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MAT vs M.Ed


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7 replies to this topic

#1 supertouch

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 02:30 PM

can someone please explain the difference? i'm aware that the MAT is more of a hybrid of the subject matter you plan on teaching and educational methods classes, and that the M.Ed is mainly or more focused educational methods...

i'm a young teacher and would like to have an evolving career.....after 10 or maybe even 15 years of teaching in the class on the secondary level i'd like to see myself teaching in a university or working as an administrator...

i've been told a mix of things about the "pathway to the Ed.D or PhD".....some have said that if you start off w/ an MAT that you will need to go back and get your Ed.M is you have plans of evolving your career into the university level or administration...

i don't mind going back as I received my MAT for free...i'm just curious what more experienced people would have to say.......for example, would it be strange if received my MAT and then 2 or 3 years later received an Ed.M?

And, do some people receive two Ed.M's depending on what their original Ed.M specialized in?

just curious....very curious....
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#2 PhilEd

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 04:09 PM

Hi Super,

I had to make the M.A.T. vs. M.Ed. choice a few years ago when I was working toward certification. As you’ve said, the M.A.T. means that you’ve focused more on your subject area, while the M.Ed. seems to be more focused on education generally.

I chose the M.A.T. My sense is that it really doesn’t make too much of a difference. I ended up taking more classes than my M.Ed. colleagues – I was required to take the same education courses in addition to more subject area courses. I’m glad with my choice – it really gave me a chance to dig into my subject area at the grad. level before teaching.

I’m starting a Ph.D. program this fall, and I’m not sure that my application would’ve been received much differently had I done the M.Ed. instead. This seems a really small factor in comparison to letters, GPA, GRE, etc. etc.

Hopefully someone else can confirm my sense of this.



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#3 Carmen san Diego

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:51 PM

Given that you already have an MAT and are going to go for a PhD, I don't see any benefit in grabbing an M Ed on the way. Obviously, what you've done with your degree will be much more important.

I'm getting an M Ed, because I'm more interested in education policy and program leadership than I am in a classroom teaching career. I don't have particular plans for an EdD or PhD, and I felt that the MAT degree could be too classroom focused for my career aspirations.
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#4 ZeChocMoose

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 11:54 PM

My impression of a MAT is that you earn that degree because you are teaching in a specific subject area in a K - 12 classroom.

As for going back to get a MEd before you do a PhD or EdD, I suppose it could be recommended, but a lot of that would depend on what subfield you would want to earn your doctoral degree in and how much experience you have in that particular subfield. My personally experience with applying to Education PhDs is if the school has a degree requirement usually they require a master's degree, but generally don't specify what type of master's degree that it has to be or the field that it is in. In my incoming education doctoral cohort, some people do not have education master's-- instead, they are in related fields depending on their research interests. That being said, I suppose it could happen (i.e. requiring the MEd), but I doubt that it is common.

Edited by ZeChocMoose, 19 April 2011 - 12:00 AM.

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#5 MJZ

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 08:12 PM

Take a look at the curriculums.

Some of the schools I looked at basically offers an EdM, and the MAT/MST degree is literally the EdM + graduate courses in a specific field.

They are equivalent degrees, except people get EdMs either after they have already taught in their own field, are already a teacher, and very often, already have a Masters degree in their own subject.

And there are people who don't want to be teachers who get EdMs too I think, though I would think an EdD is more useful.

Edited by MJZ, 24 April 2011 - 08:13 PM.

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#6 CageFree

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 12:10 AM


I'm getting an M Ed, because I'm more interested in education policy and program leadership than I am in a classroom teaching career. I don't have particular plans for an EdD or PhD, and I felt that the MAT degree could be too classroom focused for my career aspirations.


So you have no plan to teach?

Please teach for a few years. You'll be amazed at how much better informed you'll be when dealing with educational policy if you've walked a mile or two in our shoes.
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#7 RBP

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 11:49 PM

Hello! I'm struggling with a similar decision as I'm hoping to begin my Masters in Fall '12. My main question has to do with teacher certification: Do MATs typically include certification for the state of the school in its program? It certainly seems like most M. Ed. programs do, and that'd an important factor for me as I'm coming right out of undergrad and would like to be certified ASAP.

Any info and insight would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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#8 SimplyReagan

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:06 PM

The MAT is a route for teacher certification. I didn't decide to become a teacher, or have interest in teaching, until many years after my undergrad career. I had the option of a route to certification without receiving my Master's, but I knew I wanted to go further anyhow. The Masters of Arts in Teaching degree not only focuses of content, but also applied research and teacher candidate teaching under a cooperating teacher of record.

The M.Ed. is really for those who knew during their undergrad time they wanted to become teachers, and have gone through student teaching and met all the requirements for certification. This degree is also good for those who are more interested in policy or curriculum, and do not want to become teachers. However, I will say, that even one year of teaching will give you a greater insight of policy reform and curriculum needs. The theory of teaching is so fascinating and I am a huge advocate for anyone interested in our education system, but some things are brought out in the classroom that theory will never truly show. Even if you never want to teach, become friends with a teacher and visit. Often. And, ask if you can help out sometime. It is an experience you will never forget and it will solidify what you know or give you a greater perspective.
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