Dixie State College of Utah- Elementary Education
Syllabus- Fall 2007
EDUC 4300: Methods in Science
Credit: 3.0 Semester Hours
Course Beginning and Ending Dates: August 21 – December 14, 2007
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.
- D - Diversity: The diversity strand recognizes
that student variability exists in many ways including cultural,
ethnic, intellectual, linguistic, racial, and social. When teachers are
aware of the issues that surround meeting the educational needs of a
diverse student body, their respective classroom practices become more
focused and efficacious.
- E - Evaluation: The evaluation strand recognizes
that quality assessement and evaluation are essential to effective
teaching, learning, and curriculum planning. Evalutation measures must
be congruent with learning outcomes if both teachers and students are
to demonstrate their understanding of what is being taught.
- S - Self-Reflection: The self-reflection strand
recognizes that effective educators inform their practice through the
critical examination of their own philosophy, experiences, and
predispositions toward learning. As teachers develop self-reflective
skills and patterns, they become more in tune with the needs of their
students. Further, reflective teachers make the necessary changes and
additions to their repertoire of teaching strategies to develop better
programs for the changing conditions within their classrooms.
- E - Effectiveness in Teaching: The effectiveness
in teaching strand recognizes the complex interplay between the teacher
and the learner. Effective teaching is predicated upon an understanding
of both the teaching and learning processes. The key components of
teaching effectiveness involve an understanding of curricular
development, as well as models of instruction. An effective teacher can
maintain high expectations for student achievement through the
thoughtful implementation of innovative teaching techniques developed
through research and experience.
- R - Reaching Beyond the Classroom: The "teaching"
strand recognizes that quality teachers must envision their educational
roles outside the immediate boundaries of classrooms and school
buildings. Effective teachers have an appreciation for the context and
pruposes of eduction in a complex modern society. They understand that
parents, guardians, and the community at large, can play an integral
prat in the education of their students.
- T - Technology: The technology and classroom
management strand recognizes the importances that a well-managed
classroom climate influences the education of children. This strand
endeavors to give prospective teachers insight into a variety of
classroom management strategies to enhance learing in the respective
classrooms. This strand also recognizes the importance of the role of
technology in the educational environment. Through effective management
and curriculum development, and through setting high expectations for
all student achievement, high standards are affected.
All of the D.E.S.E.R.T. strands are inter-related and therefore are
addressed in each phase of the preservice program.
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
Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be able
- 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
- 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.
- Demonstrate knowledge and ability of science concepts principles
for K-8 curriculum.
- 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 http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/
Textbook Companion Site for Elementary Science Methods: http://education.wadsworth.com/martin4
National Science Education Standards: http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/
National Science Teachers Association: http://www.nsta.org
Utah State Core: http://www.uen.org
- You must now think like a teacher instead as a student. Therefore
it is imperative that you exhibit professional teaching standards in
honesty, integrity, appearance, respectful, attendance, assignments,
responsibility for group assignments, participation, etc. Below are
some guidelines that will help you develop professional standards
- Attendance is required in this course. A doctor's excuse is
necessary and will be accepted if it is accompanied by an email on the
day involved. Special arrangements will then be made for makeup work.
If attending a funeral of a close family member or friend, please email
me and then submit a copy of the obituary. Athletes playing away from
home games must inform (email) the instructor ahead that he or she will
be absent. Remember, each class period represents a week's worth of
work. One unexcused absence will not affect the grade. However, a
second unexcused absence will bring a half grade drop in your final
grade (after your total grade is computed). Each student is expected to
sign the roll each day. It will be circulated at the beginning of
class. Coming to me at the end of the course to justify attendance is
not an option. Arriving late to class will jeopardize this opportunity
and signing will then be at the discretion of the instructor.
- Assignments are due on specific dates. Late work may be accepted,
for legitimate reasons, if previous provisions have been made with the
instructor, but will be assessed with a penalty. Assignments should
reflect upper division course work and should be organized, neat,
accurate, and relevant. In addition, practicum hours are integral to
this course. Failure to complete the entire practicum experience will
result in failure of the class.
