Middle School Science - (4-8)
This course is designed for those desiring to become competent middle school science teachers. The general goal of this program is to enable prospective science teachers to understand theories and best science practices for successful instruction and assessment of middle school students. Essentially, the course will enable students to review their science content knowledge as well as “This Thing Called Science” (The Nature of Science) and to enable them to obtain the knowledge, skills, and methods for teaching science. That is, the course will focus on the type of instructional strategies and mastering of process skills (pedagogy), that foster the development of science concepts (content), and the growth of positive attitudes (dispositions) in the science domain. The course will also explore the purposes, organization, and guidance of science experiences that will enable students to see excitement in scientific inquiry as well as intellectual, social, and even philosophical values of science. Furthermore, the course will emphasize knowledge of growth and development, diversity of cultures, safety in the science teaching/learning milieu and use of science to foster citizenship skills and healthy relationships in the communities. Finally, the methods of evaluating progress in science learning and science programs will also be closely examined.
- The passionate, professional educator is knowledgeable about subject matter.
- The passionate, professional educator is committed to inquiry.
- The passionate, professional educator is responsive to diversity.
- Bachelor’s Degree with at least a B- cumulative GPA;
- Passage of Praxis I or a waiver based on a combined Math and Verbal SAT score of over 1100 (Prior to March 1995, combined SAT scores of 1000 and after April 1995, combined SAT scores of 1100), appropriate ACT and GRE scores may qualify;
- General education requirements: appropriate undergraduate major and one course in the following areas: English, Math, Science, Social Sciences, and Fine Arts or Foreign Language;
- U.S. History survey course covering at least 50 years;
- Two reference letters attesting to suitability for teaching, ability to do graduate work, and dispositions to be a lifelong learner;
- Personal essay of approximately 350 words addressing reasons for seeking a teaching career and personal attributes that support that aspiration.
The Resident Teaching experience is a full 60 days of teaching in a school under the direction of a trained Cooperating Teacher. The arrangement for the placements are made through the School of Education and are also supervised by University staff.
- Nine credit hours in foundations of education coursework (differentiated instruction, educational psychology, and special education).
- Twenty-four hours of professional education requirements (curriculum and methods of teaching, statutory state requirements, and field experiences).
- Sixty-day (twelve-week) Resident Teaching experience (six credit hours)
After completing this course, teacher candidates will be able to:
- Describe and explain the essential characteristics of the nature of science and the historical developments of science and the scientific theories.
- Develop and apply a coherent, focused science curriculum and contemporary instructional materials, lesson plans, and technologies, all addressing the needs, abilities, and interests and values of both the students and the community as a whole.
- Use appropriate teaching skills (strategies and methodologies) to engage the students effectively in science inquiry (questioning, and constructing knowledge of science concepts) that enhance science comprehension, study processes and critical thinking.
- Structure and interpret science contents (i.e. facts, concepts, principles, laws, and theories) skillfully relating the science to students’ daily lives and interests taking into consideration the chronological age as well as the cognitive and psychological developments of the students.
- Use a variety of contemporary assessment strategies to evaluate the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of students of multicultural or diverse backgrounds, abilities and interests in all aspects of science.
- Design, model and manage safe and research-based instructional, disciplinary and supportive teaching-learning environments (i.e. physical, psychological and social environments) conducive for successful learning.
- Participate actively with students and colleagues in the professional community, demonstrating knowledge of appropriate ethical behavior expected of productive, caring and responsible citizens in the schools and the community.
- Develop a thematic unit designed to integrate other subjects in the school and to use scientific literacy to instill in the minds of young adolescents more ideas of global perspectives of education thus provoking in them an awareness of other people and cultures.