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Mathematics and Science Education Specialization

The mathematics and science education specialization emphasizes the study of mathematical and scientific teaching and learning across various educational contexts. Such contexts include P-16 schooling spaces (e.g., classrooms, student programs) and out-of-school settings, such as home communities, museums, gaming, crafts, and workplaces to understand how to support learners’ participation in disciplinary practices.

Faculty and student researchers work on projects that examine or develop learning environments that raise questions about how learners access significant mathematical and scientific ideas. Accordingly, issues of power, race, culture, and identity play an important role in our research and development activities. Because issues of disciplinary learning are complex, research projects employ a variety of lenses and methods, including those from sociology, linguistics, anthropology, psychology, historiography, and critical studies.

We view our doctoral students as researchers-in-training, and we use an apprenticeship model to support their development. As a consequence, students’ programs of study typically align with the faculty’s research. In addition, 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, including grant writing, teaching, research, publication, and public engagement.

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Students in the program will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop a deep understanding of learning processes in mathematics and science and of how learning environments support those processes

  • Investigate how traditional modes of schooling and instruction reproduce inequality, and devise programs of research that reimagine learning environments that broaden participation in our disciplines

  • Study the environments in which learning and teaching practices occur by using a range of methods of inquiry including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods designs, discourse analysis, and design research.

  • Work extensively with teachers and other educators to support transformation in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science

  • Develop the capacity to engage in self-directed, sustained professional activities such as conference presentations, grant writing, and academic writing

  • 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

Doctoral Student Funding

Doctoral students are fully funded for as many as five years, depending on their prior academic training and continuing progress in their studies.

Program of Studies

Details about the core of required coursework 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, social science, or a related field that sets them up for productive scholarship on these topics. Graduates of the program will be well prepared to assume leadership positions in the fields of mathematics and science education, 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.