The Master of Education in Teacher Leadership is a 36 credit hour graduate program leading to a S-5 Georgia teaching certificate.
The degree is designed for individuals who hold current educational certification in a minimum of one area. The Master of Education in Teacher Leadership program is an advanced program intended for classroom teachers who seek greater responsibility and influence beyond their individual classroom.
The Teacher Leadership program is based upon this definition from the Council of Chief State School Officers (2009).
Teacher leaders are educators who use their expertise to improve student learning by working outside the classroom in formal and informal ways to augment the professional skills of colleagues, to strengthen the culture of the school, and to improve the quality of instruction.
The objective of the degree is to provide candidates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for leadership roles from perspectives not usually afforded in traditional teacher preparation programs. The coursework and experiences embedded into this degree prepare practicing teachers to remain in the classroom while engaging with peers, the community, and other educational professionals as leaders. The goal of this degree is not to prepare candidates to become administrators, to perform administrative tasks, or to formally evaluate their colleagues and peers.
Candidates will be provided with curricular, pedagogical, and organizational skills needed to become effective teacher leaders. The coursework, assignments, and field experiences are to assist practicing classroom teachers in becoming effective teacher leaders through a curriculum constructed on the following:
- Increasing student learning and improving school culture
- Using best instructional practices based upon latest research
- Addressing all learners, including adult learners
- Fostering collaboration among school, community, and program participants
- Understanding leadership in schools
- Developing schools as professional learning communities
Special characteristics of the curriculum include the following:
- A focus on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to be successful as teacher leaders
- A focus on professional learning communities to drive school improvement and student achievement
- A focus on developing pedagogical and content knowledge at an advanced level
Candidates who hold a Master’s degree or higher and have a GaPSC active teaching certificate by completing the add-on course requirements (18 graduate hours) and the Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators in Teacher Leadership may be eligible for adding Teacher Leader certification.