The student dedicated to becoming a mathematics teacher values the Bard MAT Program’s commitment to the discipline and its authentic research projects in mathematics (the Academic Research Project) and mathematics education (the Classroom Research Project). MAT’s strong cohort model and small class size offer support to students over the course of the program and into the first years of their teaching career.
The ideal preparation for the MAT mathematics curriculum is a B.A. or B.S. in mathematics for which the undergraduate program required completion of a substantive research project. Advanced undergraduate course work in algebra and analysis is highly recommended. Other recommended areas of preparation include statistics, geometry, topology, physics, and computer science. Because there are many routes to mathematical preparation, applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Math 513:Teaching Mathematics: The Learner as Individual, A Field ExperienceVIEW MORE >>
Students spend one morning per week in a local summer school program. This introduction to the public schools provides MAT students with opportunities to work with students one-on-one or in small groups in a tutorial mode. As a first experience with the public schools, graduate students are involved with diagnostic approaches to teaching, focusing on individuals with various kinds of recognized academic needs. These experiences provide real contexts for inquiry and study in the summer teaching strand. Required noncredit course.
Math 514:Topics in Algebra, Topology and AnalysisVIEW MORE >>
This course will survey important topics in Algebra, Topology and Analysis (real, functional and/or complex). Topics may include the completeness of real numbers, sequences, Cauchy sequences, continuity, limits, topological spaces, metric spaces, compactness, connectedness, groups, rings, fields, equivalence relations, finite groups, group actions, integral domains, and/or polynomial rings. The students will develop an in-depth understanding of a subset of these topics and key theorems, with a focus on written mathematical proofs. 3 credits.
This independent study course requires students to become teacher-researchers, examining the effects of particular practices or designs on student learning in the context of their particular field of study. Review of the pertinent literature, research design and implementation, analysis of data, and conclusions leading to further iterations build a practice of inquiry and reflection that are essential to developing best practices in education. Typically, research questions investigate real questions about student learning in the context of authentic practices in the academic discipline. MAT faculty act as advisers to these projects, providing support over three quarters, from the initial development of research questions and literature reviews in the summer quarter until the final publication of the research document at the end of the spring quarter. 6 credits.
This course begins with a review of select high-school geometry topics such as triangles, circles and polygons and continues with more advanced topics that will solidify the base and deepen the understanding of those topics. This includes the nine-point circle, Simson lines, the theorems of Ceva and Menelaus, Morley’s theorem as well as compass and straightedge constructions. Hands on activities will be utilized as well as development of formal mathematical proofs. 3 credits.
Math 524:Applications of Mathematics with Algorithms and Data StructuresVIEW MORE >>
This course will introduce syntax and semantics of imperative programming using dynamic data structures. Several standard data structures will be covered, including stacks, queues, and lists. In addition, we will develop and analyze classic sorting, robotics and/or computational geometry algorithms. Other topics from statistics, operations research and/or numerical computing may be covered as time permits. There will be a weekly lab session for this class where other technologies are explored such as HTML, Lego Robotics, Scratch, Geogebra and VBA scripting. 3 credits.
This is a two-quarter investigation of questions generated by the student in consultation with a faculty adviser. The project requires the student to: • become an expert in a particular area of mathematics, an expertise demonstrated with a deep mathematical understanding of the area and also the knowledge necessary to answer reflective and historical questions —who, what, why, and when—about the area • produce a new mathematical synthesis of ideas and possibly new concepts and results • write a report demonstrating that the above requirements have been met and present it for discussion by mathematics program students and faculty. 9 credits total.
MAT students work as apprentices with one of their mentor-teacher partners in the fall quarter for a ten-week cycle. Students act as full-time apprentices and research partners, assuming increasing responsibility for instruction and collecting and analyzing data with their mentor teachers. In a radical departure from conventional student-teaching models, apprentices work closely with their mentors, moving gradually from participant observer to teaching assistant to co-teacher and, finally, assuming primary responsibility for classroom instruction in all its dimensions. The mentor teacher and the graduate adviser observe regularly and provide ongoing formative evaluations in close collaboration with the student. Students also meet with their MAT peers throughout the student-teaching cycle to support each other through shared writing, reflection, and discussion. 8 credits.
The MAT student completes the apprenticeship cycle with a second mentor teacher for an eleven-week period that ends in mid-May. The field experience is structured to provide the MAT student with ongoing guidance and feedback from the graduate adviser and the mentor teacher. An apprenticeship model that emphasizes the guided acquisition of teaching competencies, carefully monitored by mentor and adviser, insures that student learning in the public school classroom is not compromised and that the apprentice is held to standards in teaching that reflect program concerns for authentic learning in the disciplines. MAT students continue to meet weekly as a group to share and reflect upon their experiences. 8 credits.
Bard Master of Arts in Teaching Bard College, 7401 South Broadway, Red Hook, NY 12571