Doctoral Degree: Mathematics, Science and Learning Technologies Concentration

MSLT prepares graduate students to improve the learning and instruction of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. To achieve that goal, we are deeply committed to research and scholarship, using both basic and applied research.

We put a premium on developing principled approaches to affect educational practice and pursuing rigorous theory building about educational phenomena. We apply such knowledge in developing state of the art instructional designs. These efforts grow from an understanding of educational practice and close work with practitioners in both formal and informal learning settings.

Importantly we recognized that certain social groups have been historically marginalized from STEM disciplines, education, and work. We seek to understand the processes and structures contributing to the systematic exclusion of these groups and to actively contribute to correcting such inequities. Our work draws from a variety of disciplines including cognitive science, sociology, anthropology, the learning sciences, psychology, and computer science.


  • The MSLT concentration has excelled in gleaning funded research awards from influential agencies in MSLT research and development. Over the last 7 years we have been awarded:
    • 22 Federal grants (NSF, US DOE) totaling $13.2 million
    • 10 Commonwealth grants (MA DOE, MA BHE, Commonwealth Information Technology Initiative) totaling $1.8 million
    • 6 University grants totaling $57,000
  • The MSLT concentration faculty have  strong national and international reputations as scholars and researchers. For example, Professor Emeritus John Clement received a lifetime achievement award for his cumulative contributions to the field in science teaching and learning from the National Association for Research on Science Teaching and received the University’s Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creativity Award
  • The concentration offers doctoral and advanced candidates opportunities to engage in scholarly work within schools and with teachers and teacher candidates, allowing our work to inform and be informed by the knowledge of practitioners. Current research and scholarship projects are underway in areas such as:
    • How technology-, inquiry-, project-, and field-based science instruction serve to facilitate teacher and student learning and the legitimate participation in MSLT of all students, especially those usually marginalized--females, students of color, and those from low social economic means.
    • The design of digital learning environments to foster the development of creative thinking and inquiry-based habits of mind in the fields of science and technology.
    • The principles of instruction that enable students to develop visualizable models in science, including design principles for curriculum development, technological tools, and new pedagogical principles.
      The expansion of our theory of conceptual change processes common to three major subject areas in science and the development of an accompanying set of effective instructional strategies for teaching science.
      The teaching and learning of mathematics through purposeful engagement with statistical concepts, contexts, and tools. 

Program of Study

Credits Required: 57 credits

Course Number

Course Title

Credit Hours

Foundational MSLT Courses


Foundational Courses: 2 courses required, to be completed in the first 2 years of study


EDUC 738

Survey of Mathematics and Science Education Research



Introduction to Research in Mathematics, Science, and Learning Technologies


Foundational Course*: 1 course required, minimum of 6 credits*



MSLT Research Practicum


Social Justice**: 1 course required (see examples of MSLT courses below)**



Teaching Social Justice Through Science, Technology and Mathematics


EDUC 704

Issues of Gender in Science and Science Education


MSLT Concentration Courses: 2 courses required in chosen field of study (see examples below)

Minimum 6

Mathematics Education (require approval)


EDUC 651

Teaching Mathematical Problem-Solving


EDUC 710

Seminar in Mathematics Education


EDUC 711

Recent Developments in Secondary Mathematics



Mathematics Curriculum Issues and Trends


Science Education (require approval)


EDUC 706

Workshop in Science Education


EDUC 725

Recent Developments in Secondary Science


EDUC 838

Seminar in Science Education


Learning Technology (require approval)



Designing Digital Media for Teaching and Learning


EDUC 737

Educational Media Theory



Seminar in Digital Media Learning


Elective Courses: 2 courses required, require approval (see examples below)

Minimum 6


Introduction to Secondary Mathematics Education


EDUC 603

Computer Mediated Communication


EDUC 667

Theory of Learning and Teaching in STEM Education



Foundations and Theories of Learning



Teaching Social Justice Through Science, Technology and Mathematics



Theories of Interest and Motivation



Secondary Mathematics Curriculum Topics and Innovations



Professional Seminar in Mathematics Education



Professional Seminar in Science Education


EDUC 704

Issues of Gender in Science and Science Education


EDUC 718

Action Research in Schools



Clinical Methods Study


EDUC 837

The Influence of the Social Context of Schools and the Politics of Reform […]



Research Topics in Science and Mathematics


Research Methods: 4 courses required (2 of which must be quantitative), require approval

Minimum 12

Quantitative Courses


EDUC 555

Introduction to Statistics


EDUC 632

Principles in Testing


EDUC 656

Introduction to Statistics II


EDUC 661

Quantitative Research Methods



Mixed Methods


EDUC 731

Structural Equation Modeling


EDUC 771

Applied Multivariate Analysis I


EDUC 772

Applied Multivariate Analysis II



Survey Research Methods


Qualitative Courses


EDUC 619

Qualitative Research Methods


EDUC 718

Action Research



Using Video in Research and Teaching



Clinical Methods Study



Critical Discourse Analysis



Qualitative Data Analysis


EDUC 815

Ethnography (2 semesters)


Dissertation Credits


Minimum Total Credits


Prerequisite, Concentration or Other Requirements:

Students must complete 692K Theories of Learning or the equivalent as a prerequisite.

* One required foundational course to be taken each year until the student has his/her comprehensive proposal accepted.

** This course may be taken either within the MSLT concentration or another concentration within the College of Education (3 credits). This course must be approved by your advisor.

MSLT blog

Contact Information

Concentration Coordinator:  Florence Sullivan (Associate Professor)

Elementary Science Teacher Education: Kathy Davis (Associate Professor)
Learning Technologies (Doctoral): Florence Sullivan (Associate Professor) and Torrey Trust (Assistant Professor)
Mathematics Education (Master's/Licensure and Doctoral): John Francisco (Associate Professor) and Sandra Madden (Associate Professor)
Science Education (Master's/Licensure and Doctoral): Martina Nieswandt (Associate Professor)

Associated Faculty

John J. Clement (Professor Emeritus), Kathleen S. Davis (Associate Professor), John M. Francisco (Associate Professor), John Kudukey (Lecturer), Sandra Madden (Associate Professor), Martina Nieswandt (Associate Professor),  Howard A. Peelle (Professor), Florence Sullivan (Associate Professor)