Mathematics, Science & Technology
Mathematics, Science, and Technology programs focus on issues of educational practice and related professions in mathematics, science, technology, and cognate human sciences, including the relationships among these disciplines. Our modern world has been transformed by the achievements in pure and applied disciplines grounded in mathematics, science, and technology. Current reforms in education place increasing significance on broad-based public understanding of these three fields of human endeavor. The study of communication and technology in education is broadly based and enriched by cultural and historical wisdom that provides a scholarly perspective on the role of media and technology in society and particularly in educational subject areas. Within this unifying view, the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology includes specialized programs to address the needs of professional practitioners in each area.
The Department incorporates the programs in three areas: Mathematics Education; Science Education; and Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design.
The Mathematics Education and Science Education programs include scholars who address the preparation of mathematics and science teachers and teacher educators and focus particularly on the acquisition of scientific and mathematical literacy to foster the future development of science and technology; the understanding of environmental sciences, improved global stewardship of the environment, and the link between science and society; the use of computers, computer modeling, and instrumentation in mathematics and science instruction. These scholars have extensive international experience in their subject matter disciplines and in educational theory and practice. The Science Education Program also offers a joint degree (DDS/MA) in collaboration with the College of Dental Medicine at Columbia University for medical practitioners who are planning to become professors of medical education.
The Program in Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design (CMLTD) provides a cluster of degree programs for students who seek to develop leadership capacities for the use of information and communication technologies in education across subject domains. The programs prepare candidates for leadership roles in integrating digital technologies into education and society and for entry into creative work in the educational uses of new media. CMLTD doctoral programs develop scholars who use the social and human sciences to study how applications of advanced technologies in education act as powerful social and historical forces, empowering educators to seek new solutions to established problems. Graduate study in CMLTD is tightly integrated with design and implementation projects situated in several externally funded centers and institutes at Teachers College and Columbia University. This program is led by faculty with extensive international experience and also links the College to ongoing university initiatives in communication and information technologies. Faculty and students of this program examine technology as well as the role of computers and other media of communication in education and the assessment of educational performance in a wide variety of institutional settings. The program includes areas such as literacy, teacher education, educational technology, developing digital games, online learning, and culture.
Each program has a unique focus or perspective, but the faculty share common scholarly perspectives, educational ideals, and a strong commitment to the improvement of society through improved scholarly practice in the educating professions and enhancement of human potential.
For up to date information about course offerings including faculty information, please visit the online course schedule.
Foundations of science education. Planning, assessment, and management of instruction. Required of initial science students.
Students will explore the intersections of policy, science, and society and the impact these have on standard K-12 urban science curriculum and multicultural teaching practices. Drawing from scholarship in policy, curriculum, and teaching, this course explores major issues faced in urban science education, including: (1) the issue of resources (physical, human, and social) in urban schools and how urban science education programs might draw from local resources in meeting the needs of urban learners; (2) the issue of what roles might teachers, administrators, policy makers, and curriculum writers play in the design and implementation of empowering curricular and pedagogical practices in urban science classrooms; and (3) the issue of multicultural science education in terms of both content and pedagogy. This course challenges commonly used practices where multiculturalism is often taught as one distinct and often separate component of the science curriculum.
Studies about the teaching and learning of science in urban settings have been a large component of contemporary research in science education. This course provides a means to interrogate the teaching and learning of science in urban settings through an exploration of the sociopolitical and aesthetic aspects of hip-hop/youth culture.
Analysis of the organization of and relationships between learning sciences and scientific concepts, with a focus on classroom-based analytical techniques suitable for curriculum design research.
Prerequisite: one year of college chemistry. The growth of, and change in, the major concepts of the science of chemistry are explored, from the Greek philosophers to the alchemists to those of modern chemistry. Concepts explored: chemical composition and the elements; chemical change, the acids, activity; the nature of matter; and the structure of the atom and bonding. Lesson Plans for high school chemistry teaching are prepared and students misconceptions are probed and discussed.
Prerequisite: MSTC 4059 or instructor permission. The historical development of selected chemical concepts are examined with respect to the arguments developed in their support, with the intent that current meanings will be elucidated in the process. High school and college chemistry laboratory activities and classroom demonstrations are discussed and prepared. Some experiments and classroom demonstrations are performed. Some higher level chemistry problems and computer animations applied in chemistry teaching are discussed.
Exploration of physics themes of molecules and molecular kinetic theory, heat, mechanics, waves, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics. Exploration of electricity, magnetism, light, optics, quantum mechanics, and selected topics in atomic, nuclear, and elementary particle physics and astrophysics. Of particular interest to introductory physics, physical science, and general science teachers.
Practical basis of secondary school science education and its application to physics teaching and laboratory activity.
