# MATH4010-4015-4020

## Course Description:Math 4010-20 is a two-semester sequence of required mathematics courses for elementary school teachers. The sequence is designed to help K-6 preservice teachers develop a conceptual framework for mathematics, especially for those aspects normally experienced in elementary school. Through their work in each course the students study the main themes of mathematics throughout the curriculum, considering both mathematical and pedagogical content issues in teaching mathematics. As the students develop their own understanding of the mathematics they will teach, they also increase their awareness of children's mathematical thinking and the various stages of growth in learning mathematical concepts. In each course, the students do a six-hour practicum in a local school relating their course work to the classroom situation. The first course, Math 4010, looks at the real number system from a mature perspective, focusing on the concepts of number and operation. The second course, Math 4020, focuses on elementary geometry (two-thirds of the semester) and data analysis. The texts used in the courses are listed below. A more detailed description of the topics covered and the course emphasis is available here. This course sequence is designed for preservice elementary school teachers and requires time spent in the elementary school classroom. Students must complete the practicum (described below) in order to pass each of the courses in the sequence.
In Math4010 and Math 4020 it is assumed that students can perform calculations through college algebra and have had basic school geometry. However, they may not know why certain algorithms, or rules, work, why a geometric statement is true, or how to evaluate statistical information. As teachers, this type of knowledge, conceptual understanding, is very important. Elementary school pupils begin their learning by wanting to make sense of the world around them and of the ideas they encounter. To help students develop mathematical understanding, teachers need to develop their own ability to make sense of mathematical concepts. "Making sense" of ideas lies at the heart of mathematics and this goal will be a primary focus of class work in the Math 4010-20 sequence. Prospective elementary school teachers need opportunities to relate their own course work to what
happens in the elementary school. For this reason, in each course in the sequence, students spend a
six-hour For more information on programs in mathematics education at the University of Utah, please contact Marilyn Keir at keir@math.utah.edu. |