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Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching


Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching is to:

  • Advance the intellectual and professional development of students and faculty through research, critical reflection and dialogue, civic responsibility, and transformative leadership;
  • Promote equality and social justice by advocating for educational change and reform; and
  • Nurture the personal and professional integrity of all learners.

The Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching offers the following degrees: the Master of Arts in Education and the Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching.

Master of Arts Degree in Education

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Education offers the opportunity for advanced study and professional development programs in five fields of concentration:

Curriculum and Instruction Concentration
Early Childhood and Elementary Education Concentration
Instructional Technology Concentration
Literacy Education Concentration
Special Education Concentration

Education concentrations provide specialized degree plans in one or more areas of program emphasis so that students may choose a plan suitable to their needs and objectives. Degree plans are designed to offer the opportunity to gain advanced levels of knowledge and professional competency for students engaged in or concerned about educational activity in schools, colleges, and other public or private institutions and agencies. Credit toward graduate-level certificates and certificate endorsements may be earned in conjunction with work toward the Master’s degree in most programs. Programs with a thesis option emphasize the development of research competencies critical to continued graduate-level study.

Program Admission Requirements. Applicants without adequate preparation in education may be required to complete preparatory courses as a condition of admission. Individuals who do not meet the University-wide graduate admission grade point average standard may be required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for consideration in admission decisions. Some concentrations may also require GRE scores because of licensing regulations. International students must have a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL Internet-based test, 550 on the TOEFL paper-based test, or 6.5 on the IELTS. Contact the Graduate Advisor of Record for the M.A. in Education for more information.

Degree Requirements. Education degrees have four required components: a core of common courses, a program emphasis, support work, and a comprehensive examination.

  1. Core courses common to all concentrations:

    C&I 5003   Theory of Curriculum and Instruction
    EDP 5003   Psychological Learning Theories
    EDU 5003   Research Methods
    EDU 5103   Advanced Foundations of Education

  2. Program emphasis. The program emphasis must consist of at least 12 semester credit hours in one of the fields of concentration. Some concentrations offer more than one program emphasis. A program emphasis may require up to 24 semester credit hours. Courses outside the specific concentration may be used to meet this requirement with advance approval of the student’s program advisor and the Graduate Advisor of Record. See individual concentration listings or contact the Graduate Advisor of Record for the M.A. in Education for more information.

  3. Support work. Each student is required to select additional courses, with the approval of the program advisor and the Graduate Advisor of Record, to complete the degree requirements of 33 semester credit hours (with thesis) or 36 hours (without thesis). Nine semester credit hours must support the concentration. Three additional hours must be taken with the approval of the Graduate Advisor of Record. In some degree programs, support work may consist of additional courses in the area of concentration.

    Students in some programs may take support courses in their teaching fields. Students in teacher certification programs may take their support work courses in areas that meet certification requirements. It is recommended that thesis students take an appropriate statistics course or an additional research course as part of the support work.

  4. Comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination committee for each concentration is responsible for preparing and administering the examination. The examination may be repeated, but a student who has failed the examination two times must have the permission of the Graduate Program Committee in order to take the examination additional times. Normally, failure to pass the examination should be followed by additional coursework or other work to remedy deficiencies or areas of weakness before the examination is retaken.

Summary of Degree Options

Option I. Thesis option (33 semester credit hours):

  1. Core. 12 semester credit hours required:

    C&I 5003   Theory of Curriculum and Instruction
    EDP 5003   Psychological Learning Theories
    EDU 5003   Research Methods
    EDU 5103   Advanced Foundations of Education

  2. Concentration. 12 semester credit hours of coursework to form a program emphasis in a single concentration.

  3. Support work. 3 semester credit hours in an approved statistics course or an additional research course.

  4. Thesis. 6 semester credit hours:

    Enrollment in appropriate section of Master’s Thesis course as determined by thesis advisor.

Option II. Nonthesis option (36 semester credit hours):

  1. Core. 12 semester credit hours required:

    C&I 5003   Theory of Curriculum and Instruction
    EDP 5003   Psychological Learning Theories
    EDU 5003   Research Methods
    EDU 5103   Advanced Foundations of Education

  2. Concentration. At least 12 semester credit hours of coursework to form a program emphasis in a single concentration.

  3. Support work. No more than 12 semester credit hours as follows:

    9 hours of support courses
    3 hours of approved electives
 

Master of Arts Degree in Education – Curriculum and Instruction Concentration

This concentration creates a context that nurtures interdisciplinary learners who have an understanding of engagement in curriculum and instruction theory, research, practice, policy, and critical issues. The concepts of curricular innovation and teaching excellence are stressed in conjunction with expanded knowledge of content fields and applied research. Courses with these goals include:

