Some Information on Mathematics Education

(by Prof. Steffen Lempp, Department of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

General Information on Mathematics Courses for UW-Madison Elementary Education and Special Education Majors

I am the faculty course supervisor for the following mathematics courses for elementary education education majors; Dr. Oh Hoon Kwon ("> is the Math 13X Course Supervisor. Math 130, 131, and 132 are the three math content courses required for elementary education education majors, together with the math methods course C&I 370 (see the UW course guide) taught by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Math 130, 131, and 132 are usually taken in sequence; contact Dr. Oh Hoon Kwon or me (preferably by email:"> or"> to be granted an exemption from this requirement. (C&I 370 has Math 130 and 131 as prerequisites and can be taken concurrently with Math 132.) Once one of us has granted this exemption, please contact Dr. Kwon to help you register, since the registrar's computer system needs to be overridden manually.

The three courses Math 130-131-132 have a prerequisite of Math 101 (which is offered by UW-Madison in both the fall and spring semester), an equivalent course elsewhere, or (most commonly) placement into Math 112 (see general placement test information, sample math placement tests, and placement score evaluation). Note, however, that students do not have to take Math 112 to take Math 130-131-132. Also note that Math 141 does not give you the placement into Math 112 required to enroll in Math 130-131-132!

Please note that effective fall semester 2012, any student wanting to register for a Math 13x course must have a grade of at least C in all prerequisite Math 13x courses (unless exempted from these courses).

Under certain circumstances, students can be exempt from Math 130 and/or 131 (see here for the precise rules), but not from Math 132. Similarly, some courses from other universities may transfer toward Math 13x credit, see the UW Transfer Information System for the most common courses transferable from other UW campuses; for all other questions about possible course credit transfer for Math 13x courses, contact Dr. Oh Hoon Kwon or me (preferably by email:"> or">

Note that Math 130 also meets the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement Part A of the UW-Madison School of Education, and that Math 131 and 132 together, or Math 135, or any calculus course, meet the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement Part B of the UW-Madison School of Education. (Education students not in elementary or special education are advised, however, to meet the Quantitative Reasoning requirements via other courses (check for the lists of courses for QR-A and QR-B in the UW course guide).

Information about the Math/Science Minor for Elementary and Special Education Majors

Math 135, Math 136 and Math 138 are the three math content courses of the new Mathematics-Science Dual Minor intended for all Elementary Education and Special Education majors wishing to enhance their content preparation in mathematics and science. (Students taking this minor are exempt from Math 132!) This minor is particularly suitable for those Elementary Education majors seeking Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence certification and intending to teach mathematics and science in middle school. (The last math content course for this minor, Math 138, is being offered for the first time in spring 2011; Math 132 can no longer be taken as its substitute unless you have taken it before spring 2011.)

Specific Course and Textbook Information on Math 130-131-132-135-136-138

Information for TA's intending to teach Math 130-131-132-136-138

Math 130-131-132 are the math content courses preparing students to become elementary or middle school teachers. The students and especially the content in these courses are very different from those found in other mathematics classes in that they focus on a "profound understanding of elementary mathematics".

Special interest in how teachers are prepared, and some familiarity with current developments in how mathematics is taught in schools, are essential for a TA in these courses.

Normally, a TA teaching these courses would be someone with a minor or a special interest in mathematics education since it is desirable to have some background in educational psychology and how someone learns mathematics. Since these courses are also taught by faculty, appointments to teach them are made by the TA coordinator of the department in consultation with Dr. Kwon and me. TA's interested in teaching one of these courses should contact Dr. Kwon or me by email:"> or">

Each single section of Math 130, 131 and 132 corresponds to a 50% appointment level. This includes some required special TA training during the last few weeks of the previous semester, some required meetings with other Math 13x TA's as well as me and other faculty during the semester, and a fair amount of grading homework.

Related UW-Madison (and MMSD and DPI) Web Sites

Two quotes from George Pólya's "How To Solve It":

"Mathematics presented with rigor is a systematic deductive science
but mathematics in the making is an experimental inductive science."

"Heuristic reasoning is good in itself.
What is bad is to mix up heuristic reasoning with rigorous proof.
What is worse is to sell heuristic reasoning for rigorous proof."

Some Studies and Reports in Mathematics Education

Some Textbooks and Course Materials in Mathematics Education

Home Pages of Some Faculty in Mathematics and Mathematics Education

Other Math Education Links

Prepared by Steffen Lempp (">