MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING (MAT)
The Master of Arts in Teaching is a full-time, 48 credit hour program that prepares teacher candidates to become critical teachers of visual culture and fulfills requirements for certification in the State of Illinois Type 10 Special (K-12) Visual Arts Teaching Certificate. The MAT program advances critical citizenship in public schools by enabling teachers and their students to construct meaning and connect knowledge through inquiry and production of visual culture. Teacher candidates in the MAT program learn discourses and performative practices to interpret and teach visual culture while fostering social and political empowerment for all students. In this sense, the MAT program promotes agency and social change by emphasizing activism, advocacy, egalitarianism, professionalism, and social responsibility.
The MAT curriculum connects theoretical knowledge, everyday experiences, social
critique, and creative expression through structured and sequenced coursework, field
experiences, research, and thesis production. Teacher candidates 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 teacher candidates to understand art, education, and curricula as both products of history and potential sites for cultural change. Graduate art education teacher candidates exchange ideas, build relationships, and confront critical issues during the seminar coursework.
In the following semesters, MAT teacher candidates expand their inquiry, production, and experience through curriculum development, field experiences, and research methodologies. Teacher candidates also pursue study through their electives in advanced art/design history, studio, or art/design analysis. Curriculum development explores cultural production, assessment, evaluation, and pedagogical methods for elementary, middle and secondary education. MAT teacher candidates apply their curriculum development through fieldwork in established elementary and secondary programs. Teacher candidates are required to gain more than 600 hours of pre-clinical and clinical teaching experiences under the supervision of a cooperating teacher and Art Education faculty member. In addition, MAT teacher candidates pursue relevant research and praxis that culminates in the production of a master’s thesis. The MAT thesis offers teacher candidates an excellent opportunity to develop a matrix of connections between personal interest and experience, professional development and praxis, discursive and performative practices, and historical and contemporary scholarship. Teacher candidates are encouraged to explore innovative approaches to research and documentation including participatory and action research, interactive and collaborative projects, and performative and new media based presentations. Teacher candidates usually complete the 48 credit MAT program in four semesters. Teacher candidates must complete the MAT degree within four years. A minimum of 42 credit hours must be completed at the School. Up to 6 hours of transfer credits may be requested at the time of application and are subject to approval at that time only.