Mathematics Instructional Leader (PreK-6)

The Mathematics Instructional Leader (PreK-6) certificate program at JHU was designed to prepare an exceptional cadre of mathematics teacher leaders to serve teachers of PreK-6 grade students and in direct and indirect ways their students. Instructional Leaders are specially trained to lead educational contexts to develop powerful mathematical learning contexts that support the development of beginning and veteran teachers of mathematics.

Participants in this certificate program will explore research-informed methods for effective mathematics teaching and effective leadership including policy, practice, emerging research, theory, culturally responsive education, and legislation/advocacy.

  • Alignment with the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and the Standards for Mathematical Practices;
  • Alignment with multiple professional organization recommendations for the preparation of teachers of mathematics;
  • Emphasis on updated research-to-practice approaches;
  • Focus on equity, access, and excellence for each and every learner of mathematics, including such learners as students with disabilities and English learners;
  • Exploration of culturally-relevant pedagogical approaches including assets-based instructional practices;
  • Inclusion of problem-based, project-based approaches that meld mathematics content with pedagogy;
  • Exploration of technology-enhanced instructional contexts;
  • Mathematics exploration, inquiry, problem solving, and critical thinking;
  • Instruction infused with STEM principles and perspectives;
  • Exploration of rich cross-disciplinary experiences that support a deeper conceptual understanding of mathematics;
  • Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary foci that support instructional leaders who can support the development of learners who are capable of thinking across disciplinary boundaries.

This 18 credit, fully online certificate program is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for those seeking the Mathematics Instructional Leader (PreK6) endorsement. Pre-requisites are Bachelor’s degree in elementary education or a related field with certification in a elementary education. Refer to the Admissions page for program admissions requirements and application instructions.

Endorsement Eligibility

This program is designed for current teachers seeking to enhance their professional qualifications through graduate study. This program does not lead to initial teacher certification. For more information on initial teacher certification programs, please visit our Master of Arts in Teaching or Master of Science in Special Education program webpages.

Individuals who hold teaching certification in the state of Maryland and complete this certificate program will be eligible for Maryland teaching endorsement as a Mathematics Instructional Leader in grade levels PreK-6.

Individuals not residing and not certified to teach in Maryland are not eligible for the endorsement, and should enroll in one of two leadership recommended courses in place of the internship course.


Courses are delivered fully online in an asynchronous format that features small interactive groups, whole-class participation, and individual preparation. The expected timeframe for completion is between 12 and 24 months. This program incorporates active project-based learning, where you will develop and use skills in pedagogy, analysis, problem solving, and critical thinking.

Students enrolled in this program will learn to:

  • Enhance ability to engage diverse learners in mathematics content.
  • Create equitable learning contexts through which all students will be prepared to engage with mathematics concepts and skills at the PreK-6 grade level and be prepared to engage with future mathematics content.
  • Understand learning theories and their application to the teaching of mathematics content and pedagogy.
  • Network with other mathematics educators and professionals.
  • Develop the ability to approach the learning of new topics in mathematics through a technology-enhanced, problem-based, and student-centered approach.
  • Understand the development of children’s mathematics knowledge.
  • Develop age appropriate learning experiences to foster students’ critical thinking and ability to learn through classroom activities that promote the principles of equity, curriculum, teaching, learning, assessment, and technology (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000, 2014).
  • Apply their learning of effective mathematics education through the creation, implementation, and modification of content-specific and interdisciplinary mathematical experiences.
  • Evaluate and adapt local curricular materials to incorporate authentic problems related to mathematics concepts and skills and serve as an instructional resource to novice teachers of mathematics.

Course Descriptions

This program requires the successful completion of 18 credits.




This course will engage students in technology-enhanced, problem-based, and student-centered instructional strategies. Participants will learn to create an integrated, inclusive, and equitable STEM approach to support PreK-6 student learning and positive affect toward STEM. The course will include skills essential to the STEM learning environment. (3 credits)




This course is designed to provide students with an overview of theoretical perspectives and research influencing STEM instructional leadership in elementary schools. Students will consider curriculum development, supervision and evaluation of teaching, assessment of student learning, and the design and implementation of school improvement programs. Strategies for developing a constructive, collaborative approach to supporting STEM teachers to improve student learning outcomes will be emphasized. (3 credits)





The goal of this course is to support PreK-6 content knowledge for teaching related to the following topics: patterns; number and operation; measurement and data. Connections of these topics to an integrated approach to curriculum and instruction will be emphasized. (3 credits)






The goal of this course is to support PreK-6 content knowledge for teaching related to the following topics: patterns; number and operation; measurement, statistics, and probability. Connections of these topics to an integrated approach to curriculum and instruction is emphasized. The course will model the process standards of problem solving, reasoning and proof, representations, connections, and communication within the context of algebraic and geometric thinking (NCTM, 2000). (3 credits)




The purpose of this course is to develop teachers’ content knowledge for teaching (knowledge of mathematics content, pedagogy, and student learning) in the context of advanced mathematics. This course builds on the previous courses: Mathematical Foundations in the PreK-6 Classroom and Algebraic and Geometric Thinking in the PreK-6 Classroom. (3 credits)




To complete the clinical experience as required by MSDE, students employed in the state of Maryland and seeking the endorsement will also enroll in a specially designated internship section (3 credits).

Students not residing in Maryland and not pursuing the licensure endorsement are directed to choose from one of the following courses:



Students review the principles and techniques required of principals, assistant principals, and teacher leaders. The course emphasizes diagnosis of the school climate, principles of distributed leadership, motivation of faculty teams, and the dynamics of working in and with groups to accomplish school improvement goals. Emphasis is placed on the leader’s role in creating a collaborative vision or mission for a school and in establishing meaningful working relationships with the larger community. (3 credits)



Education leaders need to understand the use of technology for teaching, learning, and managing their school environment. These skills include school wide technology planning and leadership that incorporate instructional design, curriculum integration with standards, logistics of technology implementation, professional development, and evaluation. Students will develop an understanding of how to create and support technological change through a systems approach. Topics include sources of resistance to change, tools for planning, decision making and change, creating and supporting a culture for learning and change, and managing and institutionalizing change systems. (3 credits)

State-specific Information for Online Students

Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

In accordance with US Department of Education regulations, the JHU School of Education is required to disclose select information for all Title IV eligible gainful employment (GE) programs. To see the most recent data available for this GE program, please view the attached disclosure.

This program is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for those seeking the Mathematics Instructional Leader (PreK-6) endorsement. 

Contact Us

Faculty Contact
Stephen Pape, PhD

Academic Program Coordinator
Liesl McNeal

Start Term:

Fall, Spring, and Summer