Syllabus MAT 557

Instructor John Wilkins Ph.D. Phones: (o) (310) 243-3380

Office: NSM A-115

FAX: (o) (310) 516-3627 E-Mail:

Office Hours:

TTH 2:30 to 3:30, W 3:00 to 5:00 pm; and by apt.


Kilpatrick, J., Martin, W. G., & Schifter, D. (Eds.). (2003). A Research Companion to Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Reston, VA; NCTM. Stigler, J & j. Hiebert, (1999). The Teaching Gap. NY; The Free Press


MAT 500. Students must have graduate standing and must have completed one year of full time secondary mathematics teaching.

Course Description:

Research in Mathematics Education I is a course that provides graduate students with an overview of the current research literature pertaining to mathematics education in elementary and secondary schools. The research relating to topics such as mathematical reasoning, communication, problem solving, algebra and geometry will be discussed and analyzed.

Course Outcomes:

Students will understand, analyze, and apply educational research in the following topics:

Problem solving

Reasoning and proof



Mathematical representations

Mathematical communications

Fractions and multiplicative reasoning


Grades (general meaning):

A = Meeting all goals and objectives exceeding minimum standards with excellent of work.

B = Meeting all goals and objectives exceeding minimum standards with very good quality of work.

C = Meeting all goals and objectives at minimum standards with good quality of work.

C= Meeting most goals and objectives at minimum standards.

D = Not meeting most goals and objectives at minimum standards with poor quality work.

F = Meeting very few goals and objectives with extremely poor quality work.

Categories of assessments:

Tests (2) 35%

Project 35%

Assignments 15%

Participation 15%

Scale: A≥93%; A-≥90%; B+≥87%; B≥83%; B-≥80; C+≥77; C≥73; C-≥70;D≥60; F<60.


Tests will be equally weighted on-demand pencil and paper assessments of student knowledge based on class discussions, class work, and assignments. Tests can be retaken for a better grade. This test can only be retaken after the student has talked with the instructor. If you do worse on the retake, no change will occur in your grade. If you achieve a higher grade on the retake, that grade will replace the lower one. This is a no lose retake test! The FINAL will be comprehensive.


Assignments will be given during the semester for each section in the syllabus. We will talk about most of the problems on those assignments. Work and rework the problems until you have a solution. These problems are for your thinking and learning, and I will not "grade" the homework per se, but you will submit the homework one week after the conclusion of each chapter. We will discuss the homework in class to a limited extent (no more than 15 minutes), on an as needed basis.

Reading Review Assignment:

Additionally, you will be assigned readings. A one page write-up is required for each reading assignment and will be turned in the day it is due. The reading review assignment is due when the reading is to be discussed and is listed in the calendar below. Use the following format for your write-up: List three things you've learned from the reading, your reaction to the reading, and a question you would like me (or your peers) to answer. This write-up needs to be typed, double-spaced, one-page long with one-inch borders in 12 point times or courier font.


Students will write a 12- to 15-page action research paper applying research reviewed and analyzed to current problem situation in their schools.


Attendance is required. If difficulties or emergencies arise, please contact me as soon as possible. You can call my office voice mail anytime to leave a message.

Academic Integrity: CSUDH expects students, staff, faculty, and administrators to show mutual respect and to adhere to scholastic honesty in the pursuit of intellectual, social and personal advancement. As an institution, CSUDH deplores cheating, fraud, plagiarism and any other type of academic dishonesty. CSUDH reserves the right to initiate a series of disciplinary measures or sanctions to secures academic integrity as described in the CSUDH Catalog.

Pagers and Cell Phones

Pagers and mobile phones must be turned off or operate in silent mode during class hours. Under no circumstances are you to take a call during class. If the call is important, step outside the room!

Incomplete Grade (I)

A grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned if you are unable to complete a definable portion of the class due to unforeseen circumstances. The student is responsible for applying for an Incomplete by completing the appropriate form before the week of finals. A grade of U (unauthorized incomplete) will be assigned if you did not withdraw from the course and you did not finish the course requirements.


Week 1

Introduction to Mathematics Education Research

Week 2

Making Mathematics Reasonable in School; Ch 3.

Week 3

Classroom and Large-Scale Assessment; Ch 5.

Week 4

Fractions and Multiplicative Reasoning; Ch 7.

Week 5

Research on Algebra Learning; Ch 9 & 10.

Week 6

Research on Students’ Understanding of Probability; Ch 14.

Week 7

Reasoning and Proof; Ch 15.

Week 8

Communication and Language; Ch 16.

Week 9


Week 10

Representation in School Mathematics; Ch 17 & 18.

Week 11

Representation in School Mathematics; Ch 19.

Week 12

Implications of Cognitive Science Research for Mathematics Education; Ch 20.

Week 13

Situative Research Relevant to Standards for School Mathematics; Ch 21.

Week 14

The Teaching Gap; Chapters 1 - 5

Week 15

The Teaching Gap; Chapters 5 – 10

Revised: 4/25/04 Page