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Mathematics Education

M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

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PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Mathematics Education (grades 6-12) Program at Virginia Tech unites faculty and students from the Mathematics Department and School of Education. Our mathematics education faculty focus on preparing highly-qualified teachers while engaging in innovative research on teaching and learning. Multiple field experiences provide in-school work with students at the middle and high school levels.

This program is a Virginia Tech Approved Accelerated UG/GR Program

Secondary Mathematics is one of the top ten critical shortage areas in Virginia (2020-2021). Most of our graduates are hired with their first choice school division and teaching level before the conclusion of the program. Our graduates teach middle and high school in Virginia and other states across the United States.

Completion of the program will take one or two years, depending on the student’s background. For instance, students graduating from Virginia Tech’s mathematics education option (offered by the College of Science's Department of Mathematics) can typically complete graduate program requirements in one year (including at least one summer session). Students who majored in mathematics (or a related field) as undergraduates, but who did not complete any education-related coursework, will likely need two years to complete the program. In many cases, students need to enroll in one or more summer sessions on campus to complete program requirements.

We build upon traditional approaches to teaching mathematics to incorporate newly emerging practices and research in discipline literacy, multimodal technologies, and teaching and learning in 21st century schools. Inclusive and culturally sustaining pedagogy are important aspects of our approach to teacher preparation. Faculty model practices in their courses that we expect our graduates to practice in their own classrooms. We embrace these values in educator preparation: equity and access, reflective practice, and learner-centeredness.

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WHAT YOU'LL STUDY

The Mathematics Education Licensure Program includes coursework in mathematics pedagogy, mathematics, educational foundations, special education, and research methods. The program includes two field experiences in secondary schools. Students should obtain passing scores on the Praxis II (mathematics content) test prior to student-teaching during the spring semester. At the end of the program of study, students in this master’s degree program will also create and present an electronic portfolio to satisfy the university’s “masters comprehensive exam” requirement.

This licensure program has been specifically designed to satisfy Virginia’s licensure requirements for teaching mathematics in the secondary schools. Students will take up to 42 credit hours of coursework to meet the state requirements, depending on the student's undergraduate preparation. Throughout the student’s program of study, the student and his or her advisor will work together to ensure that all state requirements for secondary licensure have been met through the student’s undergraduate and graduate-level coursework. The student is encouraged to be familiar with state licensure requirements so that informed decisions about courses can be made.

Virginia Tech Students

Students who complete the undergraduate degree in mathematics (education option) from Virginia Tech Department of Mathematics should complete the program within three semesters (summer, fall and spring). Students who dual enroll during their senior year of their undergraduate studies will lessen their summer course load.

  1. These students will come into the program with Part IV (listed below) completed – 9 hours of mathematics. 
  2. Often, these students will come into the program with 9 hours of education courses completed during their undergraduate program. Typically, these courses will be
    • EDEP 3154: Psychological Foundations of Education OR
      EDEP 5154: Psychological Foundations for Teachers
    • EDCI 5264: Comprehending Processes and Reading in the Content Areas
    • EDCI 5554: Educating Exceptional Learners Across the Lifespan
    • When these courses are taken during the undergraduate program (and credits counted toward the undergraduate degree), the graduate program requirements are reduced to 33 hours.
  3. Students should plan to enroll in 6 credit hours during the summer between the undergraduate and graduate program.

Plan of Study

Some substitutions for the courses listed may be permitted with approval by the advisor. All substitutions must be made with the licensure requirements in mind. Students who have completed education-related coursework as undergraduates may have already taken some of the courses listed below. Asterisks (*) appear next to courses that have typically already been completed by students whose undergraduate degree is in mathematics (education option) from the Virginia Tech Department of Mathematics.

