2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Foundations of Education (MA.FND)

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Program Director: David McGough, Ph.D.
Email: David.McGough@VermontState.edu

Program Description

The Foundations of Education (MA) program (36 credits) is intended for educators and individuals who are inspired to pursue pertinent professional questions, creative ideas, or novel projects through graduate study. The program emphasizes critical scholar-practitioner inquiry. 

Instruction in the program emphasizes interdisciplinarity, personalization, critique, and application. Participants study social and educational theory and research to develop a broad understanding of educational practice, policy, and perspectives. Social, political, and economic arrangements are examined in the quest to achieve empathy and social justice for diverse and inclusive schools and communities. 

Participants complete an interdisciplinary sequence in educational studies and a personalized concentration. For their self-designed concentration, participants may study professional topics related to their work such as instructional methods, curriculum development, content enrichment, cultural affirmation, program assessment, or leadership strategies. Teachers may design the concentration to add endorsements. Participants develop skills in applied inquiry through self-study, action research, phenomenology, critical analysis, and narrative reflection.  

The concentration is completed through regular courses and a series of Graduate Seminars. The Graduate Seminar is a unique, participant-driven approach to professional learning. The Graduate Seminar employs a tutorial process in which a small gathering of participants, studying distinct topics, joins with a professor and peers to examine readings, projects, findings, questions, and ideas for improving practice and the profession. Participants complete 18 credits of Seminar work (1-6 credits per semester) over multiple semesters to build a comprehensive applied project in stages. The Graduate Seminar is available throughout the year–fall, spring, and summer-to support continuous, recursive study and iteration that is integrated with participants’ professional work. 

All courses can be completed online. A field-based option is available: Consult the program advisor for details. Up to 12 degree-ready graduate credits from regionally accredited institutions, or authorized VTSU electives, may be considered for transfer if they support a focus area and are approved by the faculty advisor or program director.

Program Outcomes

Students in Education programs gain both an understanding of the discipline of education and a practical grasp of effective professional practice. Connecting these two realms provides a foundation for achieving the department’s objectives for each student, including:   

1.The use of academic study in the formation of content-specific professional knowledge,  

2. The use of practitioner inquiry to design effective pedagogical strategies,  

3.The use of critical theory to confidently serve as a progressive colleague and advocate, and  

4. The use of transformative reflection in pursuit of continuous personal growth.  

Personalized Concentration

Complete 18 credits in a personalized concentration. Select and design courses with advisor’s approval. EDU 6630 may be repeated multiple times for credit. 

Education Electives

Complete 3 credits in Education electives. 

Credits required for program: 36

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