Teacher Education Program
The Harvard Graduate School of Education's Teacher Education Program (TEP) prepares individuals to become middle or secondary school classroom teachers in urban settings. This intensive eleven-month masters program combines coursework and fieldwork to bring together theory and practice. The Program leads to Massachusetts teacher licensure at the secondary level.
Requirements and Certification
The Teaching and Curriculum Program (TAC) and MidCareer Math and Science Program (MCMS) are intensive eleven-month masters programs in which students must complete a summer program as well as a full academic year of classes and fieldwork.
Summer Program: All candidates begin their course of study in the summer immediately following their acceptance in the program. The summer session usually begins in the second week of June and runs through early August. Candidates spend their mornings team-teaching in the Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy (CHSA) with other Interns in their chosen subject field under the guidance of master teachers. In the afternoons, candidates attend classes and seminars at HGSE designed to support their CHSA experience. The classes and seminars focus on adolescent development in urban settings, issues of urban schooling, introductory teaching techniques, and special education.
Fall Term: During the fall term, candidates continue their fieldwork in the urban districts of Boston and Cambridge. Candidates also enroll in required courses that focus on the teaching of their particular subject matter. In addition, they enroll in three electives (at least one of which must be related to their teaching content) that may be chosen from any of the ten graduate faculties of Harvard University and from the Episcopal Divinity School, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Winter Term: During the winter term, (or J-term), candidates observe in urban schools in various parts of the country; take a module on the foundations of urban education, and spend increasing amounts of time at their school sites.
Spring Term: During the spring term, candidates teach at their field sites and enroll in a required course focused on teaching students with limited English proficiency. Students receive credit for the successful completion of their clinical work in the spring term as well.
For MCMS students, preparation for certification is available for grades 5-8 in biology, earth science, general science, and mathematics, and in grades 8-12 level in biology, chemistry, earth science, mathematics, and physics. For TAC students, preparation for certification is available at the grade 5-8 level in biology, earth science, English, general science, history, mathematics and political science/political philosophy, and at the grade 8-12 level in biology, chemistry, earth science, English, history, mathematics, physics, and political science/political philosophy.
In addition to state level certification, candidates in both the TAC and MCMS programs will follow a course of study that reflects the goals and principles of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Click here for the Department of Education's "Institutional Report Card on Teacher Preparation 2008-2009."
For more information, visit the Graduate School of Education Licensure site.
In Massachusetts, as well as most other states, teachers are required to pass content-specific tests in the subject areas for which they are seeking a license. TEP students, as well as all other teacher licensure candidates in Massachusetts-approved programs, are required to demonstrate their proficiency in these areas by passing the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL). Learn more about subject matter requirements.
One unique feature of the Harvard teacher Education Program is the advisory structure. Advisories create a safe, supportive and collaborative learning environment for teacher Interns to explore and develop the skills that will help them become effective urban teachers. Led by an advanced doctoral student with significant recent teaching experience or a recently retired teacher, Advisories are composed of two-to-four MCMS and TAC candidates who are placed at the same school site. The small groups meet weekly to support and synthesize internship and coursework experiences, develop portfolios, discuss site-related issues, share feedback, engage in teacher research, and work to ground the coursework of the university in the world of practice.
In advisory, Interns engage in a series of experiences designed to develop their ability to observe and interpret their practice and apply what they learn to improve student learning. These experiences, based on work within schools, include observing and investigating the school site through ethnography, conducting case studies of students, analyzing student work, and so on. Interns also explore teaching and learning from the perspective of different roles (i.e. student, teacher, parent) as well as different positions of power. As a program, we strongly believe that learning how to reflect on practice, and learning how to change practice as a result of reflection (praxis), is a critical skill of an effective teacher. We view reflection as a signature characteristic of our program graduates.
In addition to guiding in the development of reflective skills, Advisors support and assess MCMS and TAC Interns in their school-based fieldwork. Advisors provide Interns with on-going, one-on-one support throughout the academic year - including observing individual Interns (including a pre- and post-observation conference with Intern and Mentor Teacher) at least every two weeks, beginning in the latter part of the fall term and proceeding through the spring term. Advisors monitor Interns' progress, identify Interns' strengths and weaknesses, and encourage Interns' habits of reflective practice. During these observation sessions as well at other times during the year, Interns are videotaped in order to enhance the discussion of their practice.