York University’s Faculty of Education has launched a new format for its Graduate Diploma in Mathematics Education. It is now available online in addition to the traditional on-campus structure.
The Online Graduate Diploma in Mathematics Education (oGDME) is a part-time direct entry program for practising teachers of all levels, administrators and other individuals engaged in developing mathematical literacies whose work schedule or long commute prevent them from attending classes on campus.
Consisting of five courses, the program offers students a study of research and practice in mathematics education. All coursework is available online.
The oGDME program augments the initial teacher education program where prospective teachers do not necessarily delve into the theoretical foundations of education. Guided by their instructors and engaging with contemporary theories, professionals enrolled in the program will examine the theoretical foundations underpinning their work and analyze what drives the common practices in their field. Students will discuss trends in mathematics education, the psychology of mathematics learning, and curricular design and development.
“The program also features an academic research component to help teachers become teacher-researchers,” said Professor Margaret Karrass, who is spearheading the online program. “Students learn to conduct clinical interviews, collect data, perform literature reviews and compose annotated bibliographies.”
With five courses to be completed over five semesters, oGDME offers students exceptional flexibility in how they approach their learning. Because the program is asynchronous, students can work at their own pace within the framework of the program. Students will also participate online together in a virtual classroom, engaging with one another and instructors through Skype, video conferencing and discussion forums.
Each cohort moves through the program together as a group with the intention of creating close friendships and professional connections.
“Ultimately, we are looking for our students to bond and create a support network for each other,” said Karrass. “Our students are professionals working in different areas of education, which will allow them to share knowledge from diverse perspectives and learn from each other. Anticipating the heterogeneity of the student cohort, the program employs a many-to-many model where each student learns not just from the instructor, but also from their peers.”
Moreover, specialized mathematics knowledge is not required to engage with the course material, which makes the program accessible to education professionals across divisions. The goal is to tackle questions and ideas within mathematics education. For example: What is an equitable learning environment and how do we develop it in a mathematics classroom? What does it mean to teach mathematics for understanding? What should teachers know to be able to teach mathematics for understanding?
“This innovative and unique diploma will provide practising teachers and professionals with the skills and knowledge to deepen their understanding of mathematical concepts, applications and pedagogy to positively influence the teaching and learning of mathematics in classrooms throughout Ontario,” said Lyndon Martin, dean of the Faculty of Education.
Graduates will be in a better position to assume leadership positions in the field of education, including schools, post-secondary institutions and the Ministry of Education as well as the private sector.
oGDME is currently accepting applications for the 2019-20 academic year. Visit the oGDME website for details.