Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Want better math teachers? Then train them better

Date:
June 9, 2011
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
It's time for the United States to consider establishing higher standards for math teachers if the nation is going to break its "vicious cycle" of mediocrity, an education scholar argues.

It's time for the United States to consider establishing higher standards for math teachers if the nation is going to break its "vicious cycle" of mediocrity, a Michigan State University education scholar argues in Science magazine.

As American students continue to be outpaced in mathematics by pupils in countries such as Russia and Taiwan, William Schmidt recommends adopting more rigorous, demanding and internationally benchmarked teacher-preparation standards for math teachers.

"Our research shows that current teacher-preparation programs for middle-school math instructors in the United States do not produce teachers with an internationally competitive level of mathematics knowledge," said Schmidt, a University Distinguished Professor and co-director of MSU's Education Policy Center.

Schmidt makes his argument in an "education forum" paper in the June 10 edition of Science. MSU researchers Richard Houang and Leland Cogan co-authored the paper.

Current standards for math teachers are established on a state-by-state level. Schmidt suggests the states could come together to establish more rigorous and uniform standards, similar to the Common Core State Standards Initiative for K-12 students.

That initiative, which establishes more rigorous math and English-Language Arts standards for students, is led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Thus far, 42 states have adopted the common standards.

But even with higher pupil standards, U.S. students can't get better at math if their instructors aren't fully prepared to teach them, Schmidt noted.

"Weak K-12 math curricula taught by teachers with an inadequate mathematics background produce high school graduates who are similarly weak," Schmidt said. "A long-term and better solution is to break the vicious cycle of mediocrity in which we find ourselves."

Schmidt led the U.S. portion of the Teacher Education Study in Mathematics, or TEDS-M, by far the largest study of its kind, surveying more than 3,300 future teachers in the United States and 23,244 future teachers across 16 countries.

The U.S. study was sponsored by Boeing Co., Carnegie Corp. of New York, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GE Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. William H. Schmidt, Richard Houang, Leland S. Cogan. Preparing Future Math Teachers. Science, 10 June 2011: Vol. 332 no. 6035 pp. 1266-1267 DOI: 10.1126/science.1193855

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Want better math teachers? Then train them better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609151529.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2011, June 9). Want better math teachers? Then train them better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609151529.htm
Michigan State University. "Want better math teachers? Then train them better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609151529.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins