Who will benefit when classroom teachers take this Action Research and Assessment masters degree?

IDS Action Research and Assessment (IDS ARA), developed at the Haberman Educational Foundation, Inc. and well known educational leader, Martin Haberman, to provide the IDS ARA major. IDS ARA deepens practicing teachers’ professional development through action research and student assessment with a clear focus on the performance of the graduate students’ classroom students. This Masters Degree is offered online.

What happens when classroom teachers take a masters degree?
More than 50% of the teachers who take masters degrees leave the classroom for other positions in the same district or in other districts.For the teachers who remain in the classroom after finishing a masters degree there is no evidence that they are more effective or their children have learned more.

What should happen when classroom teachers take a masters degree?
There should be value added for the teachers and the children of the district. The teachers should be more effective and their students should learn more.

What's Special About This Action Research and Assessment (IDS ARA) masters degree?
This masters degree is based on classroom teachers doing action research studies in their own classrooms, with a focus on their students' growth. This is a "hands-on" program for teachers.Just as students learn most when they see the relevance of their studies, teachers learn best when they study their own students, in their own classroom settings, following their own curricula, using the assessments required in their own school districts.Just as students become highly motivated when they solve the problems they face, teachers are searching for better ways of meeting the challenges they face as teachers.The focus of this IDS ARA Program is not on going to college classes but on studying their own teaching.

How does this Action Research and Assessment masters degree utilize what we know about how people learn?
Learning is less effective when people are taught in one place and are expected to transfer what they have learned to another place at another time. Learning is most effective when people learn in the same place they are expected to use what they have learned. Learning is most effective when people have to implement what they have learned under the very same conditions. In this action research and assessment masters program there is minimal transfer of learning required. What the teachers learn to demonstrate they use immediately in their own classrooms working under the very same conditions.

Who will benefit when classroom teachers take this Action Research and Assessment masters degree?
The teachers will become more competent at analyzing and solving their instructional problems. Their students will learn more. The teachers who complete the IDS ARA program will become more effective and more likely to remain in the district as teachers.

Can a group of teachers from the same school district take this Action Research and Assessment masters degree?
Yes, teachers from the same school and same school district can become a valuable support group for one another. Since they work under the same conditions they will benefit from sharing what they learn with one another.

Can an individual classroom teacher take this masters degree?
Yes, and these teachers will also build a valuable support group with teachers from other places who are taking the same program.

What will teachers actually study in this Action Research and Assessment masters degree?
Teachers will become proficient in how to conduct action research studies in their own classrooms. Teachers will become more skillful at analyzing the dynamics of what is happening in their schools and classrooms, why those things are happening and what might be tried to improve the conditions of teaching and learning.Teachers will become more willing and able to self-reflect and identify their own strengths and weaknesses.Teachers will learn more about their classroom practices and how they assess students.National Louis University (NLU) is a respected, accredited teacher preparing institution with over a century of experience in improving classroom teachers. The Haberman Educational Foundation has helped over 260 school districts select and train more effective teachers for diverse student populations.

Who is eligible to enter this IDS ARA masters program?
Any currently employed teacher who has completed a bachelors degree and is a teacher of record; that is, has the official responsibility of teaching a class(es) of students.Since the focus of the program is on teachers studying the students they currently teach, it is necessary for all applicants to the program to be currently teaching. Teachers of all grades, subject matters and specialties are invited to participate.This is not and cannot be a teacher certification program.

How long is the program?
The IDS ARA program will be completed in seven academic quarters, that is one and three-quarter years.All participants will be signed up automatically for all seven quarters.It is not possible to be awarded grades ahead of the set calendar.

Can applicants who enter the program with other teachers from their same schools and districts complete the program at their own pace?
In general the group moves together and all support each other.But if someone falls behind, provisions can be made, such as joining another later group.

Will any of the IDS ARA program be offered on-line?
Yes, the program will be largely on-line, with an NLU faculty member specifically devoted to being the on-line advisor.Depending on where participants are situated, there may be two weekends of face-to-face meetings required at the beginning and completion of the program.These in-person meetings may occur in the school district of the participating teachers.

How many courses must a teacher take to complete the program?
The IDS ARA program is 32 credits however most of these credits are awarded for the work teachers complete in their action research studies. There are only 2 quarters of coursework for studies other than the required action research studies.One is early, to read relevant material for base knowledge, and the other is later, to develop an overall reflection of what has been learned.Although the transcript will show traditional courses, this is not a program of traditional coursework but a systematic study by teachers of what is going on their classrooms and how to improve their practice.

Will teachers get the same salary adjustment for completing this IDS ARA masters program as their district provides teachers who have completed traditional masters programs?

Is there a final thesis or exam required to complete this Action Research and Assessment masters program?
There are no exams, final or otherwise.Participants will be expected to complete 5 action research studies and a final reflection paper synthesizing their findings.

What will be the cost of books and other materials required for participated in the program?
Some books will be provided as part of the registration. Approximately $200 will be required for books and other materials.All students will need a well functioning computer and Internet access.

Will my school district help me pay these costs?
Individual teachers are responsible for the tuition. In some cases the Haberman Educational Foundation will arrange with the school board to pay all or part of a teacher's tuition.

Will teachers who have already completed a masters degree be eligible to participate in this IDS ARA program?
Definitely.Many school districts have salary schedules that go beyond the masters level. Some have salary increments for teachers at 15 credits beyond the masters, others at 30 credits.This program is available to all classroom teachers currently teaching children.

Why should a school district be interested in having its teachers take this IDS ARA program?
Accountability.If teachers' salaries are increased there should be some connection to improved student learning. This program is based on teachers actually demonstrating their improved effectiveness on the basis of increased student learning.

What should I do if I am interested?
For registration information, please contact Delia Stafford, President, The Haberman Educational Foundation.

4018 Martinshire Drive
Houston, Texas, 77025-3918
Fax/Phone (713) 667-6185