B.Ed. (Mathematics and Mathematics Education) is an interdisciplinary programme co-organized by the Faculty of Education and the Department of Mathematics, CUHK. It is a double major undergraduate program. Students learn solid mathematical knowledge and receive theory-practice integrated teacher training. Teachers of this program are well known scholars in mathematics, mathematics education or educational studies. We also engage in professional services of various types. By means of lectures, school experience and teaching practice at secondary schools, our students acquire both mathematics and teacher professional knowledge, develop transferable skills of various types, and be equipped with the ability to assume leadership roles in mathematics teaching. Graduates will be awarded a Bachelor of Education degree with a double major in Mathematics and Mathematics Education, including a qualification equivalent to a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and will be qualified to teach in secondary schools.
Nurturing Mathematics Teachers with a Professional Attitude
The Bachelor of Education in Mathematics and Mathematics Education (BMED) Programme was launched in 2012 in response to the increasing demand for qualified subject-trained mathematics teachers.
Mathematics teachers who are well-versed in the subject and have received initial teacher training are highly sought after in schools in Hong Kong and elsewhere. To this end, this five-year interdisciplinary double major programme aims to develop students with solid pedagogical content knowledge, hone their professional attitudes and skills, and provide them practical field experience to teach in secondary schools.
The double major programme is offered by the Faculty of Education in collaboration with the Department of Mathematics. It emphasizes training in both theoretical and practical areas. Graduates will be awarded a Bachelor of Education Degree in Mathematics and Mathematics Education along with a qualification equivalent to a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. Graduates will be qualified to teach in secondary schools.
BMED recruits the students who are sagacious and passionate about mathematics teaching. As Peter Wan Hong-Nam (a BMED Graduate) explains, his reasons for choosing this programme was to fulfill his dream of becoming a mathematics teacher. ‘I would like to have deeper understanding on the nature of mathematics and to acquire knowledge of education. These would assist me to guide my future students to understand mathematics and to explore the interesting and exciting universe of mathematics.’
Students enrolled in this programme will learn both mathematics and educational theories in their course of studies. Peter thinks that this unique curriculum structure provides students with ample opportunities to engage in deep reflection on the purpose of learning those content and on how to merge them into their future teaching career.
Further, BMED offers a wide array of courses for students to enhance their knowledge in advanced mathematics. These courses enable Peter to reflect on the nature of mathematics. ‘No matter calculus, algebra or any other branches of mathematics, my developments in all these areas are significant and rigorous, which influenced me to see and teach mathematics more earnestly.’
Students’ professional competency is developed by pedagogy courses and educational studies, both taught by professors from the Faculty of Education and reinforced by the components of Teaching Practice and Research Experience. In particular, the extent of classroom engagement between students and teachers will be adjusted accordingly through different phases of Teaching Practice. In Years 1 and 2, students will visit different types of schools to observe and learn about various school settings and teachers’ responsibilities. During Year 3, they will be attached with their assigned secondary schools to observe and participate in classroom and school activities from the perspectives of both teachers and students. The Teaching Practice in Years 4 and 5 will offer them important experiential and field learning experiences. They will be assigned to secondary schools to teach under the guidance and supervision of their teaching advisers, who are experienced teachers from their practicum schools.
This programme changed Peter’s view on the field of education. He realized that education is not just about techniques; it is also heavily based on different kinds of teaching theories. ‘This is especially so in the domain of Psychology. There are lots of reasons behind different pedagogical approaches, and all these affect the particular teaching style to be chosen by the teacher, which was quite surprising to me.’ On the other hand, the Teaching Practice has left the biggest impression on Peter during his course of study. During the Teaching Practice, Peter had the freedom to try different pedagogical approaches. It provided him an opportunity to reflect on what he had learnt in the courses on pedagogy and educational studies. He realized that each student is unique and it is crucial to consider how to cater the learning diversity in his teaching. This learning experience strengthened his resolve to become a mathematics teacher. He wants to nurture his students to become a person who contributes to society and understands the meaning of righteousness, which in turn makes positive changes to the future of Hong Kong.
The majority of BMED graduates joined the teaching force after graduation. With experience gained over time, some assumed leading roles in mathematics teaching in secondary schools. With their solid knowledge and skills developed in this programme, graduates may also pursue a career in a wide range of professions, such as science and technology, finance and banking, civil service, publishing, and so on. The programme also lays a firm foundation for graduates who desire to pursue advanced study in mathematics education or related areas.
Knowledge and skills apart, professionalism is an attitude. This is perhaps what our students treasure the most about BMED.
More BMED students’ voices can be accessed on Youtube.
Published: Summer 2017
Last Updated: Summer 2021