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Portfolio Examination for MM Program

Students in the Master of Mathematics (MM) program will be required to complete a final portfolio examination

Required Components

  1. Current Resume
  2. Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  3. Evidence of Breadth and Depth of Mathematical Content Knowledge
  4. Reflection on Professional Growth

Because a portfolio documents the knowledge and abilities of unique individuals, no two portfolios will be exactly the same. A portfolio can include a range of different types of documents detailed in the subsections below. In general, a portfolio should focus on quality rather than quantity, making sure to address the requirements for each component.

Current Resume

This should be the actual resume that MM students would use to seek employment as they move onto the next phase of their careers.

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

This statement should be written in a way so that graduating MM students may use it for an academic job application, following the UTK Teaching and Learning Innovation guide on “Creating a Memorable Teaching Philosophy Statement.”  Specifically, the teaching philosophy should:

  1. Include a reflection on past teaching and learning experiences,
  2. Provide an answer to at least two of the following:
    • What gives teaching meaning to me? Why?
    • What do I want my students to achieve? Why?
    • What do/would I do to help my students achieve my goals for them? Why?
    • What tools do/would I use to verify that students have achieved my goals for them? Why?
    • What tools do/would I use to verify that I am teaching well? Why?
    • What types of inclusive learning experiences do/would I create for my students? How do I know they are inclusive?
    • What types of active learning experiences do/would I create for my students? How do I know they are active?
    • What is the evidence that my students are achieving the goals I have set for them?
    • How do I want to grow as a teacher?
  3. Be written with clarity and conciseness (maximum 2 pages).

It is highly recommended that MM students think about an overarching narrative, key points in their teaching philosophy, and concrete examples to support this narrative.

Evidence of Breadth and Depth of Mathematical Content Knowledge

This section should include a list of all courses in the student’s program of study and the semester in which the student took the course.  This can be formatted with a table like the example below:

Course Number and Name Semester
Math 505: Analysis for Teachers Fall 2018
Math 506: Algebra for Teachers Summer 2019
Math 400: History of Math Fall 2019

In addition, this section should include representative coursework from at least five different courses taken for the MM degree, three of which must be from the core MM course list. Examples can include a combination of:

  1. Homework assignments (at least two assignments that are representative of the semester and/or a selection of problems that are designated as “portfolio problems”)
  2. Course examinations
  3. Projects or papers
  4. Reflections

Coursework samples should indicate depth of knowledge by including mathematical rigor (proofs or precise computations) and/or short explanations of mathematical significance (as necessary). Students should be sure to include problem and assignment prompts alongside work for context. Because we emphasize growth throughout the program, we expect that students will work with their instructors and committee members to edit, correct, and finalize any solutions and written work before they submit their portfolios.

Reflection on Professional Growth

This reflection should focus on how the student has grown through the MM program in 2 pages. It should include some or all of the following elements:

  1. Student education background,
  2. Work experience,
  3. Connections between MM courses,
  4. Goals when enrolling in the MM program,
  5. Work completed during the MM program to attain those goals, and
  6. Professional objectives for the future.
  7.  

Format of the Portfolio

Since the MM program is online, the portfolio examination will be submitted electronically as one PDF. A title page, table of contents, page numbers, and clear organization are required. The portfolio should be typed. Please start with our MM Portfolio Examination Template (.docx or Overleaf .tex). The free, open-source, and cross-platform desktop application PDF Split and Merge Basic (PDFsam) can also be used to compile the document if needed.

Evaluation Criteria

Portfolios will be evaluated by three faculty from the MM Curriculum Committee using this Portfolio Examination Rubric.  Each portfolio exam will be rated as “pass” or “revise” by each of the three faculty. The overall portfolio exam is considered passing if at least two of the three deem that the portfolio examination receives a passing grade.

Deadlines

Students should make sure they adhere to the Graduate School deadlines for forms (Master’s Non-Thesis Program deadlines).

The portfolio examination deadline is five weeks before the “Report of Final Exam (Pass/Fail) Form” is due for the Graduate School.  After the deadline for each term, the committee of three faculty will have two weeks to evaluate the portfolios.  If major revisions are needed to pass, the committee will immediately inform the student, who will turn in their revisions within one week.

Forms

Please keep an eye on the deadlines for the Graduate School’s required forms (under “Master’s or Specialist Degree”). Here are examples on how to fill these out for the Master of Mathematics (MM) program: