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EDUC-M 446/EDUC-Q 506

Fall 2006

EDUC-M 446/EDUC-Q 506/EDUC-Q515

Methods of Teaching Secondary and Middle School Science
Fall 2006
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
School of Education
Indiana University - Bloomington
Office Hours:

Bob Sherwood
ED 3054
856-8154 (o)
By Appointment
Tuesdays, 1:00 - 3:45 PM, ED 3105

Kathleen Allspaw
Graduate Carrels
812-988-7778 (h)
By Appointment

Designed for individuals planning to teach middle or high school science, this course explores
both the teacher's and the students' role in middle/secondary science classrooms. As prospective
teachers we will focus on the role of the teacher, but always with reference to the ways in which
teachers interact with students to create positive environments that foster inquiry and promote
meaningful learning. We will touch on numerous aspects of science classrooms including:
assessing students knowledge before instruction, designing curriculum, planning lessons,
determining and adapting appropriate teaching methods, promoting inquiry, fostering dialogue,
meeting district and national standards, using technology to promote learning, and assessing
students' learning.
EDUC-M 346 for undergraduates, admission to masters program for graduate students
Field Experience: 403 for those registered in 446; 511 for those registered in 506
Orientation: 401 for those registered in 446
During the semester, emphasis will be placed on exploring appropriate teaching models that
reflect the nature, method and content of science, the characteristics of students, and the nature of
the instructional setting. The major course goal is to provide you with appropriate experiences
for initial growth as a professional science educator and the knowledge and tools to develop
further. As perspective teachers, you will become designers of instructional materials. You will
utilize the principles of design in developing lessons, curriculum, and assessments.
As the result of the course, you will gain experiences in:
synthesizing a rationale for science teaching.
understanding students preconceptions of science concepts
designing curriculum materials and instruction for teaching the content and processes of
science in a way that addresses National Science Education Standards and accounts for
the nature of science and the nature of the learner.
applying specific teaching methods that encourage inquiry and construction of

EDUC-M 446/EDUC-Q 506


Fall 2006

modifying curriculum materials and instruction to meet the needs of various student
developing means of assessing student learning.


Your performance will be evaluated on the following:
A Rationale that Supports Your Method of Science Teaching:
A statement that justifies your teaching methods and includes ideas related to how students
learn science, what it means to have scientific understanding, and in what ways good teaching
can foster and support scientific understanding. As you learn more about teaching and
learning, we expect that ideas you learn from class and the literature will become more
prominent in your thinking.
Materials Review:
Curriculum Review: Each student will demonstrate understanding of the goals, methods, and
materials of one curriculum project within a science area of interest and present a critical
review of the materials.

Professional Journal Review: Each student will select and read two articles pertaining to
science learners understanding of a particular science concept or an activity designed to teach
a particular science concept from any science teacher professional journal and write a
summary of each article. The journals you might select could include: The Science Teacher,
Science Scope, The American Biology Teacher, The Journal of Chemical Education, or The
Physics Teacher.

Design Lesson Plans and Sharing:

Working in pairs, students will design three lessons. The first will be a demonstration that will
help middle or high school students learn a concept. The second lesson will be a laboratory
activity that focuses on students exploring a concept. The third lesson will be a performancebased assessment. One lesson needs to include the use of learning technology tools to extend
student learning opportunities in the science classroom. A subset of these lessons will be
shared with the class and critiqued. As part of the lesson plans, students will include a design
rationale based upon course content and readings. The rationale should discuss why you
designed the lessons in a particular manner and should reference class readings to provide
support for your design decisions.
Unit Design:
Each class member will select an area and develop a Unit that covers approximately 10-15 class
Student learning goals
Concept Map1 learning goals, students prior knowledge and non-normative ideas
(alternative conceptions)
Student Conversations
A day by day sequence of the unit that briefly describes the learning task and shows how
student understanding develops over time

If you would prefer to use another appropriate representation instead of a concept map, you need to discuss your
idea with one of the instructors.

EDUC-M 446/EDUC-Q 506

Fall 2006

Detailed lesson plans needs to include 3 detailed lessons of which at least one has to be
Student Assessment
As part the unit design, you will include a design rationale based upon course content and
readings. Similar to the design of the lesson plans, the rationale should discuss why you designed
the lessons in a particular manner and should reference class readings to provide support for your
design decisions.
Class Participation/readings
Active involvement in class discussion and activities is necessary for you and others to get the
most out of this course. Bring comments, questions and/or concerns to class or via email.
Assessment Scheme: Assignments are due on the dates noted below.
Percent of Grade

Due Date

Rationale of Teaching Science

Early version


Late version


Curriculum Review



Professional Journals

9/19 & 10/17



Materials Review

Lesson 1
Revision (optional)
Lesson 2


Revision (optional)
Lesson 3


Revision (optional)


Lesson 1, 2, or 3 Presentation


Unit Design


Draft 1


Assigned Dates

Learning Goals
Overview and rationale
Concept Map of ideas
Rough Sequence

Assigned Dates

Draft 1 conference
Draft 2 (final)


Revised Draft 1
Lesson Plans

EDUC-M 446/EDUC-Q 506

Class Participation

Fall 2006

Revision Policy: If you decide to revise any of assessments, you are capable of receiving 90 % of
maximum points.
Your final letter grade will be determined according to the following scale:
A+ (98-100)
A (93-97)
A (90-92)
B+ (87-89)
B (83-86)

C (77-79)
C (73-76)
C (70-72)
D+ (67-69)
D (63-66)
F (59 points or below)

B (80-82)
D (60-62)

If you have special needs for which accommodations may be needed, please inform us as
soon as possible.
Required Materials (available for download or purchase online, see URLs below)
National Research Council (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC:
National Academy Press.
Donovan, M. S. & Bransford, J. D. (Eds.), (2005). How students learn: Science in the classroom.
Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Optional Materials (available for download or purchase online, see URLs below)
American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks for science literacy.
New York: Oxford University Press.
National Research Council. (2000). Inquiry and the national science education
standards: A guide for teaching and learning. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
National Research Council (2001). Classroom assessment and the national science education
standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Resources Online
Flynn Scientific Catalog on Safety:
Note: The following two books you can read online page by page or you can buy pdfs of the
relevant chapters.
How Students Learn: History, Mathematics and Science in the Classroom:
Classroom Assessment and the National Science Education Standards:
Indiana Department of Education Academic Standards--Science:
Grade 6:
Grade 7:

EDUC-M 446/EDUC-Q 506

Fall 2006

Grade 8:
High School:
Journals Online:
The Indiana University Library System has electronic journal subscriptions to the following
journals. You will be asked for your IU username and password to access them.
Accessible by way of IU library online full text journals
pageId=1047 :

The Science Teacher

The American Biology Teacher

Accessible by way of IUCAT:

The Journal of Chemical Education

Journal Available in Print:

For locations see IUCAT links below:
The Physics Teacher:
Note: This syllabus is subject to change