PhD in Math or in Math Education?
Hello Everyone,
I am a newbie here to this forum. I would like to get some opinion from any of you who reads my forum. First of all, let me start by saying that I really enjoy Math and Stats. I am not so much or a word person. I earned a BSc in Statistics and MSc in Mathematics (General). Currently, I am teaching full time at a community college in the US, and am thinking about going back to school to earn a PhD. But, I just couldn't decide which programs I should apply. So, I am wondering if anybody could give me some useful advice. During my graduate study for my master, I took all kinds and branches of Math, such as Advanced Calculus, Linear/Abstract Algebra, Classical Analysis, etc. To be honest, I really enjoyed these classes. It seemed like things were clicking for me. But, my issues arise when I took some doctoral level courses like Real Analysis, Algebra, Stochastic, and Probability during my last semester. I must say that they were extremely tough for me. I started to get really lost. I do not understand what my professor was talking about. I don't know if it's a language barrier (my prof. has a really thick foreign accent) or maybe my brain just doesn't have the capability to understand this kind of material. Whatever it is, I started to have a second thought about furthering a PhD in Math. I am very afraid to take the preliminary test because if I fail it twice, I will be kicked out from the school. Even worse, during my final year of my graduate study, I found out that three doctoral students at my school were kicked out from the program since they didn't pass the prelim's test. Also, I found out that about three to four students decided to switch to Math Education because they are afraid to get kicked out too! So, it gets me curious about Math Education, since teaching is my passion. My concerns are should I just face my fear and go into the Math PhD program or should I look into Math Education? What exactly that I will learn in Math Education program? Will I be working on Math problems? Do I learn how to teach Math? I don’t really enjoy writing too much. I enjoy working with numbers. So, I am feeling very confused and I am really hoping I could get someone’s advice. Please… and I hope everyone will have an exciting weekend!
