently. Thus, the process of student teaching is combined with meaningful research and critical praxis. Students present their research findings during a public presentation at the end of their apprentice teaching.