Harry is right that math education is a separate major or program in (to speak of what I know) many US universities. In fact, my own University of Georgia has the number one math education program in the country. (A couple of years ago I was flipping through the Notices and found a table of universities at which UGA was right at the top. At first I thought "Wow, as fantasy dreams go, this one is pretty tame" and then I noticed that the article was about math education.)

I think that on our site it is inevitable (and to me at least, desirable) that the m-e questions are still going to have some mathematical content. E.g., imagine the question "Which courses are especially well suited for the Moore Method? Badly suited?" A math educator who has not done research on this specifically may not be as helpful as a thoughtful research mathematician who would tell you, for instance, that General Topology is a sensible as well as a popular choice and Differential Geometry could be a disaster ("Write down the Christoffel symbols. No, that's not right. No, that's not right either...[two weeks pass]...OK, I'll give you a hint: there are three indices...") ]]>

learning-mathematics <===> mathematics-learning <===> mathematics-education.

What's the difference?

]]>So I suppose, mine was taken while it was borderline, and moreover I was too ignorant about the site then, and this newcomer's question was stopped because this was already decided then, as a result of the discussion on my question?

]]>The question that you refer to is simply off-topic on MO by any tag: it is obvious that it is important and equally obvious that we are not qualified to answer it. Therefore it should not come up when anyone searches for it by any tag: hence, tag-removed. ]]>

Confession: The OP had not included the mathematics-education tag. I retagged it so, since it seemed it was a problem with him learning things. I did it based on the same line of reasoning when I tagged my very first question here. To quote myself, "I asked it in mathematics education. What else do you ask in mathematics education, if not problems faced by students?".

I am not trying to defend myself, and your point is valid. But I must confess that I am the responsible party in this instance, not the original poster.

]]>My feelings are that mathematics-education is a highly appropriate and useful tag, but it seems at the moment to be rampantly overused. As I commented on another post recently, often m-e tends to get used as a catch-all tag when people can't be bothered to suss out a more appropriate tag (or, occasionally, when there is no appropriate tag because the question is not appropriate).

If you interpet m-e widely enough, you could plausibly put it on almost any MO question: indeed, a reasonable summary of MO is "a site where mathematicians educate other mathematicians". But this is not useful for tagging. I think m-e should be reserved for questions with explicit and significant pedagogical content (in plainer language, they ought to include "teaching" and/or "students" in an integral way).

Question types which I think deserve m-e tags include: inquiries about the Moore method, teaching evaluations, answering students' questions, is it more effective to lecture, and so forth.

Question types which I think should not be tagged with m-e include: how should I think about topic X, I am trying to learn about topic X / please suggest introductory readings for topic X, and so forth. ]]>