Walden University Master of Arts in Teaching


Walden Master of Arts in Teaching

Walden University is primarily an online institution, one that has gone to great lengths to achieve accreditation status for its degree programs. The Master of Arts in Teaching is primarily designed for people who are interested in becoming teachers and who have no background in education. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and must be prepared to meet teacher licensing requirements in their state of residence. Walden is based in Minnesota and its MAT curriculum meets Minnesota academic requirements for teaching licensure. It is up to students from other states to determine the licensing requirements within their own states for the teaching specializations that the Walden MAT offers. The program takes twenty to twenty four months to complete.

MAT Specializations at Walden

The MAT at Walden offers three areas of specialization: Early Childhood Education (Birth-Third Grade); Special Education, Learning Disabilities (K-12); and Special Education, Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (K-12). For each area of specialization the curriculum is based on state and national industry standards. Each program also has a set of milestones that mark the student's progress; the faculty and student will engage in an evaluation at each of these benchmarks along the way. Assignments will include "virtual field experience" as well as actual classroom experience. The Minnesota based students will have access to local schools; students in other states can work with Walden advisors to make classroom arrangements.

MAT in Early Childhood Education

This area of educational specialization begins with developing an in-depth understanding of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development in young children in order to be able to build on each child's strengths and individual abilities. Coursework includes substantial study of the foundational theories of child development and early childhood education, which have changed radically over the years as progress has been made in understanding how learning is accomplished. Early childhood education extends well beyond academic learning to overall development of gross motor skills, fine motor skills and cognitive skills. This program will also take students into the study of managing a diverse classroom and relating to family members and parents from diverse cultures. Parental contact is perhaps more important at this age than any other.

MAT in Special Education/Learning Disabilities

Special education for children with learning disabilities can vary substantially from age group to age group. Working in the field requires an understanding of the theories behind this type of education in order to be adept at managing students at any grade level. Course work in this curriculum includes Current Issues in Assessment & Intervention, Today's Classroom & the Diverse Learner, Instructional Strategies for Students with Learning Disabilities, and Planning Positive Behavior Support Strategies. All of these course titles speak to the character of today's classrooms as populated with multiple cultural representation, and to the changing theories and practices that special education has gone through in recent times.

MAT in Special Education/Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

As with learning disabilities, this specialization begins with the basics, delving into typical characteristics of children with emotional /behavioral disorders to understand what this general category of disorders means. From there students move on to developing individual strategies based on disorder assessment and the individual child's strengths and weaknesses. In addition there is focus on building collaborative relationships with parents and colleagues so that there is continuity to the child's treatment by and relationships with adults.