Welcome to ED 422: Secondary Science Teaching Methods


ED 422 is designed for individuals planning to teach middle or high school science, and explores both the teacher's and the students' role in 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: 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.

Investigations in science often spring from the consideration of an overarching "Driving Question." Driving Questions focus scientists work by suggesting sub questions and susequent lines of research. We hope that as preservice teachers, you can use the work we do together to prepare to teach your first course. Our course is organized around the question:

"How Do I To Prepare to Teach My First Science Class?"

Once you have completed your student teaching, you will be close to graduation and entering the classroom as a teacher! When you do eventually get this opportunity, things might happen extremely quickly and you may be expected to "hit the ground running," ready to teach your first class. As we approach the various topics in this course, we will try to apply what we learn to completing assignments that will be useful once you enter your own classroom. In order to do this, however, we will have to think beyond being students completing tasks as "course assignments," and instead try take on the role of collaborating teachers in order to make our work more useful in "real school." :-)

Hopefully, you have already observed that teachers move pretty quickly during the school day, and try to be organized, efficient, and productive. Teachers do not like to waste time because it means they will have to stay at school later or take more of their work home. Much of teachers' work is done individually in their classrooms. When they do have to opportunity to collaborate on the same task, e.g.being in of a group of teachers that are teaching the same course, serving on a particular school committee, etc, they sometimes try to divide up the shared work so that their individual efforts can be used by everyone. In this course, we will have both collaborative and individual assignments, but all of the artifacts that you produce could serve as a resource for you and your classmates in your first year of teaching. We will use this *teacherknowledge* wikispace to post and organize these artifacts, review the work of our colleagues, maintain a record of what we do during each class meeting, and (hopefully) build a useful knowledge base that addresses our driving question.