Steinhardt to Offer Online Teaching Program


Anna Letson

The Embedded Master of Arts program is set to launch in summer of 2016, pending state approval.

Lexi Faunce, News Editor

The NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development will launch its Embedded Master of Arts in Teaching program this year to better prepare aspiring teachers for their careers and overcome growing teacher shortages in inner-cities.

Although it is pending New York State approval, the EMAT program would allow students to earn a graduate degree within a year by combining online coursework with on-site teaching experience in urban schools.

Steinhardt professor Diana Turk is the Director of Teacher Education and has spearheaded the writing of the EMAT program.

“We plan to start in the summer of 2016 if we receive New York State approval,” Turk said. “We are hoping to hear from the State in late winter or early spring.”

The EMAT program is created specifically for teacher residencies, which have become extremely rare according to the U.S. Department of Education. In fact, their research shows that only 5 percent of aspiring teachers are enrolled in teacher residency programs.

EMAT mirrors the residency model, just as in medicine or law, where the students complete graduate courses while having a full-time teaching internship in a classroom setting.

The students, known as resident interns, will be mentored by Steinhardt faculty as they complete the program. The curriculum was designed according to a gradual release of responsibility model. The NYU faculty members will observe the intern’s teaching skills and then provide one-on-one guidance before allowing the interns to take a governing role in the classroom.

During last month’s National Education Week conference, the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Steinhardt Dominic Brewer said research shows the strongest way to prepare effective teachers is through immersive experiences in schools.

“Our proposed program is the first significant attempt by a major research university to create a national model that departs from the traditional pathway of teacher education while leveraging state-of-the-art data analytics, working flexibly across states and districts and embedding candidates in real-world classrooms,” Brewer said.

Steinhardt’s EMAT course will be collaborating with HotChalk, a company dedicated to increasing educational access through online degree programs. HotChalk’s CEO Edward Fields also spoke in conjunction with Brewer at the National Education Week conference.

“We are proud to support an outstanding institution with such a clear vision and commitment to educational outcomes,” Fields said. “This is exactly what the HotChalk platform is designed to do: create a scalable, data-driven environment for learning that can be tailored and adapted over time and in real time to drive success across different geographies and schools.”

HotChalk’s online classrooms have a significantly smaller teacher-to-student ratio than most online courses. According to HotChalk’s chief strategy officer Joe Ross, this figure is 1-to-15 instead of the average 1-to-15,000. Steinhardt and HotChalk hope to use this ratio as an advantage during the EMAT program to improve online courses.

Steinhardt professor Joseph McDonald formally presented the EMAT program in December 2015 and said the innovative model will better prepare secondary teachers than ever before.

“Using 21st-century tools, they’ll draw on NYU content expertise every day for this one-year program,” McDonald said. “For NYU teacher education, this is the next step in a long history of innovation.”

A version of this article appeared in the Jan. 24 print edition. Email Lexi Faunce