How educators teach math continues to evolve, and school districts will have an ongoing need for mathematics instructors capable of adapting to new educational trends. The Master of Science in Education (MSEd) in Curriculum and Instruction – STEM Education online program from Southern Oregon University can help teachers develop the pedagogical knowledge and research skills they need to stay on the cutting edge of STEM education.
As the American education system continues to deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be important for teachers to tailor their curriculum to meet students’ unique needs. Teachers who use the latest methodology in mathematics instruction can help students rebound, and even excel, after a year of remote learning. The following are some exciting trends in mathematics education.
The Flipped Classroom Model (FCM) is one of the most popular trends in education today. It involves “replacing teachers’ lecture during the classroom sessions, with appropriately designed learning materials which can be studied by the students at home, in a more self-paced manner.” This model reserves class time primarily for structured practice, collaborative learning and scaffolded instruction. Flipped classrooms can be far more engaging for both students who exceed expectations as well as those struggling with the course content. A recent study of K-12 algebra instruction attributed the following benefits to the FCM:
- Increased student motivation
- Improved ability to conceptualize content
- Enhanced relevance of course content
Emphasis on Mathematics and Reading
In an unexpected year of remote learning, students have maintained their academic progress in reading, whereas math scores seem to have suffered due to the lack of in-class instruction. Because mathematics is a subject that builds upon each level of mastery, it’s crucial to emphasize math education in the curriculum to help students get back on track.
Adoption of Digital Technology
Digital technology is a valuable tool for teachers who want to improve mathematics education in their schools. After all, today’s students are growing up in a digital space, so receiving instruction in a similar space is a natural and necessary extension to ensure their success in higher education and beyond. Implementing technology in mathematics curricula can benefit the learning environment in the following ways:
- Students can collaborate with each other using the latest technology (such as writing programs for a 3D printer).
- Teachers can make old concepts more dynamic (such as using 3D modeling to help students calculate volume).
- Students can access knowledge on demand (such as viewing online lectures from world-renowned experts).
A Shift Away From Memorization
The goal of mathematics education should be to create scenarios wherein students can explore concepts and develop number sense — an intuitive feel for numbers that allows them to be more adaptable and creative in how they use math.
A recent test by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) showed that students from France and Japan who “combined self-monitoring and relational strategies outscored students using memorization by more than a year’s worth of schooling.” The educational system in the United States is long overdue for a shift from memorization to some of the more dynamic curricular trends on this list.
The fully online Master of Science in Education in Curriculum & Instruction – STEM Education from Southern Oregon University is a practical choice for working educators who want to prepare for leadership roles in STEM teaching or curriculum design.