A master’s degree in curriculum and instruction can lead to many opportunities for career advancement for educators. This degree typically includes graduate-level courses covering theory and research in curriculum and instruction, curriculum design, and learning strategies and assessment. Pursuing this degree can increase your knowledge and expertise in the education field, while helping you reach higher-level positions as an educator. Three positions benefiting from this master’s degree include K-12 lead teacher, curriculum and instruction coordinator or principal.
1. K-12 Lead Teacher
A K-12 lead teacher with a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction holds a position of leadership within a school setting while continuing to teach in the classroom. A lead teacher is generally responsible for organizing and implementing curriculum and instructional programs, assisting in the development of school-wide research-based instructional methods, and aligning of materials and resources to curriculum outcomes. The coursework for this master’s degree prepares an educator to meet these responsibilities.
2. Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator
The experience gained from this master’s degree is perfect preparation for a job at the district level as a curriculum and instruction coordinator. These coordinators typically work year-round in elementary and secondary schools to oversee school curriculums and teaching standards and ensure they are meeting state requirements and standards. They work with school principals and teachers to develop instructional material, coordinate its implementation and assess its effectiveness. Curriculum and instruction coordinators are responsible for selecting a district’s textbooks and making decisions about instructional technology. Some states may require these coordinators to have an administrator license to work in public schools.
A master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with a focus on leadership helps meet the education requirements to hold a principal position, and it is excellent preparation for the duties a principal fulfills on a daily basis while managing all school operations. Principals can work in public or private schools at the elementary or secondary level. Their responsibilities include managing daily school activities, coordinating curricula across grade levels and overseeing teachers and other school staff. The principal is ultimately responsible for providing a safe, effective and productive learning environment for all students in the school. Most states require principals to have at least five years teaching experience, a master’s degree, and an extensive administrative internship to obtain an administrator license. Requirements vary by state and are available from the state’s department of education.
Expanding your knowledge and skills as a teacher through a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction can open many exciting doors of opportunity. Educators with this master’s degree can stretch and challenge themselves professionally, both in schools and at the district level. A master’s degree in the education field may lead to pay increases in addition to career advancement.
Learn more about the Arkansas State online MSE in Curriculum & Instruction program.