# Mathematics and Science Education, Interdisciplinary Science Education Concentration, Ph.D.

**Jeremy Strayer, Interim Program Director**

(615) 898-5353

Jeremy.Strayer@mtsu.edu

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mathematics and Science Education is an interdisciplinary program requiring students to (1) develop substantial content mastery of mathematics and/or science; (2) demonstrate an understanding of educational theories, research methodologies, and best practices; and (3) conduct discipline-based educational research at the interface between the fields of mathematics or science and education. This program aims to produce college-level professors and researchers to perform, evaluate, and integrate the results of research in mathematics and science education. It also seeks approaches to improve the way K-16 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses are taught.

The goals of this program are to prepare students to

- understand the field of mathematics and science education in terms of theory and practice, research, curriculum design, and student learning;
- conduct original research that generates new knowledge about the teaching and learning of mathematics and science; and
- assume leadership roles in mathematics and science education, including teacher education, discipline-based educational research, and curriculum and instruction.

All students in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program will be expected to complete the residency requirement during the first year of enrollment in the program. Please see **Residency Requirement **(below) for more information.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

### Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Science Education is based on a comprehensive assessment of a candidate’s qualifications including Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, undergraduate and graduate grade point average, and letters of recommendation.

Admission requires

- an earned bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited university or college. Applicants holding only a bachelor’s degree will be expected to have earned that degree in an area of mathematics or science and will be expected to earn a master’s degree in science, mathematics, or education as they complete the requirements of the Ph.D. All applicants to this program will either possess a mathematics or science degree upon admission or will be required to earn a content master’s as a part of their program of study.
- an acceptable grade point average (GPA). Successful applicants typically have a minimum 3.25 GPA in their most recent graduate work or a minimum 3.00 GPA when entering with a bachelor’s degree. Applicants holding a master’s degree should have earned at least 24 semester hours of graduate mathematics, science, and/or education credit.

### Application Procedures

*Applicants must submit all application materials to the College of Graduate Studies.*

Application deadline: February 15 for those wishing to be considered for graduate assistantships for the following Fall. Late applications may be considered, but financial support in the form of an assistantship is not guaranteed.

Applicant must

- submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at
**www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php**); - submit official transcripts showing a grade point average (GPA) in previous academic work that indicates potential for success in advanced study;
- submit official scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing measures of the GRE that indicate potential for success in the Mathematics and Science Education program. Although specific minimum scores are not set, evaluation of scores is an important factor in admission decisions.
- provide letters of recommendation from at least three professors or professionals that address the applicant's potential to successfully complete a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education.

**NOTE: **International students must also meet the College of Graduate Studies requirement for proof of English language proficiency. This may be accomplished by submission of TOEFL, UMELI test, or IELTS scores that meet the college's requirements or by successful completion of level 112 of ELS coursework.

Applicants who do not meet these minimums but whose application materials indicate high potential for success may be admitted conditionally. Such students must meet the conditions of their admission in the time stated to remain in the program of study.

### Degree Requirements

Once admitted to the program, each candidate must

- complete at least 75 post-baccalaureate semester hours as described in the Curriculum section below. (Students entering with a master's degree in mathematics, education, or a science discipline may have up to 15 graduate hours of previous coursework applied after determination that the content of the courses is directly equivalent to existing courses in the Mathematics and Science Education curriculum.)
- make at least two research presentations at regional, national, or international meetings as the lead or coauthor;
- be lead author or make significant contribution as coauthor of two articles published, in press, or under review in high quality, peer-reviewed journals;
- in collaboration with an MTSU faculty member serving as principal investigator, make a significant contribution to the development of at least one external grant proposal;
- complete the MSE 7800 - Teaching Internship. Those who lack teaching experience in the K-12 setting are required to complete MSE 7800 in a K-12 teaching experience;
- complete a dissertation and successfully defend it in the final oral examination.

### Residency Requirement

During the residency year, students are expected to complete at least 18 hours of coursework that apply directly to the degree. Of these 18 hours, 14 hours of coursework are prescribed.

**Fall Semester****(5 hours)**

**Spring Semester****(6 hours)**

**Summer (3 hours)**

In addition, during the residency year, students are expected to complete each of the following:

**Attend at least one conference**: The conference should be directly related to the student's concentration (i.e,. biology education, chemistry education, science education, mathematics education) and should be at the regional, national, or international level. The advisor must approve the selected conference.**Make significant progress* toward the submission of a manuscript on which the student is a co-author. **The manuscript will be prepared under the guidance of or in conjunction with MSE faculty. Residency seminars will support this process.**Attend at least five (5) program activities not associated with course credit**: The MSE program has numerous activities that occur during the academic year (i.e., fall and spring semesters). These include seminars, book club meetings, reading/writing groups, journal clubs, etc. Some of these are intended for all MSE students while others are specific to concentrations.

