About This Masters Degree
Teacher Preparation Programs in Science
The Warner School’s teacher preparation programs in science prepare individuals interested in teaching science for students at various age levels and in a variety of contexts, including NYS public schools, charter schools and independent schools in the U.S., schools outside the U.S., as well as informal settings such as after-school or summer programs. The 15-month science teacher preparation graduate program, called Get Real ! Science, prepares teachers who find innovative ways to make science meaningful and relevant to their students.
As our world faces increasingly complex environmental changes that require good science to solve and understand, the need for scientifically literate citizens is even greater than ever before. Our graduates become teachers who help make science literacy possible for all students. They give children from all backgrounds the chance to participate in the richness of scientific inquiry—experiences that will help them to become capable science learners as well as give them a rich appreciation for the exciting role science plays in our daily lives. And, they help children discover that science is more than memorizing the facts and procedures.
The program aims to give children a chance to use real-world scientific tools in authentic problems, with the committed adult attention and support of our graduate students, through opportunities like the Get Real! Environmental Camp, a week-long summer program that gives young people a chance to experience science first-hand by studying Lake Ontario’s water quality issues, and Science STARS, an after-school program to engage teenage girls in authentic, hands-on science experiments around themes that interest them most. These powerful experiences give children the knowledge and skills they need to become the next generation of scientists and scientifically literate citizens.
Whether you are interested in biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science, our program offers exciting opportunities to explore areas of science. Throughout the program our students experience what it is like to learn science through inquiry by looking at real scientific problems as scientists and to think deeply about the nature of science and engage in real scientific questions while preparing to teach it. They are familiar with best practices and curricula for teaching science and committed to enabling all students to learn science.
Field experiences are carefully sequenced to support our students in their development as a science teacher. Starting with non-traditional, highly-supportive, authentic inquiry-based teaching and learning experiences, they learn how to create plans and projects to lead students in exciting research, experimentation, and discovery. As they move into the traditional classroom environment, they apply this knowledge and learn to teach effectively within the contexts of schools, standards, and accountability.
Throughout the program, graduate students engage in rich, structured, ongoing opportunities to reflect on and make sense of their experiences of reform-based education in a community of other science educators. These activities support participants in developing a sense of professional identity through reflection and interaction with various communities, including kids, colleagues, peers, and professors.
The program is committed to issues of equity and inclusion. Many efforts are focused on students in under-resourced school districts and people who are typically under-represented in science.
Depending on the context you would like to teach in, and the credentials you may have already obtained, you may choose among the program options listed below to best meet your career goals and situation.
Non-certification program for science teachers:
This program has been designed for individuals who are not interested in obtaining or eligible to obtain New York State (NYS) teaching certification – as they are planning to teach students in international, private or charter schools, or other informal learning settings, such as camps, clubs, or after-school programs. As such, this option does not include field experiences or student teaching in K-12 schools, and has more flexibility in terms of curriculum and electives.
- MS – Science Education (without NYS certification) (GX1) https://www.warner.rochester.edu/programs/program/GX1
Programs leading to NYS certification in science:
To teach science in secondary schools in New York State, you need to obtain initial teaching certification in adolescence education (grades 7-12) as a specialist in science. Professional certification and a master’s degree are also eventually required. Our Warner science teacher preparation program will provide you with all the coursework needed to apply for both NYS certifications as part of a master’s degree. Provided you have the necessary content background, our program also allows you to pursue more than one certification at the same time and with minimal additional credits.
A key highlight of our science teacher preparation programs leading to NYS certification is how our faculty integrate urban education into the whole curriculum. We make it a part of every course so that students are equipped and prepared to work in all schools—particularly in some of our most underserved school districts where there is a shortage of high-quality and innovative teachers.
No doubt you had a teacher who took a genuine interest, who really opened your eyes to the possibilities. You can become that teacher: The one who creates a classroom where spirits soar and success is the expectation.
At Warner, you’ll grow into a thoughtful practitioner with a deep understanding of your subject and the best way to teach it. You
will develop an approach that is grounded in current research and authentic practices, that promotes social justice and supports students’ growth and development.
And you’ll do it quicker. A teaching degree from the Warner School can be completed in just 15 months. (Most take two years.) Classes begin in May, right after graduation, and run through the following August. And since New York has some of the toughest certifications around, you can take what you’ve learned just about anywhere.
Prerequisites for entry-level teachers teaching a science specialty include a bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal arts or science, one course in a language other than English (or equivalent), and 30 credits of coursework in science (at either the undergraduate or graduate level), including at least 18 credits in the science of specialization. See https://www.warner.rochester.edu/admissions/