Interdisciplinary study of scientific theories about the origin and evolution of life on earth. Includes demonstration and laboratory experiments.
Permission required from the instructor. Introduction to qualitative research methods and completion of pilot studies. Designed largely for doctoral students and advanced masters students.
This course is an advanced seminar that focuses on the theoretical, conceptual, and empirical literature on dental science curriculum, research, and pedagogy.
The nature and interrelationships of science, technology, and society as represented in policy and curriculum for education.
MSTC 5047 is a required core course in the Science Education doctoral and advanced master's programs. The course concerns both inservice and preservice teacher education. In the course, students will conduct research with preservice teachers, as well as practicing and expert teachers. We will examine the classic and contemporary knowledge base of teacher education, as well as current issues and questions in the education of science teaching professionals. Open to students who are not in the Science Education Program with the professor's permission.
This course offers students in the Science Education doctoral and advanced master's programs the opportunity to ask fundamental questions about curriculum in multiple ways.
This course is designed for doctoral students and advanced master's students interested in teacher education and becoming teacher educators. The course consists of elements of theory, practice, and research within a broad or interdisciplinary field of education with an emphasis on the preparation of selves as teachers.
A critical analysis of current published research in science education with special attention to strategies of applying statistical and other quantitative methods. Designed largely for doctoral students and advanced master's students.
A review of teaching methods and curricular innovations in computing and computer mathematics.
For students in behavioral science programs. A review of basic concepts from calculus and introductory linear algebra.
This course covers foundational mathematical topics necessary for a deeper understanding of applied quantitative methods in the behavioral sciences.
Taxonomy of games, two-person zero-sum games, transferable and non-transferable utility, equilibrium concepts, two-sided markets, elections and voting, bankruptcy, apportionment, combinatorial games. Game theory and the K-12 curriculum.
Propositional and predicate calculi, set theory, axiomatics, order types, the linear continuum, and Goedel's theorem.
Simulation, information theory and coding, stochastic models, probabilistic systems, simple harmonic motion. Topics vary between natural sciences and behavioral sciences.
Theory and methods of evaluating pupils and programs in the cognitive and affective domains. The roles of research and policy in evaluation of mathematics outcomes.
Open only to doctoral students. Advanced study of game theory.
Open only to doctoral students. Advanced study of axiom systems and 19th – 20th century developments in the logical foundations of mathematics.
Open only to doctoral students. Advanced study of mathematical modeling.
Topics will vary
Required for incoming students. Meets with MSTU 6600. Discussion of critical issues; reading of key works; development of project in Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design; presentation of work in progress; conversations with leaders in the field.
Explores how technology is currently used in our schools and how technology can be used more effectively as a catalyst for larger school reform efforts. Participants will examine some of the institutional forces shaping the integration of technology into our schools and some of the institutional change theories that influence these forces to address the question: What can technology contribute to school improvement and how can we facilitate those changes?
Addresses a wide range of issues concerning equity and access, including differential gender, racial, and ethnic uses of computers. Examines legal and ethical issues in students' use of technology with an emphasis on improving access and use of technology for all students.
A broad, multidisciplinary survey of contemporary perspectives on communication. Topics include: definitions, models and theories of information processing, history of media change, cross-cultural communication, interpersonal communication, and the uses and effects of mass media.
This course will take an aesthetic approach to the exploration of emerging forms of video, including anime, music videos, do-it-yourself video, video sharing websites, and more. Students will be engaged in video production throughout the course.
A comprehensive survey of the history of communication, tracing the development of the dominant modes of transmitting knowledge from speaking to writing, from printing to the electronic media.
Examines social communicative practices as synergistic; how space, time, and social networks evolve and interact; and what this implies for the design and use of technology.
Introduction to the use and educational implications of telecommunications, distance learning, and collaborative interchange using telecommunications, particularly the Internet and the World Wide Web.
Analyzes how films explore culture. Discussion of the film as well as the cultural messages portrayed.
This course brings a sociocultural lens to issues related to youth (including children and adolescents) and the evolving terrain of television. Students will review research and theories and experiment with media production in this course. No prior media production experience is necessary.
This course examines the relationship between technology, culture and society, with a particular emphasis on new and emerging media. Course readings include sources both popular and academic, theoretical and empirical, contemporary and non-contemporary, optimistic and skeptical, thus representing a wide variety of perspectives regarding the relationship between technology and culture.
For educators involved in the planning, implementation, and maintenance at the building/campus level. Students learn how to apply educational technology to achieve educational objectives and to manage interpersonal relations in the process.
Communicating with computers and humans through programming language in an object oriented style. Uses Java to formalize the concepts behind software structure and construct representative applications.
Introduction to hypermedia products and programming and their role in education. Four-point registration is for hypermedia programming lab.
