Methods in teaching Science

"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." -Carl Sagan

​Course Goals and Objectives:

1. Teacher candidates(TCs) will create a science unit of instruction that include a variety of instructional formats, a range of materials, are aligned with the state Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Frameworks, and ESE subject matter knowledge (SMK). This unit will be shared as it is created through Google Classroom with other TCs for comment, discussion, and revision, and submitted to AIC through Blackboard . The unit will include at least five formal lessons, some of which may be multi-day.

2. Teaching methods will emphasize project-based learning, due to its effectiveness in promoting student engagement.

3. Teacher candidates will develop science and technology/engineering lesson plans by writing objectives, selecting materials , referencing the MA Science and Technology/Engineering curriculum frameworks and designing an appropriate instructional sequence.

4. Learning experiences will include text- and video-based instruction, active learning, simulations, laboratory investigations and/or engineering design or research projects in the context of an extended project. At least one lab investigation, design challenge or other project will involve multiple iterations, with reflection, critique, and revision.

5. Student work products for these lessons will include note-taking, a laboratory journal, a lab report, collaborations with other students, assessments of various types, and a digital media project for public exhibition.

6. Teacher candidates will apply basic concepts of learning theory and student motivation in the design and implementation of science lessons in the classroom.

7. Teacher candidates will research, select and adapt curriculum materials in science, both traditional and technology-based, appropriate to the diverse learning needs of students.

8. Teacher candidates will evaluate the effectiveness of science lessons using embedded, formative, collaborative and summative assessments, and involve students in the creation of assessments.

9. Teacher candidates will observe and reflect upon multiple instances of classroom and/or remote instruction

Note on project-based learning:

A major emphasis in this course is on project-based learning, as this approach, emphasizing student voice and choice and real-world issues, has been found to be highly engaging. Project-based learning should not be seen as an either/or proposition; teaching units can include both a unit-long project chosen by the students and a parallel sequence of traditional instruction.

Most major textbooks utilize this approach, as does the Massachusetts Frameworks.