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The Master's Degree in Education as Teacher Professional Development: Re-envisioning the Role of the Academy in the Development of Practicing Teachers Hardcover – Mar 15 2012


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Review

Galluzzo, Isenberg, Fox, and White have provided teacher educators with a window into the process of changing master’s degree education.  It isn’t often that teacher educators get so clear a picture of the process of change over time. What makes this book unique is the honesty with which the authors address their work over time and the clear model of thoughtful collaboration they provide. (Mary Diez, dean, School of Education, Alverno College)

A must read for anyone interested in reconceptualizing a Master's degree in education that supports effective teaching. The authors address the criticism of traditional master's degrees in education by giving new life to the degree, grounded in what teachers know and can do, how they learn, and how they can lead from the classroom. This book offers valuable lessons from one university's journey to create a meaningful masters degree in education that positively impacts teachers and students. (Joseph Aguerrebere Ed.D, former President, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards)

I love this book! The Master’s degree in education, long attached to teacher salary schedules and required for tenure, has been a wasteland in teacher professional development. Content has remained static and conceptions and practices have remained unexamined. The ASTL program designed and described by George Mason faculty, grounded in the  National Board’s conception of an accomplished teacher, is a  fresh and genuinely 21st century book about how the pedagogical and content skills of beginning teachers should be developed.  Key components of the program, such as a cohort approach, campus-wide commitments to teacher education, and partnerships with local schools challenge traditional thinking about the Master’s degree and provide us with critical new insights about new roles for higher education faculty and public school faculty in the quest to develop accomplished teachers teacher. (Richard Arends , professional of educational leadership and dean emeritus, Central Connecticut State University)

Let me state up front that this is a marvelous book. The chapters read like a novel, and a genuine page turner at that. The book is a compelling documentation of how the School of Education at George Mason has responded to the (more often than not) justified criticism of teacher education programs. Any education dean who is serious about revitalizing teacher education would be well advised to read this book. To be sure, the challenges facing schools of education are challenging indeed. Not only must they overcome the internal inertia that characterizes most organizations, but they face the uphill battle of enlisting the cooperation of the larger university that has for years viewed them as ineffective, hapless and incompetent. The Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (ASTL) team at George Mason faced these same problems... and handled them with forbearance and skill. One crucial element of the approach taken by George Mason was the decision early on to use the work of the NCTAF Commission and the National Board's five core propositions (supplemented by three of their own) to guide their efforts.  The resulting eight propositions served as a filter through which to gauge all of their subsequent decisions, whether structural, substantive, or strategic.  This gave the ASTL project a vision, a goal-in-view, and a coherence that it would probably otherwise not have.  The book is also extraordinarily thorough.  The authors describe in great detail the challenges they faced in the design, implementation, monitoring and overall evaluation of the new program. Significantly, the authors note that George Mason is determined to avoid the smugness that so often accompanies success.  In the concluding chapter, "Looking Back and Looking Ahead," the authors describes how program faculty are continually searching for ways to improved the program by, for example, surveying program graduates for their opinions on what helped them most and what they feel is needed. In summary, this is a clearly written, well documented, and altogether excellent account of how one university has responded to one of the nation's most pressing challenges -- preparing teachers to educate students for the 21st century. (Lloyd Bond, professor of education Emeritus, University of North Carolina, Greensboro)

About the Author

Gary R. Galluzzo is professor of education at George Mason University. He is a former dean of the then-Graduate School of Education and formerly the executive vice-president of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He is coauthor of The Rise and Stall of Teacher Education Reform. Joan Packer Isenberg is professor emerita of education at George Mason University, where she also served as an associate dean in the College of Education and Human Development. She served as founding director of the Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning Program from 1999-2003. She has authored or coauthored 17 books and more than 50 journal articles. C. Stephen White is professor of education at George Mason University, where he currently serves as associate dean for Academic Program Development in the College of Education and Human Development. He was director and co-director of ASTL from 2004-2011. His current research focuses on assessing advanced teachers’ growth and development. Rebecca K. Fox is associate professor of education at George Mason University, where she has served as co-director of ASTL from 2004-2011 and is the current academic program coordinator. Her research focuses on advanced teacher professional learning, particularly in the areas of portfolio assessment, critical reflection, and the development of teachers’ cultural competence.

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