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Math, Science & Engineering Education

The MSE Graduate Program Area of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction focuses on mathematics, science and engineering education. The MSE faculty are national and international leaders at the forefront of their fields. They prepare cutting-edge scholars who raise and address vital questions about mathematics, science and engineering education. The MSE faculty support and encourage a wide variety of perspectives and research methodologies.

Who Should Apply?

At the College of Education at Illinois, we engage in groundbreaking research to address critical educational and societal issues. With an interrogative research culture and interdisciplinary collaboration, our faculty and students create knowledge and programs that impact society and communities around the world in order to advance the common good. Our applicants are interested in going beyond simply finding uses for new gadgets -- they seek to understand the learning science that underpins new educational technologies in order to explore their pedagogical implications.

Highlighted Courses

Problem Solving in Math Education
Credit: 4 hours.
Focuses on the role of problem solving in the learning and teaching of mathematics. Examines mathematical problem solving processes, as well as issues surrounding the use of problem solving in K-12 mathematics classrooms, including recent reform trends, equity issues, and distinctions among teaching "about", "for", and "through" problem solving.
Constructivism and MST Education
Credit: 4 hours.
Intended for those interested in a perspective on mathematics, science, and technology (MST) learning and teaching called constructivism, which has come to prominence in the past two decades, particularly in MST education. Constructivism focuses on the processes of sense-making or meaning construction through experience and/or social discourse. Designed to help participants examine the implications of constructivism for learning and teaching in mathematics, science, and technology. Prerequisite: A basic familiarity with mathematics, science, and/or technology.
Teaching and Learning Geometry
Credit: 4 hours.
This course concentrates on the teaching and learning of geometry in middle school and high school by examining the history of school geometry, comparing curricular expectations and rationales for geometry instruction over time. The course provides an overview of theoretical models regarding the teaching and learning of geometry. At the same time, the course provides opportunities for discussing practical issues of teaching geometry with work on geometrical problems and laboratory sessions using dynamic geometry. Prerequisite: Acceptance into a graduate program.
MSE Proseminar I
Credit: 4 hours.
Provides an introduction to doctoral studies, research, and careers in Math, Science, and Technology (MST) Education. Topics include a basic orientation to research in MST education, doctoral program hurdles, potential career paths, and MST education research funding. Although this seminar is designed for CI students in MST education, students in other programs may also enroll.
Learning in Science
Credit: 4 hours.
Focuses on influential theories of student learning and their implications for science education. Examines the theoretical underpinnings of these learning theories as well as their implications for student learning, instruction, and assessment.
Science Education and Philosophy of Science
Credit: 4 hours.
Surveys issues in philosophy of science that are central to science education through an exploration of the works of twentieth century philosophers of science who were most influential in shaping thinking about science in the science education community. Relevant readings from science and history of science are also explored. Prerequisite: College level coursework in a science discipline or consent of instructor.