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2016-2017 Graduate Catalog
Otterbein University
   
 
  Nov 24, 2017
 
 
    
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Mathematics Program Information


Mathematics Program Information

Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Peter Sanderson, Chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Graduate Programs Director
Department Office: Room 124 Towers Hall (enter through Room 107A)

Mission Statement
Program Description
Goals and Objectives
Admission
Transfer Credit
Time Limit
Academic Advising
Research Project
Comprehensive Exam
Certificate Programs

Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Arts in Educational Mathematics program, in alignment with those of its university, school and department, is to provide mathematics teachers with experiences that will strengthen their pedagogical content knowledge, empowering them to (a) increase instructional effectiveness, (b) influence the ethos of learning mathematics, and (c) become teacher leaders in mathematics.

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Educational Mathematics program, designed for teachers holding Adolescent-Young Adult (AYA) Licensure in Integrated Mathematics or other teachers of mathematics, focuses on providing professional development in pedagogical content knowledge. Reflecting the tenets proposed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and the Common Core Standards in Mathematics, candidates in this program will explore topics and techniques that directly related to the secondary curriculum and enrichment material that can apply to contemporary mathematics classrooms. Objectives for the program include:

  • To increase teachers’ mathematical skills and understanding, including the ability to solve problems and to reason mathematically.
  • To develop teachers’ awareness of historical and contemporary mathematics.
  • To improve teachers’ ability to represent and communicate mathematical ideas.

To meet these objectives, the Master of Arts in Educational Mathematics requires coursework in three areas: Mathematical Processes, Mathematics from a Modern Viewpoint, and Comparative Studies in Mathematics. These are described under Goals and Objectives below.

In addition to graduate courses, candidates must complete Comprehensive Exams related to content and pedagogy and must conduct an Action Research Project regarding their classroom practice.

Goals and Objectives

The following program goals were developed in concert with a needs assessment of local, practicing mathematics teachers and state/national/international recommendations for mathematics education.

  1. To increase teachers’ mathematical skills and understanding, including the ability to solve problems and to reason mathematically.
  2. To develop teachers’ awareness of historical and contemporary mathematics.
  3. To improve teachers’ ability to represent and communicate mathematical ideas. 

These goals are operationalized in the components of the degree program.

I. MATHEMATICAL PROCESSES (6 semester hours)
Courses in the Mathematical Processes component emphasize the theory, research, and practice of teaching mathematics. Determining how adolescents come to understand math, along with ways of fostering those understandings, is the cornerstone to effective math teaching. By applying cognitive learning theories directly to mathematics instruction, teachers are able to design and facilitate lessons that engage students “as mathematicians.”

II. MATHEMATICS from a MODERN VIEWPOINT (15 semester hours)
Courses in the Mathematics from a Modern Viewpoint component emphasize intensive explorations of core curricular topics. With a deeper understanding of mathematics, teachers are better able to make the discipline meaningful for their students. Having a connected, comprehensive, and detailed view of mathematics enables teachers to make instructional decisions based, not simply on good practice, but according to fundamental principles that guide all of mathematics.

III. COMPARATIVE STUDIES in MATHEMATICS (6 semester hours)
Courses in the Comparative Studies in Mathematics component emphasize historical, cultural, and contemporary issues related to mathematics and mathematics education. Taking courses in mathematics beyond the traditional core of algebra/geometry/calculus encourages fresh insights into thinking and reasoning mathematically. Looking at mathematics through a variety of social and applied lenses provides teachers an opportunity to strengthen both inter- and intra-disciplinary understandings, ideas that can influence personal and professional definitions of what it means to do mathematics.

IV. ACTION RESEARCH CAPSTONE (3 semester hours)
Students must design, implement and reflect on an action research project in a mathematics classroom setting. By definition, action research is designed to produce (a) an awareness of the impact of teaching decisions and (b) how to improve one’s teaching practice. Additional details are given below.

V. COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS
A comprehensive three-hour written examination will be required for program completion. The exam will include questions from each of the three program components (Mathematical Processes, Mathematics from a Modern Viewpoint, and Comparative Studies in Mathematics). The examination is administered upon completion of course requirements from the three areas. Additional details are given below.

Admission

Admission to graduate programs at Otterbein University is open to graduates of regionally accredited colleges or universities, who hold a four-year degree, and have the intellectual, academic and personal ability to succeed in graduate studies. Individual programs establish their own requirements (including but not limited to recommendations, standardized entrance test scores, interviews, and writing samples) that are approved by the University Graduate Committee and administered through The Graduate School office.