This course examines how computers can structure and present information, evaluates current educational software that uses information, and considers the design of software for integrating information applications into education. Prerequisite: MSTU 4030 or equivalent computer experience.
Provides students with tools they will need to understand, analyze, and build games. Focus is on gaining an understanding of rules, interactivity, play, social interaction, and all other factors that go into making an innovative and fun game. Primary focus is on the basic language of games: game play and game design. Course also addresses games from an educational perspective.
This course explores how one can utilize the mobile phone for learning and the factors to consider maximizing mobile learning. Roughly half of the world’s population already has some type of mobile phone, making it the most wide spread technology and most common electronic device in the world (Reuters 2007). Un-tapping this ubiquitous technology creates a wide array of educational possibilities. In this course, you will learn (1) about the different mobile phone technologies; (2) how to design learning activities for mobile phones; (3) pedagogical and theoretical frameworks for mobile learning. The course will provide you with a better understanding of learning strategies that can be used on and via mobile phones.
An examination of the possibilities offered by new technologies for democratic education and for increasing active civic participation of young people. General societal activity in this area is compared for schools’ civic and democratic education, with a view to improving schools’ use of technology for democratic purposes.
An examination of the relationship between computers and the writing process. The course explores the effect of electronic text on traditional notions of text, literacy, and communication. Assumes no computing experience.
This course examines the different models of the K-12 virtual school and virtual schooling experience in the United States and internationally.
Considers how computers may be used to promote cooperative learning in problem solving for students throughout the curriculum, focusing on the use of simulations, databases, programming, and problem solving software. Course content will include active participation in cooperative learning using computers as well as background work in educational theory as it relates to problem solving and cooperative learning.
The nature of instructional technology. Systems approaches to planning, managing, and evaluating instructional processes and materials. Emphasis is on instructional design.
This course explores ideas about cognition and knowledge representation and how they relate to the use of computers in instruction. Students select a subject area, learn to represent knowledge from it so that it can be implemented in a computer instructional system, and use the knowledge representation to characterize the cognitive prerequisites and consequences of learning to use computers.
Permission required. Corequisite: MSTU 4133.
This course explores social media experiences and technologies in order understand the implications it has on learning. Students will 1) examine various social, cognitive, and psychological impacts, benefits, and risks and 2) apply the concepts and theories investigated in order to design social media / technology driven learning opportunities.
The Technology Specialists student practicum supports the school practicum experiences through readings and weekly classes focused on key issues: addressing diversity, classroom project design, technology integration, and professional development. The Practicum provides an opportunity to reflect on classroom experiences, to design technology-integrated projects, and to match the unique skills of each candidate with the unique demands of each placement.
Explores possibilities of virtual worlds for gaming and education. Through readings and theoretical discussions of identity construction, positioning, and social aspects of virtual and traditional communities, participants explore how virtual environments may support teaching and learning and how virtual communities are affecting people's lives.
In this course, we consider the cultural implications of media and technologies for education by pairing theoretical frameworks with case studies and other examples of empirical research.
This course introduces the fundamentals of design and development for interactive front-end web applications. Students are provided with tools and theoretical knowledge for understanding and analyzing specific learning problems in order to their develop ideas into multimodal web-based learning experiences, through hands-on projects. UX theory and methods are integrated to ensure that students emerge as authors of well-designed and documented web artifacts. This course lays the foundation for the computational and design thinking necessary to conceive, plan, and build learning technologies. This course is a prerequisite for Part II.
Focuses on theory related to designing, developing, and using multimedia case methodology in education. Students are encouraged to examine educational case methodology within their interest area.
Explores and provides a working knowledge of the technical and theoretical underpinnings of web application development by examining the layers of database construction, web programming, and user interface design.
This course is a hands-on design course intended to introduce students to the core tenets and techniques of constructionist design. In this course students will explore, use, and evaluate existing educational technologies specifically designed to engage learners in personally meaningful construction. These technologies include virtual construction environments and tools (NetLogo, Scratch, Pencil Code, etc) for creating digital games, simulations, or interactive stories as well as state-of-the-art prototyping equipment (3D printers, laser cutters, microcontrollers, etc) for developing wearables, robotics, interactive exhibits, and electronic toys. While a portion of this course will be devoted to becoming familiar with the affordances of these technological tools the primary goal will be for students to design and develop a new tool or environment for knowledge construction.
This course will explore learning partnerships that take place between people and technological artifacts (robots, agent-avatars). The course examines social components of technological artifacts, introduces current research findings on learning in social interactions with such artifacts, and links these to cognitive factors that influence learning, knowledge construction, design, and assessment. Emphasis will be placed on the learning effect on the human partner. Small groups of students will work on a project throughout the semester.
