Teacher Preparation > Supporting Practicing Teachers > Browse Professional Development Programs > Wright State University Masters Program

A part of the SERC Teacher Professional Development Program Collection

Page prepared for SERC by Heather Rissler

Wright State University Masters of Science in Teaching (Earth Science)

Program URL: http://www.wright.edu/ees/graduate/ms_teach.html
Program Type:
Masters Program

Program Size:
40 to 50 students

William Slattery, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Geoscience Education, Sequence Stratigraphy. (Contact Info)
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Wright State University

Program Summary

The MST program offered by the Department of Geological Sciences prepares and supports K-12 Earth Science educators. The program serves individuals interested in completing a two-year Masters degree that engages participants in Earth and Space Science content as well as education. A large percentage of the program participants are in-service teachers and program flexibility is enhanced by offering summer courses and online courses. Students complete 45 quarter hours, with 2/3 of the credits addressing science content areas and 1/3 of the credits addressing pedagogy and methods of teaching science. For successful completion of the program students are required to complete a final project (examining science content and pedagogical issues) and give an oral presentation of their work. A description of the courses taken by MST students is available.

What was the impetus for the program?

The MST program has experienced significant growth in the past decade that parallels the need to address the Earth Sciences in K-12 education. The Ohio State standards in Earth and Space Science contain benchmarks for all levels of K-12 student learning. The MST program design offers participants an opportunity to work with science content and pedagogy through courses and their final project and stimulate translation of these experiences into their classroom. The program also affords participants the opportunity to explore technology and new strategies for science education, including an emphasis on field work and inquiry-based learning.

How is the program structured?

The MST program is designed on an individual basis to allow students flexibility in taking courses that meet their needs. Students take courses in the College of Education and Human Resources (making a total of 12 credit hours) and in the College of Math and Science (including courses with field components). Completion of a final project and oral presentation complete their experience and stimulate connections between science content and teaching. Students completing the program are prepared for future experiences that have including K-12 science teaching, completing a PhD program in Science Education, and working with the State Department of Education.

Who is involved?

The MST program involves faculty from the Departments of Education and Geological Sciences. Faculty from both departments offer courses related to the MST program and serve on committees for student final projects.

A majority of the students in the program are in-service teachers. Several Graduate Teaching Assistantships are offered and provide students with the opportunity to participate in teaching undergraduate courses for pre-service teachers.

How is the program evaluated?

Graduates of the MST program are contacted to assess how their participation translates into the classroom in terms of changes in content knowledge and confidence in teaching.

Hints for starting a program like this:

William Slattery (personal communication)

References and Notes: