Department of Science and Mathematics Education

http://www.utdallas.edu/scimathed/

Faculty

Professors: Robert C. Hilborn (chair), Thomas R. Butts, Frederick L. Fifer, Jr.(emeritus), Russell Hulse, Cynthia Ledbetter, Lynn Melton
Associate Professors: Titu Andreescu, Homer Montgomery, Mary L. Urquhart
Science Education Specialist: Barbara A. Curry
Clinical Professor: Bill Neal
Affiliate Faculty: John Burr, Matthew Goeckner, John Hoffman, Scherry Johnson,  Robert Stern

Objectives

The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree in Science Education stresses training in the art of teaching and advanced knowledge in the sciences.  Designed for individuals with significant ability in a science discipline and a serious commitment to teaching, the program offers an opportunity for professional development of experienced teachers.

The M.A.T. degree in Mathematics Education is aimed at mathematics and computer science teachers in grades 8 – 12. It is a content-oriented program that strives to achieve a balance between increasing subject-matter knowledge and investigating relevant pedagogical and content issues of the mathematics curriculum with an emphasis on linking collegiate mathematics with secondary mathematics. (Mathematics teachers in grades 4 – 8 may wish to consider the option, “The Teaching of Mathematics in Grades 4-8” in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program.)  Students taking at least 18 graduate hours in mathematics content courses as part of the degree program can meet the minimal mathematics requirements for teaching at a community college.

Facilities

The Department has a dedicated classroom that can be configured for different teaching styles and facilities for producing teaching materials.  The University’s new Mathematics, Science, Engineering Teaching/Learning Center will provide additional facilities for teaching in different environments and for carrying out science and mathematics education research.  Scientific equipment, which supports the various programs at the university, is available to students in the M.A.T. program. Facilities in biology, chemistry, computer science, geoscience, mathematics and physics are briefly described in the respective disciplinary sections of the catalog.

Admission Requirements

See the University's general admission requirements here.

Science Education

Admission to the Graduate Program in Science Education requires, in addition to general University requirements, at least 24 credit hours in science. Students with strong backgrounds in an area of specialization are encouraged to discuss alternate plans with the Science Education Graduate Adviser. A student without the required science content backgrounds will be required to correct the deficiencies and should apply initially as a non-degree-seeking student.  Appropriate course programs for such students will be developed in consultation with the Science Education Graduate Adviser.  The M. A. T. Science Education program can be completed with traditional classes, entirely with online classes, or with a mix of online and traditional classes.

Mathematics Education

Admission to the Graduate Program in Mathematics Education requires, in addition to the general University requirements, at least one year of calculus, linear algebra and a junior-level course involving mathematical proof. Those teaching mathematics in grades 4 - 8 may wish to consider the option "The Teaching of Mathematics in Grades 4 - 8" in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program. Consult the Mathematics Education Graduate Adviser for details.

For both Science Education and Mathematics Education programs, opportunities may arise for students to work directly in local schools.  Be advised that public schools and many private schools within the state of Texas will require criminal background checks of all volunteers or individuals working within the schools regardless of the potential of direct contact with students.

Degree Requirements

The University's general degree requirements are discussed here. Additional requirements for each M.A.T. degree are described below.

Science Education (Thesis Option; both online and traditional)

All students seeking the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Science Education degree (Thesis Option) must satisfactorily complete the following requirements (minimum of 36 graduate semester hours):  

Science Education Courses (9 hours)

SCE 5301 Critical Issues in Science Education
SCE 5305 Evaluating Research in Science Education
SCE 5308 Research Design and Methodology for Science Education

Statistics (3 hours)

SCE 5340 Statistics in Science/Mathematics Education or HCS 6312 (ACN 6312) Research Methods in Behavioral and Brain Sciences - Part I (or acceptable equivalent) is a prerequisite to enrolling for thesis research hours.

Science Content Courses (21 hours)

A minimum of four graduate courses (minimum of 12 semester hours) in a chosen specialization related to the student's major area of study. Specialty areas include biology, chemistry, geosciences and physics,

 A minimum of three graduate courses (minimum nine semester hours) in one specialty area other than the chosen specialization

.

Thesis Research

A minimum of six semester hours in thesis research, SCE 8398, and

Submission of an acceptable thesis which warrants publication in peer-reviewed journals, scholarly books, monographs or the equivalent.

In addition to the above requirements, students must establish a thesis supervisory committee and must submit, no later than the second semester of enrollment, an acceptable research proposal to that committee. Upon completion of the thesis research, the candidate will publicly defend the thesis. The thesis is directed by a Supervising Professor and must be approved by the student’s thesis supervisory committee.

Science Education (Non-Thesis)

The M.A.T. degree in Science Education requires 36 semester hours, distributed as follows:

Science Education Courses (9 hours)

SCE 5301 Critical Issues in Science Education
SCE 5305 Evaluating Research in Science Education
SCE 5308 Research Design and Methodology for Science Education

Science Content Courses (18-24 hours)

Primary Area: 12-16 graduate hours in biology, chemistry, geosciences, or physics.
Secondary Area: 6-8 graduate hours in biology, chemistry, geosciences, or physics.

