Skip to main content

Further Discussions on Higher Education

Sarah got me thinking about different kinds of graduate level programs after she commented on my last post. I also posted a tweet when I found out the program I had been eyeing has been closed. Our dialog (and some other tweets that have gone back and forth since then, has prompted me to want to do more research to see what's actually out there.

I have come to a couple conclusions:

  • I do not entirely know what I want to study
  • I am afraid of making the wrong decision and finding out in 15 years that I am not marketable for what I actually want to do
  • There might not be a program out there that fits my ideal
The options I am looking at (so far) are either a M.A. in Deaf Education (with a focus in secondary math education), or a M.A/S in Mathematics Education (as long as there is a program that doesn't require me to a. have a BS in Math or b. student teach in order to get math certification...I already teach math...kthx).

Pros for the Deaf Education program would be that I would be learning more specific methods that would help me teach my students right now. Classes would be offered in ASL, thus further expanding my vocabulary and experience learning in the language I teach through. I would be with other deaf educators, or prospective deaf educators, having people to bounce ideas off.

Cons for Deaf Education include pidgeon-holing myself into only being marketable to residential schools for the deaf. I love residential schools, and I do see myself teaching at one for a long time (if not my entire career). I am concerned, though, about the future of such schools. State funding, standardized testing, and IDEA are causing more deaf students to be mainstreamed into public schools. Residential schools are decreasing in numbers, and some schools are becoming more specialized in serving students with disabilities. A specialized master's degree with a focus in Deaf Education might cost me a job teaching in a public school some day if that ever needed to be the case.

Pros for general math/math ed include expanding my math knowledge and knowledge of general math teaching strategies (that may be useful in hearing and deaf classrooms). It would also almost certainly ensure my Highly Qualified status should I ever decide/need to teach hearing students in a public school (middle or high school math).

Cons for general math/math ed are that the people in the program will most likely have no clue what kind of students I work with every day. There won't be the shared experience or language. It would require more investigating on my part to discover and decide how to apply the general theories and strategies to my specific context.

So that's the basic idea of what's been tossing around in my head the past week. I know that there are many factors to consider and most likely no "wrong" path, but I want to make an intelligent, informed decision before I go dedicate a lot of time and money to a master's degree.

Comments

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Alena

    http://grantsforeducation.info

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Confession...I'm planning to use Khan Academy this year

It seems Khan Academy (henceforth referenced as KA) has a pretty bad rap in some math teacher circles.  I understand that the videos are somewhat lacking in the engagement factor, and motivating students with points and badges can seem somewhat elementary.  I also see that KA tends to focus more on a procedure/pattern than actual problem solving. 

All that said, I will be using KA this year in my resource classroom.  I have a group of students that are in my class for numeracy skill building/strategies instruction.  I'm supposed to be teaching them 25 mins/day and allowing them 25 mins/day to work on their homework or classwork.  I have students of all grade and ability levels in one resource class, so lesson planning becomes difficult.  Twenty-five minutes is not a long time when you think about it, seemingly less when you think about real problem solving tasks.

Enter KA.  Each student can be working on exercises related to what their individual math course is or will be addressi…

Help!

Here's the deal:  I'm working on curriculum for my school and Algebra 2 is making my eyes cross.  I think the major problem is the state of Virginia is in a transition year between "old" Standards of Learning (SOLs), and "new" ones.  This year is supposed to be the year that we're still teaching and assessing the old SOLs, but we're supposed to teach the new ones, too.  Those of you that teach Algebra 2 already know that there's an enormous amount of information to cover in a short period of time.  To give you context, our school teaches it as a semester-long block course.  There's only so much a brain can handle in one day, though! 

Here's the first draft of my skills list and structure...I'm not sure what to do about the old vs. new SOLs (my skills list is based on the old SOLs because that is what will be assessed).

Note:  Gray items are not included in old or new SOLs but might be necessary for student understanding
Blue items ar…

ASL/English Vocabulary in the Math Classroom

My last semester in college, while I was student teaching, I had a class that emphasized different key topics in the field of Deaf Education.  One such topic was vocabulary development.  We all already knew that students who are deaf/hard of hearing have a lower vocabulary than their same-age hearing peers for a variety of reasons not least of which being their limited access to "incidental learning" that comes from listening to other people's conversations/tv/radio, etc.  In our class, we talked about ways to introduce new vocabulary in order to give students a more connected understanding of the new word in its five distinct forms.
PictureDescription/definitionASL sign (if applicable)English word (in print)Fingerspelling of English wordI try to be conscious of this as I teach.  It's very difficult sometimes, and many of the math terms to not have standard ASL signs, so it is more difficult for the students to attach meaning and use the new term through fingerspellin…