The ME.ET project is investigating mathematics content courses taken by prospective elementary teachers during their undergraduate education. The study addresses three major questions:
What is the nature of the mathematics courses prospective elementary teachers are required to take in their undergraduate education? What courses are required, who teaches them, who designs them, what is the content, how are they taught?
What mathematics do prospective elementary teachers have an opportunity to learn in their required undergraduate mathematics classes? How do their opportunities to learn relate to national and state standards for the mathematical education of K-8 students, to high-stakes exams for teachers and students, and to current research on the mathematical knowledge elementary teachers need?
What are prospective elementary teachers learning in their undergraduate mathematics classes? How does their learning relate to national and state standards, high stakes exams, and research on mathematical knowledge for teaching?
To investigate these questions, the project has surveyed mathematics departments at selected institutions in Georgia, Michigan, New York City, and South Carolina to identify mathematics classes for elementary teachers, followed by a survey of instructors of these classes and assessments of students from a sample of these classes. Begun in 2005, the project extends over five years, with surveys and assessments in 2006-7 and 2007-8.
For more information about research design, including a conceptual diagram of the project and details about the focal mathematical topics see the research details on the following pages.