Impact of schools hiring teachers with master’s degrees instead of certification
Most public schools in the US hire only certified teachers whether they have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. The certified teacher with a BS (Bachelor of Science) or MS (Master of Science) has a degree in education, a specialization subject, and certification in that subject. ( The education or teaching degree is either the BS or MS in Education).
Even if a potential teacher has a master’s degree he must be certified by the state in which he teaches.
There are a few cases where a teacher will be hired without certification if they know someone in the school district or if there is a dire shortage of teachers. In this case one could be hired with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree without certification, but would usually need to be certified within a reasonable length of time.
Getting certified requires that the teacher do a few extra college courses and then apply for certification with the state.
Most school districts prefer to hire the certified teacher with the bachelor’s degree, rather than the certified teacher with the master’s degree, because they can pay the teacher with a bachelor’s degree less than the teacher with a master’s degree.
However, a certified teacher who has a master’s degree is a more qualified teacher than the teacher with a bachelor’s degree and certification. But this is only according to state certification requirements. A certified teacher with a bachelor’s degree may be highly qualified and even more qualified than a certified teacher with a master’s degree depending on experience and the natural abilities of the teacher.
School districts should hire the most qualified people to teach children, whether it is in the primary or secondary grades, therefore all public school teachers should hold master’s degrees, but also be certified.
The impact of hiring teachers with master’s degrees is that parents would feel that education throughout the US is improving, but teacher’s with master’s degrees also need to be certified.
Certification assures that the teacher with the master’s degree has adequate education in his specialization subject, whether it is history, art, social studies, science, math, or English.
However in every state there are already many teachers who are both certified and hold master’s degrees. So the impact would depend on hiring all certified teachers who also hold master’s degrees.
All certified teachers presently hold an education degree with a specialization.
Education degrees actually qualify a teacher to teach any subject that he knows something about. So the teacher with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education is the most qualified to teach any subject. With this degree the teacher has been taught how to teach; whereas someone with a master’s degree in any specific subject that is not education is not qualified to teach, but only qualified in the subject matter.
In order to be qualified to teach, extra courses are needed in education, and then the teacher would also have to be certified. Qualified teachers have done their student teaching and have been evaluated by a supervisor and also graded. They have been taught how to write a lesson plan. All teachers whether they hold a master’s degree or not need to be qualified just as certified teachers are qualified.
Although it seems that a person with a master’s degree would be the better teacher, however, just because a person is knowledgeable about a specific subject doesn’t make a better teacher.
Teachers trained to teach who have education degrees can quickly learn new subjects and teach them on the spot when for instance substitute teaching, because they know how to teach.
In conclusion there wouldn’t be much impact in teachers who have master’s degrees vs. teachers with certification. Teachers need both – they need to know their subject matter and they need to know how to teach. So for there to be any impact teachers would need to have both the certification and the master’s degree, and many teachers are already thus qualified.