BRATTLEBORO -- While Marlboro College Graduate School is making changes to several of its programs, it is recognizing it hasn’t fully exploited the potential of two burgeoning areas of interest -- Teaching English to Students of Other Languages and Teaching for Social Justice.
"We are seeing growth in the education and non-profit areas but it has been flat in others," said Sean Conley, associate dean.
The Tesol masters program was launched this summer in response to this trend.
"We are not teaching a method," said Joe Heslin, director of admissions. "We are trying to get to the heart of a student’s understanding of learning."
Heslin called it a "very rooted and reflective" process in which participants analyze their own learning process as a way of understanding how others learn.
A major aspect of the course is the role and influence of information and communications technology in teacher education.
The Teaching for Social Justice masters program will soon be in its third year. Conley said it is a kindergarten-through-12th-grade teacher licensure program "with a twist."
Whether it’s biology, history or literature, he said, future teachers learn how to present curriculum through the lens of social justice while "democratizing the classroom."
"It has a close connection to that radical democratic approach of Marlboro’s undergraduate campus and is totally in tune with what Marlboro
A typical teacher-certification program is "largely theoretical," said Heslin, in which prospective teachers receive education in learning theory and then are "thrown to the wolves."
"Teacher attrition is very high," said Heslin. "Our program turns the system on its head," and includes summer preparation prior to learning from a mentor/teacher in a classroom four days a week for a year.
There are lessons that can’t be learned in an academic setting, he said, and must be experienced in the classroom.
For more information on these and other programs at Marlboro College Graduate School, visit gradschool.marlboro.edu.