Spring 2021 Online: Overview

Due to the COVID-19 situation, BSME will run an online program for the Spring 2021 semester. Given the strong demand for teachers to learn about online instruction in the current climate, the program will have a dual focus on the Hungarian pedagogy and online instruction.

Program Description

Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education (BSME) is designed for those interested in the learning and teaching of secondary mathematics. BSME participants explore the Hungarian pedagogy, in which a strong and explicit emphasis is placed on problem solving, mathematical creativity, and communication.

Who should apply? BSME welcomes participants with varying levels of background. You may be currently pursuing a teaching license; you may be planning to pursue other paths to licensure (e.g., master’s program); you may be an educator at the K–12 or college level; or you may be simply curious about the learning and teaching of mathematics, particularly the student-centered approach. The common thread among BSME participants is their genuine interest in mathematics education and effective teaching practices. (Note: Participants must have completed at least one year of college and be 18 years in age by the time they enter BSME.)

Why BSME? Today’s teachers are expected to provide students with opportunities to struggle productively towards understanding, and the Hungarian pedagogy has the potential to play a critical role in this endeavor. At BSME, we are excited for our participants to develop and bring back this new perspective on mathematics education.

Dates for Spring 2021

The Spring 2021 semester will be divided into two halves, each lasting 8 weeks. You may choose to participate in First half only, Second half only, or both halves.

First half:

  • Monday, February 1, Orientation (5pm – 8:30pm Budapest time)
  • Tuesday, February 2: First day of classes
  • Thursday, March 25: Last day of classes

Second half:

  • Tuesday, April 6: Orientation (5pm – 8:30pm Budapest time)
    • Students attending both halves need to attend only the first 45 minutes of the orientation.
  • Wednesday, April 7: First day of classes
  • Thursday, May 27: Last day of classes

Both halves:

  • Friday, May 28: Farewell party (5pm – 6:30pm Budapest time)

Courses Offered

We will offer five courses in mathematics education that have a shared goal of engaging participants in the Hungarian pedagogy. Class sizes are small, with a maximum of 12 students in each class section. Participants may choose to take 1 to 5 courses from the selection below.

First half: Click on each three-letter code for the course syllabus.

  • GMP  Gamification and Playfulness in Teaching Mathematics
  • GPS  Teaching Geometry through Problem Solving
  • DRS  Directed Research: Discovery Learning in Secondary Schools  (See note below.)

Second half: Click on each three-letter code for the course syllabus.

  • DLP  Discovery Learning: The Pósa Method
  • PRC  Practicum: Experiencing the Hungarian Approach through Observation and Teaching
  • DRS  Directed Research: Discovery Learning in Secondary Schools  (See note below.)

Note: A single section of DRS Directed Research: Discovery Learning in Secondary Schools will run through First half and Second half. In order to take DRS, you must participate in both halves.

All BSME courses lie at the intersection of mathematics and education. But they differ in the emphasis placed on each discipline.

  • GPS and DLP have an increased mathematical content. They provide participants with the experience of learning mathematics through the Hungarian pedagogy, so they can acquire firsthand understanding of the values of those experiences for learners.
  • GMP, PRC, and DRS, while deeply situated in mathematics, have an increased focus on teaching methodology and on implementing the Hungarian pedagogy in the classroom setting.

Course Format

BSME courses will be taught synchronously, with live online class sessions at pre-scheduled times. We will use the web conferencing software Zoom, which is freely available.

Course Schedule

Each course will meet 2 days per week, 1.5 hours per day. (Exception: DRS will meet once a week.)

In the schedule below, times are given in Budapest time. This is equivalent to these US timezones:

Budapest Pacific Mountain Central Eastern
5pm–6:30pm 8am – 9:30am 9am – 10:30am 10am – 11:30am 11am – 12:30pm
7:00pm–8:30pm 10:00am –11:30am 11:00am – 12:30pm 12:00pm – 1:30pm 1:00pm – 2:30pm

To view the schedule in your own time zone, open the BSME calendar and add it to your own calendar by clicking on the + sign at the lower right corner.

First half:

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

Second half:

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

* WS: Biweekly during this time slot (starting in Week 2), there will be an optional workshop / social event. All students are welcome!

Course Credits

BSME courses are designed so that credits are transferable to American colleges and universities. St. Olaf College is the School of Record for BSME and provides the transcripts. See this page for how credits from BSME courses typically transfer to participants’ home institutions.

Each BSME course will meet for over 20 hours and is worth 0.5 semester credits.

Participants who require full 1.0 credit courses may take these combinations of courses:

  • GPS and DLP will result in a 1.0 credit course called Problem-solving in Mathematics Education.
  • GMP and PRC will result in a 1.0 credit course called Practices in Guided Discovery.