Is This the Program for You?
Our masters programs are not for everybody who would like an advanced degree in education. If you want to pursue a sequence of required and elective courses, you won’t find that at UVEI. If however you are a self-motivated person who wants to think deeply about critical issues and to be free to work at your own pace to achieve outcomes that you believe are essential to your growth as a professional, then you are likely to find that challenge and that freedom with us.
Other aspects of UVEI’s MAT & MEd programs may also either attract or dissuade you. We celebrate excellence in education wherever we find it, as teachers and school leaders engage students in exciting lessons, reflect thoughtfully, deepen their grasp of content, share promising ideas and strategies, and enhance their expertise in the classroom or contribute to a joyful atmosphere in the school as a whole. But we join with our fellow educators who are deeply concerned that too many of our youth are graduating or leaving schools without possessing the skills and knowledge considered essential to being a productive citizen in a 21st Century world. We are about teh business of transforming schools, not merely placing ne faces into old roles.
We believe that the very foundations of our profession are being seriously challenged, and that teaching and learning must be transformed so that all of us participate as active, engaged, and collaborative learners. As we say in introducing our certification program for new teachers, “At UVEI, we equip you for schools-as-they-are; we prepare you for schools-as-they-should-be.” And we are delighted to work with other educators who are turning “should be” into “already is.”
Seeing Yourself as a Tranformative Educator
Every good teacher is a transformative teacher—she or he begins with a diverse group of students and with an awareness of the skills and knowledge that they all should possess, and from these creates a learning environment that helps children and young people transform their lives—learning to read and solve problems using numbers; learning how things work in the world and how peoples and nations evolve; learning to express themselves and their views of the world through art, music, writing, technology, or by acquiring a new language.
Every good principal is a teacher at heart—one who knows that creating a culture for engaged and productive learning is the greatest responsibility a school leader faces. In an era that has been called “The Age of Learning—where learning is not just preparation for a job; learning is the job,”1 each learning activity is, or can be, transformative in nurturing the consciousness and confidence that powers a child’s own search for capability and for meaning. Educators—working with their students and colleagues—also transform how children and youth think about themselves, about one another, about their community and their nation and their world. They see their job as facilitating both the understanding and the practice of what it means to be a creator, a partner, a citizen, a problem-solver, a decision-maker.
With this in mind, the UVEI MAT & MEd Program will help you build upon the foundation of interests, talents, values and goals you already possess by linking you with other thinkers; by challenging conventional ideas about kids, classrooms and schools; and by helping you conduct research to expand your vision of how learning can be enhanced across the diverse range of children and youth, inside—and beyond—the school.
This is what we mean by being “transformative,” and at UVEI, we are unapologetic about our commitment to produce educators willing and able to transform our classrooms and schools to become safe, supportive, democratic, and empowering learning environments. This does not mean that we espouse a “one right answer” view of education, or that UVEI is locked within a particular mindset of how educators and learners should perform. We believe in modeling our values to the greatest extent possible, and we welcome diverse views and thrive on the challenge of matching theory to practice in an imperfect world.
1 Tom Carroll, National Commission on Teaching and America's Future