MA in Education in the Philippines

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Program Overview

,Master of Arts in Education program (MAED) is a graduate program that reinforces students’ understanding of educational theories, concepts, curriculum and instructional techniques in order to further advance in their professional careers. This program enhances teachers’ theoretical and technical knowledge in teaching a specific subject area or professional area, and prepares students for various administrative and supervisory positions in elementary, secondary, post-secondary and vocational programs.

The MAED program gives special emphasis on research and is geared towards equipping students with a variety of tools, techniques and methodologies for conducting, critiquing, and evaluating research in education.

There are two types of graduate programs related to the Master of Arts in Education degree:
  • Non-thesis Master’s Programs for Teachers:
    Non-thesis programs in education aim to develop the competencies of classroom teachers in accordance with the National Competency Based Teacher Standards (NCBTS) in order to make them more effective facilitators of student learning in various subjects. Non-thesis programs focus on the teaching profession and the relevant knowledge and skills needed to attain the competencies defined in the NCBTS (see source).
  • Thesis Master’s Program for Teachers:
    Thesis programs in education aim to develop the competencies of education professionals to undertake research in specific areas within the broad field of educational science and practice. Thesis programs focus on the replication, verification, validation, contextualization and/or application of theoretical knowledge in the different aspects of the educational process.

Reasons to have an MA in Education degree

A master’s degree in Education enables education graduates to qualify for higher positions in academic institutions and education agencies. It is a credential that is often demanded from applicants who wish to teach in the tertiary level and even for managerial, supervisory or professional positions in some elementary and secondary schools. A master’s degree will give you an edge over other education graduates; due to the increasing number of education graduates in the Philippines, some schools no longer accept applicants for managerial and supervisory positions who do not hold a master’s degree in education.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the Master of Arts in Education curriculum are divided into four main categories:
  • Core/Foundation Courses: Methods of Research, Foundations of Education, Values and Value Systems in Education, Educational Statistics
  • Major Courses: Educational Leadership and Management: Theory and Practice, Educational Planning, Human Resource Management, Fiscal Management, Systems Analysis, Curriculum Planning, Educational Management, Educational Leadership, Management Behavior in Education, Emerging Theories and Principles of Teaching and Assessment
  • Electives: Trends and Issues in Philippine Education, Practicum – Elementary/Secondary/Tertiary - in the Organization and Management of Educational Institutions, School and Community Relations, Administration & Supervision in Private & Public Schools, Seminar on Research, Higher Education Pedagogies, Information Communication for Teachers, Advanced Speech Improvement
  • Thesis (for thesis programs)
    or
    Special Project or Comprehensive Examination (for non-thesis programs)

The lessons in the MAED program are taught through classroom lectures. Students may also be exposed to a number of academic institutions to observe different teaching techniques among tenured education teachers. They are also required to attend educational talks and seminars.

To be able to hold a MA in Education degree, a graduate student must complete a thesis (thesis option) or a special project/comprehensive exam (non-thesis option). Once completed their thesis or special project, students will face a panel consisting of experts in the field of education.

What are the admission requirements for the MAED program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
  • Bachelor’s degree in Education: To be admitted in the MAED program, an applicant must have obtained a BEED, BSED or similar degree from a college or university. However, an applicant with a degree not in line with the education field may still be admitted in the program as long as he/she takes the prerequisite courses.
  • Graduate School Entrance Exam: some schools have an entrance exam for graduate students.
  • Certificate of Employment: some schools require applicants to submit a Certificate of Employment to determine the length of the applicant’s work experience.
  • Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college.
  • Recommendations: some school require applicants to submit letters of recommendation from former/current employers and/or from their Bachelor’s degree professors.
(See sources 1, 2, 3, 4)

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • English skills – when you study masters the method of teaching is self-directed, there will be a lot of reporting and presentations so the ability to proficiently speak and write English and convey information is very important
  • Reading comprehension – most of the time, you will be left alone in the library by your professors to read a materials that you will have to understand on your own. Long chapter exams will also be part of your daily meeting therefore you must have the ability to read and understand professional materials.
  • Analytical skills – unlike in the undergraduate level, studying masters is different because you will do most of the things that are supposed to be the job of your professors. From looking for relevant books, reading them and jotting down your thoughts and ideas. Because of this, you have to see the logical connections among concepts and be able to apply them in the practice of your teaching profession.
  • Interpersonal skills – in your master’s class you will less likely be working alone because professors like to group students to perform certain activities. You will encounter classmates who come from different age groups and backgrounds thus it’s important to be able to maintain good working relationships and adapt to different kinds of attitude.
  • Active Listening – while graduate school practices self-directed learning, there will also be times when your professors will give very long lectures for consecutive days, this is to emphasize the most important lessons which cannot be solely studied by students. It is important that you listen carefully and ask questions because your professors will not discuss the lessons again.
  • Patience – long lecture hours will wear students down, it’s important to have the patience to withstand long hours of plain listening and taking down notes.
  • Organization – the ability to sort and arrange information in a systematic order, combine ideas and relay them to the students in a clear, concise, and logical manner.

