Content Over Craft: An Argument for Teachers to Pursue Higher Education in Content Areas
Katlyn Moore, Fall 2020
Director: Lucille McCarthy
Committee Member: Jennifer Maher
Because the conversation surrounding teacher preparation and training has mainly focused on data-driven instruction, most teachers pursue graduate degrees in some facet of pedagogy. While there are advantages to the pursuit of any higher education, secondary teachers would benefit most in their teaching from the pursuit of a graduate degree in their content subject areas. The content degree has three major benefits for teachers: it adds ammunition to a teacher’s arsenal of knowledge, it exposes teachers to pedagogical strategies for their specific content area, and it can help teachers build relationships with students through shared experiences. The Text, Technology, and Literature (TTL) program has offered me the opportunity to explore and develop my own content knowledge in order to better educate my students. It has completely changed what I teach and even how I teach in my secondary English classroom. By examining the courses in the TTL program and their application in a real classroom setting, I argue for the usefulness of a graduate degree in a specific content area for secondary teachers.