Electives (3-12 hours)

Three to twelve hours of electives are taken to complete the required minimum of 36 hours. These elective hours, chosen in consultation with the Science Education Graduate Advisor, may include additional graduate science, mathematics, engineering, computer science, education and science education courses.

No more than two of the four courses required for a primary area may be taken during a summer field trip. No more than 15 hours will be accepted for transfer credit. Under appropriate circumstances, the Department Head may permit exceptions for portions of these requirements.

Mathematics Education

The M.A.T. degree in Mathematics Education requires 36 graduate semester hours, distributed as follows:

Mathematics Content Courses (15 hours)

Five approved courses chosen from:
Analysis: MATH 5301, 5302;
Algebra and Discrete Mathematics: CS 5333, MATH 6311;
Geometry: MATH 5305, 5306;
Probability and Statistics: STAT 5351, 5352

Other relevant courses approved by the Mathematics Education Graduate Adviser

Students wishing to emphasize computer science may substitute appropriate courses for those in the Mathematics Education Core as approved by the Mathematics Education Graduate Adviser.

Students interested in teaching in a community college will need at least 18 graduate semester hours in mathematics content.  They should consult with the Mathematics Education Graduate Adviser about their course programs.

Mathematics Education Course (3 hours)

EMTH 5310 [ED5310] Seminar: The Teaching of Mathematics and Computer Science.

 

Guided Electives (18 hours)

Six graduate courses in mathematics, computer science or other area involving applications of mathematics or pedagogy (approval by Mathematics Education Graduate Adviser required).  MTHE 5320 (which may be repeated up to six times) is highly recommended.

