Goals and Objectives for the Secondary Education in Mathematics Program

Secondary Education in Mathematics

Students in the program will:

  • understand deeply the mathematics they will teach in the future;
  • become familiar with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics;
  • apply national and state standards for mathematics education to develop content-appropriate lessons;
  • use and compare different assessment techniques;
  • develop a disposition favoring continual gathering and use of information about their students' mathematical understandings;
  • appropriately and responsibly use technology to enhance opportunities for students' mathematical thinking;
  • understand the development of mathematics through numerous and varied experiences related to the cultural, historical, and scientific evolution of mathematics;
  • learn to use their mathematics and pedagogy knowledge flexibly in authentic situations through field experiences with secondary students under the supervision of highly qualified, experienced teachers and university supervisors.

Mathematics Education Core Course Learning Outcomes
Note: Core Course Learning Outcomes may also be found on the University Bulletin and were created by the Secondary Mathematics Education faculty at Penn State University Park.

  • MTHED 411 Teaching Secondary Mathematics I
    The goals for the course are:
    • To improve understanding of some of the mathematical concepts which are important in secondary school mathematics.
    • To improve understanding of the nature of mathematics: what is important, how it is practiced, how mathematical validity is determined.
    • To improve understanding of the historical development of selected topics from secondary school mathematics.
    • To develop a vision of good school mathematics.
    • To see mathematics, mathematics learning, and mathematics teaching as problematic and to develop an inquiry approach to and an ability to reflect on these domains.
    • To increase understanding of secondary school students' mathematical thinking and understanding.
    • To increase ability to specify subject matter involved in a specific mathematics topic and make distinctions among them.
    • To improve understanding of various teaching strategies and their strengths and weaknesses.
    • To increase ability to choose among lessons and curriculum materials based on the intended mathematical subject matter and the current understandings of the students.
    • To increase insight into creating a thriving, supportive mathematics classroom culture.
  • MTHED 412 Teaching Secondary Mathematics II
    Student goals are to:
    • develop an expanded view of the process of teaching mathematics
    • develop a deeper understanding of what it means to learn mathematics and the processes by which mathematics is learned;
    • be able to reflect on the instruction and one's learning in MTHED 412 and to relate it to students' learning of secondary mathematics;
    • be able to plan and teach appropriate mathematics lessons and reflect on one's teaching;
    • be familiar with and be able to draw on a variety of teaching resources;
    • investigate current issues influencing evaluation in the secondary mathematics curriculum;
    • choose goals and content for middle school and high school mathematics courses;
    • develop strategies for assessing and evaluating what students have learned;
    • create and implement assessment instruments for middle school and high school mathematics courses;
    • develop insights into student understanding, especially in relationship to exceptional students as well as to mathematically talented and challenged students;
    • identify the needs of diverse learners and to develop strategies to address these needs;
    • create classroom environments that are conducive to learning; and incorporate appropriate technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics.
  • MTHED 427 Teaching Mathematics in Technology-Intensive Environments
    Students should expect to:
    • learn something about each of several common types of mathematics software;
    • learn new things about secondary school mathematics;
    • learn how to make decisions about how to use technology as an effective mathematics teacher;
    • use communication software (e.g., word processors, e-mail, PowerPoint) not as objects of our discussion but in simple ways to generate and share products, assignments, and ideas.