Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
Mathematics—Elementary Education, BAEd
What is the study of Mathematics—Elementary Education?
“Mathematics reveals hidden patterns that help us understand the world around us. Now much more than Arithmetic and Geometry, Mathematics today is a diverse discipline that deals with data, measurements, and observations from science; with inference, deduction, and proof; and with mathematical models of natural phenomena, of human behavior, and of social systems.
As a practical matter, Mathematics is a science of pattern and order. Its domain is not molecules or cells, but numbers, chance, form, algorithms, and change. As a science of abstract objects,
Mathematics relies on logic rather than on observation as its standard of truth, yet employs observation, simulation, and even experimentation as means of discovering truth.” From: Everybody Counts: A Report to the Nation on the Future of Mathematics Education (c) 1989 National Academy of Sciences.
This major satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in elementary education and must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in Elementary Education offered through Woodring College of Education.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
Teaching Mathematics is a challenge, a responsibility, and an opportunity. Learning to teach Mathematics occurs through a variety of means: the study of a wide variety of Mathematics, pedagogical preparation within a mathematical context, formal clinical preparation in education, an extended internship, and continual experiences as a student, learner, and problem solver in Mathematics.
There is a growing demand for elementary teachers with a strong background in Mathematics, but there is an even greater need for quality Mathematics teachers—elementary teachers who care about both students and Mathematics, elementary teachers who have a broad and deep understanding of Mathematics, and elementary teachers who are thoroughly professional. The responsibilities are great, but the rewards are even greater.
As a prospective elementary teacher specializing in Mathematics you need to focus on expanding your personal understanding of Mathematics and capitalizing on opportunities to work with pre-college students—as a tutor, as a classroom assistant, as a practicum student, and as a novice teacher in your internship. Are you up for it?
- Elementary Teacher