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Mathematics and Science Education Specialization

The mathematics and science education specializations emphasize the study of mathematical and scientific knowledge and practice in both classroom and out-of-school settings such as home communities, museums, and workplaces as well as in the context of technologies for learning, teaching, and participation in disciplinary practices.

Faculty and student researchers develop conjectures that guide the design and development of learning environments that support students' development in these areas. Long-term studies are conducted to test and improve the conjectures and to understand the development of key mathematical and scientific ideas along with the designs and theories on which they are based. The ultimate goal is to develop learning environments and instructional practices that afford all students equal access to significant mathematical and scientific ideas. Accordingly, issues of diversity and culture play a significant role in all research and development activities.

The program of study for students is closely aligned with the research perspectives of the faculty and reflects the view that learning occurs best when it focuses on solving significant problems that are of interest to both students and faculty members. As a result, students engage in professional research and development activities from the beginning of their studies. Working in partnership with faculty members, and receiving course credit for their participation, students have the opportunity to engage in all facets of the research profession, from grant writing to teaching to research and publication.

Students in the program will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop a deep understanding of both learning processes in mathematics and science and of the key aspects of learning environments that support those processes
  • Study the environments in which learning and practice occur by using a range of methods of inquiry including discourse analysis, design research, and qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Work collaboratively with teachers on an extended basis to generate reform in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the role of diversity in learning and a strong commitment to equity
  • Develop the capacity to engage in self-directed, sustained professional activities
  • Participate in the intellectual and social community of the university to share ideas and experiences with faculty and students
  • Collaborate with other faculty members in the Department of Teaching and Learning on projects that cut across program areas
  • Identify and develop new intellectual problems

Program of Studies
Details about the core of required course work and flexible nature of course work/projects will be forthcoming.

Background and Career Opportunities
Students applying to the program should have a bachelor's and/or master's degree in mathematics, science, or a related learning science. Graduates of the program will be well prepared to assume leadership positions in the fields of mathematics and science education and the learning sciences typically through positions at universities, colleges, and other research organizations.

Prospective students are encouraged to review faculty Web sites, to obtain faculty and graduate student publications from ongoing research projects, and to select and directly contact faculty whose interests seem most closely aligned to their own.