Admission to the Master of Arts in Educational Mathematics is open to graduates from a regionally accredited college or university who hold a four-year degree in Mathematics or a closely-related field and have a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a scale of 0-4.
Applicants are required to submit a completed application, official transcripts for all previous college and/or university work, two recommendations, a current resume, and a personal statement that addresses how the applicant’s goals and interest in the MAEM program are consistent with the purpose and goals of the program.
Applications will be accepted for the Fall Semester, Spring Semester or Summer Term, and should be received four weeks prior to the desired admission term. Please contact the Graduate School at 614-823-3210 for specific dates.

All admission materials including transcripts must be submitted to:
The Graduate School
Otterbein University
1 South Grove St
Westerville, OH 43081

Transfer Credit

A maximum of six semester hours of graduate work with a grade of B or higher may be transferred from an accredited graduate program upon approval of the Graduate Program Director. After a student has been admitted to the graduate program, continuous progress toward completion of the degree is expected. The time limit for the completion of graduate course work is five years, computed from the first date credit is recorded on the college transcript until the program curriculum requirements are completed. Any transfer courses taken outside of the time limit will not be counted toward the degree. No transfer credit is awarded for life experience, portfolio, or credit by examination.

Time Limit

The time limit for the completion of MAEM course work is five years, computed from the first date credit is recorded on the college transcript until the program curriculum requirements are completed. If this cannot be met due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, an extension request can be submitted to the Graduate Program Director for consideration.

Academic Advising

Every graduate student is assigned an academic advisor who is a full-time faculty member. Students are encouraged to contact their advisor with questions, concerns and related academic issues. A plan of study is developed between the advisor and the student and reviewed at least annually. MAEM graduate students will have an academic advisor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences to help determine their course of study and a faculty project mentor who has similar interests for their research projects.

Research Project

Students must design, implement and reflect on an action research project in a mathematics classroom setting. They will complete EDUC 6890 Mathematics Education Research Seminar (2 semester hours) to prepare for the project then EDUC 6895 Master’s Research Project (1 semester hour) to conduct the project itself. The project will be designed in consultation with the student’s advisor. Students will produce a written report covering both the process and product of their research, and present it to their advisor and a designated second reader. Both the report and presentation will be evaluated by the advisor and the second reader. All completed and approved projects should be uploaded to the Digital Commons @ Otterbein and the OhioLINK ETD following the graduate school program requirements established by the Library and the Graduate Schools, found here: http://www.otterbein.edu/public/Library/student-support/thesis-dissertation-consultation.aspx#71ef9c55-f933-6e4e-b220-ff0000e6b717.”

By definition, action research is designed to produce (a) an awareness of the impact of teaching decisions and (b) how to improve one’s teaching practice. As a result, intended outcomes for the Research Project include:

  1. To create a habit of teaching inquiry and reflective practice (MAEM candidates);
  2. To improve mathematical understanding and increase academic achievement (students of MAEM candidates);
  3. To promote a culture of sharing “what works” among teaching professionals (colleagues of MAEM candidates).

The research project will normally be conducted in the candidate’s classroom. If candidates are not currently teaching in a mathematics classroom (grades 7-12), a field placement will be secured following the Otterbein’s Special Projects Field Placement Protocol.

A “special projects” placement can be arranged, given the following information from the course instructor:

  • the student’s name,
  • a description of the ideal classroom (grade level, subject),
  • suggestions regarding district, building, teacher (preferences are not guaranteed),
  • number of field hours required,
  • any limitations as to time of day for the placement hours,
  • beginning and ending dates of the field times,
  • and a brief description of the student’s responsibilities and host teacher’s expectations for the placement.

To accommodate special projects, the Coordinator of Field Placements requires submission of this information at least six weeks prior to the start of the field experience. Once this information has been provided, the Coordinator of Field Placements will contact school district officials to begin the placement process. Additionally, students must have current background checks on file in the Education Department prior to the start of any field work.

Comprehensive Exam

A comprehensive three-hour written examination will be required for program completion. The exam will include questions from each of the three program components (Mathematical Processes, Mathematics from a Modern Viewpoint, and Comparative Studies in Mathematics). Questions from each component area will be provided by instructors who teach that component. Instructors providing the questions will also be responsible for evaluating student responses. The examination is administered upon completion of course requirements from the three areas. Students are expected to achieve at least 80% proficiency on the exam. A student who does not achieve this level will be encouraged to arrange an independent study with an appropriate instructor to address areas of concern. The student must then repeat the exam.

Certificate Programs

Clusters of courses in the MAEM program can be taken in fulfillment of Certificates of Specialization. Certificates of Specialization can be awarded prior to and without completion of the MAEM program. These certificates are awarded by Otterbein University in recognition of expertise in Applied Mathematics, Foundational Mathematics, or Metrics and Visualization. More than one certificate can be awarded to an individual.

Programs