MA Mathematics Areas of Study

The WGU Master of Arts in Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) program content is based on research on effective instruction as well as national and state standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to teach effectively in diverse classrooms. The M.A. in Mathematics Education program content and training processes are consistent with the accountability intent of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The degree program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified teachers. As described in the federal legislation, a highly qualified teacher is one who not only possesses full state certification, but also has solid content knowledge of the subject(s) he or she teaches.

Elementary Mathematics Content

Number Sense and Functions
This is a performance-based assessment that evaluates a student's portfolio of work. This portfolio includes the student's responses to various prompts and an original lesson plan for each of the mathematics modules such as number sense, patterns and functions, integers and order of operations, fractions, decimals, and percentages.

Graphing, Proportional Reasoning and Equations/Inequalities
This is a performance-based course that evaluates a student's portfolio of work. This portfolio includes the student's responses to various prompts and an original lesson plan for each of the mathematics modules such as coordinate pairs and graphing, ratios and proportional reasoning, and equations and inequalities.

Geometry and Statistics
This is a performance-based course that evaluates a student's portfolio of work. This portfolio includes the student's responses to various prompts and an original lesson plan for each of the mathematics modules such as geometry and measurement, statistics and probability.

Mathematics (K-6) Portfolio Oral Defense
Mathematics (K-6) Portfolio Oral Defense focuses on a formal presentation and the student answering questions during their Capstone Oral Defense. The student will present an overview of their teacher work sample (TWS) portfolio. They will talk about the challenges they faced and how they determined whether their goals were accomplished. They will explain the process they went through to develop the TWS portfolio and reflect on the methodologies and outcomes of the strategies discussed in the TWS portfolio. Additionally, they will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of those strategies and how they can apply what they learned from the TWS portfolio in their professional work environment.

Finite Mathematics
Included in this course are the following main topics: proofs, set theory, logic, number theory, mathematical systems, modular arithmetic, and graph theory.

Foundations of Research

Research Foundations

Research Questions and Literature Review
The Research Questions and Literature Reviews for Educational Research course focuses on how to conduct a thorough literature review that addresses and identifies important educational research topics, problems, and questions, and helps determine the appropriate kind of research and data needed to answer one's research questions and hypotheses.

Research Design and Analysis
The Research Design and Analysis course focuses on applying strategies for effective design of empirical research studies. Particular emphasis is placed on selecting or constructing the design that will provide the most valid results, analyzing the kind of data that would be obtained, and making defensible interpretations and drawing appropriate conclusions based on the data.

Research Proposals
Research Proposals focuses on planning and writing a well-organized and complete research proposal. The relationship of the sections in a research proposal to the sections in a research report will be highlighted.

Middle School Mathematics Content

Finite Mathematics
Included in this course are the following main topics: proofs, set theory, logic, number theory, mathematical systems, modular arithmetic, and graph theory.

Pre-calculus

Probability and Statistics I
This course is designed to provide you with a broad overview of the field of probability and statistics, and a fundamental understanding of statistical reasoning.

College Geometry
This course is designed for prospective secondary school mathematics teachers. It uses both synthetic and analytic approaches. In this course, you will be introduced to formal proofs using geometric properties, and have the opportunity to explore basic concepts of transformational geometry. You will also become familiar with the use of dynamic technologies and selected advanced topics in the study of geometry.

Calculus I
If you are in the middle school program, the skills that will be acquired will help you to better understand function behavior within a variety of real-world applications. If you are in the secondary program, the skills that will be acquired will prepare you for Calculus II, Calculus III, and other advanced topics in mathematics. Thus, it is essential that you master these concepts prior to moving forward.

Middle Schools Mathematics: Content Knowledge
This course is designed to help you refine and integrate the mathematics content knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful middle school mathematics teacher. Successful completion of the course requires a high-level of mathematical reasoning skills and the ability to solve problems.

High School Mathematics Content

Pre-calculus

College Geometry
This course is designed for prospective secondary school mathematics teachers. It uses both synthetic and analytic approaches. In this course, you will be introduced to formal proofs using geometric properties, and have the opportunity to explore basic concepts of transformational geometry. You will also become familiar with the use of dynamic technologies and selected advanced topics in the study of geometry.

Calculus I
Calculus I explores the key concepts, methods, and applications of differential calculus of one variable. It is the first course in the calculus sequence intended for secondary mathematics teachers. A solid background in precalculus is highly recommended. Topics include a review of functions, limits, derivatives, and applications of differential calculus. Upon completion, students will be able to apply the concepts and methods of differential calculus and appropriate technology to solve practical problems and communicate results.

Calculus II
In Calculus II you will study another important problem that led to the development of calculus: finding the area under a curve. You will study this problem and other applications of integration as you progress through this course. As you do, keep in mind that calculus is not only a theoretical branch of mathematics; calculus is used by scientists, engineers, and economists and has numerous applications to daily life.

Probability and Statistics I
This course is designed to provide you with a broad overview of the field of probability and statistics, and a fundamental understanding of statistical reasoning.

Probability and Statistics II
This course is designed to provide students with a broad overview of the field of probability and statistics and a fundamental understanding of statistical reasoning. Topics include discrete and continuous random variables, point and interval estimation, and hypothesis testing.

Calculus III and Analysis

Linear Algebra

Abstract Algebra

Mathematics: Content Knowledge
This course is designed to help you refine and integrate the mathematics content knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful secondary mathematics teacher. Successful completion of the course requires a high-level of mathematical reasoning skills and the ability to solve problems.

Mathematics Education

Mathematics Learning and Teaching
In this course you will develop the knowledge and skills necessary for becoming a prospective and practicing educator. You will be able to use a variety of instructional strategies to effectively facilitate the learning of mathematics. The focus will be on selecting appropriate resources, using multiple strategies, and instructional planning. Methods will be based on research and problem solving. A deep understanding of the knowledge, skills, and disposition of mathematics pedagogy is necessary to become an effective secondary mathematics educator.

Mathematics History and Technology
In this course, you will learn about a variety of technological tools for doing mathematics, and you will develop a broad understanding of the historical development of mathematics. More importantly, you will learn to evaluate and apply technology and history in order to create a student-centered mathematical learning environment.

Research Fundamentals

Research Foundations

Research Questions and Literature Review
The Research Questions and Literature Reviews for Educational Research course focuses on how to conduct a thorough literature review that addresses and identifies important educational research topics, problems, and questions, and helps determine the appropriate kind of research and data needed to answer one's research questions and hypotheses.

Research Design and Analysis
The Research Design and Analysis course focuses on applying strategies for effective design of empirical research studies. Particular emphasis is placed on selecting or constructing the design that will provide the most valid results, analyzing the kind of data that would be obtained, and making defensible interpretations and drawing appropriate conclusions based on the data.