Math education degree programs are in high demand in K-12 school environments, and the need for qualified mathematics instructors remain high. A degree in mathematics education is designed to train K-12 mathematics teachers. These teacher education programs and related math education programs also meet the requirements for state teacher licensure, as well as providing instructional methodology for teaching mathematics. While state teaching license is required to teach in all public schools and most private schools, the requirements vary by state. However, the minimum requirements include earning a bachelor degree, completing the requirements in supervised practice teaching, and completion of a teacher licensing exam. In addition, some states require students to have a master’s degree in education (M.Ed). The math education degree program takes about four years to complete, and the focus is on teacher training courses as well as liberal arts and science courses.
Mathematics Education Courses and Training
Aspiring teachers can complete a one-year math education program if they already have a bachelor degree. These programs focus on instructional methodology, pedagogical techniques, and classroom management in addition to completing a supervised student teaching internship or practicum.
A bachelor degree in mathematics education is designed for teachers who do not already have a bachelor degree while the math education masters is for those who already have a first degree. Mathematics education degree programs may also require students to take courses in computer science and educational technology, as these concepts are applicable to learning mathematics. Students also complete supervised student teaching internship requirements. Some mathematics education courses might include:
- Teaching Secondary School Mathematics
- Technology in Mathematics Teaching
- Teaching and Learning Problem Solving
- Mathematical Logic
Specific mathematics courses include algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus while teacher education courses are:
- Curriculum Design and Development
- Assessment and Evaluation
- Classroom Management
- Educational Psychology
The master degree in math education and the online masters in mathematics education are two years advanced programs that prepare teachers to take on leadership roles in curriculum design and development of mathematics curriculum. On the other hand the mathematics education PhD degree generally takes four to seven years to complete depending on whether one is a full time or part-time student.
Mathematics Education Careers
A degree in mathematics education opens up a wide range of career opportunities, especially middle schools and high school learning environments in addition to increase in income. Math education PhD and math education masters degree programs prepare teachers for leadership roles in mathematics curriculum design and development programs as well as program development. Other careers lead to leadership and administration in K12 education and curriculum development specific to mathematics.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Growth
The United States Department of Labor (BLS) estimates that elementary school teachers in 2008 earned a median annual income as follows: Kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to $51,180. The lowest 10% earned $30,970 to $34,280 and the 10% earned between $75,190 and $80,970. Education administrators, who typically have a graduate degree in the field, commanded an estimated $82,120 in 2007.
The career outlook with a math education degree is strong as government policies and funding favor science teaching and curriculum development. And according to the BLS, science teachers and administrators are in high demand in K-12 schools especially in areas like mathematics, science, and bilingual education.
The BLS projects positive employment opportunities for qualified, certified mathematics educators and curriculum developers in order to meet the demand. Employment of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers is expected to grow by around 13% between 2008 and 2018.
Mathematics Education Programs
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