This course is the second-level course in a sequence beginning with MSTU 5003. Students acquire advanced theoretical and technical knowledge needed to design and develop interactive web-based instructional applications grounded firmly in learning theory and design principles. The course is project-based whereby students delve into specific learning research to produce a theoretical model and well-aligned technical solutions. While the introductory course focuses on basic theory and technical implementation of instructional interactive media, Part II dives deeper into all aspects of the topic.
This seminar-based course features an in-depth exploration of a range of research topics related to games in education, especially tailored for students currently involved in game-based research or those who are interested in pursuing a research project in the area. It provides a forum for students to present, receive feedback, and make progress on their current research. It also permits students with an interest in Serious Games to launch a research project of their own. Experience with game design and programming skills are highly recommended.
Analyzes characteristics of such computer-mediated communication systems as networked multimedia, electronic mail, bulletin boards, and computer conferencing and situates these systems in the context of the emerging national information infrastructure. Students will participate in online communication systems.
This course is designed as an overview of research designs and methodologies for students who are interested in researching the uses of technology in education, including both face-to-face and online/distance learning environments. The course looks at the theoretical bases for, and practical implementation of, different quantitative and qualitative research approaches, methodologies, and instruments. It is structured around a series of hands-on case studies in which students design research studies, revise existing instruments, and analyze previously collected data for technology-related projects in classrooms and online. Students are encouraged, but not required, to come with a research project in mind.
This course identifies appropriate theoretical frameworks and recent findings from educational technology research to inform relevant policy and practice concerns, including equity considerations. Will also explore some classic texts on organizations, along with emerging literature on leadership theory and practice and recent technology research. The class will develop case studies to illustrate key aspects of leadership challenges related to technology integration.
Prerequisite: MSTU 4133. Participants study ideas about the representation of knowledge, models of the learner, and teaching strategies that have been developed in artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology, as well as develop and test intelligent computer-assisted instruction materials for topics of interest.
Prerequisite: MSTU 4031 or a solid basic knowledge of programming. Applies programming to significant problems using Java or C++ to construct salient applications.
Educational Technology Policy will identify the challenging questions related to technology and education and explore key issues currently facing decision-makers. With billions of dollars allocated each year for educational hardware, software, and related professional development, thoughtful policies are critical. What information is needed to help our decision-makers? What perspectives are important to consider?
This course explores how theories of learning, development, and cognition can shape the design of instruction. Readings cover a range of instructional theories and highlight the underlying influences of those theories. Although the course includes a brief survey of historical trends in the field, the primary course focus is on current and emerging theories of instruction, such as distributed and dynamical views of cognition and learning. Students are encouraged to present and discuss their research interests and projects as they relate to the focus of the course.
This course investigates, from the perspective of communication and new media studies, the role of the Internet in shaping the field of art and creativity. How do the Internet and other interactive communication technologies impact the creation, exhibition, interpretation, reappropriation and funding of creative works? How can new media technologies enhance participation in these processes, and what are the social, cultural, ethical, and legal implications of this participatory shift?
Practical studio and field production experience of educational video programs with special concern for realizing educational purposes through directing, scripting, staging, camera operation, lighting, and sound design.
Permission required. Opportunity for qualified students, individually or in small groups, to develop and pursue projects in schools, community agencies, business organizations, and communication facilities. Students in their first term of study are generally not accepted. Conference hours are arranged.
Permission required. This course provides students with experience in the development of new media projects and a forum for discussing the implications for new media on education, particularly in higher education. The course involves a fieldwork component.
This course deals with the impact of technology on human society over the ages, how technology in particular is shaped by, and in turn shapes, the vision informing a specific culture and its curriculum, and how the global sharing of technology is inexorably contributing to the emergence of a common global curriculum. Uses its own website, www.tc.columbia.edu/~global.
The aim of this course is to introduce students to foundational works and influential ideas in the study of communication and culture. Topics include semiotics, Marxism, feminist theory, cultural analysis, global communication frameworks, and other topics relevant to students enrolled in the class. We will apply these theoretical tools to examine a wide range of communication practices, popular media and sites of cultural expression.
Occasional brief conferences convened by Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design on subjects of special interest.
This course serves as an intensive workshop for designing and producing educational games as well as a scholarly opportunity for students interested in the advanced study of games.
This course will focus on a variety of multimodal approaches to conducting qualitative research. Texts will draw from a range of theoretical and conceptual traditions in which multimodal methods have been explored. Students' own data will also serve as central texts for the course, and they will be expected to engage in data analysis with either their own existing data or data that they will collect as part of this course. The course will follow a seminar style that will include ample peer feedback, trying out different forms of multimodal analysis, and a culminating analytical project.
Continuous participation required of certified doctoral students. Discussion of critical issues, reading of key works, formal proposal of dissertation topics, presentation of work in progress, and conversations with leaders in the field.