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What Can I Do With a Master's In Curriculum and Instruction? Check for answers here!

written by: Margo Dill•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 5/10/2011

One of the master's in education degrees that teachers can earn is a master's in curriculum and instruction. This program is usually for candidates that have a bachelor's degree in teaching and some classroom experience. Graduates may work in administration to develop curriculum for the district.

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    The Program

    What is a master's in curriculum and instruction? At most universities, this program is designed for teachers who want to become master teachers. They are planning to stay in the classroom for at least a few more years and may be interested in taking a leadership role once they have more education and knowledge. Teachers who earn this degree will be able to write curriculum or may be considered experts in a certain subject area and work on assessing and improving the current curriculum. Some teachers in this degree program will focus on an area they feel they need to improve on in their current classrooms such as brain-based learning or differentiated instruction. Master's students will learn teaching skills and strategies that they can implement into their classrooms. A thesis is usually required at the end of the program to receive this degree from a university.

    The number of hours each university requires may differ slightly but will probably be between 30 and 36 credit hours. Each university will require some courses to be taken and allow students to choose electives. Many universities also have classes to help students write their thesis. Some of the courses that you may take with this master's degree are in the areas of educational leadership, curriculum development and assessment, educational technology, classroom management, differentiated instruction, educational research, and diversity.

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    Preparing for the Work Force

    What is a master's in curriculum and instruction job? Jobs can vary for teachers with this degree. They may want to do one of the following once they earn a master's degree in curriculum and instruction:

    • Mentor Teacher: Most schools have a mentor teaching program for new teachers, and these programs usually have state requirements. A teacher with a master's in curriculum and instruction can mentor beginning teachers and use their coursework to help first, second, and third year teachers in their classrooms.
    • Grade Level Chair or Department Chair: This teaching position is usually given to a teacher who has leadership skills, years of experience, and a master's degree. In the curriculum and instruction program, teachers will learn skills and information they can use as a grade level or department chair. They can also share learned strategies with their fellow teachers.
    • Curriculum Writer or Director: Some large school districts have positions where teachers write curriculum, align it across grade levels and subject matter, and help implement it into the classrooms by leading workshops and informational sessions. What is a master's in curriculum and instruction job in this area require besides a degree? A teacher has to enjoy writing curriculum, discussing it with other teachers, making presentations, and being an expert in subject matter and strategies for reaching all types of learners.

    Some teachers who receive a master's degree in curriculum and instruction have plans to pursue a doctorate degree in administration and want to become a principal or superintendent. This master's degree is the first step in their career goals. No matter how a teacher uses a degree in curriculum and instruction, it will help her become a better teacher.

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    Resources

    University of Massachusetts: http://www.umassonline.net/degrees/Online-Degree-Master-Education-Curriculum-Instruction.cfm

    Penn State: http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/MasterinTeacherLeadership.shtml