Teaching Secondary Science I (3) Introduction to teaching secondary school science, including curriculum, learning theory, media, evaluation as they relate to student progress.
SCIED 411W Teaching Secondary Science I (3)
Science Education 411W is an introduction to secondary science education. The course is a project based course for individuals planning to teach science in grades 7-12 and has a significant emphasis on professional writing. The course is also appropriate for those interested in teaching or in program development of out-of-school science learning environments (e.g., science centers, nature centers, museums). Students will participate in activities that are designed to help forge a 'philosophy of science teaching' that is supported by research based findings on 1) learning and assessing learning, 2) best practices for teaching, 3) images of science and scientific inquiry, and 4) the effective design of lessons and activities. There are several peer-teaching assignments where students teach each other and two student teaching assignments with middle school children from area schools. Students are expected to complete written reports and reflections on-type assignments for lesson plan reviews, curriculum assessments, science research reports, and clinical interviews. One of the major goals of SCIED 411 is to promote 'reflection in action' and 'reflection on action' among the students. These are two constructs put forth by Donald Schon that argues an important meta cognitive dynamic for teachers is to think about what they are doing while teaching (in action), and to also think about what they will do differently in future episodes of teaching (on action).
On each occasion in 411 when students compete a peer teaching or clinic teaching experience they are requested to compete a 'reflection writing assignment'. Criteria for success on the writing assignments is 1) to provide an accurate description (which may include a lesson plan or references to the lesson plan) of the teaching; 2) to diagnose and identify the successes and the shortcomings of the lesson in terms of student learning; 3) to make connections to course readings that offer suggestions for adapting the lesson to promote learning. The reflection assignments are typically 2 to 3 single-spaced pages accompanied by the lesson plan.
Across the semester, from the first 'reflection' assignment to the last 'reflection' assignment there is an expectation that the 411 students will demonstrate a increasing depth and sophistication of reflection, analysis and attention with respect to the construction of learning goals and instruction strategies that promote working with students prior knowledge, employing formative assessment tasks to make students' thinking visible, and using questions and strategies that frame a student-centered discourse learning environment.
The course professor will grade the written assignments and provide written and oral feedback. Each assignment will be revised and posted to an on-line student portfolio.
Written communication is important in the field of education and science. In this course, the importance of written communication as a means to learn and reflect on the subject matter of the science disciplines and on teaching is emphasized. The value of scientific reports, analysis of curricular materials, development and reflection on lesson plans, and statements regarding the student's philosophy of science teaching will be evident through written assignments, feedback, and revision.
Through the experience of reading, discussion, development of lessons, and practice teaching, students will develop the ability to do the following: (a) Use appropriate techniques to probe students’ prior knowledge and understandings of scientific concepts. Knowledge about students' alternative conceptions and intuitions is then used to design effective lesson plans and assessments. (b) Plan and teach science lessons employing sound research-based techniques for inquiry teaching. Students will complete both peer and student teaching assignments that are videotaped. (c) Prepare written reflections and evaluations that incorporate analytical perspectives that are based on personal experiences and on course readings and research-based frameworks and practices. Students will be offering written reflective comment on their own teaching and that of classmates.
The course goals include the ability to develop a 'reflection in action' and 'reflection on action' decision-making orientation that is informed by evidence-based practices linked to student learning.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.