Master in Teaching


Read more about this programme on the school's website

Programme Description

Learn to be politically informed and democratically engaged curriculum decision makers and designers who think critically about educational purposes, perspectives, and practices.

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program focuses on a curriculum. We engage in critical study of historical and current controversies that shape what is taught in classrooms today. Teachers learn to design a curriculum that embodies their educational values and provides all students access to powerful learning opportunities.

Teacher candidates are recommended by USF to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for the Preliminary Multiple Subjects (36 credits) or Single Subject (34 credits) Teaching Credential with optional bilingual authorization in Spanish.

Our Faculty

Our professors are experts in the field, holding degrees from prestigious institutions and leveraging a broad understanding of educational issues. They’re classroom teachers by trade and offer an intimate understanding of day-to-day classroom life and effective pedagogical strategies.


We recently added new faculty who have strengthened our program’s math and science education offerings.

Programme Details

Your Teacher Education Experience

  • Personalized experience in an inclusive, diverse community with small classes.
  • Dedicated, expert faculty with backgrounds in classroom teaching and a variety of specializations.
  • Integration of academic coursework and field experience in local schools.
  • A vision that emphasizes humanizing relationships, democratic participation, and critical inquiry.

Programme Delivery

Classes are offered Monday – Thursday evenings and on some Saturdays. Student teaching begins in the second semester and usually requires 2 days a week of in-class time in the second semester and 5 days a week of in-class time in the third semester.


The preliminary teaching credentials offered in conjunction with the Master of Arts in Teaching are:

  • Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential with an optional Bilingual Authorization in Spanish | 36-40 credits.
  • Preliminary Single Subject Credential with an optional Bilingual Authorization in Spanish | 34-38 credits.

Candidates who complete all credential program requirements at USF may obtain the MAT by successfully completing the following:

  • TED 673 - Curriculum: Currents and Controversies (3 credits)
  • TED 674 - Curriculum Development and Design (3 credits)

Our course sequence in the MAT program focuses on Curriculum. Classroom teachers constantly make crucial decisions about curriculum, instruction, and assessment. To be thoughtful decision makers, they need to gain a historical perspective on the conflicting movements — and the politics behind them — that have shaped curriculum in K-12 schools. They need to think about how their own curricular units and lessons represent different views of what students should know and be able to do. New teachers need a carefully structured experience as they learn to design units and lessons that will address the diverse needs and interests of their students.

The two MAT courses provide students with knowledge about educational history, policy, and philosophy not addressed by other TED courses. They build on previous coursework related to lesson plan and unit design while delving into the larger purposes of schooling, educational controversies, and different approaches to curriculum. The courses help prepare teachers to understand and balance conflicting demands of classroom teaching. They extend teachers’ sense of themselves as intellectuals, adaptive experts, and reflective practitioners.

Learning Outcomes


  • Understand that social justice issues are always operating, affect everyone, and are manifested in relationships, curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment.
  • Problematize education practices, programs, and policies using social justice concepts, theories, frameworks.
  • Contribute to honest and open-minded dialogue across different perspectives, cultures, experiences.
  • Teach responsively and compassionately with a student advocacy, assets-based orientation vs. deficit perspective.
  • Understand institutional, systemic forces of racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression and how they play out in classrooms and schools.
  • Develop tools to recognize and confront dehumanizing speech and actions.
  • Develop a critically reflective teacher identity with the ability to question one’s own assumptions.
  • Develop familiarity with and motivation to apply educational principles, approaches, and resources for teaching to diversity and for social justice.


  • Develop awareness of classroom teaching as a complex endeavor that involves an understanding of curricular knowledge, diverse learners, high leverage pedagogies, classroom community/leadership, multiple forms of assessment, and the contexts of schooling.
  • Contemplate the different purposes of education and one’s own classroom teaching, and the implications for our role as teachers that foster our students’ growth as humane, competent, and empowered learners.
  • Understand the connections among theories, principles, and classroom practice and critique the assumptions that underlie them.
  • Behaviorism.
  • Constructivism.
  • Gradual release of responsibility.
  • Direct instruction.
  • Teaching for understanding.
  • Understanding by design.
  • Develop sociocultural and developmental perspectives on learners and learning that include knowledge of how cognition is related to identity, social, emotional, cultural, environmental, and physiological issues.
  • Develop the ability to closely observe classroom teaching (curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, classroom community/leadership), analyse using evidence, and apply lessons learned to one’s vision of teaching (for excellence and equity).
  • Understand different approaches to curriculum, instruction, assessment, and classroom community/leadership; when to use them; and why.
  • Develop habits of complex, critical thinking; inquiry; and reflection about theory and practice; challenge our own pre-conceptions of learning and teaching.
  • Develop a vision of classroom teaching (for equity and excellence) based on big ideas from the course with the understanding that our ideals will be challenged by the realities of school and society.


  • Teachers are critical consumers of a curriculum in the schools so they adapt vs. adopt curricular/instructional materials.
  • Teachers conduct an ongoing assessment (of students’ strengths, where students are, needs) that informs planning and teaching.
  • Teachers know how to develop lesson plans and sequences of instruction.
  • Teachers know how to build on student assets to develop literacy and numeracy in the content areas.
  • Teachers connect their own curriculum and pedagogy to teaching for diversity and social justice.
  • Teachers connect theory to their practice (e.g. how children learn to read to reading instruction; how children develop number sense to math instruction).
  • Teachers identify broad and specific curricular purposes (e.g. powerful ideas, skills, and strategies).
  • Teachers apply frameworks and tools (“nuts and bolts”) to their curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment.


Graduates of the Teaching MA are educators who work in a variety of settings. Most are public and private school teachers.


USF teachers are employed by the following school districts:

  • San Francisco
  • Oakland
  • Berkeley
  • West Contra Costa
  • Alameda
  • Novato
  • Hayward

They are also working in private schools such as St. Ignatius, St. Joseph, Sacred Heart, San Francisco Day, The Urban School, Marin Country Day, and San Francisco Friends.

Last updated Jun 2018

About the School

The School of Education celebrates four decades of involved teachers, devoted leaders and caring counselors. Our faculty and students are scholars and social justice advocates engaged within the diver ... Read More

The School of Education celebrates four decades of involved teachers, devoted leaders and caring counselors. Our faculty and students are scholars and social justice advocates engaged within the diverse San Francisco Bay area and beyond. Read Less
San Francisco , San Jose , Sacramento , Santa Rosa + 3 More Less