Master of Science for Secondary School Teachers (MSSST)
MSSST supports motivated teachers to earn an M.S. while still actively engaging in classroom teaching. Through rotating, content-specific cohorts, participating teachers develop in-depth content knowledge, pedagogical techniques, and leadership skills. In addition to rigorous coursework, key program elements include targeted professional development and a capstone 320 hour summer research experience.
Check out what some of our MSSST alum had to say about the program!
I feel like a stronger teacher with a much clearer vision of what good science looks like. I better understand three dimensional science and what it looks like to teach disciplinary core ideas, along with crosscutting concepts and science and engineering practices. Most of all I feel like I have learned how to better help students access truth and incorporate more in their lives.
I love this program! I have met amazing fellow teachers and friends. We have grown so close and have supported each other through this process together. It is nice to have a program that will support teachers while they are still teaching full time. Those that head the program understand how busy a teacher’s life is and they offer so much support. The professors were great and also so supportive.
Participation in this program has helped me develop professionally in many ways. Our seminar class especially had many great teaching strategies and also gave us some valuable insight into student development and learning perspectives. Having best practices modeled during classes was really helpful for me to then go back to my classroom and do the same.
This program pushed me past what I thought I was capable of accomplishing. It also provides perspective of being the student again, and what it feels like when you don’t understand. This made me more compassionate with my students. I am a much better writer, thinker, and teacher because of this program. Thanks MSSST!!!!
I think the most obvious way MSSST helped me was to build my content knowledge. Prior to MSSST my background was mostly biology and chemistry. Now I feel super knowledgeable in physics and geophysics as well. I am definitely a more well rounded science teacher. This is extremely beneficial in my current role as 8th grade is ‘Integrated Science’ in which we cover physics, chemistry, biology and geology. I am able to explain all of my core in depth as well as the connections between each content area. It has also allowed me to think of myself as a scientist and not just a science teacher.
The research component of the MSSST program had a profound impact on me, both academically and professionally. During my research project, I was able to work in the Ehleringer Lab on campus, collect samples from Bonneville Salt Flats, work with other scientists, and gain authentic experience using scientific practices. The understanding and knowledge I gained around the Nature of Science and scientific research resulted in more confidence in myself as a scientist and as a science educator and provided a foundation for me to pursue an opportunity to serve the larger science community as a district science supervisor.
MSSST gave me a strong, personal understanding of the nature of science that led me to a restructure of my instruction so that it was more than just “fun and engaging” but was more focused on student sense making and engagement in authentic science practices.