Data collected over the course of many years have consistently demonstrated that when compared to children in other industrialized nations, pupils in the United States score somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to mathematics. At the primary level in particular, where instructors often receive only a limited amount of specialized training in the topic of mathematics, there are a number of obstacles that stand in the way of efforts to increase student progress in mathematics.
According to umsl With the assistance of the College of Education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and a cutting-edge certification program, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is working to address the challenges and the demand for highly-trained elementary mathematics teachers in the state. The Advanced Elementary Math Specialist credential was first introduced by DESE in 2013, and UMSL began offering the curriculum the following year.
Reason for the certificate program
The certification program is offered by the university, which is one of only six universities in the state to do so. The program is geared toward full-time educators who are teaching grades one through six. The two-year, 24-credit cohort program educates educators in mathematics that is appropriate for their students’ grade levels, as specified by the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators and the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences, as well as in the application of pedagogy and leadership training. During the current academic year, the Department of Education and Subsidized Education (DESE) has made it possible for 800 public-school teachers to participate in the program by providing funds for their participation.
Statement from an associate professor
According to Amber Candela, an associate professor of mathematics education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL) and the director of the Elementary Mathematics Specialist Certificate program, there was a lot of competition for the available places. This fall, the DESE received over 1,400 applications for the 300 available positions. The University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL) has already accepted and began working with fifty students, and it will admit another ninety students in the spring.
Candela remarked that the environment was ideal for concentrating so intently on mathematical topics. “It truly helps support the overall comprehension of mathematics in elementary school settings. We are providing these instructors with the opportunity to specialize in that particular subject area, and it’s fantastic that all of these teachers are looking for this opportunity and are eager to delve deeper into mathematics.
One such individual is Amy Hertert, who has been teaching first grade for a number of years at Lafayette Preparatory Academy in St. Louis. Hertert stated that the school’s math expert has been promoting the opportunity at UMSL since the spring of last year. LPA is a major supporter of professional development opportunities for its teachers, particularly in the area of mathematics. After doing some research on it, she grew enthusiastic about the concept of a comprehensive and in-depth exploration of arithmetic across all grade levels.
She explained her motivation by saying, “I wanted to have a greater grasp of how arithmetic operates throughout time for pupils.” “That was the aspect of the program that piqued my interest. I did not have the impression that I was falling behind in my mathematical professional progress. Simply put, I saw this as an opportunity to spend the next two years delving even further into the subject of mathematics. That was a very thrilling experience for me.
The program has also brought together a broad collection of educators from all around the region, which has enabled participants to get insight into the ways in which kids who come from a variety of backgrounds react to the same ideas.
Hertert told the audience that they would be “sitting in a room with people in school districts all over the place and folks who are in numerous grade levels.” “So, having some cross sections of how individuals are experiencing the same topics with different curricula and also different age groups is a really excellent approach to have some,”
Candela is excited about the work the program is doing and is optimistic more elementary educators will look to UMSL to further their education. Candela stated, “I adore mathematics, and I find working with mathematics to be pleasurable.” “This gives me hope that more teachers are finding that same joy and deciding that they want to go and dig deeper into the mathematics than they were able to as students.”
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