The need for doctoral programs in Mathematics Education is well documented. In the last several decades, a convergence of research–embodied in international perspectives on mathematics education (see Wirszup & Streit, 1987, 1989, 1993), the rise of cognitive science and social, situated learning perspectives over behaviorism (e.g., Gardner, 1985; Greeno, 1989)—and a growing consensus for reform in teaching and learning K-16 mathematics—as outlined in documents such as the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards (NCTM, 1989) and the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000)—has led to the emergence of mathematics education as a field of inquiry in its own right. In a recent study by Reys (2006), 90% of institutions reported hiring at least one mathematics education faculty person during the last 5 years. However, doctoral degree production in Mathematics Education has not met demand; a study published in 2001 showed that, at that time, the number of doctorates awarded had not increased significantly (Reys & Kilpatrick, 2001), leading to particular implications, for example, for the supply of mathematics education faculty available to administer doctoral programs (Reys, 2000, 2002). Furthermore, some faculty positions are not filled; for example, in 2005-2006, over 40% of Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) were unsuccessful in hiring mathematics education faculty (Reys, 2006). In brief, there is, still, an inadequate national infrastructure of doctoral programs and faculty to sustain them (Reys, Teuscher, Nevels, & Glasgow, 2007).
The PhD program in Mathematics Education at UMass Dartmouth addresses an urgent national problem by preparing graduates for a variety of essential careers in a variety of scientific institutions, industries, and federal agencies, as well as the education sector. Moreover, because the program focuses on interdisciplinary perspectives in mathematics education research, we expect our graduates to be highly competitive in today's marketplace for educational scholars in the field of mathematics education.