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Mathematics Education

In the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology

Degree Description

Master of Arts Emphasis is placed on those competencies necessary for effective mathematics teaching as a means of enhancing professional growth of in-service and pre-service teachers. Conceptual issues in teaching are translated into practice through group and individualized instruction in special methods courses. Master of Arts requirements include a culminating scholarly project. A minimum of 32 points of course work is required. Courses taken through these programs and elsewhere at Teachers College in mathematics, and mathematics education, and professional education to meet individual needs may be supplemented by courses taken in other Faculties of Columbia University.

Master of Education and Master of Science Both programs require 60 points (including up to 30 points of transfer credit for the Ed.M. and the M.S.) and involve extensive preparation in mathematics education. For the M.S. degree there is greater emphasis on preparation in mathematics content. In the Ed.M. program there is greater emphasis on preparation in professional education. Programs are arranged in consultation with the major professor to meet both Department and College requirements. Applicants for the Ed.M. and M.S. degrees also must prepare a written integrative project.

Doctoral Degrees The Department provides programs for both the Ed.D. and the Ph.D. degrees. In general, the Ed.D. degree places emphasis on breadth of professional course work with a focus on educational practice. All candidates are required to be competent in statistical research methodology and computer programming, to have knowledge of the epistemology of mathematics and of psychology sufficient to be an informed scholar-practitioner. All doctoral candidates must have a written plan, approved by their advisor. The approved plan should then be forwarded to the Office of Doctoral Studies. Following submission of the statement of total program, the student normally completes doctoral course work and engages in doctoral research and writing. Refer to the Ph.D. and Ed.D. Requirements Bulletin, prepared by the Office of Doctoral Studies, for a fuller description. In planning a program of study, it should be noted that doctoral students are required to complete a minimum of twenty points after taking the certification examination for the first time, including points taking during the term in which that examination is taken.

Specializations Elementary School Mathematics The Elementary School Mathematics program is designed for those who are preparing for positions of leadership in elementary schools or in the training of elementary school teachers. Programs for elementary school specialists emphasize knowledge of subject matter, methodologies, and curricula of mathematics and include appropriate field experiences with elementary school students and teachers. In addition to program offerings, students have access to courses in related departments and institutions.

Secondary School Mathematics The Secondary School Teaching program includes an in-service component for experienced teachers and pre-service education for students entering the profession. In-service programs are designed individually in consultation with a faculty advisor to reflect each teacher's background and goals. The pre-service program stresses the direct application of theory to practice with particular emphasis on experiences with teaching strategies that match classroom activities to student characteristics, that examine teacher and student interpersonal interaction, and that reflect the historical and philosophical roots of the discipline. Students who require additional mathematics content in preparation for student teaching are advised to enroll in content courses in the summer preceding the academic year during which they enroll in student teaching.

Supervision in Schools Students interested in mathematics supervision in schools may elect to develop individual programs that reflect their specific background and interests and that draw on the resources of the Department and College, or they may work as part of the staff of the field-based teacher education programs. School and university faculty work with graduate students in a collaborative effort where teaching, pre-service and supervision training, and education research are intimately related.

Teacher Education in Mathematics The Teacher Education in Mathematics program is designed to prepare scholars for educational leadership roles as education professors in colleges and universities. Participants in the program have opportunities to build their mathematics content background through content courses in the Department and the offerings of Columbia University. There are opportunities, also, for professional experiences in the pre-service and in-service teacher education programs.

College Teaching of an Academic Subject Teachers College offers a doctorate in college teaching that emphasizes preparation in content coupled with a program of professional education. Field experiences can be pursued in mathematics, computing and several related disciplines. The course content and sequence are especially organized to meet the unique needs and career goals of each candidate within the general requirements of the Ed.D. degree at Teachers College.

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