With the widespread adoption of modern technologies, the show-and-tell methods of instruction have become as outdated in the education sector as leeching and bloodletting are in the medical field.
Besides knowing how to use technology effectively, 21st-century students must also learn to think outside the box and adapt to new situations to increase their employability in today’s cutthroat world.
For this reason, educators in the modern era are expected to do more than impart textbook knowledge. They no longer perceive themselves as the ultimate authority figure in the classroom.
Instead, highly proficient educators have figured that the best way to turn their pupils into enthusiastic learners is to allow them to participate actively in the learning process.
Moreover, these teachers understand that for students to take ownership of their education, the curriculum must be relevant to their life, learning activities must pique their natural curiosity, and assessments must measure the actual level of performance.
What is a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction?
Teachers undeniably play a pivotal role in fostering a sustainable education. Thus, reinventing teaching as a profession necessitates obtaining an advanced degree in education to continue making a difference in students’ lives.
In particular, a master’s in curriculum and instruction will allow you to gain an in-depth understanding and vital hands-on experience in curriculum design, differentiated instruction, and education policy.
Depending on the complexity of the curriculum, a master’s degree is usually completed in two to three years. Despite their passion for professional growth, this could be a big turnoff for educators who cannot afford to quit their day jobs to return to school.
However, thanks to the growing number of universities offering online MEd in Curriculum and Instruction in an accelerated format, full-time teachers can finish the coursework in as few as ten months.
Nonetheless, like an on-campus degree, an online curriculum and instruction program is designed to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills to adapt curricula and instructional strategies to meet students’ diverse needs and learning styles.
What are the Benefits of a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction?
Whether you plan to stay in the classroom or pursue a role in another area of education, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction is an excellent way to improve your lessons and advance your career. Here are four benefits of pursuing this degree.
1. Boost your earning potential
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Master’s degree holders make an average of $1,574 per week. It’s a pretty attractive premium compared to the $1,334 average weekly salary of those with a bachelor’s degree.
Graduate classes, on average, cost more per hour than undergraduate classes. But the incremental income you earn with a master’s degree will increase over time to offset the initial investment in your higher education.
2. Improve your teaching skills
Perhaps you want to resume your position as the head of a classroom. In that case, a master’s in curriculum and instruction will teach you how to make curricula and lesson plans that cater to students with different backgrounds and learning preferences. You’ll probably examine how students’ cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic, and sexual identities shape their educational requirements.
That way, you’ll realize and appreciate the importance of tailoring classroom instruction to each student’s unique strengths and weaknesses. You may also learn how to conduct qualitative and quantitative research to evaluate student progress and enhance instructional practices, as well as about ethical and legal issues relevant to your area of education.
3. Open doors to a range of career paths
Besides helping you become a better teacher, the degree will unlock many lucrative job prospects.
● Principal: A principal’s role is analogous to that of a company’s CEO in that they are responsible for determining how a school or college will achieve the academic goals and standards set at the district, state, and federal levels.
● Curriculum Advisor: This person ensures that all district and school curricula comply with state and federal laws and regulations. They work closely with teachers at all levels(preschool, elementary, middle, high school, college, and vocational institutions) to develop responsive curricula to address the changing needs of students.
● Director of Curriculum & Instructional Design: In this role, you’ll supervise teams responsible for planning and designing curricula, textbooks, teaching guides, and online learning platforms. This might occur at the school district level or with an academic publishing house.
Simply put, an MEd in curriculum and instruction will make you eligible for leadership and advisory roles both inside and outside the school. If you want to move into secondary education, earning this degree will smooth the path to becoming an educational specialist working with adult learners or an adjunct faculty member at a local college.
4. Specialize in your area of interest
Based on your interests and career goals, you can specialize in one or more subjects while pursuing your MEd in curriculum and instruction degree. From educational leadership to reading literacy to online teaching, these specialized concentrations provide a deep dive into a specific aspect of classroom instruction to hone your skills further.
Here are a few options you can consider:
● Educational Leadership: This concentration empowers students to think critically about educational issues from a broader perspective than the classroom. You will dig into the financial side of running a school, understand all the ins and outs of school budgeting, and learn how to effectively communicate your budgetary priorities to district and federal boards. Additionally, you’ll acquire the social skills necessary to collaborate with parents and other community members to improve your students’ educational environment.
● Language-Based Learning Disabilities: In this specialty, you can learn everything there is to know about early speech and language problems in young learners. You’ll also gain insight into how kids with dyslexia and similar conditions face challenges in time management, comprehension, and literacy. Research-based instructional strategies for accommodating these impairments are also discussed in depth in this discipline.
● Reading Literacy: Reading is a foundation stone for a child’s education. All levels of readers can benefit from this concentration. The program mainly includes assessment tools and strategies for using reading abilities in subjects like science and social studies. In addition, you’ll learn how to match your teaching methods with the needs of students who speak languages other than English.
● Special Education: Children with mild to moderate physical, emotional, or intellectual disabilities are the primary focus of this specialization. This area emphasizes the development of curriculum modules and instructional strategies. The program also covers diagnostic techniques and the implementation of multisensory teaching approaches for special needs children.
In conclusion, a master’s in curriculum and instruction can help you stay abreast of the latest teaching practices and assessment methodologies, which will improve your employment prospects.
No matter what you do once you graduate, with this degree on your CV, you can have a positive impact on students’ educational experiences through the curricula you develop, the policies you help reform, and the advice you give to educators, even if you never step inside a classroom again.