Despite the surplus of teachers in Ontario, there is a shortage of qualified teachers of mathematics in not only Ontario, but also across North America. At York University, we are addressing this need by offering an undergraduate degree specifically designed for students interested in pursuing a teaching career in mathematics. The Mathematics for Education program offers excellent preparation for admission to Education (BEd) programs and for future success in a teaching career.
A degree in Mathematics for Education from York will prepare you for a fulfilling future in mathematics education. We will help you achieve this goal by providing you with foundational knowledge in mathematical concepts; teach you how to think critically; allow you to develop your problem-solving skills; and enhance your understanding of the history of mathematics and the role of mathematics in the education system and society. You will come away from this degree well prepared for continuing studies in education, including a Bachelor of Education (BEd), as well as graduate work in Mathematics Education.
You may take York’s Mathematics for Education degree through the major program, specialized honours, honours major, honours major/minor, or honours minor program. This degree may be taken at the same time as York’s concurrent education program or prior to taking a one-year consecutive education program at York or another university. While the Mathematics for Education program includes all the courses required to have Mathematics as a first teachable subject, it does not replace the BEd program required for certification as a teacher in Ontario.
Your degree will include math courses such as Calculus, Linear Algebra, Statistics and Probability, as well as proof-based courses (the requirements for mathematics as a first teachable subject in York’s Faculty of Education). The program provides a breadth of experience in both pure and applied mathematics which is a valuable background for teaching mathematics. You will also take courses in computing, other sciences, and courses for your second teachable, should you choose to teach at an intermediate or secondary level. Education-related courses such as Topics in Mathematics for Education and the History of Mathematics are also part of the curriculum.
York acknowledges the fact that your interests may change as you progress through your degree. In order to leave windows of opportunity open, we have designed our Mathematics for Education program so that should you decide that you would prefer to concentrate on another area of mathematics such as Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Statistics, or Computational Mathematics, you may transfer into one of our other mathematics programs up until the end of your second year without having to take any additional courses.
Graduates of this program are eligible for graduate work in education, and in programs such as the MA in Mathematics for Teachers at York. With an appropriate selection of optional courses, a graduate of this program can also apply for other graduate programs in Mathematics.
Facilities and Opportunities
By studying mathematics at York, you will be learning from the best. Our award-winning professors have a passion for both mathematics and teaching. One of our most recent award recipients is Professor Walter Whiteley, who won the 2009 Adrien Pouliot Award from the Canadian Mathematical Society, for significant and sustained contributions to mathematics education in Canada. With the extensive range of research areas and backgrounds of our faculty members, you will be exploring the field of mathematics through multiple frames of mind. Our faculty also hire undergraduate students for summer research, often through the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA), including research related to mathematics education. These experiences will enhance the styles of your future teaching of the subject.
By becoming a member of our undergraduate student mathematics society, Club Infinity, participating in our Mathematics and Statistics Tutorial Labs, SOS and our peer Study Group program, and attending the annual Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, CUMC, you will have unlimited opportunities to meet others who share your interests and discuss your ideas. An invaluable opportunity for discussions of issues in mathematics education at primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels is the monthly Fields Institute’s Mathematics Forum in Toronto.
If you are looking to be challenged and want to put your skills to the test, we can help you prepare for some international mathematics competitions. In the annual MCM/ICM mathematics modelling contests, you will use your problem-solving and writing skills in a team. The annual Putnam competition is a highly respected North American competition, known for its level of difficulty.
A degree in Mathematics for Education from York will prepare you for your future studies in education; provide you with the background required for a career in mathematics education research and policy; and broaden your understanding of mathematics and its influence on history and society. With a careful choice of upper level courses, your program of study can prepare you for graduate studies in Mathematics and Statistics.
Students in Mathematics for Education have the option of pursuing the major as either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc), giving you the option to combine your studies in mathematics with human and social issues or with other science disciplines. The mathematics courses required for the major are the same in the BA and BSc programs. The difference between the BA and BSc lies in the requirements outside your major. BA students take courses from liberal arts areas, such as humanities, social sciences, economics, and languages. BSc students study Mathematics for Education within the context of other sciences, such as physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, and earth and atmospheric science.
If you are in Mathematics for Education, your First Year will look something like this…
• Problems, Conjectures and Proofs
• Computing for Math and Statistics
• One of Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Earth & Atmospheric Science
• An elective course in an area planned as second teaching subject
In second year you will probably take:
• Linear Algebra
• Calculus of Several Variables with Applications
• Differential Equations or Statistics or Mathematical Theory of Interest
• Elementary Probability
Plus a course in an area planned as a second teaching subject
Courses you might take in upper years include:
• Topics in Mathematics Education
• History of Mathematics
• Introduction to Geometries
• Operations Research
• Computational Mathematics
• Number Theory and Theory of Equations
• Mathematical Analysis
• Graph Theory and Combinatorics
• Differential Equations
• courses in an area planned as a second teaching subject
• Mathematics electives
Career options for Mathematics for Education majors include:
• Math teacher – elementary, high school, college, university
• Math education research and policy
• Post Graduate Studies
• Areas combining mathematical skills and communication skills
• Mathematician, Statistician
BA or BSc
Students in Mathematics & Statistics have the option of pursuing the major as either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc), giving you the option to combine your studies in mathematics with human and social issues or with other science disciplines. The mathematics courses required for the major are the same in the BA and BSc programs. The difference between the BA and BSc lies in the requirements outside your major. BA students take courses from liberal arts areas, such as humanities, social sciences, economics, and languages. BSc students study Mathematics & Statistics within the context of other sciences, such as physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, and earth and atmospheric science.