Education 611 Recent Issues in Science Education


Spring 2002 Mondays


Allan Feldman

227B Furcolo Hall

545-1570 (office) or 549-1469 (home)


Course requirements

1) Reading Questions and Class Participation: A significant part of this course will be class discussions of readings assigned for each week. Therefore successful completion of this graduate level course requires attendance of all classes and active participation in the discussions. Carefully read assigned readings for each class. Reading questions will be assigned each week and will be due via email before the next class. Come to class prepared to contribute your critical reflections on both your own experiences and ideas and those of others as presented in the readings.

2) Assignment A: Scientists talk about science
Search the literature to find an article or book by a scientist in which he or she writes about the nature of science. Summarize and critique the scientist's viewpoint in a 3-5 page paper. Present your findings to the class. Due February 19th.

3) Assignment B: Stories of discovery
Write the story of a discovery or a major change in thinking in your discipline. Prepare a presentation to the class. Be creative in your presentation. Due March 4th.

4) Assignment C: Evolution storyboard
In a small group develop a "storyboard" for evolution. Due April 8th.

5) Assignment D: Unit plan -- Teaching the Nature of Science. Due May 13th.

Your grade in this course will be determined by your level of completion of all assignments and your participation in the class. Assignment D will have the greatest weight (50%). Assignments A, B, and C contribute equally to 30% of your grade. Finally, the completion of the reading questions and your participation in class, including preparedness to discuss readings and attendance, is an important component of your grade (20%). Read the syllabus carefully and see the instructor if you have any questions about what is required of you. Satisfactory work at the graduate level for all five course requirements will result in an AB in the course. Outstanding work will result in an A. Any written work deemed unsatisfactory by the instructor will be given back to the student with comments for improvement. The instructor will make adjustments in these requirements for students with learning disabilities.

All course work must be completed and handed in to the instructor by May 13, 2002. If for some reason this cannot happen, the student must make arrangements with the instructor to complete the work before a mutually agreed upon date. The student and instructor will draw up a contract specifying the work that needs to be completed and the completion date. They will both sign the contract and each will receive a copy.




Readings and Assignments

Feb 4

Introduction to the course
Course overview and introductions.
What is science?

NSTA Position Statement on Nature of Science

Feb 11

Scientific literacy

Kuhn, T. (1996)
; DeBoer; Kolsto; Laugksch
Assignments: Reading questions

Feb 19


Scientists Talk about Science

Assignments: Reading questions
Assignment A

Feb 25


The Nature of Science and Academic Science

Kuhn; Brush; Elfin; Glasson
Niaz; Scharmann & Smith
Assignments: Reading questions

March 4

Stories of Discovery

Assignment B

March 11

Stories of Science

Haraway; Harding; Milne, 1998; Milne, 1999; Whitaker

Assignments: Reading questions

March 18

UMass vacation week


March 25

The Nature of Science and Teaching and Learning Science

Cobern; Harding, 2000; Hart; Hogan; Smith; Sullinger

April 1

To be announced


April 8

Nature of Science and the teaching of evolution

Teaching about Evolution - Chs. 1-3, 5; NSTA and AGI position statements
Assignment: Reading questions
Assignment C

April 17


Curriculum planning and assessment

To be announced

April 22

Teaching about Evolution

Brickhouse, 2000a; Cummings, Rudolph and Stewart; Dagher and BouJaoude

April 29

Other paradigms

Feldman; Van Sickle, Wong

May 6

Other views

Brickhouse, 2000a; Brickhouse 2001; Rodriguez, 1997; Roychoudhury

May 13

Presentation of projects

Assignment D

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