TOTOS SEEP Grant EE/ESE Program Descriptions

Sustainability and Environmental Education for Pre-Service (SEEP)

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Name(s) of instructor(s)

Timothy L. Sorey, PhD.

Name of university

Central Washington University

Level of preparation for the program being described: elementary, middle school, high school (or combination)

Elementary, Middle School, and High School

University course number

SCED 322
SCED 301
SCED 324

University course title

SCED 322 – Science Education in the Elementary Schools
SCED 301 – Interdisciplinary K-8 Science Inquiry
SCED 324 – Science Education in the Secondary Schools

University course catalogue description

SCED 322-Techniques, selection of materials and appropriate subject matter for the various grade levels. Demonstrations and student investigative activities for use in classroom science teaching. Enrollment is subject to being fully admitted to the Teacher Education Program.

SCED 301 - Interdisciplinary investigation of applied life, physical and earth science concepts applicable to K-8 classrooms using integrated contexts. Applied inquiry processes are used to increase student knowledge, skills and dispositions.

SCED 324 - Methods, techniques, and material appropriate for teaching science in secondary schools. Demonstration and experiments for use in teaching. Enrollment is subject to admission to the professional education program.

Objectives of this specific EE-ESE project

(big ideas are fine)

SCED 322

Objective 1: Experience inquiry science and develop science knowledge, skills, and values

  • Standards addressed: NSES-A; WA ElEd K 2.4.1, 2.4.3, 2.4.4, 2.4.5, S 2.4.1, 2.4.2, 2.4.3; CTL 1.1, 1.3

Objective 2: Facilitate and guide inquiry experiences for elementary learners

  • Standards addressed: NSES-B; WA ElEd K 2.4.2; CTL 1.2

Objective 3: Design learning environments that support inquiry, collaboration, and content integration

  • Standards addressed: NSES-D, E; WA ElEd K 2.4.3; CTL 1.2

Objective 4: Assess and evaluate diverse student learning and teaching effectiveness

  • Standards addressed: NSES-C; WA ElEd K 2.4.6, S 2.4.4; CTL 1.4, 1.5

Objective 5: Engage in continual professional growth

  • Standards addressed: NSES-C; WA ElEd K 2.4.3, S 2.4.1; CTL 1.3, 1.4

SCED 301

Objective 1: Identify and engage science preconceptions and construct new interdisciplinary knowledge

  • Standards addressed: NSES-A, C; CTL 1.1, 1.3

Objective 2: Experience integrated inquiry science and develop science knowledge, skills, and values

  • Standards addressed: NSES-A, E; CTL 1.2

Objective 3: Design and conduct research that increases content knowledge and investigative skill

  • Standards addressed: NSES-A, D, E; CTL 1.2

Objective 4: Approach authentic science problems from multiple perspectives

  • Standards addressed: NSES-C, E; CTL 1.4, 1.5

Objective 5: Collaborate with community stakeholders to address pressing global concerns

  • Standards addressed: NSES-C, E; CTL 1.3, 1.4

SCED 324

  1. Critically think about science and science teaching/learning.
  2. Originate and/or use ready-to-go inquiry-based science lessons to school-aged students.
  3. Appropriately use a variety of instructional techniques such as labs, demonstrations, discussions, and lectures to improve teaching skills, attitudes, and learning for students.
  4. Create and use a variety of traditional and alternative assessment tools for science.
  5. Use measurement and information technology to support effective science teaching/learning.
  6. Integrate other disciplines (math, history, etc.) and perspectives into your science-based lessons so that students can gain real-world context for the science they are learning. (A Synergistic Approach!)

Description of the experience(s) the pre-service teachers had to learn EE-ESE strategies

(This is the main, detailed description. Please include enough detail so someone else will know what you did.)

In all three courses above, students performed their own individual science inquiries and presented their “SCIENCE FAIR” posters. Not all of the projects were EE-ESE based in the SCED 322 and SCED 324, but the knowledge, skills, and dispositions expressed in these projects lend themselves to the necessary attributes in scientifically exploring EE-ESE curriculum.

SCED 301, more than the other two courses, integrated a knowledge and practice EE-ESE based information, focusing upon renewable energy resources throughout the term. Below is a detailed description of the assignments that we had for my summer section of 2008 at Green River Community College:

Students will participate in collaborative groups to actively explore science content related to the global environment. Class discussions will cover assigned readings as well as introduce new material, and will focus on current issues in alternative energy. Students will carry out an investigative research project and publicly present their findings to community stakeholders.

NSES Prior Knowledge (25 points)
Your prior disciplinary knowledge will be initially evaluated to determine what your current preconceptions are and identify areas for improvement. This will provide a starting point for your development of interdisciplinary knowledge. These initial results will be summarized in your LiveText portfolio introduction, and will provide disciplinary knowledge context for learning accomplished during the term.

