Online Degrees in Math Education
Two studies that measure math knowledge--the Program on International Assessment (PISA) and Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)--offer very different assessments of U.S. student math skills. PISA says the U.S. is 35th out of 57 with an average score below that of industrialized nations participating in the study. TIMSS says the U.S. ranks 9th out of 48 with a score above the average. So what's the real story? Because 22 countries who had PISA scores higher than the U.S. did not participate in the TIMSS study, most analysts believe the U.S. ranks below its peers when it comes to math. Consequently, math education has become a hot button issue in the U.S. education community.
Teaching math generally requires a bachelor's degree plus graduation from an approved teacher education program. A state-issued license is required to teach elementary, middle or high school, and some states require teachers to obtain a master's degree while teaching. A master's degree in math is required to teach at junior colleges, and a doctoral degree in math is most often required to teach at four-year colleges and graduate schools.
Math education degrees combine advanced knowledge of all branches of mathematics with instruction in pedagogy, child development and teaching methodologies. Both campus-based and online degrees in math education are likely to also require some student-teaching experience in front of a classroom.
The mathematical personality stereotype of someone who thinks only in abstract terms, is out of touch with the real world and unable to communicate may describe some mathematical individuals, but is certainly not accurate across the board. Those who love math generally are creative, original thinkers. They have excellent deductive reasoning skills, have highly-developed data analysis and problem solving skills, and are generally computer literate.
In almost all math-related occupations, communication skills are crucial. Math educators in particular need to be skilled at communicating complex mathematical concepts in terms their students can understand. An ability to break a problem down into smaller parts and explain things in ways that appeal to different learning styles is also important.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports 2010 mean annual wages and projected employment growth from 2008-18 for the following mathematical teaching careers:
- Elementary school: $54,330 (16 percent growth)
- Middle school: $54,880 (15 percent)
- Secondary school: $55,990 (9 percent)
(Statistics exclude special education and vocational teachers.)
The BLS projects overall employment growth from 2008-2018 for postsecondary professors and instructors at 15 percent. Salaries vary greatly depending on the type of educational institution and location, but mathematical science professors earned mean annual wages of $73,480 in 2010, according to the BLS.
A 2008 report to Congress from the federal Domestic Social Policy Division expressed a growing concern that "the United States is not preparing a sufficient number of students, teachers and practitioners in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)." Consequently, the U.S. is lagging behind other industrialized nations. To encourage more people to enter these fields, including mathematics, the federal government is actively recruiting more teachers and offering scholarships and graduate fellowships in STEM fields. Today may be the perfect time to look at campus and online degrees in math education and become that math teacher or professor that students remember.
- Demand: Dedicated math teachers are needed. U.S. students lag behind those from other countries in math skills.
- Growth: Almost 250,000 new elementary school teachers are projected to be needed by 2018.
- Geography: Highest concentration of mathematical science professors is in North Carolina, with 2,170 employed in the state.
Online Degree Programs in Math Education
Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.
Earn a respected bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. online at Walden University.
With more than 160 fully accredited programs of study, Liberty University Online offers degrees from the certificate to the postgraduate level.
Start your new journey with an education from Ashford University. GO
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.
Work toward your degree online with Concordia University.
Keiser University offers degrees in fields that are in demand and provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.