Education & Social Change – M.S.Ed. – School of Education & Human Development

Education & Social Change – M.S.Ed.

Teaching and Learning

Education & Social ChangeM.S.Ed.

The Education and Social Change (ESoC) M.S. Ed. focuses on the complexities of the world of education beyond classroom walls, the classroom context of teaching, and the students in urban classrooms.

The three primary goals of the program include improving instruction for diverse populations, preparing teachers for leadership roles within their schools, and preparing teachers to lead future change efforts in support of public education. The program includes coursework that uses a critical lens to emphasize culturally relevant pedagogy, student engagement and wellbeing, languaging and academic literacy development, and formative assessment for data-driven instructional decisions. The ESoC program provides cutting edge theoretical and practical understandings to teaching and learning for social justice and equity in diverse classroom settings. Additionally, the program partially fulfills state teacher certification requirements for novice teachers with a FDOE Temporary Teaching Certificate seeking permanent certification. No formal background in education or teaching experience is required.

Career Outcomes

Although most applicants for the Ed and Social Change M.S. Ed. program are teachers who plan to remain in the K-12 public school system, there are multiple career opportunities with this degree. Previous program graduates have worked for educational or community-based non-profits (NGOs) or as aides in state or federal legislative offices. This rigorous program also prepares graduates to be successful doctoral students; many have continued their graduate studies in doctoral programs focusing on policy, urban education, or social justice/equity.

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Application Requirements

  1. Completed online application submitted prior to June 1 for Fall (August) admission;
  2. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from former faculty familiar with academic work or current/former principals, assistant principals, department chairs (e.g., someone in a supervisory role);
  3. Official transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate enrollment;
  4. Minimum cumulative GPA = 3.0 from previous institution(s) enrolled;
  5. Resume/CV;
  6. In lieu of a Statement of Purpose, please complete the following Essay Prompt:
    Multiple aspects of public education in the U.S. are currently under heated debate. Select one such issue, e.g., racial disparities in student achievement, standardized testing, science education, school violence, student drop-out, etc., and write an essay of no more than 1500 words describing
    • the importance of the issue,
    • how it affects and is viewed by teachers, students, school administrators, and the local community, and
    • what role you may play in resolving the issue as a teacher leader for change.
  7. Please note that faculty are committed to supporting all admitted students to complete this rigorous M.S. Ed. program. There will be infused academic supports within courses, and additional seminars available for advanced literacy learning throughout the program. Students who may benefit from such opportunities will be notified by course instructors and/or the program advisor concerning the dates and times extracurricular seminars will be scheduled/offered.

Required Coursework

TAL 601 Education Assessment and Accountability (3 credits)
Principles and classroom applications of educational measurement and assessment during an age of teacher accountability.

TAL 612 Building Positive Relationships in Inclusive Classrooms (3 credits)
Designed to assist general education teachers in meeting the needs of diverse students. Focus on students with disabilities, language and culture in the classroom, and developing culturally competent classroom management methods.

TAL 627 Understanding Culture in the Classroom (3 credits)
This course explores the conflicts and strategies for resolution between the patterns of culture in the classroom and the patterns of culture that school children bring to the classroom – patterns learned in their families and communities.

TAL 629 Educating Exceptional Students (3 credits)
A survey course in special education emphasizing characteristics and challenges associated with various categories of exceptional learners, as well as policy, issues, and trends in special education.

TAL 668 Development, Learning, and Schooling (3 credits)
Upon completion of this course, students will be familiar with the major theories about child development and learning and will be knowledgeable about their application to teaching and learning in the K-12 context.

TAL 634 Language and Reading Instruction (3 credits-Secondary)
Theories and methods of teaching reading to children and adolescents, including exceptional children in the regular classroom. Emphasis on applying findings from research in reading and writing to classroom practices.


TAL 647 Language and Early Reading Instruction (3 credits-Elementary)
Factors related to emergent literacy with an emphasis on diverse aspects of language that influence literacy and learning; development of emergent literacy and word perception; examination of emergent literacy and word perception curriculum as well as appropriate assessment and instructional techniques. Emphasis on understanding of reading as a process of student engagement in fluent decoding of words and construction of meaning.

TAL 666 Introduction to the Politics of Education (3 credits)
Survey overview of political debates involving education as a nested and loosely coupled system where pressures at one level can be supported or countermanded at another. Historical and critical take on present-day debates.  Depending on student interests, may go in-depth on topics such as economic politics, cultural politics, state and local control.

