Graduate Programs

The situation with respect to graduate programs is quite diverse in these countries.

Colombia has two kinds of master’s degrees: one might be called “advanced study” (profundizacion) and the other is research. The advanced study master’s degrees have some connection to “specializations” that do not grant a degree. In 2009 there were 69 master’s degree programs divided into three categories: (i) in schools or institutes of education where there is some connection to mathematics education, (ii) in schools or departments of science where the basic component is mathematics with some connection to the teaching of mathematics, and (iii) those based on Mathematics Education as an independent discipline. There is also tension between the advanced study and research master’s with respect to weaknesses or shortcomings that each claims the other have: role of research in the advanced study master’s, the place of teachers and connections to classrooms in the research master’s.

There are four programs that offer a doctoral emphasis in Mathematics Education within doctorates in education and social sciences.

In Venezuela there are “Specialization” programs (which are considered to be degree programs) in three universities, master’s programs in nine universities and one specific doctoral program in mathematics education created in 2013. However, most of the courses in these graduate programs are pure mathematics with little contact with pedagogy, with the exception of the doctoral program which emphasizes research and theories of mathematics education. There is also the possibility to the study mathematics education as part of any of the nine doctoral programs in education. It is noteworthy that Venezuela began offering its first master’s degree in Mathematics Teaching in 1974.

The Dominican Republic has some graduate programs with a “specialization” in Mathematics Education that give a degree in between a bachelor’s and a master’s. Only three universities offer a doctorate but none of them includes mathematics education.

Costa Rica has only one master’s program that includes mathematics education, as an emphasis in a master’s in mathematics with a few courses in mathematics education at the University of Costa Rica. The graduates of this program work at postsecondary institutions and therefore do not directly impact pre-university education. There are also various public and private universities in Costa Rica that offer doctorates in education but none of them have an emphasis in mathematics education.

In summary, Colombia offers good quality graduate programs including four options for work in mathematics education at the doctoral level, a strength in their educational community. Venezuela has various master’s degrees and possibilities to study mathematics education as part of doctorates in education, and they do have one doctoral program specifically in mathematics education. The situation with respect to master’s programs in the Dominican Republic is weak and it is precarious in Costa Rica; these countries don’t have doctoral programs that include mathematics education.

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