C&I 5003   Theory of Curriculum and Instruction
C&I 5013   Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
C&I 6103   Research in Action
C&I 6673   Policy and Critical Issues in Teaching
C&I 7123   Critical Perspectives in Curriculum and Instruction

Students who want to specialize in a teaching field may do so by taking courses in that field to support the concentration in Curriculum and Instruction. Within this concentration, a student may earn an initial teacher certification in specified areas of public school programs. Students should see the graduate advisor for information about this option. C&I 5003 is part of the general core required of all students in the M.A. in Education, and C&I 5013 and C&I 6103 are required for all students in the C&I concentration. In addition, students in the C&I concentration must take either C&I 6673 or C&I 7123 for fulfillment of the requirements in the C&I concentration, if not seeking initial certification.

Curriculum and Instruction concentration emphases include:

Curriculum and Instruction Specialist
Curriculum Studies
Environmental Education
Mathematics Education
Middle School Education
Science Education
Social Studies Education
Teacher Leadership

 

Master of Arts Degree in Education – Early Childhood and Elementary Education Concentration

This concentration is designed to allow professionals the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills for effective instruction and care, leadership, and advocacy in early childhood and elementary education in a diverse society. Emphasis is on integrating reflective practices with current research perspectives for practical applications. The focus is also on advancing the research and knowledge base in fields of early childhood and elementary education. The program is flexible within areas of emphasis that include child development, early childhood leadership and advocacy, early literacies, family studies, inclusive education and teaching. Teaching emphasis is for individuals seeking teacher certification. Please see graduate advisor regarding teaching option.

In addition to the core curriculum classes required for all students seeking a Master’s degree, courses required for this concentration are:

ECE 5133   Language and Discourse Development in Preschool-Primary Children
ECE 5503   Theoretical Foundations of Early Childhood and Elementary Education
ECE 6453   Assessment and Evaluation in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
ECE 6653   Action Research in Childhood Settings

 

Master of Arts Degree in Education – Instructional Technology Concentration

The Instructional Technology concentration focuses on the uses and applications of technology in EC-20 instructional environments. Emphasis is placed on the development, function and utilization of a variety of technologies within educational settings. This concentration is designed for students seeking to expand their knowledge of instructional technology as well as those seeking leadership roles in this area. Courses required for this concentration are:

IST 5003   Foundations of Instructional Technology
IST 5313   Development of Instructional Technology
IST 5343   Instructional Design Theory
IST 5703   Technology and Learning Cultures

 

Master of Arts Degree in Education – Literacy Education Concentration

This concentration is designed to provide theory, research, knowledge, and field experiences for students who plan to teach literacy. Reading and writing are presented as linguistic, cognitive, and sociocultural processes in relation to other language arts. Students select from five specialized areas of study: teaching focus, research focus, Reading Specialist Certification, writing focus, and literature focus. The teaching area is designed for teachers and offers flexibility to pursue an area of one’s own interest. The research area is designed for students who want to pursue research in literacy; students in this area typically pursue the thesis option. The reading specialist certification area leads to completion of requirements of the State Board for Educator Certification as a reading specialist. The writing and literature foci allow students to develop specialized knowledge in these areas. This area includes the five courses for Master Reading Teacher (MRT) endorsement.

 

Master of Arts Degree in Education – Special Education Concentration

The concentration in Special Education is designed for those students seeking an opportunity for initial, additional, or advanced preparation for educating individuals with disabilities in a variety of settings. It is intended to offer students the opportunity for the acquisition of knowledge, competencies and understanding, to develop and apply skills for effective instructional practices in working with individuals with disabilities. The special education and related courses must be approved by the student’s program advisor prior to enrolling in courses.

In addition to the core courses required for all students seeking the Master’s degree, the following courses are required for this concentration area (15 semester credit hours):

SPE 5403   Survey of Special Education
SPE 5503   Applied Behavior Analysis for Classroom Teachers
SPE 5513   Curriculum and Instructional Applications for Children and Youth in Special Education
SPE 6403   Culturally Responsive Teaching and Collaboration
SPE 6623   Seminar on Current and Critical Issues in Special Education

Certification Option. Students interested in seeking teacher certification in special education should see an advisor for further instructions about the requirements for this program.

Applied Behavior Analysis Option. Students interested in becoming eligible to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination should see an advisor for further instructions about the requirements for this program.