TAL 669 Teacher and Student Wellbeing in Education (3 credits)
The main thrust of this course is to link theory and research on personal, organizational, and collective well-being with educational success and school reform.

Methods for Teaching (3 credits)
Research-based instructional approaches for teaching, emphasizing the application of academic literacy development and instruction in content areas [Secondary English-TAL 661, Secondary STEM-TAL 654, or Secondary Social Studies-TAL 664, Elementary-TAL 665].

FallSpringSummer ASummer B
1st Year TAL 601
Education Assessment and Accountability
TAL 629
Educating Exceptional Students
TAL 668
Development, Learning, and Schooling
TAL 612
Building Positive Relationships in Inclusive Classrooms
TAL 627
Understanding Culture in the Classroom
TAL 669
Teacher and Student Wellbeing in Education
2nd Year TAL 634
Language and Reading Instruction
TAL 666
Introduction to Politics of Education
TAL 665
Methods of Teaching in the Elementary School
TAL 677
Applied Research in Education


Dr. Mary Avalos

Teaching and Learning, Research Associate Professor


Max Orovitz 305

Dr. Stephani Burton

Teaching and Learning, Asst. Clinical Professor


Merrick Building 324-H

Dr. Wendy Cavendish

Teaching and Learning, Professor


Merrick Building 222-E

Dr. Matthew Deroo

Teaching and Learning, Asst. Professor


MB 324-D

Dr. Jennifer Krawec

Teaching and Learning, Asst. Clinical Professor


Max Orovitz 237-A

Dr. Ana Menda

Teaching and Learning, Asst. Clinical Professor


Merrick Building 222F

Dr. Shawn Post

Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor


MB 312M

Dr. Walter Secada

Teaching and Learning, Professor


Max Orovitz 311A


  • Oscar F.

    The Education and Social Change program pushed my development as a teacher in a manner that I did not foresee. Given that education is a social right for all students, the perspectives challenged and brought out in the program have transformed my pedagogy.

    Oscar F.
  • Aaron B.

    Being exposed to the variety of ways people think about education and education policy was helpful. Having professors with a range of experiences as teachers, working in the district, and as academics gave me a set of new lenses to see educational issues.

    Aaron B.
  • Jennifer S.

    The Education and Social Change program at UM has provided me an opportunity to reflect on my positionality in the education system and encouraged me to be intentional in my participation. Although the current architecture of the system provides many challenges for students and teachers alike, my colleagues and professors have worked together to find a means to exercise our agency to make positive changes for our students and ourselves.

    Jennifer S.


  • A Dean’s Scholarship for full-time PK-12 schoolteachers (U.S. context only) of 50-60% off UM’s regular tuition rate will be awarded upon admission to the program.
  • Other scholarships or financial aid external to UM may be available; applicants are encouraged to search and apply for such awards/opportunities.
  • Student Loans are an option for matriculated students, once registered for classes.


Is it possible to begin enrollment in any other term besides Fall?
There is typically one application cycle per year for Fall matriculation; however, due to COVID-19, there will be a spring application cycle (January 2021) enrollment opportunity. The application deadline for Spring 2021 matriculation is November 30, 2020.
Are class meetings formatted for in-person, hybrid, or online courses?
Typically, classes meet in-person on the Coral Gables campus during Fall and Spring semesters, with hybrid class formatting during Summer for most courses. In Fall 2020, we will begin meeting online, and gradually shift in mid-October to in-person, as the COVID-19 situation allows.
I am a prospective international student who teaches full-time in my country. Do I qualify for the Dean’s Scholarship?
Only U.S. teachers teaching full-time are eligible to receive the Dean’s Scholarship.
Are there any scholarship opportunities offered by the School of Education and Human Development for this program?
At this time, full-time teachers who are teaching in U.S. school districts are eligible for a 60% tuition scholarship; however, this is subject to change each academic year.
Is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required for admission?
No, the GRE was waived for Fall 2020 applicants due to COVID-19. As of January 2021, the UM Graduate School and Faculty has waived the GRE for incoming applications, thus it is no longer needed/accepted as an application requirement for this program.
What academic supports are available to ensure successful completion of graduate studies for this program?
The Teaching and Learning faculty are committed to supporting graduate students with meeting rigorous expectations for class assignments and the program's culminating project and capstone paper. Integrated literacy supports are embedded within certain courses, and extensive feedback on academic writing assignments throughout the program provide students with multiple opportunities to improve writing skills and successfully meet graduation requirements.
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Program Director

Mary A. Avalos

Research Assoc. Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning


Max Orovitz Bldg Room 305