Ph.D. in Education – Mathematics Education
After ten years teaching middle and high school mathematics in the Baltimore City Public School System, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. at the University of Delaware in order to become a mathematics teacher educator.
While I loved teaching and my students, I believed that teaching the next generation of mathematics teachers would have a wider impact on improving learning for students in underserved communities.
The mathematics education faculty at UD have a variety of research interests, but I was particularly impressed with the focus on iterative improvement of the elementary mathematics content course sequence, the close connections with faculty in the mathematics department, and the collaborative environment promoted by the Friday Seminar series.
Last year, I was thrilled to work as a research assistant on a grant that followed UD elementary teacher education majors post-graduation to document effects of content courses on their specialized content knowledge for mathematics teaching. I am the lead author on an article (in preparation) that analyzes and explains our quantitative results, and I will be the lead presenter for a session reporting on our findings at an upcoming national conference. Despite being a first-year student at the time, the professors and other graduate students on the project valued my thoughts, opinions and skills as they would a more experienced colleague.
I am currently in the early stages of conducting my qualifying study, which looks at prospective teachers’ development of specialized content knowledge for division in one of the elementary mathematics content courses and will serve as a pilot study for my dissertation.
The feedback, support, and accessibility of my advisor and other faculty members during this process has been exceptional and is helping me hone the skills I need to be a successful researcher in the field.