Brigham Young University Homepage

Undergraduate Catalog

2012 - 2013

Mathematics Education

Steven R. Williams, Chair
167 TMCB, (801) 422-1735

College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Advisement Center
N-179 ESC, (801) 422-6270

Admission to Degree Program

Candidates for all teacher preparation programs are required to complete an application that includes core criteria for each program. Applications are available from the Mathematics Education Department.

The Discipline

Mathematics is the discipline through which we make sense of the order, patterns, and quantitative situations we perceive in the world around us. The foundational skills of this discipline—the abilities to formulate, focus, and solve problems; to articulate, test, and justify conjectures; to communicate one's reasoning about quantities and the relationships between them; and to see connections between different mathematical ideas and real-world contexts—are highly valued in society and are characteristics of any educated person. Mathematics is not only a body of knowledge but also a process of analysis, reasoning, comparison, deduction, generalization, and problem solving.

Mathematics educators depend heavily upon their own understanding of mathematics in order to identify and articulate the mathematical ideas they want students to learn, to assess which concepts their students already understand that might serve as a foundation for learning, and to develop activities that help students develop rich understandings. They also use their understanding of the nature of the discipline to structure a culture of inquiry, reasoning, and problem solving in their classrooms.

Courses in the undergraduate program are designed to help prospective teachers plan, manage, and implement classroom activities that facilitate students' learning of mathematics. Specific program goals include (1) mastery of the foundational skills of mathematics, (2) deep reflection on mathematics learning at all levels through observation of and participation in high-quality classroom practice, (3) increased autonomy and confidence as an investigator, active learner, and productive thinker, and (4) extended field experience, informed by the best current understanding.

Program faculty include educational and mathematical researchers, specialists in both preservice and inservice teacher education, and school practitioners, spanning a broad range of interest and experience.

Career Opportunities

Majors in mathematics education prepare for careers in teaching at the middle school and junior and high school levels or for graduate studies in the field.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The university core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (See University Core for details. For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see the current class schedule.)
  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Undergraduate Programs and Degrees

Graduate Programs and Degrees

Advisement

Upon completion of the calculus sequence (Math 112 [honors section] and Math 113 [honors section], or equivalent AP credit), undergraduate majors are strongly encouraged to meet with the department undergraduate advisor to make a graduation plan.

Students who are considering graduate work in mathematics education may receive advice from the graduate coordinator.

General Information

It is recommended that a student complete the following courses in high school:

  • 4 units of English.
  • 1 unit of physics or chemistry.
  • 4 units of mathematics, including 2.5 units of algebra, 1 unit of geometry, and .5 unit of trigonometry. This qualifies a student to begin college mathematics with Math 112 (honors section). If calculus is available in high school, a student planning to major in mathematics education is strongly encouraged to take it; doing so requires completing one of the preceding algebra units before high school.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) credit is available in mathematics as follows:
    • A score of 3 on the calculus AB exam gives credit in Math 110 and 111; a score of 4 or 5 on the calculus AB exam gives credit in Math 110 and 112.
    • A score of 3, 4, or 5 on the calculus BC exam gives credit in Math 112 and 113.
    • An AP student without credit in Math 112 must begin with Math 112 (honors section); an AP student without credit in Math 113 must begin with Math 112 or 113 (honors sections).
    • AP students with credit in Math 113 are urged to begin with Math 113 (honors section) anyway, unless they scored 5 on the calculus BC exam.
    • AP students should direct Educational Testing Service (ETS) to report scores to BYU to have credit posted.

Questions regarding placement should be directed to the Mathematics Education Department, 167 TMCB.