Teacher Education & School Improvement

The teacher education and school improvement program at UMass Amherst prepares reflective, informed, and research-oriented scholar-practitioners, scholar-educators, and scholar-activists in the fields of teacher education, teacher development, and school improvement.

We believe teachers’ work is intellectual and political work: academically rigorous, highly complex, and deeply relational. As such, teacher educators have a responsibility to cultivate teachers who are reflective practitioners with deep knowledge of their content area as well as the social, political, and cultural dynamics of teaching and learning. Our Ph.D. and Ed.S. students undertake scholarship that advances these goals by enhancing our understanding of effective teaching and teacher-education practices and increasing our society’s capacity to implement such practices on a broad scale.

We are committed to the university’s public service mission, supporting research and practice that advance the aims of educational equity and social justice.


The teacher education and school improvement program offers two degree options, a doctorate and an educational specialist degree (Ed.S.). Students in both programs take the same rigorous selection of graduate coursework; Ph.D. students also conduct original research and write a dissertation. We seek students who are experienced educators and wish to develop their expertise in issues related to teacher education, teacher development, and school improvement, and we value the practice-based knowledge and experience that our students bring to the classroom. We also value the integration of scholarship and practice, and our graduate students have access to a variety of research, teaching, and apprenticeship experiences. Many of our students go on to tenure track positions in colleges and universities while others work in K-12 as teachers and administrators.