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Master's Degree

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From: Amanda Linn (toasterart_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Apr 16 2003 - 15:32:38 PDT


I completed a master's degree in Teaching, Learning
and Leadership in December. I was in a cohort of
people studying to be counselors and principals as
well as other MTLL students. My program was based on
the concept of preparing people to function as an
integrated team in a school district...like in a
perfect world if we had all been through this same
degree program we could work in the same leadership
styles, etc. The MTLL program was based on the 5
Propositions of the NBPTS-so after completing the
degree one would be prepared to pursue
certification...I had certification before I started,
but it was interesting to see how the 2 related. As
for the benefits of this degree, I did get a small pay
bump,I am mentoring teachers in my district, have been
given leadership roles that I might not have been
considered for if I had just been the art teacher(a
blessing and a curse) and I can do a little more
course work and get a curriculum director's
certificate. I certainly benefited from seeing the
bigger picture of education but this experience did
convince me that if I pursue a PhD or EdD it will be
in art education(must get back among MY people). If
you are familiar with the Miliken Family Foundation's
Teacher Advancement Program model (TAP model) you have
heard of the mentor,master, classroom teacher
breakdown...one of the people from my MTLL program is
working in a TAP school as a master teacher.
One frustrating thing about my degree experience- my
major professor was a former art teacher. Our "final"
or "thesis" was a portfolio review(the entire cohort).
I was encouraged by my former art teacher professor to
demonstrate my research, etc. using final artifacts
for my classes that pushed the boundries of
traditional gradutate artifacts (papers). When my
portfolio review happened my committee was thrilled
with my artifacts but the Dean of Education questioned
the "scholarly" quality of the works. This really
angered me. Apparently he wasn't so aquainted with
performance assessment in this form. I graduated none
the less. I think this degree was good for me- better
than a Master's in Art Ed. but partially because I had
a professor who allowed me to really explore how what
we studied related to art education. If I leave the
art classroom it will be to go into a master teacher
position or a curriculum position.
just my 2 cents-

Amanda
Little Rock Arkansas

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"When you have the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, you can't be long for the White House"
                                   -Michael Moore

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