Capstone Project And Core Courses

Marygrove College's Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) Program strives to develop teacher leaders who effectively serve all students. The six core courses described below are required to fulfill the MAT degree. As well, three capstone projects are also required. The Capstone portion of your degree program will lead you through a process of examining your personal beliefs about teaching, learning, effective curriculum, instruction, assessment and reflection. The Capstone consists of three parts: A, B and C, which are graded on a Pass/Fail basis. More detailed information about Capstone requirements, assessment and support are described below.

CAPSTONE REQUIREMENTS

Each MAT Capstone has very specific requirements and important differences from other MAT courses. The Capstone project consists of three parts:

CAPSTONE A – Video & Self-Analysis

A reflective process consisting of three parts where you:

  • Describe your students, school, and community
  • Critically assess your teaching video and lesson plan
  • Create a instructor-coach letter to yourself

CAPSTONE B – Culmination of Action Research Project

An analysis of the Action Research you started in EDU 501. You will:

  • Conduct a data-analysis and explain the results
  • Write a fully-developed research paper that describes and reports your findings and recommendations
  • Share your findings with others by forming an action plan

CAPSTONE C – Summarizing Your Contributions

Capstone C is all about you. To complete this capstone you will:

  • Develop a rubric, based on claims, to evaluate your work
  • Revise your teaching philosophy based on your learning experiences
  • Choose the products and artifacts to include in the final product

CAPSTONE ASSESSMENT

Grading

  • All Capstone requirements are assessed on a PASS/FAIL basis. Once you submit your work, you may be asked to revise and resubmit, until the work meets the program's requirements.
  • A passing grade for each part of Capstone is a "P." An entered grade of "Y" indicates that the requirements of that Capstone have not as yet been met.

Due Dates

  • We strongly recommend this schedule for completion of Capstone work:

    Capstone A – Complete during second semester
    Capstone B – Complete prior to the start of the fifth semester
    Capstone C – Complete during fifth semester

Work Plan

Completion of Capstone work is self-paced. There are no course calendars or weekly deadlines as there are in your MAT core and specialty courses.

  • You cannot graduate with your MAT degree until all three Capstone requirements are met successfully.
  • We strongly recommend that you set a regular work schedule. Set aside Capstone work time each week. Examples: 2 hours, three nights a week until completed; 4 hours on Sunday afternoon. Remember: "what gets planned... gets done."

CAPSTONE SUPPORT

Your Instructor

Your assigned instructor will remain with you until your Capstone requirement is met, indicated by a "P" grade. Reminders will be sent to you at appropriate times by your instructor to assist you.

The Capstone instructor is:

  • Available to answer your Capstone questions.
  • Actively monitoring the Capstone drop box and email.
  • Ready to assess and enter your work as complete and/or return for revisions.
  • The individual who will post your "P" grade with the College once you successfully complete the requirements for each Capstone.

Keep your capstone instructor's contact information so you can correspond freely.

The 6 Core Courses

EDU 568 Teacher as Leader

EDU 568 Teacher as Leader

This course provides an overview and examination of the foundational knowledge, current practices, and research related to teachers as leaders. The course addresses application and practices that develop competencies and behaviors that teachers need to become teacher leaders. Participants become reflective practitioners as they study the current state of education and many of the leading reform efforts. They learn and apply leadership strategies in their classrooms and communities. Participants explore theories as they may relate to the forces reshaping their schools. Topics such as organizational models, characteristics of leadership, change systems, vision development, and school design may be investigated. Participants set personal goals outlining ways they can create lasting change within the education profession through strengthening their instructional practice and commitment to student learning and achievement.

EDU 622 Meeting the Needs of All Students

EDU 622 Meeting the Needs of All Students

This course focuses on planning and organizing for meeting the differentiation needs of students in the mixed ability classroom. It takes seriously that students have different means for acquiring information, processing information, and developing products to show what they have learned. Participants study the differentiating instruction model of lesson content, the processes used in lessons, and the products of lessons within the context of students learning preferences, readiness, and interests. Course participants apply differentiation strategies in their classrooms to strengthen their instructional practices and commitment to meeting the diverse learning needs of their students.

EDU 570 Instructional Design

EDU 570 Instructional Design

This course establishes a comprehensive way for teachers to engage in unit planning and instructional design. Participants integrate assessment into their planning and crate a sequence of learning experiences that logically and meaningfully help students meet required learning goals. In addition, participants align their instructional design to state and local standards.

EDU 618 Effective

EDU 618 Effective

This course begins with the basics of classroom assessment, then goes on to discuss the principles behind using assessment to differentiate instruction. Participants create a variety of assessments to evaluate different types of student work and inform teacher's instructional practices to improve student learning.

EDU 501 Teacher as Researcher

EDU 501 Teacher as Researcher

This course provides the opportunity for teachers to: reflect on and assess their teaching; explore and test new ideas, methods and materials; assess the effectiveness of the new approaches; share feedback with others; and make decisions about which new approaches to include in their classroom practices. Participants complete an individual research project aimed at a particular problem specific to their classroom situation that addresses student achievement. Next, participants engage in action research, data analysis and creation and implementation of a plan of intervention based upon their research findings.

EDU 5604 Evidence-Based Interventions

EDU 5604 Evidence-Based Interventions

This course is designed to help the classroom teacher develop methods to assess students who are not succeeding and identify, implement and assess interventions to help those students. This course also builds upon content introduced in EDU 622 Meeting the Needs of All Students to prepare participants to assess effects of instruction on student performance. Emphasis is placed on theories and practical concepts related to differentiation of instruction and assessment in order to meet the needs of a wide range of learners, including those in special education. Response to Intervention (RTI) will be discussed in terms of structuring individual, small group and whole group instruction.

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