- Dress, grooming, and behavior standards are always part of
professionalism. Students visiting local schools as part of their DSC
coursework must dress in a way that will reflect favorably both on the
institution and on themselves.
- Cell phones must be turned off during class. If you have an
emergency, please see me prior to class.
- Cheating is considered a serious mistake. The handbook indicates
that "Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated at Dixe
State College (see Academic Discipline Policy, 3.34). I will take
action to the fullest extent of this policy upon detecting
- Disruptive behavior and disrespect is not allowed in my classroom.
I will follow the policy of the college which states:
- "Teachers at Dixie State College have the right to aggressively
manage the classroom environment to ensure a good learning climate.
Toward this end, teachers may dismiss and remove disruptive students
from individual class activities. If a student's behavior continues to
disrupt class activities, the teacher may dismiss and remove disruptive
students from their courses."
|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.
Click here to
download the grading rubic. This .pdf document includes:
- Thematic Unit Grading Rubric
- Assesment Plan of the Thematic Unit
- Curriculum Design, Planning and Assesment (INTASC Alignment of
- Practicum Report Reflection
- Inquiry Checklist
Course Requirements/ Assignments
|Attendance & Participation/Class Activities
|Comprehensive Thematic Unit
|Science Lesson Plan along with practice teaching activity (each
worth 30 pts)
|Practicum Reports (10) must pass to have a total grade
|In-class activities from current chapters (individual or 2 in a
|Resource Methods File
|Praxis II Questions/Science Practice Problems (10)
Class Attendance and Participation
- You can earn 20 points by being present and actively engaged in
discussions and activities. Make sure you sign the roll for attendance
Comprehensive Thematic Unit
- You will create a thematic unit for the curriculum in the methods
classes (math & science; language arts & social studies).
Science Hands-on, Minds-on Lesson Plan and Practice Teaching
- Demonstrate in class using peers as students. The assignment will
include two lesson for science content (primary or intermediate
grades). Assignment includes:
- Detailed lesson plan that is based on Utah state core and national
- All key components of a lesson play are addressed
- Teaching a 30 min. lesson to your peers
- You must provide the materials, handouts, etc.
- Lesson utilizes a variety of instruction
- A copy of your lesson plan/ handouts should be given to every
student in the class.
- A grading rubric will be provided for this assignment that
illustrates how these components will be graded.
- Weekly assignments will be given to monitor learning and
understanding of the content material presented in the textbook. These
assignments may take different formats such as quizzes, discussion
questions, etc. Be prepared by reading the assigned chapters.
Practicum Reports (10)
- Weekly practicum report that includes the date, times, observations
and personal reflections. Each week I will ask you to concentrate on
specific classroom experience
In-Class Activities from assigned chapters
- Video responses, class activities, class presentations, games,
science experiments, etc.
Resource Lesson File
- Minimum of 20 (total) science lessons organized by grade level and
then by concept. These lessons should be descriptive and completely
self-explanatory. Most of these lessons should be obtained from
presentations from classmates. Be sure and include the state and
national standards. A copy of the INTASC standards will be included at
the end of this packet to help you get organized.
Practice Questions for the Praxis II Test and Mathematics and
- Weekly assignments that will prepare you for the Praxis II test in
the science and developing confidence in your teaching of science.
* Disclaimer: I reserve the right to make changes to the
assignments or schedule as I see the need. Prior notice will be
Use as reference for your science units/lesson plans and activities
Selects and applies processes appropriately
- Selects and applies processes appropriatly
- Asks appropriate questions about phenomena under investigation
- Initiates own ideas for investigation
- Investigates own questions and ideas
- Utilizes a variety of information sources, including printed
material, multimedia, and people
- Relates investigations to prior experiences
- Suggests causes for what is observed
- Explains thinking process in a rational and logical way
- Presents ideas and conceptualizations to others for their
- Discusses and challenges the ideas and conceptualizations of
- Analyzes conclusions and reformulates them in light of new
evidence, new experiences, and input from others
- Subjects conclusions to tests of explanatory power and predictive
- Seeks opportunities to continue explorations
- Exhibits realistic self-appraisal
- Relates learning to out-of-school situations