While you are caring and nurturing the young minds of tomorrow, you may decide to return to school to earn your online Master’s degree in Elementary Education. But, how do you know which degree to pursue? There are several within the category of “master’s,” however, which one will help you attain your goal? Although all varieties will meet state licensing requirements, you will want to choose a program that will benefit you the most.
Let’s explore what is available and how they differ. The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in education allows students to specialize in any area of their choosing such as in elementary education within the field of arts and humanities. Within this area of concentration, the flexibility of an online Master of Arts degree will allow you to expand on your previous knowledge with additional skills related to your chosen field.
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Education degree is available for those interested in a research related degree with a scientific approach to education. Such areas may include educational and instructional technology related to helping students with learning disabilities, behavior disorders or teaching language and literacy.
If you already have your teaching license, you may be interested in the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree. It allows an educator the opportunity to advance in administrative positions such as School Principal or Assistant Principal. This training includes instruction in educational administration and curriculum development. The M.Ed. degree is less focused on subject-specific training and focuses primarily on the evaluation of teaching procedures while learning how to teach more extensively. While earning your online Master’s degree in Elementary Education, keep in mind that this degree will allow room for further education, such as your doctorate degree in educational research.
The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (M.A.T.) focuses on advanced instructional methods in the areas of methodology, educational trends, as well as, the overall practice of teaching. This degree is designed to focus on strengthening subject-specific training in whichever subject the student wishes to teach. This degree also may be more suited for educators who are looking to improve their teaching skills, however, if you have a goal, such as in administration, this may not be the appropriate degree for you.
Common courses with any master’s degree program may include classes in human development, learning theories, psychology of education, literacy development, curriculum design, educational research, history of education, educational philosophy and child development. Other coursework may include instructional planning and presentation, incorporating technology into the curriculum, in addition to, learning how to deal with diversity in the classroom.
Earning your online Master’s degree in Elementary Education will typically take two years, however, online coursework may be completed at your own pace, depending on your program. In addition, your online master’s degree program may require student teaching in an actual classroom and the completion of a thesis or capstone project.
If you are interested in pursuing this degree, feel free to check out our choices of the Top 20 Online Master’s of Elementary Education Degree Programs.