Science Education Course Descriptions

SCE 5301 Critical Issues in Science Education (3 semester hours) Examination of classic issues in science and technology and the relationships developed between them. Topics include population and population growth, food and food sources, energy and energy sources, water needs/solutions, diseases and cures, housing-safe and adequate, environmental issues-personal and political, and security-local and global. Also offered through the MAT-SE online strand. (3-0) Y
SCE 5305 Evaluating Research in Science Education (3 semester hours) Examination of selected topics in the methodological and philosophical foundations of science education as applied to contemporary issues affecting today's students. Topics include current research on hands-on/inquiry teaching, concept mapping, student misconceptions, learning/teaching styles, alternative assessment, gender differences, learning environments, action research, and knowledge transfer to provide a context for the history of science literacy and educational literacy; quantitative and qualitative research methods; and professional writing techniques. Prerequisite: one semester teaching experience in science or consent of instructor. Also offered through the MAT-SE online strand. (3-0) Y
SCE 5308 Research Design and Methodology (3 semester hours) Application of the methodological and philosophical foundations of research in science education pertaining to an individual research question. Topics include educational research ethics and design, measuring instruments and data manipulation, methodological rigor, evidence-based conclusions, and publication genres to support the development of a professional presentation and formal research paper. Also offered through the MAT-SE online strand. Prerequisite: SCE 5305 (3-0) Y
SCE 5309 Critical Thinking (3 semester hours) Study of critical issues, problem-solving techniques and reasoning abilities as they relate to science/mathematics education in today's classrooms. (3-0) Y
SCE 5334 Instructional Strategies in Science (3 semester hours) Designed for the master teacher/department leader, strategies for fostering an integrated science program based on national and Texas curriculum and assessment standards are presented through hands-on activities. (3-0) T
SCE 5340 Statistics in Science/Mathematics Education (3 semester hours) Understanding and application of statistical techniques needed in the design and interpretation of research in Science/Mathematics Education.  Includes descriptive and inferential statistics, regression, computer-based tools, and other appropriate topics. (3-0) Y
SCE 8398 Thesis Research (1 to 6 semester hours) May be repeated. (3-0) Y
SCI 5319 Energy and the Environment (3 semester hours). This course addresses the issues of human impact on the environment and how we, as stewards, can make sound technical decisions about strategies to ameliorate those effects.  Topic will include -- from the perspective of both energy supply and environmental effects -- global climate change, energy basics and conservation, fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and alternative sources of energy (solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass). (3-0) Y
SCI 5320 Astrobiology (3 semester hours) The ultimate integrated science, astrobiology brings together from the fields of astrophysics, planetary science, terrestrial geosciences, and of course, biology, an understanding how the history and diversity of life on our own planet relates to the possibilities for life on other worlds. (2-3) T
SCI 5321 Science for Elementary School Teachers (3 semester hours) Fundamental concepts in chemistry, physics, life and earth sciences, with particular emphasis on their applicability to the elementary science curriculum, including laboratory activities. (May be repeated to a maximum of 9 hours.) (2-3) Y
SCI 5322 Basis of Evolution (3 semester hours) Through discussions of the nature of science, Charles Darwin's travels, natural selection, the geologic record, and other topics, students will be acquainted with the scientific data that supports evolutionary theory. (2-3) T
SCI 5323 Laboratories and Demonstrations for Middle School Science Teachers (3 semester hours). This course will emphasize ways that laboratory work and demonstrations help pre-high school students to acquire lasting understanding of concepts in chemistry and physics.  Through a variety of laboratory exercise and demonstrations, teachers will be encouraged to select appropriate materials for their curriculum.  Development of laboratory and demonstration presentation skills as well as new modules will be included in the course work.(2-3) Y
SCI 5324 Ecology (3 semester hours) General ecological principles as related to productivity, population diversity, communities and ecosystem functions. Field data collection techniques included. (2-3) Y
SCI 5326 Astronomy: Our Place in Space (3 semester hours) This course focuses on developing student understanding of our planet fits within a larger astronomical context.  Topics will include common misconceptions in astronomy, scale in the solar system and beyond, phases of the moon, seasons, navigating the night sky, our sun as a star, properties and lifecycles of stars, galaxies, and cosmology. (2-3) T
SCI 5327 Comparative Planetology (3 semester hours) Every world in our solar system is unique, but none more so than our own planet Earth.  In this course we will explore the astrophysical, chemical, and geological processes that have shaped each planet, moons and the myriad of rocky and icy bodies in our solar system.  We will also investigate what discoveries of worlds orbiting other stars may tell us about our own solar system and home world. (2-3) T
SCI 5328 Marine Science (3 semester hours) The purpose of this class is to acquaint students with issues surrounding our use of the oceans and their resources. Students will also gain skills in writing an on-line lesson plan and in preparing a research report. (2-3) Y
SCI 5331 Conceptual Physics I: Force and Motion (3 semester hours) The primary focus of the class will be deepening the participants' conceptual understanding of physics, always with the added component of applicability to the pre-college classroom.  We will use a hands-on approach, and will utilize equipment common in local school districts and examples of physics in the everyday world. (3-0) T
SCI 5332 Conceptual Physics II: Energy in Motion (3 semester hours) The physics content topics will be covered in workshop style, with hands-on materials available in local districts or demonstrations and experiments that can be done with inexpensive or common materials.  Students will also be expected to think critically about how topics discussed in the course can relate to their own classrooms. (3-0) T
SCI 5333 Conceptual Physics III: Physics in the Modern World (3 semester hours) The physics content topics covered in this course will deepen the participants' conceptual understanding of physics, using hands-on materials available in local districts or demonstrations and experiments that can be done with inexpensive or common materials. (3-1) T
SCI 5334 Instructional Strategies in Science (3 semester hours) Designed for the master teacher/department leader, strategies for fostering an integrated science program based on national and Texas curriculum and assessment standards are presented through hands-on activities. (3-0) T
SCI 5335 Environmental Field Methods (3 semester hours) Hands-on activities explore the properties and qualities of water through traditional and digital sampling methods. Designed for teachers, this inquiry-based course addresses information technology and environmental science standards in the context of real-world constructivist practice. May be repeated for credit as topics change. (2-3) T
SCI 5330 Special Topics (3 semester hours) May repeat for credit to a maximum of 9 hours. (3-0) Y
SCI 5425 Integrated Science for Teachers (4 semester hours) Investigation of science standards using pedagogical models of best practice applicable to a variety of learners in diverse contexts. Inquiry-based investigations feature various topics in physical, earth and life sciences-with a hands-on emphasis on the latest scientific research and educational applications. Courses are offered online only. (May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours as topics cycle through earth, life and physical sciences.) (4-4) Y
SCE 5V06 Special Topics in Science Education (1-3 semester hours) (May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 9 hours.) ([1-3]-0) S
SCI
5V06 Special Topics in Science (1-3 semester hours) (May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 9 hours) ([1-3]-0) S

Mathematics Education Course Descriptions

EMTH 5310 [ED 5310] Seminar: The Teaching of Mathematics and Computer Science
(3 semester hours) A forum for sharing ideas on current issues in the teaching of mathematics and computer science, grades 8-12, through participant presentations and discussions. Some work on mathematics history is included. Prerequisite: One year of teaching experience in mathematics or computer science. (May not be counted as credits toward the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in Mathematical Sciences.) (3-0) Y
MTHE 5320 Usual and Unusual Problems Using Secondary Mathematics (3 semester hours) For teachers only. Emphasis on (1) problem solving, (2) linking 'college mathematics' and 'secondary mathematics', and (3) using technology. Content varies from term to term with courses in algebra, geometry, precalculus, calculus, probability/statistics, discrete mathematics, mathematical modeling. (May be repeated to a maximum of 18 semester hours.) (May not be counted as credits toward the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in Mathematical Sciences.) (3-0) S
MTHE 5330 Topics in Mathematics (3 semester hours) Special topics for mathematics teachers. (May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 9 hours.) (May not be counted as credits toward the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in Mathematical Sciences.) (3-0) R
MTHE 5V06 Special Topics in Mathematics (1-3 semester hours) (May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 9 hours) (May not be counted as credits toward the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in Mathematical Sciences.) ([1-3]-0) R