AEDL 432: Teaching Science in the Elementary School

Fall 2000

Instructor: Pamela D. Wash, MA (Science Specialist, CSRA Hub)


Telephone: Office: 641-3250 or 3594 Home: 803-275-4015 (Office Hours vary)

  1. Descriptive Information:

or special permission of education advisor.

  1. Course Goals and Objectives:
    1. General Goals: Each student will…

    1. Develop an understanding of the components and nature of science and the inter-relatedness of the different sciences.
    2. Acquire the abilities and develop the attitudes necessary to teach science effectively in grades one through eight.
    3. Develop an understanding of the development characteristics of children in grades one through eight.
    4. Develop skills in using a variety of methods and materials appropriate for teaching science in grades one through eight for children of varying backgrounds, abilities, and learning styles.
    1. Instructional Objectives: After completing AEDL 432, the student will be able to…

    1. Exhibit a more positive attitude toward science.
    2. Demonstrate a better understanding of the nature of science and the inter-relatedness of the subject areas of science.
    3. Demonstrate how the science process skills are used in investigating scientific phenomena and problems, interpreting findings and in communicating results in the various areas of science.
    4. Describe how elementary teachers influence children's attitude toward science and their interest in science and science-related careers, particularly in the context of the under representation of women and people of color in these fields.
    5. List and describe some of the significant social, economic, and political events in the history of science education that have influenced how science is taught today.
    6. Describe the distinguishing characteristics of the major elementary science programs and how these programs have influenced current trends in teaching science.
    7. Describe the expectations for classroom science teaching reflected in the South Carolina Science Standards.
    8. Describe and demonstrate the use of criteria for selection of appropriate science texts.
    9. Describe and demonstrate how the developmental characteristics, age, and exceptionalities of children impact the selection of content, activities, and methods of presentation, materials, equipment, and other resources in developing hands-on science lessons.
    10. Describe how gender, ethnicity, race, culture and language play a role in how children learn science.
    11. Describe and demonstrate how hands-on science teaching facilitates the learning of children with varied learning styles.
    12. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships among instructional objectives, the methods used in implementing instruction, and assessment in the teaching of science.
    13. Use the Learning Cycle as a format in planning and presenting hands-on science lessons which result in meaningful learning.
    14. Demonstrate effective questioning skills.
    15. Analyze science teaching practice by critiquing tapes of their presentation of science lessons.
    16. Demonstrate an understanding of how to organize learning in science around (STS) science/technology/society problems and issues.
  1. Course Readings:
    1. Required Text: Martin, R., Sexton, C., Wagner, K. and Gerlovich, J. (1997). Teaching Science for All Children (2nd Edition), Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
    2. George, Jean Craighead. (1992). The Missing ‘Gator of Gumbo Limbo, New York, NY: HaperCollins.

    3. Supplemental Readings:
  1. Instructional Strategies:
  2. Lecturing, questioning, using overhead, discussion, interviews, hands-on activities, cooperative learning, text and additional readings, textbook and materials evaluations, peer teaching, self-critique, and reflection.

  3. Course Requirements:
    1. Administrative Requirements:

"On my honor as a University of South Carolina-Aiken student, I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid on this assignment/examination. To the best of my knowledge I am not in violation of academic honesty." _____________________ (signature)

Please note: Written work you produce in this class may be included in your rising junior writing portfolio.

B, Required Activities: The following assignments and activities will be used in evaluating your level of achievement in this course. Criterion sheets for each assignment will be provided when an assignment is made. The instructor reserves the right to change and/or delete assignments. Assignments should be typed unless otherwise specified. Computers for word processing are available in B&E 238.

    1. Discussion/Participation/Attendance

20 Lesson Evaluations

15 Required Reading (Articles)

20 Novel/Journal

    1. Textbook Evaluation
    1. Learning Cycle Lesson Plan
    1. Writing Objectives
    1. Writing Productive Questions
    1. Midterm Exam
    1. Assessment Items
    1. Unit Plan
    1. Peer Lesson/Peer Evaluation
    1. Final Exam

300 Total Points

  1. Grading Scale:
  2. 100% - 94% = A

    93% - 90% = B+

    89% - 85% = B

    84% - 82% = C+

    81% - 78% = C

    77% - 74% = D+

    73% - 70% = D

    Below 70% = F





















  3. Course Outline: Required Text Readings (T), other readings, and Assignment Dates

Aug. 21: Course Introduction

Aug. 23: T = What is Science (pp. 3 - 31)

Chapter One from novel (1st journal entry)

Assignment: Unit Plan - Due Oct. 30

Aug. 28: T = How Do Children Learn Science/Piaget Development (pp. 34-62)

Aug. 30: Sink or Float?/Clayboats

Chapter Two from novel — 2nd journal entry

Sept. 4: Labor Day — NO CLASS!

Sept. 6: T = Use and Selection of Science Textbooks (pp.388 - 401)

Chapter Three from novel — 3rd journal entry

Assignment: Textbook Evaluation - Due Sept. 11

Sept. 11: Velocity/Cooperative Learning

Sept. 13: T = Children's Conceptions/Misconceptions (reread pp. 38-44)

Chapter Four from novel — 4th journal entry

Sept. 18: T = Learning Cycle (pp. 299-315)

Assignment: Learning Cycle Lesson Plan - Due Sept. 25

Sept. 20: Learning Cycle Lesson Plan modeled w/sample provided

Chapter Five from novel — 5th journal entry

Sept. 25: T = Writing Instructional Objectives; Lesson planning for Hands-on Science (pp. 153-


Assignment: Writing Instructional Objectives — Due Sept. 27

Sept. 27: T = What Do You Need to Know About Using Questions as a Science Teaching Tool?

(pp. 337-369)

Assignment: Writing Productive Questions - Due Oct. 2

Oct. 2: Collecting Data with CBLs

Oct. 4: Mid-term exam review

Chapter Six from novel — 6th journal entry


Oct. 16: T = Assessment; Lesson Planning (pp.164-188)

Assignment: Assessment Items - Due Oct. 18

Oct. 18: T = Alternative Methods for Teaching/Integrating Science (pp. 222-234, Ch. 8, and

pp. 373-381)

Assignment: Peer Lessons — Begin Nov. 1


Oct. 23: Implementing Problem solving strategies — integrating math and science

Chapter Seven from novel — 7th journal entry

(Peer Lesson Planning Time)

Oct. 25: T = Problem Solving; Science Fairs (pp.312 - 316)

Chapter Eight from novel — 8th journal entry

Oct. 30: T = Student Diversity and Stereotyping; Exceptionality (Chp 3 and pp.328-334)


Nov. 1: Peer lessons (Must bring video tape)

Chapter Nine from novel — 9th and final journal entry (Journals are DUE!)

Nov. 6: Class will be held at the RPSEC for planetarium show and tour. Please be prompt.

Nov. 8: Peer Lessons

Nov. 13: Peer Lessons

Nov. 15: Peer Lessons

Nov. 20: Peer Lessons

Nov. 22: Thanksgiving Break — NO CLASS!

Nov. 27: Peer Lessons

Nov. 29: Peer Lesson Evaluation — video-tape critiques to be completed in class and submitted.

Dec. 4: Final Review

Dec. 12: FINAL EXAM - 2:00 PM


Science Topics: Lessons, units and activities may be drawn from the following topic areas:

Heat, light, sound, the Earth, electricity, magnetism, air, water, animals, plants, climate, weather, life processes, ecology, the environment, the human body, states of matter, and chemistry