***NOTE:** Significant progress toward the submission of a manuscript is defined as legitimate peripheral participation of the student within one or more of the following components of a manuscript:

- Research rationale/study introduction
- Literature review
- Research design and methodology
- Data analysis data presentation
- Writing

### Curriculum: Mathematics and Science Education, Interdisciplinary Science Education

All Ph.D. candidates must complete 75 hours in the following course of study:

### Core Courses (33 hours)

### MSE 7800 - Teaching Internship

**3credit hours**

Prerequisite: Permission of department. Admission based on recommendations and performance in teaching. Offered every term.

### MSE 7820 - Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education

**1credit hours**

Prerequisite: Must be currently enrolled in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program. Required of graduate students specializing in mathematics and science education. Involves presentations on current issues, related research, and policy developments in mathematics and science education. May be repeated.

### MSE 7845 - Nature of Mathematics and Science

**2credit hours**

Focuses on the Nature of Mathematics (NOM) and the Nature of Science (NOS). Attention given to how the fields of mathematics, biology, and chemistry practiced as well as scientific inquiry, mathematical, practices, conceptions of NOS and NOM, and pedagogical considerations.

### MSE 7848 - Knowledge for Teaching in Mathematics and Science

**2credit hours**

Focuses on the knowledge required to be an effective teacher. Attention given to teacher knowledge constructs and the recognition of one's self as a mentor and teacher educator in formal and informal contexts.

### MSE 7900 - Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science

**3credit hours**

Focus on theoretical and practical issues regarding how students learn mathematics and science, best practices for teaching mathematics and science topics, and issues from current literature on the teaching and learning of mathematics and science.

### PSY 7190 - Advanced Cognitive Psychology

**3credit hours**

Topic-oriented overview of cognitive psychology. Models of attention, perception, memory, language, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. Issues in cognitive development and cognitive neuropsychology.

### PSY 7280 - Psychological Statistics: Regression

**3credit hours**

Prerequisite: PSY 3020 or equivalent or admission to Psychology graduate program. Corequisite: PSY 7281. Survey of theoretical and practical aspects of multiple regression as typically used by psychologists. Simple and multiple regression through model comparison approach in the general linear model paradigm. Laboratory included.

### PSY 7281 - Psychological Statistics: Regression Lab

**0credit hours**

Corequisite: PSY 7280.

### PSY 7290 - Psychological Statistics: ANOVA

**3credit hours**

Prerequisite: PSY 3020 or equivalent or admission to Psychology graduate program. Corequisite: PSY 7291. Review of basic statistics. Scientific quantification, research design, and statistical analysis from the perspective of analysis of variance: one-way, factorial, repeated measures, and mixed designs. Laboratory included.

### PSY 7291 - Psychological Statistics: ANOVA Lab

**0credit hours**

Corequisite: PSY 7290.

### SPSE 7010 - Educational Research Methodology

**3credit hours**

Designing research studies, including development of understandings, as well as skills and techniques needed in gathering, structuring, interpreting and presenting data required for educational research. SPSE 7010 is a prerequisite for enrollment in FOED 7610, which is recommended to be taken the following semester.

### SPSE 7170 - Learning Theories and the Educational Process

**3credit hours**

Examines the historical and current learning theoretical principles, concepts, and research findings as related to education in a variety of settings. Focuses on cognitive, behavioral, constructivist, and humanistic learning theorists, theories and applications.

### SPSE 7180 - Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods

**3credit hours**

Theoretical factors, methodological approaches, and frameworks related to evaluating and conducting qualitative research. Students required to identify specific problems and apply qualitative concepts and procedures related to classroom practice.

### SPSE 7220 - Advanced Educational Technology

**3credit hours**

Advanced teaching strategies using technology with online instruction, distance learning tools, computer simulations, applets, webpage construction, presentation software, streaming-videos and multimedia applications. Explores how technology tools support teaching and research in both K-12 and college level learning environments.

**Students are required to take this course at least twice before candidacy.*

### Concentration Core (18 hours)

Students who choose this concentration must select at least 18 hours (in consultation with their major advisors and dissertation committee) from the courses listed in the Biological Education, Chemical Education, and Mathematics Education concentrations in Mathematics and Science Education or from the courses listed below:

### BIOL 7850 - Intermediate Life Science

**3credit hours**

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and one undergraduate biology course. Uses a process-oriented approach to the study of life science with emphasis on execution and analysis of content-based activities and experiments suited to actual classroom situations. (May not be used for biology majors or minors.)

