Overview of Courses:
The Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics program consists of 18 credits in mathematics content and 14 credits of educational leadership courses. The core curriculum of the math courses is based on the Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) materials.
Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) is a professional development curriculum that was created at Mount Holyoke College and is used by teacher leaders around the world. The program is designed to help teachers think through the major ideas of K-8 mathematics and examine how children develop those ideas.
At the heart of the materials are sets of classroom episodes (cases) illustrating student thinking as described by their teachers. In addition to case discussions, the curriculum offers teachers opportunities to explore mathematics in lessons led by facilitators, to share and discuss the work of their own students, to view and discuss video clips of mathematics classrooms, to examine mathematical practices, and to read overviews of related research.
Courses are designed to bring together teachers from kindergarten through middle grades to:
- deepen their mathematics content knowledge
- learn to recognize key mathematical ideas with which their students are grappling
- learn to support the power and complexity of student thinking
- learn how core mathematical ideas develop across the grades
- learn and develop effective teaching practices to support students and teachers as lifelong learners of mathematics.
Courses in Mathematics
Number and Operations in Base Ten:
- X.MATH-400: Building a System of Tens: Calculating with Whole Numbers and Decimals. Participants explore the base-ten structure of the number system, consider how that structure is exploited in multi-digit computational procedures, and examine how basic concepts of whole numbers reappear when working with decimals.
Number and Operations – Whole Numbers and Fractions:
- X.MATH-401 Making Meaning for Operations: In the Domains of Whole Numbers and Fractions. Participants examine the actions and situations modeled by the four basic operations, beginning with a view of young children’s counting strategies as they encounter word problems, moving to an examination of the four basic operations on whole numbers, and revisiting the operations in the context of rational numbers.
- X.MATH-402: Examining Features of Shape. Participants examine aspects of 2D and 3D shapes, develop geometric vocabulary, and explore both definitions and properties of geometric objects. The study includes angle, similarity, congruence, and the relationships between 3D objects and their 2D representations.
- X.MATH-405: Measuring Space in One, Two, and Three Dimensions. Participants examine different attributes of size, develop facility in composing and decomposing shapes, and apply these skills to make sense of formulas for area and volume. They also explore conceptual issues of length, area, and volume, as well as their complex inter-relationships.
Operations and Algebraic Thinking:
- X.MATH-407: Reasoning Algebraically about Operations. Participants examine generalizations at the heart of the study of operations in the elementary grades. They express these generalizations in common language and in algebraic notation, develop arguments based on representations of the operations, study what it means to prove a generalization, and extend their generalizations and arguments when the domain under consideration expands from whole numbers to integers.
- X.MATH-460: Connecting Arithmetic to Algebra. Participants consider generalizations that arise from the study of number and operations in grades 1 through 8. They examine cases of students who are engaged in the process of articulating general claims, working to understand those claims, and learning how to prove them. The course also focuses on how this approach to mathematical thinking supports a range of mathematics learners, including those who have difficulty with grade-level mathematics and those who need additional challenge. Participants will also will learn about particular pedagogical strategies to initiate and sustain students’ work on generalizations, record and write about the thinking of their students, and learn mathematics content for themselves. They will explore in depth the behavior of the four basic operations, develop a repertoire of representations for each of them, articulate generalizations in common language and in algebraic notation, and work on developing proofs.
- X.MATH-406: Patterns, Functions, and Change. Participants discover how the study of repeating patterns and number sequences can lead to ideas of functions, learn how to read tables and graphs to interpret phenomena of change, and use algebraic notation to write function rules. With a particular emphasis on linear functions, participants also explore quadratic and exponential functions and examine how various features of a function are seen in graphs, tables, or rules.
Courses in Educational Leadership
X.MTHED-465: Action Research on Learning and Teaching
- This course involves action research on the mathematics learning of students and pedagogical moves of teachers. Participants will produce written cases of practice based on audio or videotaped classroom discussions and interviews with their own students. Participants will analyze their own cases and those of their colleagues to examine the learning of students and the impact of teacher moves. Course instructors will also provide individual feedback based on the classroom cases.
X.MTHED-408: Educational Leadership I: Exploring the Roles of Math Teacher Leadership
- This course will explore the roles of teacher leadership in math education at the local, state, and national level. Topics will include coaching, mentoring, writing (blogs, journals, op-eds, articles), professional learning communities (virtual and face-to-face), and advocacy. Participants will consider current issues and challenges facing students and teachers with regard to math education and will work to develop action plans to address these issues in the coming school year.
X.MTHED-466: Action Research on Teacher Leadership
- This course involves action research on the impact of teacher leadership roles on math education. Participants will design and implement a capstone project focused on one or more elements of teacher leadership in mathematics and report the results of their action research so the group can provide critical feedback and support. The scalable nature of this work allows each participant to define a leadership role and plan that fits their interests and professional goals.
X.MTHED-411: Education Leadership II: Facilitating Adult Learning
- This course provides opportunities for participants to develop skills and knowledge to enable them to design and implement professional learning opportunities in mathematics for adults. Activities focus on four aspects: the importance of identifying key ideas and goals for professional learning, strategically using both small and whole group formats, an analysis of the range of professional learning opportunities for teachers, and opportunities to practice facilitating professional learning with an audience of teachers.