A model curriculum for a Syrian experimental master's degree program in education
The purpose of this study was to develop a model curriculum for a Syrian experimental master's degree program in education. The study required answers to questions concerned with: required subjects; definition of the role of research, thesis writing, and practica; inservice education for untrained teachers; admissions requirements; expected competencies of the graduates of the program; definition of methods and materials of instruction; criteria to evaluate the competencies; incorporation of CBI elements into the program; type and mode of supervision; and adoption/adaption of elements of the American MAT program for Syria;The findings of this study were gathered from a sample of American scholars, a sample of Syrian students studying in the U.S.A., surveys of selected MAT programs and teaching assistant programs, and reinforced by literature review. The findings were: the model included courses: Educational Research, Philosophy of Education, Learning Theories, Educational Psychology, Methods of College Teaching, Curriculum Construction, six courses in area of concentration, three seminars, two practica, two practice teaching periods, and foreign language; research skills, thesis requirement, and practica were seen necessary to prepare college teachers; inservice education for untrained teachers was deemed necessary; entrance requirements were to possess a B.A. or B.S. and to pass an achievement test; the most favorable competency was the ability to communicate effectively; competencies may be achieved by informal lectures; achievement of competencies could be evaluated by observing the achievement of students taught by the new teacher; incorporation of CBI elements could start by incorporating field experience; supervision may be total during practicum and periodic during practice teaching; and the inclusion of practicum, course work practice teaching, and thesis writing was seen necessary for the program;The findings of this study led to the following recommendations: prior to the implementation process the minimum performance level of required competencies should be specified; implementation should be followed by performance evaluation of the graduates as opposed to graduates from traditional programs; grading should be centered on mastery of competencies, hence, the grades of pass-incomplete; and if initial experimentation is proven successful the program should ultimately be adopted by all Syrian universities;Further research should be concerned with: developing programs of competency-based nature at various levels in Syria with emphasis on professional development of Syrian faculty; developing MAT programs in Arab countries with special consideration to the needs of the Arab women; developing programs for general faculty development as far as methods of teaching, developing the curricula, community services, and research are concerned; and a doctorate program should be developed with emphasis on advanced theories and practices of college teaching and research.