School of Education - George Mason University

Transformative Teaching

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Transformative teaching is antiracist practice grounded in democratic leadership. It is the practice of fostering equitable treatment, developing empowering relationships and ensuring academic achievement for all.

This program is open for admissions for summer 2022.

Antiracist, culturally relevant, social justice teaching

The Transformative Teaching program is a unique fully online, 30-credit master’s degree cohort program for working educators who want to further develop their anti-racist, social justice-oriented teaching and leadership skills. The program offers a seamless experience between your work as an educator and your engagement with the course material and participation in the cohort. We build a learning community through a thoughtful sequence of courses and a core faculty team that supports and scaffolds the development of cohort members throughout the 2-years.

The program provides experienced educators with opportunities that help them to: (1) continually identify and rethink the routines and assumptions that shape their work; (2) critically reflect upon and improve their practice with the support of a learning community of peers and faculty (3) design thoughtful and constructive responses to the obstacles that inhibit teaching and student learning; (4) develop the skills and dispositions to commit to a career as an educator; and (5) be leaders in their schools, their professional associations, and their communities as anti-racist, civically-engaged advocates for educators and students.

Who should apply?

The Transformative Teaching concentration is designed for experienced teachers like you who want to increase their impact in the classroom and beyond. It serves as a rewarding alternative for gaining professional development credits. In the program, you will have opportunities to reflect upon your teaching practice to create empowering learning environments.

Why choose Transformative Teaching?
  • The online format allows teachers from across the country to connect in deep collaboration while continuing to teach full-time.
  • You will work with a fixed group of educators and faculty throughout the entire program in the cohort model.
  • A strong sense of community is developed during the week-long, online course held each summer.
  • You will develop solutions for educational equity and access as part of our social justice focus, thus becoming a transformative leader.
  • You will learn theories and pedagogy that empower you to address your students’ dynamic needs in the context of mandated curricula and assessment.
  • The program’s accomplished core faculty have extensive experience teaching in the K-12 classroom, managing Department of Education grant projects, and actively participating in professional associations. These associations include American Educational Research Association, Teaching for Change, and EdPolicyForward.
Student Testimonials

“Over the course of the program I evolved from a complacent teacher to an active leader in my school system and community. As an English learner teacher at the time, I recognized how under represented the perspectives and needs of my students and their families were in our community. To elevate their voices, I began to involve myself in different opportunities for advocacy. For example, I became a member, and later the chair of the Alexandria City Council’s Children, Youth and Families Commission.”

“The collaborative and candid conversations I engaged in with my cohort colleagues have informed my work as an equity-minded professional development leader for my school division. As I continue to refine my leadership capacity I will strive to infuse the essence of the Transformative Teaching program into all I do and it is my hope that I will inspire others to lead the way toward equity in their own communities and classrooms.”

“I’ve focused the last 2 years on growing our practices as a school surrounding data, a skill that I refined as a graduate student at GMU. I’ve worked to implement a Response to Intervention system and as a school we are now using data to track student progress, understand gaps in foundational skills, and monitoring intervention. We are able to track whether or not we are actually closing gaps and pushing our students to proficiency. This intentionality has led to a tremendous amount of growth in our students.”

“The program guided me to ask important questions to the right people to ensure our structures were more equitable for all of our students. I felt empowered to implement structures to create a paradigm shift in the way many individuals see discipline, school culture, and education as a whole.”

Additional program information

For more information about the Transformative Teaching program: