Secondary Ed Math Program

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by tennislove, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. tennislove

    tennislove Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2011

    Hi-I am planning on studying math in college to teach it in high school. I was accepted into Clark University with a good scholarship and a free masters, so there's a good chance that I'll go there.
    However, I am worried about whether the math department there will prepare me well to teach because I want to be vary knowledgeable of the content. These are the list of courses they offer. I will have finished AP Calc AB before attending. Are these classes enough to become a math teacher? Like there is only one geometry course- will I be prepared to teach a high school geo class with just that?
    MATH 101 - Concepts in Elementary Mathematics I
    MATH 105 - History of Mathematics
    MATH 110 - Diving into Research: Statistical Modeling
    MATH 111 - Diving into Mathematics Research
    MATH 113 - Mathematical Problem Solving
    MATH 114 - Discrete Mathematics
    MATH 119 - Precalculus Mathematics
    MATH 120 - Calculus I
    MATH 121 - Calculus II
    MATH 124 - Honors Calculus I
    MATH 125 - Honors Calculus II
    MATH 126 - Elementary Number Theory
    MATH 128 - Modern Geometry
    MATH 130 - Linear Algebra
    MATH 131 - Multivariate Calculus
    MATH 172 - Introduction to Modern Analysis
    MATH 201 - Proseminar in Mathematics
    MATH 212 - Numerical Analysis
    MATH 214 - Modern Analysis
    MATH 216 - Functions of a Complex Variable
    MATH 217 - Probability and Statistics
    MATH 218 - Topics in Statistics
    MATH 219 - Linear Models
    MATH 225 - Modern Algebra I
    MATH 226 - Modern Algebra II
    MATH 228 - Topology
    MATH 244 - Differential Equations
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 16, 2011

    It's important to know far more than your kids to teach any subject well. Hence the need for math teachers to take subjects like Calculus and Linear Algebra, even if they're not going to teach those subjects. It's important for you to be able to show your kids that what they're learning has implications and applications beyond what a teenager might envision.

    Funny, though, that they only offer up to Calc II. I remember taking Calc IV my Junior year of college.


    If you're looking for classes on making you a better math teacher, take a look at the courses offered by the Education Department, particularly the Methods courses.

    And the strange thing about teacher education programs, at least on the secondary level, is that they never really go back and reinforce that high school coursework. You learn a lot that goes beyond high school work, but you never go back and revisit that particular coursework.

    Good luck to you! I'm always happy to see aspiring math teachers!
     
  4. msleep

    msleep Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2011

    Calculus III is usually multivariable calculus, which your school just calls multivariate calculus instead of calc III. Usually, calc IV can refer to an analysis course or differential equations. Your school has both of those courses. The Clarke University curriculum seems pretty standard.

    As for applications, you will probably be required to take some physics courses also. These will give you excellent applications for math. You can always take extra courses in physics and other areas that will give you better understanding.

    My degree is in electrical engineering. All of the calculus and differential equations courses didn't really hold much for me until I took courses such as digital signal processing and electromagnetic field theory.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sorry, it's been 35 years. The names of the courses have long since been forgotten.

    OP, does Clark offer a Teacher Education program? WIll you graduate with all the requirements you need to become certified?
     
  6. kme93

    kme93 Companion

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    Dec 17, 2011

    That actually looks pretty good. You will find that after taking your required classes, you are more prepared (at least mathematically) than you think. For example... I'm teaching Geometry this year. I took Geo when I was in 9th grade and one summer school class about 6 years ago in college. However, I looked through the textbook this summer and I'm totally fine. It all comes flying back. There are other things that I would need refreshing because I haven't done them in awhile, but give me a few minutes to look at it and I would be fine. If you do this over the summer, then you're ready to go before school starts.

    I second the idea of taking a few physics classes also (you'll need science for your basics anyway). I'd also take a finance elective too. It can provide some great examples in class.

    Good luck!
     
  7. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    Dec 17, 2011

    Those are just the classes that are on the books. It is quite possible that one or more of those classes have not run in a long time. I would look to find the list of classes that have actually run in the last 4 years.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 18, 2011

    If at all possible, try to find a course on Non-Euclidean Geometry if it's ever offered. It was one of the coolest classes I've ever taken.

    It may not be something you can practically apply to your 10th grade Geometry class. But it's a lot of fun. And I like to blow the minds of my kids when I mention a different geometry where triangles don't have to have 180 degrees.
     
  9. tennislove

    tennislove Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2011

    Thanks everyone! Yes, Clark does have an teacher certification program.
    I'm also considering the state schools around me (UMASS,UVM,etc.) but am not too worried about their course offerings because the school is so large.
    I was just worried about Clark because it's such a small school and I want to be best prepared. I'll look into whether they still offer all these courses.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2011

    There's always the option working with a professor to create a course just for you. I worked for a community college, where most students did not take advanced math classes. Our catalog stated that we offered a more math based statistics class, instead of the basic course intended for psychology majors, but we never actually ran it. I had one student that wanted to take it, so we put it on the schedule, let him register, then shut it down. It ran as more of an independent studies course, with the student coming to my office during office hours to ask questions, review homework, and take exams. It actually worked out rather well for both of us.
     