How difficult is MA in Education?

Master of Arts in Education is not a difficult course. Generally, studying a master’s degree is easier than undergraduate studies because there are less requirements, and you already have previous learning experience and know how to handle requirements and exams. The MAED curriculum requirement is 36 units, which means that you only have to take 2 to 3 subjects every semester, for two years (4 semesters).

The challenging part of the MAED program is the final requirement: for the thesis option - the thesis making and for the non-thesis - a comprehensive examination or a special project. While complying with these requirements, time will be the enemy of many students, as they are only given one semester to complete these requirements; this will prove quite difficult for those who are employed and are balancing work and study.

How long does it take to complete the MAED program in the Philippines?

The MAED program takes a minimum of 2 years to complete.
Most students who enroll in the MAED program are already employed as teachers or hold other positions. Because of time restraints, the majority of graduates take more than two years to complete the degree.

Common Fields of Concentration

The most common fields of concentration in the MAED program are as follows:
  • Educational Management – provides students with a strong foundation on the theories and concepts in organizational learning and development, human development and learning, assessment quality and standards, management of educational technology applications, finance and resource management.
  • Guidance and Counseling – enhance students’ knowledge and skills in psychological counselling and guidance services. The program is designed to help students become competent professionals who are equipped with essential skills in working with individuals, couples and families in different counselling settings.
  • Mathematics – covers four branches of mathematics namely Advanced Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Practical Calculus and even biostatistics
  • Filipino – concentrates on the history and use of the Filipino language
  • English – primarily focuses on the development of linguistics, the structure of the English language and the different types of literature.
  • Special Education – enhance the knowledge and skills of special education teachers to work in various educational settings and dealing with students who have special needs (such as the physically or mentally disabled) done through an especially designed set of instructions, support, and services provided to students with an identified disability requiring an individually designed instructional program to meet their unique learning needs.
  • Supervision and Administration – designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to be successful school leaders who can apply theory to practice. The program encompasses instructional leadership, organizational management, technology management, and data-driven decision-making.
  • Early Childhood Education – an educational program that teaches children from birth to eight years old (pre-school age) with the main focus of guiding children learn through play and improving later school performance.
  • Science Education – a course of study that includes introductory material for earth science, biology, physics and chemistry.
  • Physical Education – studies Filipino culture and traditions including foreign influences; concentrates on Filipino music and arts, customary dances and historic traditions

Career Opportunities for MAED graduates

The main purpose of taking a MAED degree is for career and professional advancement. A holder of this degree will be able to take on advanced positions in education administration and management. The following are some of the positions that students can take:
  • Head Teacher – under the direction of the Assistant High School Principal, assists in overseeing and directing the planning, organizing, and implementation of education services for students, in addition to part time classroom teacher duties.
  • Assistant Principal – the primary job responsibility is the supervision, discipline, and monitoring of students; under the direction of the Principal, implements and enforces school board policies, administrative rules and regulations. In the absence of the Principal, the Assistant Principal shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the Principal
  • College Professor – if you’re a BEED or BSED graduate who acquired an MA in Education, you will be able to teach in the college level given that you also have high grades and you are competent enough upon demonstration.
  • Department Head of specific major (Head of English Department, Head of Math Department)
  • School Principal – serves as the educational leader and chief administrator, responsible for implementing and managing the policies, regulations, and procedures of the Board of Education to ensure that all students are supervised in a safe child-centered learning environment
  • Administrators in the Department of Education, CHED or TESDA – work under education agencies responsible in regulating the educational system in the Philippines
  • School Supervisors/Superintendents – the chief administrative officer for a certain district; responsible for the effective operation of the District; for the general administration of all instructional, business or other operations of the District and for advising and making recommendations to the Board of Education
  • College Dean – head of a specific college department (Dean, College of Arts and Sciences or College of Education)
  • Education Researcher – a tenured teaching professional who is part of a team that will conduct studies with regards to the issues and concerns clouding the Philippine educational system. They will provide action plans and present formulated solutions to the regulating bodies involved.
  • Educational Consultant – serves in a consultive/supportive role with staff, students, parents and representatives from local districts and community agencies; responsible for coordination, development and implementation of instructional programs within assigned areas
  • Textbook and module writer – educators who became authors of books used in different school subjects and educational reading materials
  • Curriculum Developer – works under public educational agencies such as DepEd and CHED; responsible for designing and implementing curricula that meets national and institutional educational standards.

Will a Master’s degree in Education increase the chances of teaching abroad?

Since many non-English countries have English language as one of the mandatory subjects/courses, Filipino teachers are in demand abroad, in countries such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (see sources 1, 2 ).

Generally, as long as you have the work experience, you will be able to land a career as a teacher abroad. However, it would be an advantage if you have a master’s degree, as well as a wide teaching experience.

There are countries where you do not need any additional certification in order to work as a teacher. However, in some countries, such as the United States, a local Teacher Certification is required from foreign educated teachers.
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