Graduate School of Education - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.

School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

Transformative Teaching

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Transformative teaching is a multi-layered practice grounded in democratic leadership. It is the practice of protecting all and fostering equitable treatment, often through activism or negotiation with the school system.

Transformative Teaching Degree Options

The Transformative Teaching program offers a 30-credit master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Transformative Teaching.

The Transformative Teaching program grew out of the highly successful Initiatives in Educational Transformation (IET) master’s program. For twenty years, IET provided quality professional development for more than 2,000 teachers in the national capital region. In the spirit of continuous improvement, the new Transformative Teaching online program allows us to expand our reach to meet the needs of the 21st century teaching professional. The program is designed with your schedule in mind and your teaching and learning concerns as the focus. Learners will design more effective instruction while meeting standards through reflection, collaboration, and action research. This program is featured on the Mason Online site at:

What is transformative teaching?

Transformative teaching is a multi-layered practice grounded in democratic leadership. It is the practice of protecting all and fostering equitable treatment, often through activism or negotiation with the school system. This form of transformative leadership relies on emotional intelligence and is cultivated through mindfulness, hope, and compassion.

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. Additionally, you will gain the knowledge necessary to be an informed participant in the policy arena in issues related to teaching and learning. You will also be empowered to promote social justice from the classroom outward.

We strongly encourage you to form a school-based team by beginning this program with at least one other teacher at your school.

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 students and faculty throughout the entire program in the cohort model.
  • A strong sense of community is developed during the week-long, on-campus course held each summer.
  • Families are invited to enjoy a memorable getaway in Washington, D.C. during the students’ on-campus weeks.
  • You can establish unique relationships with policymakers, advocacy groups, and media because of the program’s proximity to the nation’s capital.
  • 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 Center for Education Policy.

Additional program information

For more information about the "Transformative Teaching" program: