Dixie State College of Utah- Elementary Education
Syllabus- Fall 2007

Course Information

EDUC 4300: Methods in Science
Credit: 3.0 Semester Hours
Course Beginning and Ending Dates: August 21 – December 14, 2007

Instructor Information

Associate Professor: Dr. Shirley Sung Davis, Ph.D

The D.E.S.E.R.T. Model for Elementary Education

Dixie State College of Utah has created a model for the curriculum design, instruction, assessment, and the evaluation of its program. This model, known by the acronym D.E.S.E.R.T., reflects the characteristics that teachers possess and continually develop throughout their careers. Each course in the DSC Elementary Education program identifies learning objectives for each letter of the D.E.S.E.R.T. acronym. Each of the acronyms is explained below.

All of the D.E.S.E.R.T. strands are inter-related and therefore are addressed in each phase of the preservice program.

Course Description

Effective science instruction is a key component of any course of study for students in the elementary school. This course will provide a basis for-pre-service teachers to gain awareness of national, state, and local standards in science education, as well as, effective teaching strategies that will help teachers meet the various needs of all learners in the public school setting.


Admission to Dixie State College Elementary Education Baccalaureate Program.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be able to:

  1. Identify and gain an understanding of the standards set by the National Science Education Standards (NSES). Students will be able to incorporate these standards into their thematic units and lesson plans.
  2. Summarize the Utah State K-8 Core curriculum in the areas of science and identify the connections with national standards. Use these standards to plan thematic units that include a wide range of cognitive domains for the targeted grade level.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and ability of science concepts principles for K-8 curriculum.
  4. Demonstrate the qualities of a preservice teacher that addresses the D.E.S.E.R.T strands as discussed above.


Elementary Science Methods: A constructivist Approach (4th ed.) by David Jerner Martin

Recommended Readings and References

National Science Education Standards, ISBN-10: 0-309-05326-9 or

Web Sites

Textbook Companion Site for Elementary Science Methods:

National Science Education Standards:

National Science Teachers Association:

Utah State Core:

General Policies

Grading Scale

A = 95-100 B = 84-86 C = 74-76 D = 64-66
A- = 90-94 B- = 80-83 C- = 70-73 D- = 60-63
B+ = 87-89 C+ = 77-79 C+ = 76-69

F = Below 60

* If you are having problems, please contact me early so you can get the help you need.

Grading Rubric

Click here to download the grading rubic. This .pdf document includes:

Course Requirements/ Assignments

Assignments Points Possible
Attendance & Participation/Class Activities 60
Comprehensive Thematic Unit 80
Science Lesson Plan along with practice teaching activity (each worth 30 pts) 60
Chapter Assignments 50
Practicum Reports (10) must pass to have a total grade 50
In-class activities from current chapters (individual or 2 in a group) 40
Resource Methods File 60
Praxis II Questions/Science Practice Problems (10) 50
Final Exam 50

Assignment Details

Class Attendance and Participation

Comprehensive Thematic Unit

Science Hands-on, Minds-on Lesson Plan and Practice Teaching Assignment

Chapter Assignments

Practicum Reports (10)

In-Class Activities from assigned chapters

Resource Lesson File

Practice Questions for the Praxis II Test and Mathematics and Science Content

* Disclaimer: I reserve the right to make changes to the assignments or schedule as I see the need. Prior notice will be given.

Inquiry Checklist

Use as reference for your science units/lesson plans and activities Selects and applies processes appropriately

  1. Selects and applies processes appropriatly
  2. Asks appropriate questions about phenomena under investigation
  3. Initiates own ideas for investigation
  4. Investigates own questions and ideas
  5. Utilizes a variety of information sources, including printed material, multimedia, and people
  6. Relates investigations to prior experiences
  7. Suggests causes for what is observed
  8. Explains thinking process in a rational and logical way
  9. Presents ideas and conceptualizations to others for their input
  10. Discusses and challenges the ideas and conceptualizations of others
  11. Analyzes conclusions and reformulates them in light of new evidence, new experiences, and input from others
  12. Subjects conclusions to tests of explanatory power and predictive power
  13. Seeks opportunities to continue explorations
  14. Exhibits realistic self-appraisal
  15. Relates learning to out-of-school situations
Citation: administrator2. (2007, September 12). Syllabus. Retrieved November 29, 2014, from Dixie State College of Utah Web site:
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