Part I: Foundations (12 credit hours):

  • EDCI 5104: Schooling in American Society
  • EDCI 5234: Advanced Curriculum & Instruction: Elementary and Middle School Mathematics
  • EDCI 5914: Diversity & Multicultural Education in the Teaching of English Language Learners
  • * EDEP 3154: Psychological Foundations of Education OR
    * EDEP 5154: Psych Foundations in Education

Part II: Research (3 credit hours):

  • EDCI 5604: Assessment and Diagnosis for the Mathematics Classroom

Part III: Professional Concentration (12+ credit hours):

  • * EDCI 5264: Comprehending Processes and Reading in the Content Areas
  • * EDCI 5554: Educating Exceptional Learners Across the Lifespan
  • EDCI 5724: Teaching in Secondary Schools I: Mathematics
  • EDCI 5744: Teaching in Secondary Schools II: Mathematics
  • EDCI 5754: Internship in Education (student teaching)
  • EDCI 5784: Graduate Seminar: Professional Dispositions in Mathematics Education
  • EDCI 5964: Field Studies in Education (early field experience)

Part IV: Content:

  • * MATH 4625: Mathematics for Secondary Teachers I
  • * MATH 4626: Mathematics for Secondary Teachers II
  • * MATH 4644: Secondary School Mathematics with Technology

ELECTRONIC PORTFOLIO

The M.A.Ed. degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a specialization in Mathematics Education is not awarded solely on the basis of coursework completion. To graduate, each student must also create and present an electronic portfolio showcasing their work. 

Course Descriptions

A study of the people and forces that impact on American education, analyzing the social setting of schooling and the relationships among school, curriculum, clients, personnel, and culture.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Research and recent developments in elementary and middle school math curricula; study and analysis of recent trends and materials; and examination of alternative approaches in methodology. (1-3H, 1-3c).

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 3

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 3

Level: Graduate

Explores basic processes involved in comprehension: the role of concepts about text structure, task demands, and the role of the reader; includes teaching strategies for comprehending and using information in content area texts and in job related materials.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Analysis of purpose, rationale, and foci of educational programs, and related services for individuals with special needs. Identification of characteristics associated with each exceptionality. Review of procedures for assessment, eligibility decisions, and the development of individualized educational programs. Overview of selected instructional strategies, environmental adaptations, and special materials. Examination of findings concerning program efficacy.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Introduces concepts and methods that enhance the teaching of specific academic disciplines (English, history and social sciences, science, mathematics, foreign languages, and music) in combination with a field studies course.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Intensive instruction in methods of teaching an academic discipline (English, history and social science, science, mathematics, foreign languages, and music). Emphasis on classroom management, use of instructional technology, planning and delivery.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Student participation in a planned clinical experience under supervision of a university staff member in an appropriate work center.

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 12

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 12

Level: Graduate

Selected topics in curriculum and instruction, supervision, educational foundations, special education, research, and evaluation.

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 6

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 6

Level: Graduate

Issues in diversity and multicultural education applied to teaching, PK-12 and adult English language learners. Reflections and articulation of personal cultural perspectives. Principles for developing classrooms that foster equity and access to academic success for all students. Integration of interdisciplinary planning and teaching of core content lessons for English language learners. Graduate Standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Applied study in one or more educational institutions. Research, evaluation, curricular, and instructional projects are examples of appropriate projects of study. The student is graded on the basis of the design of the project and ability to carry it through and report the results.

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Level: Graduate

Psychological theories and models which serve as a basis for educational models and practice. Emphasis on conceptions of learning and cognitive process. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Course activities will emphasize the curricular themes of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representation. 4625: Topics in discrete mathematics and algebra from a secondary teaching perspective.  Pre: 3034. (3H,3C)

Course activities will emphasize the curricular themes of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representation. 4626: Topics in trigonometry, geometry, measurement, statistics, and probability from a secondary teaching perspective. Pre: 3034. (3H,3C)

Use and impact of technology in secondary mathematics curriculum. Various technologies including graphing calculators, calculator based laboratory and probes (CBLs), computer algebra systems, spreadsheets, dynamic geometry software and the Internet will be used to explore secondary mathematical concepts from an advanced viewpoint. Pre: 3034. (3H,3C)

THE COHORT MODEL

The program operates on a cohort model. Members of a given cohort attend all of the same classes in the same sequence and pursue common plans of study.

The benefits of a cohort model are many. The cohort model is designed to facilitate social interaction, collaboration, and the formation of a supportive learning community.

Students in cohorts learn from and help each other with the successful completion of coursework and professional networking. Students who participate in cohort models generally report a strong sense of belonging and are more likely to complete their programs of study in a timely manner.