The Graduate Group in Science and Mathematics Education (SESAME) is an interdisciplinary academic unit dedicated to advancing the understanding and practice of learning and teaching in science, engineering, and mathematics. It acts in most respects like a regular department, carrying out research, teaching courses, and offering a graduate program leading to a PhD degree in science or mathematics education. The faculty of the group consists of professors from several of the Berkeley science and engineering departments and the School of Education, and instructors associated with other units on campus, such as the Lawrence Hall of Science. The group operates under the auspices of the Graduate Division.
SESAME is closely related to the LSHD (Learning Sciences and Human Development) program and shares many courses with LSHD. A major difference in the programs is that SESAME students are expected to obtain at least master's level competency in their mathematical or scientific disciplines. It produces scholars who can communicate well with scientists and engineers, as well as with educational researchers and practitioners. The program includes studies that connect human development, cognitive science, and educational technology with the learning of science, mathematics, and engineering.
SESAME PhDs have frequently taken positions in college science, mathematics, and engineering departments, teaching courses in the discipline but also serving as the "education person" in the department and doing research on the teaching and learning of the subject matter. Through the years SESAME students have also focused on learning in informal settings and have gone on to careers in institutions such as museums and science centers.
There is no undergraduate program in Science and Mathematics Education.