Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction - Teacher Education

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Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction Michigan State University
Science Education > Testimonials

Student & Alumni Testimonials

Adriane Slaton-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Adriane Slaton
Adriane “Adie” Slaton A former (and “soon-to-be” once again in the fall) high school science teacher, I am currently finishing up my dissertation focusing on student engagement in an urban science classroom. While the decision to the leave the classroom was a difficult one—the choice to come to Michigan State to pursue a PhD in science education ended up being a wonderful and serendipitous one. I say serendipitous because I really didn’t understand just how many opportunities existed at the time I matriculated. First, there is great breadth in the research going on at State, especially in science education: professors are currently investigating science teacher/student identity, learning progressions, scientific literacy, and more not listed due to space constraints. Secondly, the science education faculty are a tight-knit community of scholars who collaborate, bounce ideas off each other, and even all attend/teach/participate in one class together every fall (TE 955). Additionally, because of the large size of State, it is not uncommon to work across disciplines; for example, I work both professors in urban education and science education and this has given me the opportunity to tailor my program to meet my needs. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with and met the folks here at State. In the last four years, I have had so many incredible opportunities: working on a research project with Dr. Calabrese-Barton, writing for publication, presenting at conferences, supervising student teachers, and teaching methods, literacy, and urban-focused courses. I have met the most amazing people here: you never know when a quick greeting in the hall will blossom into a two-hour conversation about education or projects around campus. I am constantly impressed with the passion for education my colleagues possess. This program truly pushes you to discover ideas, theories and scholars that interest you. Advice: For those interested in Science Education: drop into a Fall TE 955 class to meet faculty and graduate students (they meet on Mondays around noon).
Hamin Baek-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Hamin Baek
I am delighted to have a chance to share my experience as a doctoral student at the COE, and specifically, in the Ph.D. program of Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education with focus on science education. To be honest, when I applied for this program, I did not know much about the program or faculty in the department of Teacher Education (which hosts the program). Basically what influenced my decision to join the program includes its prestigious status, its design which allows a variety of interests to be pursued, and the department’s will to support students financially and in many other ways. As I have had a journey in this program both as a student and as a scholar, I find myself blessed for more reasons. First, faculty members as well as administrative staff are so willing to help doctoral students navigate and grow as professionals. This is one thing I am particularly grateful for because they were supportive when I had hard time getting involved as an international student and pursuing my unique research interest (students’ religiosity in science class) in a new learning environment. Second, it is a real privilege to have worked as a research assistant on several science education projects with experienced and renowned scholars. I have learned a lot not only from their deep knowledge and understanding of the subject but also from how they move things forward, how they communicate with others, and how they foster a professional community among other faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students. Finally, I am truly proud of the diversity and unity of our science education community (while this is true of the whole CITE program). Although people in this community are quite diverse in terms of research interest/tradition, ethnicity, culture, and age, these differences have been not so much been an obstacle but more of a catalyst to our enjoyment and professional growth. The strengths of MSU’s science education community have assisted me in growing as a scholar and science educator. As a scholar, the diversity of our program has enabled me to consider various perspectives and see my stance in a larger purview. As a science educator, I have developed a deeper understanding of the multidimensionality of science teaching and learning. If you as a prospective Ph.D. student want to enjoy this environment, and especially want to explore and create a new science education field by blending the diverse research traditions we have in this program, I strongly recommend our program to you. Cheers!
Hayat Al Hokayem-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Hayat Al Hokayem
Throughout the years I have spent as a high school biology teacher and Master’s student in Beirut, I have experienced the complexity of the classroom that requires further observation, contemplation and research. As a result I have chosen to further explore student learning by applying to a PhD at MSU; why MSU ? First, it has a renowned reputation in teacher education, and second it has many professors in science education that work on various conceptual and methodological frameworks. Therefore the human resources in the science education are valuable and a major asset of the program and the professors are extremely approachable, helpful and supportive. The courses offered are taught by different professors every semester, each with a specific area of expertise, and this has introduced me to various research branches in the field. I believe that that I have and still am learning a lot from the science education program at MSU in terms of knowledge about various learning theories, assessment, conceptual frameworks, and methodologies of research. In addition, the communication with colleagues and prominent scholars continues to broaden my thinking about the field.
Hosun Kang-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Hosun Kang
While working as a high school biology teacher and Master’s student in South Korea, I came to have more questions about the issue of science teacher education and teacher learning. I decided to come to MSU to pursue my PhD because MSU has a nationally well-known teacher education program. Part of my decision was based on the high regard for MSU’s faculty members who have also produced high quality science education research. In retrospect, I am lucky to join in this science education community given the wonderful experiences that I have had thus far. The science education faculty provide plenty of research opportunities and resources to graduate students. I have had opportunities to teach science related courses, participate in various research projects, write proposals, present at professional conferences, and publish research articles in journals. Faculty members in science education program are greatly supportive and patient to international students like me. As an international student, it can take time to adjust to a new academic culture. I appreciate that the faculty are approachable at any time to any one. The science education program’s strength is the communal value in supporting doctoral students. Faculty members support doctoral students to work with anyone in and out of the science education program. This kind of support has allowed me to navigate various perspectives until I found the issues, ideas, and positions that I was the most concerned about as a science educator and researcher. I would encourage anyone who is interested in MSU’s science education graduate study to contact the science education faculty or graduate students and talk about potential experiences and opportunities. I am honored to be apart of such a program.
Jeff Rozelle-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Jeff Rozelle
From my very first interactions with MSU’s Department of Teacher Education as a prospective student, I sensed that, while I had much to learn from the faculty, I would also be viewed as a colleague whose experiences and insights would be valued. This proved true. I worked on NSF-funded research projects alongside experienced scholars and taught teacher education classes with dedicated teachers who were also scholars in their field. Faculty members, both in science education and more broadly, were excellent teachers who made themselves amply available to doctoral students. They engaged me in my writing and research in order to help me learn from my weaknesses. The critical engagement from faculty members was invaluable in preparing me for the scholarly community I was seeking to join. While I have much still to learn as a new professor, I think that MSU faculty members’ willingness to invest in me and work alongside me also allowed me to see inside faculty life in ways that many of my new junior faculty colleagues report not being privy to. I’m grateful for the solid foundation that MSU provided me as I begin my career in science education.
Kristin Gunckel-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Kristin Gunckel
When I look back on my time as a science education doctoral student at MSU, what I value most about the MSU program was the quality of the science education faculty with whom I had opportunities to work. While all of the faculty are leaders in the field of science education research, what was most important to me was that all of the science education faculty are wonderful and caring teachers and mentors for graduate students interested in becoming science education researchers. During my time at MSU, I had opportunities to participate in all aspects of NSF-funded research projects, including research design, data collection, data analysis, conference presentation, and paper publication. I had opportunities to design and teach undergraduate courses, serve on committees, and work with other dedicated graduate students. The MSU science education faculty have created a strong community of practice that supports graduate students in achieving their goals. As a new faculty member at the University of Arizona, I rely heavily on the experiences I had at MSU to guide me in my new position. I keep in close contact with the MSU faculty and continue to seek their guidance as I build my own research program at the UA.
Adriane Slaton
Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction
Adriane “Adie” Slaton A former (and “soon-to-be” once again in the fall) high school science teacher, I am currently finishing up my dissertation focusing on student engagement in an urban science classroom. While the decision to the leave the classroom was a difficult one—the choice to come to Michigan State to pursue a PhD in science education ended up being a wonderful and serendipitous one. I say serendipitous because I really didn’t understand just how many opportunities ... ... read more
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