MAT Elementary Education Areas of Study

The content for the WGU Master of Arts in Teaching (K–8) program is based on research of effective instruction as well as on national and state standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to teach effectively in diverse classrooms. The Master of Arts in Teaching program content and training processes are consistent with the accountability intent of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This degree program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified teachers. As described in the federal legislation, a highly qualified teacher is one who not only possesses full state certification but also has solid content knowledge of the subject(s) he or she teaches. The hallmarks of our program include (a) appropriate and rigorous subject-matter preparation, (b) research-based pedagogical course preparation, and (c) clinical field experiences in which teacher candidates are supervised by trained coaches.

Foundations of Teaching

Foundations of Teaching Practice Integration
This is a comprehensive exam assessing the student’s knowledge of the competencies listed below. The student may participate in a comprehensive review session with a mentor and peers to prepare for the assessment.

Instructional Planning and Presentation

Instructional Planning and Presentation for Elementary Education
Students will continue to build instructional planning skills with a focus on selecting appropriate materials for diverse learners, selecting age- and ability- appropriate strategies for the content areas, promoting critical thinking, and establishing both short- and long- term goals.

Elementary Education Methods

Elementary Reading and Literacy Methods
Students will learn how to teach reading and literacy instruction in the elementary classroom by utilizing research based instructional practices.

Language Arts Instruction and Intervention
Students will learn how to teach language arts instruction in the elementary classroom by utilizing research based instructional practices.

Elementary Mathematics Methods
Students will learn how to teach mathematics in the elementary classroom by utilizing research based instructional practices.

Elementary Science Methods
Students will learn how to teach science in the elementary classroom by utilizing research based instructional practices.

Elementary Social Studies Methods
Students will learn how to teach social studies in the elementary classroom by utilizing research based instructional practices.

Elementary Visual and Performing Arts Methods
Students will learn how to teach visual and performing arts in the elementary classroom by utilizing research based instructional practices.

Elementary Physical Education and Health Methods
Students will learn how to teach physical and health education in the elementary classroom by utilizing research based instructional practices.

Preclinical Experiences

Preclinical Experiences in Elementary Education
Students will observe and participate in a wide range of in-classroom teaching experiences in order to develop the skills and confidence necessary to be an effective teacher. Students will reflect on and document at least 60 hours of in-classroom observations. Prior to entering the classroom for the observations, students will be required to meet several requirements including a cleared background check, passing scores on the state or WGU required basic skills exam, a completed resume, philosophy of teaching, and professional photo.

Demonstration Teaching

Supervised Demonstration Teaching in Elementary Education
The Supervised Demonstration Teaching in Elementary Education courses involve a series of classroom performance observations by the host teacher and clinical supervisor that develop comprehensive performance data about the teacher candidate’s skills.

Teacher Work Sample in Elementary Education
The Teacher Work Sample is a culmination of the wide variety of skills learned during your time in the Teachers College at WGU. In order to be a competent and independent classroom teacher, you will showcase a collection of your content, planning, instructional, and reflective skills in this professional assessment.

Professional Portfolio
You will create an online teaching portfolio that includes professional artifacts (e.g. resume and Philosophy of Teaching Statement) that demonstrate the skills you have acquired throughout your Demonstration Teaching experience.

Cohort Seminar
The Cohort Seminar provides mentoring and supports teacher candidates during their demonstration teaching period by providing weekly collaboration and instruction related to the demonstration teaching experience. It facilitates their demonstration of competence in becoming reflective practitioners, adhering to ethical standards, practicing inclusion in a diverse classroom, exploring community resources, building collegial and collaborative relationships with teachers, and considering leadership and supervisory skills. This

Research Fundamentals

Foundations of Research
This course focuses on differentiating between different research paradigms, including qualitative, quantitative, and action research. Along with those paradigms, this course also focuses on research study critique, the developing of measurable research questions, hypothesis development, different types of variables and data, and the collection and evaluation of data.

Literature Reviews for Educational Research
This course focuses on the foundation of literature reviews by introducing students to quantitative, qualitative, and action research paradigms, the purpose of a literature review, selecting an appropriate research topic, evaluating the reliability of primary and secondary source information, and developing a literature review with basic data evaluation concepts.