Current Issues in Science (50 points)
It will be necessary to determine what is currently known regarding alternative energy before we can focus our research efforts. Reading assignments from scientific literature will help you gain a greater appreciation for the important issues we face as a global society. Addressing these issues raise will require analyzing them from multiple perspectives and making reasoned judgments based on evidence. Each group of four students will choose a topic from the literature; each student within the group will then argue their position on the topic based on a) science, b) religion, c) economics, and d) ethics.

Research Proposals (50 points)
Pairs of students will design and conduct an investigative research project based on a question of their own choosing and materials availability. To begin this process, each team will need to collaboratively construct a proposal that provides: 1) a general overview of the project that includes the research question, 2) identifies testable null and alternative research hypotheses that involve comparisons of your chosen independent variable, 3) specific predictions that describe what you think the research outcomes will be based on your independent variables, and 4) the experimental design that specifically describes the methods and materials you plan to use to conduct the experiment.

Science Notebook/Mini-Investigations (150 points)
Much of the time in this class will be spent actively investigating interdisciplinary phenomena. We will be conducting a series of in-class experiments that help us develop more disciplinary knowledge so we can use that to develop greater interdisciplinary knowledge. In-class experiments may be done by individuals or in small groups as determined by the instructor. Your ability to engage in inquiry mini-investigations will be assessed using Science Notebooks. Development of your research projects will also be profiled in your Research Notebook.

Mid-terms and Final Exams (250 points)
Exams will contain both written and performance components. They will assess the content and process skills we have covered in class and will include questions based on the discussions we have. One exam will be given during the course plus a two hour comprehensive final exam. Exam format may be written or oral.

Research Project/Presentation (250 points)
Each team will carry out an investigative research project based on the proposal. Each team will create a science research poster using PowerPoint. Each poster must include the following elements: 1) Background (establishes relevance for reader and context for experiment with literature), 2) Question (research question that you are investigating), 3) Hypothesis (null and alternative hypotheses), 4) Predictions (specifics on what you think will happen), 5) Materials (explicit enough for someone else to repeat your experiment), 6) Methods (includes analytical procedures (possibly including a flow diagram, chart, or picture); written in past tense), 7) Qualitative Results (descriptive, observations, pictures, 8) Quantitative Results (graphical, quantitative, measurement-based), 9) Discussion (includes analysis of data relationships, experiment caveats (controlled and uncontrolled variables), and suggestions for future improvement), 10) Conclusions (concise yet informative and solidly based on collected data; answers research question), and 11) References (formatted using APA 5th; only one or two websites allowed).

Each team will print their research poster and present their results to community stakeholders and fellow classmates. Groups with handouts should have them prepared ahead of time. Each group member must be professionally attired and fully versed in all aspects of the research. Since your research will be presented to the community at large, it is essential that you conduct yourself with the utmost professionalism and decorum.

Course Portfolio (100 points)
Most of the work you produce this quarter will be contained within a course portfolio. You will be required to showcase your knowledge, skills, and disposition development by posting your work and reflecting on your performance relative to professional standards. This portfolio will enable you (and the instructor) to gain a greater understanding of your progress over time, and not just provide a snapshot of what you have learned at the end of the course. Your portfolio is a large project that will be constructed as you go along; this will require some work toward the end of the term as well. Your portfolio must be submitted in LiveText according to the template provided by the instructor. Each portfolio will be evaluated using to a portfolio rubric.

Participation (75 points)
Full participation with in-class and online course discussions and activities is expected throughout the term. Your ability to engage in meaningful, intelligent, and professional discussions will be evaluated using a discussion rubric.

Materials/equipment needed for the pre-service teacher experience (include technology that may have been used)

Materials and equipment ranged from technology such as digital multimeters and hand-held TI-vernier instrumentation to glass beakers and volumetric flasks. The list of materials depended upon student projects and were provided through the Science Education Department at CWU and the Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education.

Were preK-12 children involved? (Yes or no). If yes, describe their involvement and ages.

Yes - Practicum and Observations - SCED 322 and SCED 324

No - SCED 301

Was this an indoor or outdoor project (or both)?

Describe the setting.

Yes – SCED 301

Sometimes – SCED 322 and SCED 324

We had fieldtrips to local wind-energy towers, solar cells, and dams.

Were other subject area professors involved? Yes or no. If yes, what subjects were integrated? How?

Yes, local professionals who implemented solar cells and homeowners of solar cells and alternative energies.

Were there community/ agency/institution partners? Yes or no. If yes, how was the partnership structured?

Yes, solar home owners.

How was the program evaluated? What did the pre-service teachers have to say?

The program was evaluated, see assignments above. Many of the pre-service teachers were amazed at the multiple types of alternative energies and how these energies are tied to politics and cultures of local communities.



If another grant was written to support your EE-ESE work, what types of things would you hope to accomplish?

Some of the support money goes toward in-service teacher professional development AND offering them materials for their classrooms that are robust and can be used in multiple experiments. (ie-digital multimeters, hydrogen/oxygen solar cell generators, solar ovens, etc.)

Thank you!