  11. sCh0oLs0uT

    sCh0oLs0uT New Member

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    Dec 20, 2011

    I recommend teaching courses that you have majored in. For instance, I majored in the sciences, but teach math. I do not feel that things go as smoothly for me as in science where I could start in the middle and go in any direction if I had to. I think I could be more versatile in math if I had majored in it.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 29, 2011

    :confused:
     
  13. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Here's my school's secondary math ed program, for comparison. It's very very rigorous and many students were weeded out this semester... it's sad, really. Besides passing classes, we have to take a proficiency exam at the end of every Spring semester which makes sure we're keeping up with the NYS material. It's basically all 3 math regents exams crammed into one. You fail one, you're flagged. You fail two, you're out.

    Mathematics Education First-Year Seminar
    Calculus I (Differential Calculus)
    Calculus II (Integral Calculus)
    Calculus III (Multivariable Calculus)
    Calculus IV (Differential Equations)
    Calculus V (Advanced Calculus)
    Mathematical Structures & Proofs
    Linear Algebra
    Reading and Writing Mathematics
    Intermediate Real Analysis
    Numerical Analysis
    Abstract Algebra I
    Combinatorics OR Graph Theory OR Euclidean & non-Euclidean Geometry
    Financial Mathematics OR Probability Models OR Deterministic Models OR Abstract Algebra II
    History of Mathematics
    Senior Seminar

    University Chemistry I & Lab OR University Physics I & Lab

    Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics Education
    Adolescent Development
    Introduction to the Exceptional Learner
    Practicum in Inclusive Education I
    Practicum in Inclusive Education II
    Literacy & Technology for Science and Mathematics
    Safe Schools/Healthy Students: Child Abuse & Child Abduction
    Safe Schools/Healthy Students: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Abuse
    Safe Schools/Healthy Students: Safety Education/Fire and Arson/School Violence
    Diversity in the Teaching of Science and Mathematics
    Educational Psychology
    Teaching the New York State Curriculum I: Mathematical Reasoning & Pre-Algebra
    Teaching the New York State Curriculum II: Integrated Algebra and Integrated Geometry
    Teaching the New York State Curriculum III: AlgebraII/Trigonometry and Calculus
    Teaching the New York State Curriculum IV: Beyond NYS: Teaching AP & IB
    Secondary School Methods in Mathematics
    Student Teaching
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 31, 2011

    Honestly, that makes a lot of sense to me.

    For those of you not from NY, Regents exams are the exams the kids take at the end of the year; many schools use them in leiu of a final exam.

    If a prospective math teacher can't pass the same exams his or her students will be taking, there's a problem.
     
  15. tennislove

    tennislove Rookie

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    Dec 31, 2011

    Thanks guys- I actually think I'll end up going to UVM which has a secondary education math major.
    They do not list courses required for this major, but does this mean that there are less required courses than an actual math major? I want to be able to take all of the courses for a math major, but I don't know if this is doable in 4 years because of student teaching requirements and honors college requirements.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 31, 2011

    If I were you, tennislove, I'd find out what the coursework is.
     
  17. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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  18. tennislove

    tennislove Rookie

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    So I emailed someone from UVM, and realized that these are the requirements for secondary education math. The program isn't too flexible because of student teaching. I know this is too early to be worried, but I really don't want to be a teacher who doesn't know the material. I suck at probability- will taking one stats course allow me to teach probability effectively?
    Recommended Electives
    MATH 121 Calculus III
    MATH 255 Elementary Number Theory
    Complete the Following Courses
    CS 021 Computer Programming I 3 cr. hrs.
    MATH 021 Calculus I 4 cr. hrs.
    MATH 022 Calculus II 4 cr. hrs.
    MATH 052 Fundamentals of Mathematics 3 cr. hrs.
    MATH 124 Linear Algebra 3 cr. hrs.
    MATH 151 Groups and Rings 3 cr. hrs.
    MATH 161 The Development of Mathematics 3 cr. hrs.
    MATH 173 Basic Combinatorial Theory 3 cr. hrs.
    MATH 260 Foundations of Geometry 3 cr. hrs.
    Select One Statistics Course
    3 cr. hrs.
    STAT 141 Basic Statistical Methods
    STAT 151 Applied Probability
    STAT 211 Statistical Methods I
     
  19. tennislove

    tennislove Rookie

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    Jan 5, 2012

    ^^^
    Riku, I'm sorry, I didn't see that. Thanks for looking it up!
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You didn't see it because the site software had blocked it, tennislove.

    Learn to embrace your inner stats/probability wonk! Videos at Khan Academy, http://www.khanacademy.org, are likely to help.
     
  21. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    Calculus III is an Elective...interesting.
     
  22. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    That's the first thing I thought. And no DiffEq???

    I don't know, tennislove. If I were you I would branch out a bit and take more math classes not required by the education program, including:

    MATH 230 - ODEs
    MATH 235 - Math Models and Analysis
    MATH 236 - Calculus of Variations
    MATH 251 - Abstract Algebra I
    MATH 266 - Chaos, Fractals, and Dynamical Systems (lucky!!! I wish my college had this class. I'm totally nerding out right now.)
    MATH 336 - Advanced Real Analysis

    Plus one of those applications courses. The department offers quite a few, such as engineering applications, life science applications, finance applications, etc. Always good to have in your back pocket for "real world" explanations (boats and lighthouses get real old real quick!)
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I loved Calc III.

    Calc II, not quite so much. But a big part of that was the teacher; my Calc I and Calc III teacher was fabulous!

    It was like one big puzzle.
     
  24. tennislove

    tennislove Rookie

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    All the courses look amazing, I wish I could take them all! I emailed the math director to see how many more math classes I can take and still graduate in 4 years. I might not declare a minor if that's what it comes to.
     

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