Topics in Mathematical Education: Theory
An undergraduate degree in mathematics or statistics provides the material
background for high-school teaching, but it rarely provides the knowledge and
experiences necessary for students to make an informed career choice or to
make them attractive applicants to a Faculty of Education. Similarly, an
undergraduate degree does not provide the practical experience that would
enable students interested in post-secondary teaching to determine their
suitability for such a career. One of the aims of this course is to provide
appropriate practical experience by means of a supervised teaching practicum
in one of the department's laboratories or approved courses. Through a variety
of projects and seminar presentations, students will study in depth the roots
of some of the areas of mathematics, such as calculus, finite mathematics and
linear algebra, included in the senior secondary and undergraduate curriculum.
As well, we will discuss some important current issues in mathematics
education such as how students learn mathematics, how mathematics is
constructed, and the role of language, problem solving, visualization, and
technology in the learning of mathematics.
The course format and workload are non-traditional for a half-course in that
they are spread over the full academic year. This means that in each two week
period throughout the fall and winter terms, students will be expected to
participate in one two-hour seminar, work as a tutor for four hours, and spend
an additional three to four hours on course preparation, assignments and other
activities including reflecting on their teaching experience with a colleague
in the course. The first seminar meeting will be held in the first week of the
The final grade will be based on a combination of seminar presentations,
projects, responses to readings, and a final paper. The teaching practice will
be assessed on a pass/fail basis and students will be required to pass this
component in order to pass the course.
There will be no required text for the course. Instead a kit of selected
readings from the mathematics education literature will be provided for
Prerequisites: Students must have completed all 1000 and 2000 level core
requirements of an honours degree programme in mathematics, mathematics for
commerce, applied mathematics or statistics BEFORE taking this course.
Permission of the course director is required to register in the course.
Exclusions: Students enrolled in the I/S concurrent education programme may
take this course but it cannot be used to satisfy the mathematics requirements
for a teaching subject.
Coordinator: Pat Rogers