Masters in Education (Mathematics Education)
Course Rationale and Orientation
The overarching theme of the MEd course in Mathematics Education centres around the development and growth of critically reflexive practitioners who will actively contribute to, and have the capacity to act as agents of change in the transformation process of Mathematics Education in Southern Africa.
The underpinnings of the course outcomes are two-fold:
1. to enable and facilitate professionals to develop a broad and critical perspective on Mathematics Education in the context of their personal space, current national developments and global trends;
2. to develop research capacity through practical and theoretical engagement.
The course will be of particular relevance to:
• practicing teachers/educators
• aspiring researchers in the field of Mathematics Education
• subject advisors
• policy advisors
• educational planners
• college lecturers
• technikon lecturers
• university lecturers
• human resources practitioners
• training consultants and
• adult basic education practitioners.
Applicants should normally be in possession of an Honours or BEd(Honours) degree. Their bachelor’s degree should include majors and/or sub-majors in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics, although relevant experience may also count significantly towards gaining admission. Ideally applicants should be in posts where they are involved in teaching, administering and/or researching Mathematics Education.
Course Outcomes and Curriculum
This degree is designed to meet the demands of students who have completed the BEd (h) with a Mathematics specialism. In a South African context it articulates with the NQF requirements. Successful candidates should demonstrate that they have acquired at least the following outcomes in the context of Mathematics Education:
• Competences related to specialist bodies of theoretical and applied knowledge relevant to Mathematics Education
• Competences related to the practices of systematic, critical and disciplined thinking
• Competences related to the practices of Mathematics educational research with specific reference to a Southern African context.
In particular candidates will:
• integrate their learning with their practice and their personal experiences
• work both as individuals and in a team of professionals
• communicate their understanding, perceptions and research in a variety of forms
• think critically, analytically, creatively and participate actively in debates on
• research topical issues within a Southern African context, using appropriate techniques and methodologies
• take ownership for their own thesis and/or research projects
• analyse, evaluate, synthesise and challenge:
• existing and emerging theories underpinning education both globally and nationally specifically within the context of Mathematics Education
• appropriate approaches to teaching and learning of Mathematics
• their role as professionals in the Southern African Mathematics Education context
• operate as responsible and informed agents of change in Mathematics Education
Based on this competency framework, the course curriculum consists of a core around which there is ample room for individuals and groups of students to explore areas of interest relevant to their own practice. The themes which will guide the coursework can include:
• Mathematics as a social construct
• Philosophy of Mathematics
• Curriculum and Assessment
• Investigative Mathematics and problem-solving
• Mathematics and language
• Mathematics and multi-culturalism
• Spatial conceptualization and Mathematics
• Mathematics and Technology Education
• Mathematics and Information Technology
• Learning and teaching theories
• Teacher development in Mathematics Education
• Quality in Mathematics Education
These are subject to some negotiation with students.
Candidates will be required to attend a module of Mathematics content. This module will focus on problem-solving skills and will be designed to cater for all levels of Mathematics.
The course runs part-time over two years. There are two components to the course:
Coursework is presented through formal lectures, seminars, workshops, excursions and individual and group assignments. Students are expected to attend nine 5-day sessions over the two year period (see projected dates below). Assessment of the coursework occurs through assignments, presentations, seminars, workshops and portfolios. Further, the coursework component of the course will be examined during November of the first year. Class-work (presentations, assignments and other tasks) accounts for 50% of the course-work mark and the examination for the other 50%. All assignments are compulsory and must be handed in on the first day of each session. Sub-minima for both are 50% in order to pass. There are no supplementary examinations at Master’s level and no candidate is permitted to repeat the course. Normal rules regarding aegrotat and suspension apply in the case of illness or injury or unfortunate personal circumstances.
Research comprises the second component of the degree. Candidates will be expected to write a half-thesis (with maximum of 30 000 words), for submission by mid-December of the second year of registration. The thesis will be examined both internally and externally over a period that will allow the student to graduate in April of the following year. Both course-work and the research component must be passed with a minimum of 50%, for the degree to be awarded. For the degree to be recommended for award with distinction, the research component must receive a distinction (75% or more) and the candidate must have achieved a minimum of 70% for the course-work component. The average of the two parts must not be less than 75%.
Your attention is also drawn to the following University regulations in respect of the MEd:
• Attendance of the entire course is compulsory
• All assignments must be handed in by the due date
• Candidates’ proposed research needs to be approved by the Education Faculty Higher Degrees Committee. To this end candidates are required to write research proposals, which need to be submitted as early as possible (usually February of the first year) for consideration by the committee
• Candidates are expected to complete the degree within the two years allocated and only in exceptional circumstances will any extension be granted.
5 contact sessions in year 1
4 contact sessions in year 2
Dates still to be finalized.
One of the Sessions in year 1 is usually a one-week session focusing on research methods that takes place in Grahamstown.
Precise dates will be communicated to you in due course.
Full Research Option
An alternative route to the MEd in Mathematics Education is by full thesis. Candidates will be expected to conduct independent research and write a full-thesis (with maximum of 50 000 words). Candidates’ proposed research needs to be approved by the Education Faculty Higher Degrees Committee. Full-time candidates are expected to complete the degree within one year, whereas part-time candidates are expected to complete within two years.
Application forms are available from:
Ms Phoebe Ngalo
Education Department (Grahamstown)
P O Box 94
Tel: +27 46 603 8383
Fax: +27 46 622 8028
e-mail: P.Ngalo@ru.ac.za OR firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Open browser (Netscape or Explorer) and type http://www.ru.ac.za/
2. Click ADMISSION
3. Click New Applications
4. Scroll to the end of this page and click on Post Graduate application in PDF format
6. Complete (with signature and associated documents)
7. Post to Registrar
Applcations are open for the full research option in Grahamstown. The closing date for application forms is 30 September 2010 (for the 2011 intake).
A coursework masters will commence again in 2012.
You will be required to present yourself for a one-on-one interview with the course co-ordinator in October of the year preceeding your first year of registration.
You will be asked to present the following:
• your CV
• a written motivation, articulating your desire to register for this course and your research interest/s.
The course co-ordinator is Prof Marc Schäfer, FRF Mathematics Education Chair in the Education Department at Rhodes University.