Undergraduate studies might have taught you the basic concepts and ideas behind teaching mathematics, but that might not be enough to make the impact you wish to make. When confronted with the struggles students experience, math teachers must develop interesting and relatable lesson plans that break down years of resentment or fear of the subject. Because the Field of Mathematics is ever-evolving, teachers must evolve as well to keep the subject interesting and resonating with students.
Earning a master’s of education in mathematics allows teachers to refresh old classroom strategies with new methods, resources, and philosophies to reach more students, and stimulate a greater interest in the subject. Read on to discover how a master’s in mathematics education can help you become the best teacher possible.
How can a masters in mathematics education help me as a teacher?
Graduate courses in mathematics education are both math-intensive and teaching-intensive. While teachers gain a wider background in mathematics, they also concentrate heavily on how to teach the subject.
Think about it: you might be able to crunch through a highly complex mathematical problem, but can you explain the concepts behind it to a sixth grader? It’s one thing to solve a linear algebra function, but another thing entirely to show a lower-level learner clearly the multiple mathematical concepts that serve as building blocks toward that problem.
Graduate-level mathematics education programs focus on helping teachers implement new assessment, teaching, and leadership strategies in the classroom. By becoming proficient in these main areas, teachers better explain the types of complex mathematics topics that scare many students away from the subject over time.
One of the greatest issues in education today across multiple subject lines is student apathy. For many mathematics students, this stems from an inability to connect modern life with the topics learned in the math. Graduate courses in mathematics education largely center on applied mathematical concepts, giving teachers the examples, lesson-planning skills, and critical thinking abilities to show students how learning geometry can eventually lead to life-changing career opportunities.
Subjects Taught: Masters in Mathematics Education Programs
- Mathematics Teaching: Theory and Practice
Focus on reviewing old mathematics theories and learning about new advancements in the field. Concentrate on integrating theory with practice, and backing up your teaching practices with empirical research.
- Critical Issues in Mathematics Education
Explore some of the most difficult problems encountered while teaching mathematics, and develop methods of approaching those problems. Problems include: student apathy, changing standards, communicating with parents, and developing stronger lesson plans.
- Research for Teachers
Gain a better understanding of the research available for teachers of mathematics, and conduct original research yourself that will help to better the field.
- Curriculum and Methods for Education
Hone your skills and explore new methods to teach mathematics. As the field changes, new methods arise, making these courses essential for older teachers returning to earn graduate degrees.
- Modern Algebra
Review some of the most essential topics in mathematics. Coursework on specific levels of mathematics changes depending on a teacher’s grade-level focus.
- Teacher Leadership
Gain an understanding of what it takes to be a teacher leader, and how moving into leadership positions allows you to better dictate the national dialogue over mathematics education.
With a greater understanding of not only mathematics, but also how to teach it, teachers enter into higher positions of leadership at their schools. Master’s level courses prepare teachers to become teacher leaders or administrators, giving them more sway in curriculum development and teacher training.
For a master’s-level mathematics teacher, this means integrating all of the skills and concepts you gained in your graduate education into the classroom. It means more say in how to assess mathematics students, and how to best react to those assessments.
How will a graduate degree in mathematics education help my students?
Because a master’s degree in education focuses on providing teachers with more expansive education research, assessment tools, and curriculum design strategies, students of master’s-level teachers often perform better.
According to “Evaluating the Effect of Teacher Degree Level on Educational Performance,” by researchers Dan D. Goldhaber and Dominic J. Brewer, teachers who earned master’s degrees were able to help increase their students’ mathematics test scores.
Goldhaber and Brewer determined that graduate programs in mathematics increased a teacher’s understanding of basic math function, in addition to giving them greater tools to explain those concepts. Given the research showing the effectiveness of master’s in mathematics education degrees, most teachers can expect their students to perform better after obtaining a master’s.
Want to know more?
If you’re interested in learning more about graduate-level mathematics courses and what different programs can offer you, research and contact schools offering master’s of education degrees in mathematics. Pick your state from the this map representing Masters in Education programs offered across the country.