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Ph.D. in Science/Mathematics Education Curriculum: General Philosophy and Requirements

The courses taken by any given graduate student will vary not only with the selected option, but also with the level (BS or MS) of the student at the time of admission, and the quality of the previous program completed. For students admitted with a BS degree, the curriculum for the master's equivalency will follow that provided for the master's degree in the concerned mathematics or science departments. The difference from the latter will reside in the fact that these graduate students do not necessarily have to write and defend a master's thesis. A student holding a Master's degree in one of the five science disciplines, or one holding a master's equivalent, will follow the curriculum described in the following pages. This assumes, of course, that the master's degree already held is current and sufficiently comprehensive. If not, some additional course may be required. Several elective courses are available to the students while they are taking the required core courses. These are education- and discipline-specific graduate courses which fit under a given option. In addition to the common core defined in the introduction of Section II.3.b of the proposal, detailed course requirements for a variety of backgrounds (i.e. degrees held, discipline, and relevant experiences) will be specified during the curriculum workshop in the spring of 1997. Computer science, mathematics, physics, and science education BS and MS degrees at the time of enrollment, for instance, clearly call for different courses for the affected students out of the general set provided above.

        Statistics 3 hours

        Quantitative Research Methods (640) 3 hours

        Qualitative Research Methods (641) 3 hours

        Research Design (643) 3 hours

        Advanced Research Methods (650 or 655) 3 hours

Depending on the nature of the research to be done, a student may need to take six hours in either Qualitative or Quantitative Methods, i.e., 650 for quantitative research and 655 for qualitative research.

Students who enter the program with an in-depth, demonstrated knowledge in designing and conducting research in educational settings may, upon approval of their adviser and committee, enroll in dissertation research (independent study/research). The Ph.D. program is designed around a core curriculum supported by course work in specialty areas (biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics) and related areas in education and content courses.

Based on the candidate's academic background, professional experience and career goals, the following courses (or their equivalents) can be taken to fulfill the stated requirements:

      Foundations 3 hours

        History of American Education

        Sociology of Education History, Philosophy, and Future Trends in Education [Elementary, Middle, Secondary, and/or College]

        Educational Psychology and Learning Theory

        History or Philosophy of Science/Mathematics Education

      Models of Teaching 6 hours

        Human Learning Theory and Research on Teaching

        Effective Teaching Models [Classroom Interaction and Other Issues]

        Professional Preparation of Teachers [NCTM and NSE Standards, and corresponding college level standards]

        Techniques of Instructional Design Cognitive Psychology Developmental Theory - Piaget

      Curricular/Research Issues 12 hours

        Content area faculty and Mathematics/Science Educational faculty from Curriculum and Instruction will design courses which integrate national standards, methods, modeling, technology, assessment, critical thinking, and diagnostic/prescriptive techniques.

        Two of these courses will involve a common set of experiences (615, 616). Other courses may need to be more related to the specialized areas (perhaps taken from 611, 617, 621, etc.).

      Computer Technology 6 hours

        Microcomputers/Technology in Science/ Mathematics Education, Designing units using computers, Making effective use of the Internet in Teaching/Research, etc.

      Doctoral Seminar 1-3 hours

      Practicum 0-6 hours

      Research Methods (courses listed above) 12-15 hours

    It is important to note that the number of hours described above is somewhat flexible. The quality of the educational experiences and the sequencing of the educational experiences after the MS or MS-equivalency are crucial.