MEd Curriculum & Instruction: Math Education

Overview

The School of Education offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a specialization in mathematics education. The degree provides certified teachers with advanced coursework in mathematics and mathematics education to enhance their teaching expertise and/or in preparation for a Ph.D. program in mathematics education. Once enrolled, students have a five-year window to complete all requirements for the degree.

Program Structure

Core Courses: The Master of Education degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a specialization in mathematics education is a 36-hour program beyond the baccalaureate degree. The 12 credit hours required for all areas of specialization ensure that candidates are introduced to four core areas of education: curriculum studies; research; educational technology; and humanistic/behavioral studies.

Area of Specialization Coursework: An addition 12 credit hours in the area of specialization can include courses in mathematics and mathematics education. It is highly recommended that at least one course be taken in each of these areas (excepting the mathematics requirement can be waived for a student holding a master’s degree in mathematics). Mathematics and mathematics education courses are described below.

Electives and Program Options: There are three program variations, with the number of electives depending on which variation the student chooses. Elective courses are determined in consultation with the student’s major professor.

Comprehensive Examination option (12 credit hours of electives): In the final semester of course work (at the earliest) the student takes a written comprehensive examination consisting of questions prepared for the student by her/his graduate committee (normally, 3 professors).

Non-thesis Research Project option (9 credit hours of electives): Under supervision of the major professor, the student enrolls in EDCI 7475 (3 credit hours) Research Project in Secondary or K-12 Teacher Education and designs and implements a research project. The written report of the research project is circulated to the student’s graduate committee. To complete the program, the student must pass an oral defense of the thesis project conducted by the committee.

Thesis option (6 credit hours of electives): Under supervision of the major professor, the student enrolls in EDCI 8000 (Thesis Research) for 6 credit hours and designs and implements a research project. The written report of the research project is circulated to the student’s graduate committee. To complete the program, the student must pass an oral defense of the thesis project conducted by the committee. 

Mathematics Coursework

Students in the mathematics education specialization who do not hold a master’s degree in mathematics are strongly encouraged to take at least one mathematics course numbered 4000 and above. Highly recommended courses include MATH 4005 (geometry) and MATH 4200 (abstract algebra). Additional recommended courses include MATH 4020 (capstone), MATH 4700 (history of mathematics), and MATH 4181 (number theory). Students with an elementary education background who lack the prerequisites to take 4000-level mathematics courses can audit MATH 1201 (number sense and open-ended problem solving) while taking a companion course MATH 6301 (implementing curriculum standards for mathematics in the elementary grades) that provides a higher-level perspective on the content.

Mathematics Education Courses

EDCI 7109/7141:   STUDIES IN THE TEACHING OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ELEMENTARY/SECONDARY SCHOOLS

This course is an entry-level graduate introduction to the theory and practice of elementary/secondary school mathematics education. There are three basic objectives: To enrich the student’s conceptions of mathematics education, and to provide resources for expressing these new conceptions in classroom practice; to introduce the student to the foundations of mathematical education, covering readings in the history, philosophy, and psychology of the field; and to address the knowledge base for effective teaching of mathematics. (Note, these two courses are typically taught together, with elementary/secondary foci tailored to the student’s interests.)

EDCI 7312: DIAGNOSTIC AND PRESCRIPTIVE TEACHING IN MATHEMATICS

This course addresses the theory and practice of teaching mathematics for understanding. Readings for the course cover the psychology of student understanding of mathematics topics from pre-K to university level mathematics. Each student selects a topic area relevant to their level of instruction and writes an analysis of student conceptual development with respect to that topic. The field component involves students in working over five 1-hour sessions on that topics area with a pupil at the LSU Lab School under the supervision of the instructor.

EDCI 7309: TOPICS IN MATHEMATICS EDUCATION: The Culture of Mathematical Problem Solving

This course addresses the need for pupils in K-12 education to learn not only skills and concepts of mathematics, but also to become involved in the authentic practices of mathematics. The course is established around three goals: to better understand mathematical culture and it’s place in the broader culture; to establish ourselves more fully as participants in mathematical culture, particularly as effective problem solvers; and to understand the pedagogical methods for enculturating students mathematically (i.e., for teaching mathematical practices). Course readings are complemented by reflection and discussion of our own ongoing efforts to solve a wide range of non-routine mathematics puzzle problems appropriate for elementary and secondary school students.

Additional elective courses in mathematics education are offered on an occasional basis.

 

PROGRAM OF STUDIES

 

For more information about graduate programs in Math Education, please contact:

Dr. David Kirshner
103 Peabody Hall
dkirsh@lsu.edu
ph: 225-578-2332