Master of Arts in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction
Bachelor of Arts in Childhood Development
Beth Levin originally sought a career in psychology, but changed her mind when she discovered a graduate program for curriculum and instruction. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Childhood Development in 1988 from the University of California ñ Berkley, before continuing her education at the Teachers College of Columbia University and completing a Master of Arts in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction in 1991. Specializing in educational curriculum and software, Levin has worked for McGraw-Hill as an instructional software designer and been a marketing analyst and curriculum writer for a computer-based assessment technology provider for elementary and secondary schools. Today, she works as a freelance curriculum writer for various educational publishers and a contributing writer for an education market blog.
Why did you choose to major in curriculum and instruction?
Actually, I originally wanted to be a child psychologist, and my undergraduate major was in that field. But that would have meant a longer and more expensive investment in graduate school, and I wondered if I might not like the work. I found a one-year master’s program in curriculum and instruction at Columbia University Teacher’s College, figuring I could work in either teaching or publishing with that major.
What did you like/dislike about majoring in curriculum and instruction?
I liked the program at Columbia, although it was very big (a lot of students). There were some small class sizes too. They put a big emphasis on teamwork, which served me well later when I worked in office environments.
How has your major impacted your career or influenced your career path?
My major had a huge influence on my career since I currently work in writing curriculum!
What knowledge/skills did you obtain from majoring in curriculum and instruction that you still put to use in your current position?
In my graduate school program, I learned the basics of designing curriculum and lesson plans, the importance of providing varied and fair assessments, and Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (used by most educational publishers). These are all skills I use in my current career.
What advice would you give to students thinking about majoring in curriculum and instruction?
You should be someone who enjoys writing for educational purposes or who loves teaching, since you get prepared for those fields. It’s generally not a major leading to really high salaries, so that’s another reason to get personal satisfaction (in place of great financial success) from the major and career!