### MATH 6100 - Mathematics for Teachers

**3credit hours**

Mathematics as problem solving, communication, and reasoning. Connecting different fields of mathematics. Topics include number and number relationships, number systems and number theory, computation and estimation, patterns and functions, statistics and probability, algebra, geometry, measurement.

### MATH 6330 - Algebra from an Advanced Perspective

**3credit hours**

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Review and extension of algebraic skills and concepts as they relate to the teaching and learning of algebra. Focus on algebraic thinking and problem solving, algebraic systems, functions, graphing, and linear algebra.

### MATH 6340 - Geometry from an Advanced Perspective

**3credit hours**

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Investigations into the foundations of plane, solid, and coordinate geometry, motion geometry, similarities and congruencies, measurement and the application of geometry. Instruction will model the suggested pedagogy appropriate for school mathematics.

### MATH 6350 - Probability and Statistics from an Advanced Perspective

**3credit hours**

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Relation to school mathematics. Development of central tendency and variation, concepts of chance including sample space, randomness, conditional probability, and independence.

### MSE 7900 - Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science

**3credit hours**

Focus on theoretical and practical issues regarding how students learn mathematics and science, best practices for teaching mathematics and science topics, and issues from current literature on the teaching and learning of mathematics and science.

### PSCI 6020 - Investigations in Physical Science

**1 to 3credit hours**

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Topics from astronomy to chemistry and physics, with special emphasis on the development of hands-on activities, determination of content cognitive demand, development of appropriate assessment instruments/implementation plans, and implementation of these across the pre-college curriculum. For practicing pre-college science teachers and school administrators. Consult the listed instructor for costs and specific credits. Does not apply toward chemistry graduate degrees. Offered on sufficient demand. May be repeated for a total of six credits with departmental approval. Repeatable for up to six credit hours.

### PSY 6480 - Advanced Topics in Quantitative Psychology

**3credit hours**

Prerequisite: PSY 6280 or equivalent. Advanced topics in quantitative psychology. Focus on current topics, recent issues, and less traditional areas of quantitative psychology. Relevant computer programs. May be repeated for a total of six credits.

### PSY 6550 - Structural Equation Modeling

**3credit hours**

Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Structural equation modeling. Review of correlation, multiple regression and path analysis. Conceptual review of measurement models. Model specification, estimation, goodness of fit, and power of structural equation models. Relevant computer programs.

### PSY 7210 - Advanced Psychometrics

**3credit hours**

Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Classical test theory and item response theory. Model, assumptions, and problems of classical test theory. Mathematical modeling, parameter estimating, and adaptive testing procedures using item response theory. Both theories utilized for test construction.

### PSY 7580 - Multivariate Data Analysis

**3credit hours**

Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Surveys each of the major multivariate data analysis techniques, with main focus on their application. Nature, power, procedure, computer programming, interpretation, and limitations of each.

### PSCI 7800 - Intermediate Physical Science

**3credit hours**

Selected concepts and theories within the physical sciences of astronomy, chemistry, geology, and physics such as the solar system and the Earth, physical and chemical changes, chemical bonding, acids and bases, rocks and minerals, density, kinematics, electricity, and magnetism. Particular emphasis placed on developing strong content and pedagogical content knowledge in these areas.

### Students must take one of the following courses:

### BIOL 7900 - Teaching and Learning Biology

**3credit hours**

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Overview of biology education with an emphasis on how students learn biology and current best practices for teaching biological concepts. Primary literature of the field featured as course emerges through lectures, discussion, small group activities, and group/individual presentations. Capstone experience will be student's development of an instructional unit of study including the formal teaching of selected biological concepts. Three hours lecture/discussion.

### CHEM 7900 - Teaching and Learning in Chemistry

**3credit hours**

Areas and ideas associated with chemical education. Readings from the current literature or seminal texts on misconceptions in chemistry, theories of learning, and theories of teaching. Offered summer only.

*NOTE:** Graduate standing is the prerequisite for graduate courses in chemistry. The 5000-level courses also have the same prerequisites as listed for the corresponding 4000-level courses in the undergraduate catalog.*

### MATH 7900 - Teaching and Learning Mathematics

**3credit hours**

Focus on theoretical and practical issues regarding how students learn mathematics, best practices for teaching mathematics, and issues from current literature on the teaching and learning of mathematics.

### Electives (11-12 hours)

In consultation with his or her major advisor and dissertation committee, each student will choose 11-12 credit hours from courses in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and the College of Education at the 6000 or 7000 level.

### Dissertation (12 hours)

### MSE 7640 - Dissertation Research in Mathematics and Science Education

**1 to 6credit hours**

Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of the dissertation. Once enrolled, students must register for at least one credit hour of dissertation research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

### Program Notes

Candidate must

- file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
- file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which candidate intends to graduate.