As someone pursuing a graduate-level degree in the education space, you’ll want to know what you’re getting yourself into, whether that’s in online M Ed courses or MAT courses.
One way to prepare is to have an in-depth understanding of the program and see what kind of courses you’ll be expected to take once enrolled. At a high level, most of these programs–no matter where you take them–will also offer the same kind of structured courses that cover similar essential topics.
And it usually makes no difference if you’re enrolled in an online or on-campus program. The material you covered will also be essentially the same.
Thus, this article will explain a bit more about what you can expect to learn if you enroll in online M Ed courses or MAT courses.
First, let’s define how these two types of degrees differ in terms of curriculum and then look more deeply at the kinds of courses you can expect to take in each.
Master of Art in Teaching (MAT) Degree
This degree is very similar to other graduate-level degrees in other fields. It’s meant to build on the foundational teaching education from undergraduate and then continue to build knowledge and skills of teachers in the classroom. Thus, it focuses primarily on instruction techniques, curriculum development, and other skills and information necessary for teaching inside a classroom.
Master of Education (MEd) Degree
On the other hand, an MEd is much more closely related to an MBA than other graduate degrees. You can think of it as a sort of a broader education on the various elements and competing responsibilities that are involved in education management. This degree is generally pursued by those looking to transition into education administration or other management roles within the education space.
General online graduate education topics
Because these degrees are focused on different parts of education, the topics that will be covered by each is also quite different.
Again, we will look at both the MEd and MAT degree independently to get an idea for what kinds of topics are covered in each one.
MAT Degree Topics
In an online MAT degree program, you’ll focus on learning specific cultural, technological, and also sociological aspects of teaching based on specific topics and the needs of students.
Although there are a variety of programs available, most MAT degrees will require that you choose a specialized curriculum based on the subject and level at which you’re planning to teach (e.g., elementary education or secondary math).
Within your area of concentration, you can expect to cover topics like:
- Learning theories and research
- Individual learning types and strategies
- Identifying and working with different student types
- Cultural differences among learners
- Strategies to overcome language or understanding barriers
Online M Ed Courses Degree Topics
Online M Ed courses and degree programs will focus much more specifically on the management of educators, facilitation of educational environments, and many other areas that are of interest to those aspiring to an administrative position within the education sector.
This degree, too, will likely come with the option to select a specialization, which will then determine what courses and subjects are covered.
Topics likely to be covered in an MEd program include:
- Legal and political topics related to education
- Organizational management
- Theories and research on learning environments
- How to develop and maintain leadership
- The role of research and also record-keeping in educational management
Specific courses in MEd and MAT programs
Here are some examples of the specific courses that you might also take within an online MEd or MAT program.
Online MAT Courses
- The Application of Theories of Learning to Classroom Practice
- Research-Based Instructional Strategies
- Classroom Technology Tools
- Measurement and Geometry, 6-8
- Pedagogy A: Secondary Science
- Adolescent Development and Learning Needs
Online M Ed Courses
- Curriculum and Instruction: Theories and Trends
- The Role of Teachers in a Democratic Society
- Teaching and Learning in Diverse Classrooms
- Understanding Educational Research & Assessment
- Curriculum Development
Beyond the topics and classes that make up the core of your online graduate education degree, most programs will also allow you to choose a specialization within your program.
Some examples of available specializations include the following.
- Multiple Subject Elementary Teaching
- Secondary English
- Secondary Mathematics
- Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (K-12)
- Educational leadership
- Curriculum and instruction
- Special education
- School counseling