Physical Science 402

PHSC 402

Catalog Entry

PHSC 402. Methods of Science Teaching
Credit Hours (3).

Prerequisites: Admission to the Teacher Education Program and majoring in one or more of the sciences.

The course is designed to facilitate the preparation of secondary science teachers. Students will examine and utilize various instructional strategies for teaching science in grades 9-12.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

1. The Role of Science in Education

        a. Science as a part of the curriculum
        b. Science in the integrated curriculum
        c. Integrating science, technology, and society

2. Goals and Objectives of Science Education
3. Examination of Appropriate Curriculum Materials

        a. Texts
        b. Laboratory exercises
        c. Electronic materials
        d. Laboratory Supplies and Equipment

            (1) Selecting
            (2) Ordering
            (3) Receiving
            (4) Storing
            (5) Distributing

4. Examination of Science Education Documents

        a. Virginia Department of Education Science Standards of Learning
        b. Project 2061
        c. V-Quest

5. Safety

        a. Student activities
        b. Faculty activities
        c. Judging risks
        d. Use of fire extinguishers
        e. Storage of chemicals and supplies
        f. Accident record forms

6. Types of Laboratory Activities

        a. Confirmation/verification activities
        b. Structured inquiry
        c. Guided inquiry
        d. Open inquiry

7. The Student

        a. Intellectually gifted
        b. Typical
        c. Exceptional

8. Science and the Ability to Think - Improving Thinking Skills

        a. Observation
        b. Clarification
        c. Measurement
        d. Communication
        e. Developing spatial relationships
        f. Experimenting
        g. Predicting
        h. Inferring

9. The Elements of Inquiry

        a. Teacher responsibilities in an inquiry-centered classroom
        b. Student responsibilities in an inquiry-centered classroom

10. Matching Instructional Strategy(ies) to Appropriate Levels of Physical Ability, Emotional Ability, and Cognitive Ability
11. Attitudes, Objectives, and Curriculum Strategies

        a. Questioning techniques

            (1) Wait-time
            (2) Convergent questions
            (3) Divergent questions

        b. Discussion methods
        c. Inquiry teaching
        d. Didactic teaching

12. Evaluation

        a. Competency
        b. Diagnostic
        c. Summative
        d. Formative

13. Controversial Issues
14. Curriculum Models

        a. Emphasis of courses in 60's, 70's, and 80's
        b. Compare learning/teaching models of educational psychologists

15. Resources

        a. Museums
        b. Business and industry

16. Professional Organizations

        a. National Science Teachers Association
        b. American Association for the Advancement of Science
        c. American Chemical Society
        d. American Geological Institute
        e. American Institute of Biological Science
        f. American Association of Physics Teachers


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course models desired teaching behaviors in grades 9-12 classrooms. Lecture, demonstration modeling, and discussion are used in facilitating the student's development of the knowledge base in curricula and teaching strategies; in the construction and use of evaluating tools in the knowledge of the learning process; in effective classroom management; in understanding, interpreting, and applying science education research; and, in the knowledge and application of classroom and laboratory safety.


Goals and Objectives of Course

Pre-service teachers will develop competencies

1. to teach science processes, content, and attitudes to a varied population;
2. in a wide range of secondary science curricula and instructional strategies, and evaluation strategies;
3. in understanding how students learn science;
4. in effective use of classroom management techniques;
5. in conducting, applying, understanding, and interpreting science education research; and,
6. in the ability to identify, establish, and maintain the highest level of safety in stockrooms and all other areas used for science instruction.


Assessment Measures

Paper and pencil tests are used to ascertain knowledge and selected processes. Observations and discussions are used to measure the activity goals and objectives. The student will present a portfolio of his/her accomplishments.


Other Course Information




September 24, 2001 - Reviewed by Walter S. Jaronski, Chair