Teaching Middle Grades Mathematics (M.A.) - Graduate - 2012 University Catalog

You are viewing the 2012 University Catalog. Please see the newest version of the University Catalog for the most current version of this program's requirements.

The primary objective of the Master of Arts degree, Teaching Middle Grades Mathematics, is to increase the mathematical knowledge and related pedagogical skills of New Jersey middle grades mathematics teachers. The program is designed for teachers, with New Jersey teaching certificates in disciplines other than mathematics and closely related fields, who are teaching mathematics in the middle grades or preparing for such an assignment. The program of study provides teachers with a broad understanding of the fundamental principles underlying school mathematics while making connections to the mathematics they will teach and at the same time preparing them to be leaders in their schools, districts, and perhaps, at the state and regional level. Teachers who successfully complete the sequence of eleven courses will be able to make connections across the mathematics curriculum and to other disciplines. Their increased content knowledge and pedagogical skill will result in an observable, enhanced level of enthusiasm and comfort with mathematics, which will in turn foster a deeper understanding, and appreciation of mathematics in both their students and their colleagues.

A secondary objective of the master's is to increase the number of students in the middle grades who are academically prepared to succeed in a first course in algebra, either in middle school or when they enter high school. Students thus prepared will have more options in terms of high school course selection, post high school education and career paths. Teachers who successfully complete the master's degree will contribute to the achievement of this secondary objective in two ways. They will be teaching algebra to middle grades students and also be a resource to other teachers in their district who are teaching algebra.


TEACHING MIDDLE GRADES MATHEMATICS

Complete 33 semester hours including the following 4 requirement(s):

  1. Required Courses

    Complete to earn 18 semester hours

    MATH 611 Leadership Development in Mathematics Education (3 hours lecture) 3
    MTHM 505 Number and Operations in the Middle Grades (3 hours lecture) 3
    MTHM 506 Algebra and Algebraic Thinking in the Middle Grades (3 hours lecture) 3
    MTHM 507 Geometry for Middle-Grade Math Teachers (3 hours lecture) 3
    MTHM 508 Data Analysis and Probability in the Middle Grades (3 hours lecture) 3
    MTHM 509 Measurement in the Middle Grades (3 hours lecture) 3
  2. Mathematics Education Electives

    1. Complete 6 semester hours from the following list

      MATH 512 Technology in the Middle Grades Mathematics Curriculum (3 hours lecture) 3
      MATH 573 Mathematics Materials for Teachers of Mathematics (3 hours lecture) 3
      MATH 579 Approaching School Mathematics Through Applications (3 hours lecture) 3
    2. Complete 3 semester hours from the following list

      MATH 571 Curriculum Construction in Mathematics (3 hours lecture) 3
      MATH 572 Contemporary Teaching of Mathematics (3 hours lecture) 3
      MATH 577 Mathematics Education in the Elementary School (3 hours lecture) 3
    3. Complete 3 semester hours that have not already taken from the following list

      MATH 510 Workshop in Mathematics Education I 1-4
      MATH 511 Workshop in Mathematics Education II 1-4
      MATH 512 Technology in the Middle Grades Mathematics Curriculum (3 hours lecture) 3
      MATH 571 Curriculum Construction in Mathematics (3 hours lecture) 3
      MATH 572 Contemporary Teaching of Mathematics (3 hours lecture) 3
      MATH 573 Mathematics Materials for Teachers of Mathematics (3 hours lecture) 3
      MATH 576 Research Seminar in Mathematics Education (3 hours seminar) 3
      MATH 577 Mathematics Education in the Elementary School (3 hours lecture) 3
      MATH 578 Special Topics in Mathematics Education (3 hours lecture) 3
      MATH 579 Approaching School Mathematics Through Applications (3 hours lecture) 3
  3. Elective

    Complete 3 semester hours of an as approved by the Graduate Program Coordinator.

  4. Culminating Experience

    Minimum of 24 hrs, including MATH 611 and 3.0 GPA required prior to completing the . Complete 1 of the following:

    1. Comprehensive Examination

      Successfully complete the

    2. Professional Portfolio

      Present and defend a

    3. Master's Thesis

      1. Complete the following 1 course: .

        MATH 698 Master's Thesis 3
      2. Submit the completed Thesis Original and one copy to the Graduate School Office. See Thesis Guidelines for details.


Course Descriptions:

MATH510: Workshop in Mathematics Education I

Specific contemporary topics and current issues in school mathematics. May be repeated for a maximum of 8.0 credits as long as the topic is different. 1 - 4 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MATH511: Workshop in Mathematics Education II

Specific contemporary topics and current issues in school mathematics. May be repeated for a maximum of 8.0 credits as long as the topic is different. 1 - 4 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MATH512: Technology in the Middle Grades Mathematics Curriculum (3 hours lecture)

This course is designed to provide experiences in the integration of technology into middle grades mathematics classes. The primary emphases are on the analysis and evaluation of computer software addressing the middle grades mathematics courses. Other topics include the use of spreadsheets, fraction and graphing calculators, data probes, and hand-held digital assistants as problem-solving tools to enhance the teaching/learning process. The course also includes current literature describing exemplary models and practices in the use of technology in the mathematics classroom. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MATH571: Curriculum Construction in Mathematics (3 hours lecture)

