Masters In Education Earn Degrees
in Their Area of Expertise

True masters in education earn advanced degrees in their area of expertise, not education degrees.

Two exceptions are elementary school teachers and school administrators.

If you plan to teach high school or middle school, you are seriously better off earning a master's degree in your subject area rather than in education.

Why?

First, with all the talk of the importance of developing teaching skills through education programs, the single most important thing to have to teach upper school courses is knowledge of the subject area. It's not popular to say, but without deep and extensive knowledge in your subject area, you will not become a great teacher.

Second, teachers are made on the job working with real students in the classroom. Education programs full of theory may be mentally provocative, and they may help some achieve mastery of teaching skills. But the bottom line for making great teachers is on-the-job training.

So if you are determined to become one of the true masters in education, earn your master's degree in your subject area.

Earn your education credits at the bare minimum number to be certified in your state.

In New York, I became certified to teach Latin in grades 6-12 by earning just 18 graduate credits in education. A whole new master's degree in education would have been more like 45 credits. And a whole lot more expensive and time consuming, too.

As for my master's degree, I earned that in classics. I'm a Latin teacher: I need to know the classics more than I need to know the latest in educational theory.

It's not my intention to disparage the work done in education programs for those earning an MA in teaching. I am saying that those degrees are best for elementary school teachers, who don't specialize in one or two subject areas, and for school administrators, who deal in the realm of theory every day.

Teachers need knowledge of their subject area first, with a few education courses earned on the side.


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