Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education

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Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education (BSME) is a semester-long program in Budapest, Hungary, designed for American and Canadian undergraduates and recent graduates interested in teaching middle school or high school mathematics. BSME was conceived by the founders of Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM), and the two programs share a common goal—to provide their participants with an opportunity to experience the mathematical and general culture of Hungary. BSME is specifically intended for students who are not only passionate about mathematics, but also the teaching of mathematics.

Home to eminent mathematicians such as Paul Erdős, John von Neumann, and George Pólya, Hungary has a long tradition of excellence in mathematics education. In the Hungarian approach to learning and teaching, a strong and explicit emphasis is placed on problem solving, mathematical creativity, and communication. Students learn concepts by working on problems with complexity and structure that promote perseverance and deep reflection. These mathematically meaningful problems emphasize procedural fluency, conceptual understanding, logical thinking, and connections between various topics. Teachers carefully sequence such problems to provide focus and coherence to their lessons. For every lesson, an overarching goal is for students to learn what it means to engage in mathematics and to feel the excitement of mathematical discovery.

The BSME instructors will follow their own mathematical upbringing in Hungary and will bring a creative spirit to the program. They will challenge our participants to take part in creating, rather than just learning, the material. All courses will be taught in English, and BSME instructors have had experience teaching both at the secondary level and college level. Class sizes will be small. BSME classes will be held at the College International Budapest, near the city center, together with other study abroad programs (including BSM).

In BSME, participants will immerse themselves in mathematical exploration to experience first-hand learning in the Hungarian approach; then they will investigate how to bring this pedagogy into their own future classrooms. They will observe Hungarian mathematics classrooms and will have the opportunity to plan and teach their own lessons to Hungarian students (in English). The BSME courses are taught by Hungarian teacher scholars (in English) who bring a creative spirit and challenge each participant to deeply engage with the material. Above all, participants will enjoy a shared experience with other passionate future teachers, forming a rich support network and professional community that will extend beyond their time in Budapest.

BSME courses are designed so that credits will be transferable to American and Canadian colleges and universities. Transcripts will be issued by St. Olaf College. For details about credit transfer, see this page or contact us if you have further questions.


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