Contemporary proposals for the mathematics of grades K through 12. Consideration is given to the problem of implementation of current recommendations. Examination is made of mathematical concepts underlying various programs. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MATH572: Contemporary Teaching of Mathematics (3 hours lecture)

Pedagogy, resources, and research related to the teaching of standards-based mathematics in grades 6-12. Emphasis is on creating student-centered learning environments, resources and materials for contemporary mathematics classrooms, models of effective teaching and learning, alternative assessment, appropriate uses of technology and multicultural aspects of mathematics. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MATH573: Mathematics Materials for Teachers of Mathematics (3 hours lecture)

The construction, adaptation and effective use of classroom materials and activities designed to enhance and expand the teaching of mathematics and mathematical thinking in the middle and high school grades with special attention given to basic commercial and simple teacher- and student-made manipulatives and models with broad use from the development of concepts and skills to their maintenance, review, and extension plus applications to problem solving. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MATH576: Research Seminar in Mathematics Education (3 hours seminar)

Designed for matriculated graduate students in the mathematics education program. Students survey and analyze recent research projects. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MATH577: Mathematics Education in the Elementary School (3 hours lecture)

The contemporary mathematics curriculum of the elementary and middle school. The role of behavioral objectives and learning theory in curriculum development/teacher training. Related research findings. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MATH578: Special Topics in Mathematics Education (3 hours lecture)

Topics may be selected from areas such as assessment, cooperative learning, elementary education, fractals, graphing calculators, NCTM Standards, and other special areas of interest to mathematics educators. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6.0 credits as long as the topic is different. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MATH579: Approaching School Mathematics Through Applications (3 hours lecture)

Topics in middle grade and secondary mathematics are explored with an emphasis on their application to both traditional and more recently developed areas. Applied problems are used to motivate mathematical topics, and mathematical knowledge is used to explore solutions to applied problems. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MATH611: Leadership Development in Mathematics Education (3 hours lecture)

Students gain experience in recognizing, acquiring, and applying key leadership characteristics in the field of mathematics education at the middle and high school grades. Specific attention is given to how teachers become stewards of best practices and active educational change agents in their schools and community and through professional development and involvement. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Acceptance in the master's program in Teaching Middle Grades Mathematics and permission of the graduate program coordinator.

MATH698: Master's Thesis

Independent research project done under faculty advisement. Students must follow the MSU Thesis Guidelines, which may be obtained from the Graduate School. Students should take MATH 699 if they don't complete MATH 698 within the semester. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of graduate program coordinator.

MTHM505: Number and Operations in the Middle Grades (3 hours lecture)

Topics are organized around the fundamental concepts of number and operations with them. This course prepares middle-grade teachers to help their students understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, number systems, operations on numbers, how to compute fluently and how to make reasonable estimates. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Acceptance in the certificate or Master's program in Teaching Middle Grades Mathematics (TMGM) and permission of the graduate program coordinator.

MTHM506: Algebra and Algebraic Thinking in the Middle Grades (3 hours lecture)

Topics from pre-algebra and algebra are studied to prepare middle-grades mathematics teachers to enable all students to understand patterns, relationships and functions; represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols; use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships; and analyze change in various contexts. Topics initially approach algebra from a numerical perspective. Strategies for gradually increasing the use of variables and abstract thinking with middle-grade students are discussed. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: MTHM 505 and permission of graduate program coordinator.

MTHM507: Geometry for Middle-Grade Math Teachers (3 hours lecture)

Topics are organized around the fundamental concepts of geometry, the use of geometric thinking as a problem-solving tool, and the methods and techniques needed to help students understand and apply these concepts and skills in the middle grades. Teachers gain the knowledge needed to enable their students to develop spatial sense and an ability to use geometric properties and relationships to solve problems in mathematics and in everyday life. Specific emphasis is placed on recognizing, visualizing, representing, and transforming geometric shapes in two and three dimensions. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: MTHM 505 and permission of graduate program coordinator.

MTHM508: Data Analysis and Probability in the Middle Grades (3 hours lecture)

Topics include the basics of collection, summarization, and interpretation of data, and the fundamental ideas of probability. Sampling techniques, experimental design, graphical and numerical summarization of data and the basic ideas of drawing conclusions from data are discussed. Methods for teaching these concepts in the middle grades are discussed in tandem as the material is presented. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: MTHM 505 and permission of graduate program coordinator.

MTHM509: Measurement in the Middle Grades (3 hours lecture)

Topics are organized around the fundamental and unifying topic of measurement. What attributes of an object are measurable? How are those attributes measured? What system of measurement should be used? What are the units and how are the results converted to other systems? Measurement is a topic that is found across the school curriculum, not just in the mathematics curriculum, and thus it is a topic that can be used to develop cross-subject discussions and investigations. Methods for teaching measurement in the middle grades are discussed in tandem with the content being studied. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: MTHM 507 and permission of graduate program coordinator.