Program Overview

Mathematics Education Group

The Mathematics Education group is involved in creative scholarly activities, oversees the Department's teacher preparation programs, and carries out an array of outreach projects.


Scholarly activity

The Mathematics Education group maintains a strong program of research and scholarly productivity, carries out an array of outreach projects for school-age students, teachers, and parents (all of these are described in the outreach section), and oversees the Department.s teacher preparation courses (including an innovative secondary teacher preparation program). In research, the group has several foci, including mathematics teacher education, mathematics discourse in the classroom and in on-line settings, collaborations between mathematicians and mathematics educators, cultural and social aspects in the teaching and learning of mathematics, equity, and parental engagement in mathematics. One of the largest recent research and outreach efforts is the NSF-funded CEMELA (Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as). Through this Center, researchers from four universities worked with graduate students and postdoctoral Fellows to study the interplay of mathematics education and the unique language, cultural, social, and political issues that affect Latino communities. CEMELA seeks to develop theory and practice for how to turn language and cultural diversity into educational assets for the mathematics education of all students.

There is also an increasing interest in research and scholarly activity in mathematics education at the undergraduate level. The group.s research in mathematics teacher education has been infused into the undergraduate teacher preparation courses; both in the elementary content courses as well as the secondary curriculum, assessment and methods courses. The group has also produced innovative, nationally published texts for undergraduate mathematics students. There are currently two master.s degree options with an emphasis in mathematics education, the MA Degree (Teaching Option) and the Master.s degree in Middle School Mathematics Leadership, as well as a mathematics education option in the department.s Ph.D. program.


Teacher Preparation

The Mathematics Education group oversees the Secondary Education Program in Mathematics for future middle or high school mathematics teachers. This program has joined the College of Science Teacher Preparation Program by jointly offering some courses required on both programs. Students graduating from the Secondary Education Program in Mathematics have a choice of earning a BA or BS in Mathematics. The Mathematics Education group is also responsible for the two mathematics courses required of future elementary teachers (300 students per semester). The teaching and learning of both groups of students take place in sections of no more than 25 students in two dedicated classrooms in the Mathematics East Building supplied with Smartboards and a variety of hands-on materials from Cuisenaire Rods to Pattern Blocks to Algebra Tiles to handheld technology.

(For more info on the Secondary EdProgram, use the navigation bar for this page.)


Outreach

The mathematics education group is involved in several outreach projects, including work with teachers, children and parents though the Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as (CEMELA), work with teachers through the Intel Math project and The Arizona Teacher Initiative , and several other projects sponsored by the Institute for Mathematics and Education (IME). The Center for Recruitment and Retention addresses the shortage of secondary mathematics teachers and the need for professional development of beginning teachers. The Center also hosts an annual one-day conference for local grades 6-12 teachers. The Mathematics Education group also offers a series of late-in-the-day mathematics courses for local mathematics teachers, including some online courses. The group is in charge of the Mathematics Instruction Colloquium, a weekly forum for the community on issues related to the teaching and learning of mathematics at all levels. Faculty members, graduate students, and local pre-college teachers attend. Institute for Mathematics and Education (IME) hosts multiple ongoing outreach projects including student and teacher mathematics circles, and projects that connect teachers, mathematicians, and mathematics educators.


The Department

The Department as a whole sponsors many outreach projects as well as several programs to support its teaching efforts. Among them has been a "cooperative" program with local school districts that invited middle and high school mathematics teachers to teach in the department and take University courses for one year. A program for Teaching Post-Docs brings fresh mathematics Ph.D.'s to the Department to develop their teaching skills, participate in outreach projects, and carry out activities that enhance the undergraduate program. The Department also has an extensive program of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs), and undergraduate research and teaching assistantships.