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ERIC Number: EJ868021
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec-2
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Majoring in Math Not Always a Classroom Plus
Cavanagh, Sean
Education Week, v29 n13 p1, 14-15 Dec 2009
Ask a parent, politician, or school board member to describe the ideal qualifications of a math teacher, and most would probably rank having a college major in that subject high on the list. Yet when it comes to improving student learning in elementary and middle school, research shows that the value of that academic credential is limited--at best. On the one hand, recent nationwide test scores show middle school students taught by a teacher with an undergraduate mathematics major scoring better, on average, in that subject than those whose teachers did not have that degree. Yet many observers view those results with caution, saying the weight of evidence does not show a connection between teachers' having majored in math and higher student math achievement, particularly before high school. That disconnect might seem counterintuitive, given the broad concern among policymakers about improving math teachers' credentials, and about how states and school districts can improve educators' professional training and skills. But researchers who have studied school and college math instruction say that while math content is obviously essential for teachers, educators also need a more refined set of classroom-ready tools than a college math major, on its own, is likely to offer.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail: customercare@epe.org; Web site: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A