In order to enable students of the Faculty of Education gain greater competence, confidence and experience in the art of teaching and thereby strengthen their professional practice as teachers, the Faculty of Education has decided to set aside the first semester of the final year of all programmes in the Faculty for teaching practice by final year students. It is in response to this decision of the Faculty of Education that the Department of Science and Mathematics Education is reviewing its Bachelor of Education (Mathematics) programme. This is to ensure students cover enough the essential aspects of the science education programme within seven semesters of course work and also have enough practice teaching which is an essential aspect of the programme.
Mathematics forms a major part of the school curriculum and its importance is due to the many applications in other fields. For instance, it is regarded as the backbone of scientific and technological advancement and serves as a tool for the social sciences and analyses of quantitative research data. In fact, a good knowledge of mathematics is needed in almost all areas of human life. As a result, it is practically impossible for any country to develop without the necessary human resource grounded in knowledge of mathematics and its applications.
Ghana’s mid-term and long-term plan for development has been rightly pegged on the adoption of science and technology methods and applications. Unfortunately, because science and technology depend so much on mathematics and its inherent problem solving approaches, the nation’s developmental efforts will be difficult in yielding the right kind of results unless we produce the right kind of mathematics teachers for our schools. The aforementioned highlights the need for the preparation of a mathematics teacher not only with a firm foundation in the content of school mathematics but with the ability to model mathematics instruction in ways that could encourage students to communicate among themselves in inquiry and problem solving situations that require reasoning and creative thinking and test their ideas through critical reflection and argumentation.
The Department of Science and Mathematics Education will, through this programme, prepare such kinds of reflective mathematics teachers who are competent in the design and use of scientific methods of teaching mathematics and are capable of innovative approaches on their own, as well as easily adaptable to future innovations in the teaching of mathematics at the pre-tertiary level of Ghana’s Educational System.
The goal of the programme is to prepare prospective mathematics teachers through strong undergraduate coursework in mathematics, general education, mathematics education coursework, and field-based experiences to acquire both subject matter knowledge and expertise in classroom instruction at all pre-tertiary levels of Ghana’s Education.
The specific objectives of the programme are to provide students with the opportunity to:
- gain the critical knowledge and skills needed to teach all categories of children/students at the basic and high school levels;
- gain fundamental knowledge and skills for research into issues relating to mathematics education in Ghana;
- develop the ability to analytically raise critical questions and address significant issues facing the state of mathematics education in Ghana;
- lay the necessary foundation for further education in mathematics education.