U.S. Falls Short in Measure of Future Math Teachers

From the NY Times. Title is a little misleading imho. They are talking about a test given to elementary and middle school teachers. It’s the ms teachers who scored less than their counterparts world wide in enough countries to make a recommendation to strengthen programming.

What it made me wonder about was college educational programs and how teaching licenses are earned in the US. I wasn’t in a teaching program until after I got my undergrad, but way back in the day, you got an elementary license or you got a secondary license. Elementary was up to 6 and secondary was 6 and up. So when did ms licenses come to be? I know that middle schoolers are different from high schoolers, but I also know the understanding of content is crucial to teaching. I’m curious how many math courses are needed for a ms math degree.

One quote from the article:

“Dr. Kingsbury said. “And to suggest that you can’t be a good middle school math teacher unless you’ve taken calculus is a leap, because calculus isn’t taught in middle school.”

uh no, that is true. Most high schoolers won’t take calculus either. I do understand though that the more math you comprehend, the more you know how mathematics works and you understand the reasons why a particular concept is needed or how/when it will be used later. I also know that there are some pretty smart cookies in ms and their teachers better have a strong content foundation.

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