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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Science Education (SCIED)

SCIED 458 Teaching Science in the Elementary School (3) Interpreting children's science experiences and guiding development of their scientific concepts; a briefing of science content material and its use.

SCIED 458 Teaching Science in the Elementary School (3)

SCIED 458 is designed to support teacher candidates in developing their own reflective practice in science teaching for young learners. Candidates in this course engage in a series of experiences that move them from their own understanding of engagement in science, to understanding children’s engagement in science, and finally towards methods of designing science instruction for young learners. Central to this work is a focus on reflective practice; expert teachers reflect on their own teaching practices. During this course, candidates learn to be critical of their own learning, instructional design, and teaching. Candidates use this to revise their practice as they grow as science teachers. The course activities, assignments, readings, and placement experiences offer multiple opportunities for candidates to learn essential knowledge and practices to support children’s curiosity about the world.

Course assignments and in-class experiences are designed to help teacher candidates understand the importance of engaging their future students in a strongly integrated focus on science content and practice. This encompasses both how scientists work (the practice of doing science and building our knowledge of the world) and how children learn the skills and practices of doing science. Helping children understand the practices of science is of equal importance as helping them learn the content of science.

To start understanding ways of supporting children in learning to do science in age-appropriate ways, teacher candidates in this course contrast their understanding and experiences with those of children. Assignments are designed to help facilitate exploration of the links between understanding children’s prior knowledge and beliefs, using knowledge of how people learn, and making pedagogical choices to move children towards specific content and practice goals. Candidates consider the role of differentiated instruction and methods of assessment in science teaching.

Finally, the course examines methods of adapting science curriculum using knowledge of children and specified learning goals. Teacher candidates bring together what they have learned about the practices of science, social constructivist instructional methods, and assessment to think critically about how to support elementary students learning science across time.

SCIED 458 is a part of a block of courses in a PSU teacher education program that is unified by a basic set of principles and a field experience component.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2014
Prerequisite: LL ED 400, LL ED 401, LL ED 402 three credits each in biological earth and physical sciences
Concurrent: C I 495A OR C I 495B ; MTHED 420 SS ED 430W

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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