Teacher Education and Teacher Development (PhD) at Montclair State University

Teacher Education and Teacher Development (PhD)

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Teacher Education and Teacher Development (PhD)

The PhD in Teacher Education and Teacher Development is the first of its kind in the region – one of only a few in the country – and is based on the most current research in teacher preparation and learning. It builds on Montclair State University’s nationally recognized programs in teacher preparation and provides a unique opportunity for those who wish to become future leaders in the preparation and development of teachers.

Program graduates will seek employment in colleges and universities, schools and school districts, state agencies, professional development organizations, and foundations as academic faculty members, researchers, school and district leaders and supervisors, staff developers, education policymakers, and consultants.

Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.

Admission Requirements

Students selected for admission to the program will possess the following:

  • Significant teaching experience or other school service experience.
  • A master’s degree in a related field.
  • A strong record in previous academic work.
  • Commitment to learning and inquiry (as demonstrated in application essays and other application materials).
  • Experience with and commitment to issues of diversity and equity (as demonstrated in application essays and other application materials).
Application Checklist

In order to make applying for graduate school as seamless as possible for you, we have
created an application checklist. This checklist can be a reference point for you during the
application process to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the steps
needed to apply, as well as all corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.

  • Application Deadline: February 1st – for Fall semester admission only. Please note: Upon offer of admission, you will be asked to submit an enrollment deposit of $200.
  • Submit Online Application: Please create your online account and submit your application by following the general application instructions and pay (or waive) the non-refundable $60 application fee. Once this step has been completed, the online portal will allow you to upload your supplemental materials.

The following is a list of the supplemental materials that will accompany your application for the Teacher Education and Teacher Development (PhD) program:

  • Transcript: One from each college attended.
  • Essay #1: Reflection on Core Assumptions About Teaching.
    • Please review the core assumptions that inform the doctoral program in Teacher Education and Teacher Development (TETD), which are listed below. Collectively, these assumptions define the program’s vision regarding the goals of public education in a democracy, the functions of schools in a democratic society, the roles of teachers and teacher educators, and conceptions of teaching and learning to teach. From the list, select one assumption that has special meaning to you and respond to the following questions: Why is this assumption meaningful to you? How is it reflected in your own practice as an educator? (Give examples). (Maximum 900 words or three pages, double-spaced and typewritten.)Core Assumptions that Inform the TETD Doctoral Program:
      1. In a democratic society, the central goal of public education is to prepare all students with equal care to take on the full responsibilities of citizenship in a competent manner and to maximize their educational opportunities and life chances.
      2. Although schools often function to maintain the advantage of the socially powerful, they can potentially serve as sites of social transformation. Altering the inequities that are deeply ingrained in the fabric of schools demands a cadre of teachers who are adept at identifying inequalities in their own schools and classrooms, skilled in reconstructing the school and classroom culture to make it inclusive of all children, and committed to serving as change agents. This requires ongoing reflection and critical examination of common educational practices.
      3. Teachers are moral actors. Every classroom decision they make has consequences for their students. They have the obligation to provide all students, not just some, with equal access to knowledge.
      4. Teacher educators, like teachers, are also moral actors who must play a central role in transforming the educational system to make it equitable and just. They are responsible for preparing future and practicing teachers with the dispositions, knowledge and skills needed to interrupt inequitable policies and practices in schools and classrooms in order to help all students – not just some – achieve high levels of learning and maximize their life chances.
      5. Learning does not entail the mere acquisition of new information. Rather, it is an active process by which learners infuse new ideas with meaning. In this interpretive process, learners draw on their prior knowledge and beliefs as they strive to make sense of new input.
      6. Because students’ strengths and needs vary widely and are constantly changing, teaching does not lend itself to the application of a prescription for effective instruction. The use of a de-contextualized teaching formula assumes that children are so much alike that they will respond similarly and predictably to a common treatment. To be responsive to a diverse student population, teachers must make myriad decisions daily as they strive to tailor instruction to the students in their classes. This tailoring requires high levels of professional judgment and the ability to defend decisions on both pedagogical and ethical grounds.
  • Essay #2: Statement of Purpose.
    • What draws you to the TETD program? How would getting a PhD in Teacher Education and Teacher Development advance your professional goals? (Maximum 600 words or two pages, double-spaced and typewritten.)
  • Essay #3: Statement of Research/Inquiry.
    • Building on the most current research, the TETD curriculum is designed to provide program participants with the knowledge, skills and orientations needed to prepare the next generation of successful teachers, design and implement cutting edge induction programs for novice teachers, and offer substantive professional development opportunities for all practicing teachers. Issues of equity and excellence in education are a theme throughout the curriculum. In light of this overview of the curriculum, what two questions might you explore as part of your coursework in the TETD program? Why do you consider these questions important? (Maximum 600 words or 2 pages, double-spaced and typewritten.)
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three.
  • Resume: Required.
  • Standardized Test Scores: The GRE is not required for this program.

Candidates for the PhD in Teacher Education and Teacher Development will complete a minimum of 60 semester hours beyond a relevant master’s degree from an accredited institution. Those 60 semester hours are distributed as follows:

  • Proseminars designed to introduce students to the central questions in teacher education and teacher development and matters of student diversity, develop fundamental knowledge and skills, and create a professional learning community (six semester hours).
  • Core courses intended to cultivate specialized knowledge and skills regarding the design and implementation of programs of pre-service teacher preparation, induction of novice teachers, and the ongoing professional development of in-service teachers (21 semester hours).
  • Electives intended to give students options in deepening their understanding of specific areas in teacher education (nine semester hours).
  • Research courses that give participants the tools needed by critical consumers and producers of research (12 semester hours).
  • Dissertation research in which students demonstrate their ability to apply specialized knowledge in the field and research knowledge and skills to empirically investigate an important problem in teacher education (12 semester hours).
  • Courses in the program (three semester hours each) are listed below.

For more information, please visit the program listing in the course catalog.


If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Email: graduate@montclair.edu
Telephone: 973-655-5147
Fax: 973-655-7869

If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Teacher Education and Teacher Development (PhD) Program Directors:

*During the summer months, there will be a rotating department chair available to answer your inquiry. Find the updated summer chair for this program.*

Program Director: Dr. Jeremy Price
Office: University Hall
Email: pricej@montclair.edu
Telephone: 973‑655‑5170