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Teacher Certification Concentrations within the Master of Arts Degree in Education

Students interested in acquiring teacher certification within the Master’s degree can choose from among the following concentrations:
All-level Special Education
EC–6 Generalist
4–8 Math, Science
8-12 Math, Science

Special admission requirements and state and programmatic requirements for these teacher certification concentrations apply in addition to the requirements for the graduate degree. Please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Certification Programs in the College of Education and Human Development for further information.

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Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching

The Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching (ILT) is a degree program that examines learning and teaching from an interdisciplinary perspective; focusing on varied approaches to teaching and learning from within and across various disciplines. The foundations of the program are: how teaching and learning are addressed within disciplines, how they may intersect with one another, and how each discipline maintains its uniqueness while sharing commonalities with other disciplines.

The Doctoral program objectives include:

  1. Preparation of researchers who examine the theories, philosophies and multiple paradigms that inform learning and teaching from an interdisciplinary perspective with respect to the varied ways of knowing, situated cognition, and sociocultural contexts, as well as curricular and instructional development;

  2. Development of graduate leaders who seek ways to address educational and societal issues through multiple perspectives and will work to make major contributions to the improvement of education for ethnically and economically diverse populations across the human lifespan; and,

  3. Preparation of educators to assume the roles of university and community college faculty members, public school teachers/leaders, and adult education and human resource development educators who address, analyze, evaluate and reform learning and teaching through interdisciplinary approaches in varied sociocultural contexts.

Program Admission Requirements. Admission to the Ph.D. program is limited, and therefore, competitive. Meeting recommended criteria does not ensure admission. Admission to the doctoral degree program occurs once per year in the Fall Semester. The following factors for admission into the doctoral program will be considered by the ILT Doctoral Program Committee:

  1. A master’s degree with a minimum of 33 semester credit hours (with thesis) or 36 semester credit hours (without thesis) in an education field, such as early childhood and elementary education, special education, curriculum, instructional technology, literacy education, or in an academic discipline, such as history, mathematics, the sciences, humanities, or fine arts;

  2. An official master’s degree transcript documenting a grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 or higher;

  3. For applicants whose native language is not English, the submission of a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of no less than 550 on the paper-based test (PBT), 79 on the Internet-based test (iBT), or 6.5 on the IELTS. See general UTSA graduate admission guidelines in Chapter 1 of this catalog for further details;

  4. Three letters of recommendation from faculty, supervisors or professional affiliations attesting to the student’s academic and professional attributes for success in the program and potential for contributing substantially to a field of study related to the degree;

  5. A written statement of purpose which includes: (a) reason(s) for pursuing a doctorate in ILT; (b) a biographical overview of experiences related to education; (c) professional goals; and (d) scholarly and/or research interests;

  6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores not older than five years;

  7. A professional curriculum vitae demonstrating experience in a work environment where education was the primary professional emphasis;

  8. Agreement to participate in an interview, if so invited.

Degree Requirements. Program degree requirements include a minimum of 60 semester credit hours in Research Methods, Core Courses, Cognate Courses, and Doctoral Research Seminar and Dissertation Courses. Students pursuing the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching will be required to pass a qualifying examination prior to admission to candidacy. All candidates will be required to submit a scholarly contribution in the form of a dissertation as partial fulfillment of requirements for this degree. For more information, refer to Doctoral Degree Regulations in Chapter 5 of this catalog.

  1. Research Methods Courses (12 semester credit hours required)

    ILR 7643   Advanced Research on Instruction
    ILT 7013   Overview of Research Design for Instructional Inquiry


    AND


    6 semester credit hours of approved research methods courses selected from within the College of Education and Human Development (recommended: 3 hours of qualitative research methodology and 3 hours of quantitative research methodology).


  2. Core Courses (18 semester credit hours required):

    ILT 7003   Exploration of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching
    ILT 7133   Socio-constructivist and Cognitivist Perspectives on Interdisciplinary Learning & Teaching
    ILT 7143   Internship (Research and/or Teaching)
    ILT 7153   Critical Cultural Perspectives on Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching
    ILT 7633   Behavioral and Contextual Perspectives on Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching
    ILT 7733   Evaluation of Research


  3. Cognate Courses (18 semester credit hours required):

    Students select a cognate area in academic disciplines/fields related to research interests. Courses are selected from graduate offerings throughout the University and students must meet prerequisites for enrollment.

  4. Doctoral Research Seminar and Doctoral Dissertation (12 semester credit hours required):

    ILT 7891,3   Doctoral Research Seminar in Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching
    ILT 7983   Doctoral Dissertation (repeated for a minimum of 9 semester credit hours)

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