Innovative education... Engaged educators
The call to improve student achievement in mathematics is particularly challenging at the elementary level where teachers generally receive limited specialized training in mathematics or mathematics pedagogy. In order to address this demand for highly-trained mathematics teachers who may act as administrators and supervisors of mathematics programs, mathematics coaches, and teachers of mathematics at the elementary level, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has established an advanced certification of Elementary Mathematics Specialist. This program is designed to prepare students for this certification by offering in-depth study of grade appropriate mathematics as specified in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (2010), supervised application of pedagogy and leadership training.
The program includes online, face-to-face (20 credits) and school-based internships (4 credits). These courses include five integrated mathematics content/pedagogy courses, four of which have an internship, and two leadership development courses and is designed for full-time classroom teachers. Program courses are offered over a 2-year cycle. Classes may be capped, so students who wish to participate in this program need to apply as soon as possible.
The course content in each of the mathematics content courses align with the content in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM, 2010) and the recommendations in the Mathematical Education of Teachers (MET) books (Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences CBMS).
The seminar and internship courses will help teachers take the new mathematics content and use it appropriately in their elementary classrooms. The leadership courses provide instruction specific to the coaching of teachers in mathematics pedagogy and sharing mathematics issues with school and district stakeholders. Instruction in these courses will also focus on understanding assessment data and using that at the classroom, school, and district levels to improve student learning.
The MEd in Elementary Education can be earned using 18 of the 24 credit hours required for the Math Certificate and 15 hours of additional coursework at the graduate level as required by the UMSL College of Education.
Because students are more successful in cohort programs, it is essential that participants commit to the timeline and requirements of the program.