5-8 Middle Level Science Education Certification

Note:  Effective Fall 2015 the College of Arts and Sciences has suspended admission to the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree in Science Education, K-12 Certification and Master of Science (MS) degree in Science Education. Please contact Lori Armstrong at 535-2982 or laarmstrong@plymouth.edu for more information.

This certification requires the completion of approximately 43 credits of undergraduate coursework in various areas, such as mathematics, biology, chemistry, earth science, astronomy, oceanography, meteorology, physical science, laboratory safety, and the history and philosophy of science. The program coordinator will review transcripts and previous coursework to determine if there are any deficiencies that need to be satisfied.

Certification-only Option: Students would complete 36-39 credits as listed below.

Use the Course Planning Matrix to see when Middle Level Science Education courses will be offered.

Program of Study

  • The Learner and Learning Component – 6 credits
  • 3
    An overview of current theories concerning the brain, development, and learning. Analysis of developmental concepts from birth through adolescence and adulthood. Discussion of language acquisition, thinking and learning styles, multiple intelligence, and creativity. Topics include teaching, learning, and assessment issues related to cultural diversity, technology, and learning differences.
  • 3
    Analysis of models and dynamics involved in planning, teaching, and evaluating environments for special needs students. An overview of special education, characteristics of individuals with disabilities, individualized educational plans, functional behavior assessment, practical teaching strategies, and the New Hampshire Special Education Process and Policies. An observation component of 15 hours will be required of all students not presently in a school or teaching situation.
  • Content Knowledge Component – 9 credits minimum
  • 3
    This course is designed to be a core course offering in the MS in Science Education program. It will assist graduate students design their action research as it relates specifically to science teaching, learning, and curriculum in middle and high school classrooms. This course will help students conceptualize and design a practical and applied classroom research project which could be the basis for presentation as the capstone experience in their graduate program. The course emphasizes a constructivist philosophy of education. The emphasis is on the teacher as inquirer actively engaged in the construction of new knowledge about science education. Emphasis is placed on telecommunication networking of teachers who are actively involved in action research projects.
  • 6
    Science Electives
  • Instructional Practice Component – 12 credits
  • 3
    An introduction to the teaching profession and the realities of teaching in today's schools. A series of seminars includes such topics as the history and structure of education, societal issues, the role of the teacher, instructional planning, legal rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, learning styles and effective teaching. A school observation/participation experience of a minimum of 30 hours is required.
  • 3
    This course is designed to be a core course offering in both the MS in Science Education and the MAT in Science programs. Several major themes such as learning theory, structure of the discipline (curriculum), teaching strategies, and nature of science and technology applications will be presented throughout the course. The course is structured to help students develop the proficiencies needed to become a successful science teacher. As an advanced learner, you will be given a great deal of independence in your learning about secondary school science teaching.
  • 3
    Current Issues, a core course in both the MS in Science Education program and the MAT in Science Education program, will provide the opportunity for classroom science teachers to identify and discuss practical issues that apply to their classroom as well as address state, national, and international issues. Current research findings will be used as the focus for seminar discussions, papers, and projects.
  • 3
    The emphasis throughout this course is on the practical application of appraisal techniques in education. Critical concepts related to assessment and the integration of assessment into teaching and learning include: the role of assessment in teaching, how validity is determined, factors influencing reliability, avoiding stereotypes, understanding and using numerical data, using standardized assessment to improve instruction, and ideas and strategies for mining and reporting assessment data.
  • – OR –
  • 3
    This course will focus on assessing curricula and assessment practices which correlate with state and national standards. Students will be introduced to a range of curriculum models. Various strategies and the administration of performance-based assessment will be studied. This course is designed for students in the Elementary and Secondary Teacher Certification programs.
  • Professional Responsibility Component – 3 credits
  • 3
    A study of the historical, philosophical, and social-philosophic foundations of education. Emphasis is placed upon the ideas of the classical, medieval, Enlightenment, and post-Enlightenment periods that have influenced types of American educational systems relative to their mission and purpose. Analysis of how these systems have defined ethics and the characteristics of the virtuous person.
  • Capstone Experience* (to be determined by advisor) – 6-9 credits
  • 6
    A supervised practicum experience in one of several cooperating institutions or agencies in New Hampshire. The purpose is to gain meaningful work experience through applying knowledge learned in previous course work to the on-the-job situation. Commitment includes a negotiated number of hours per week and participation in seminars. Supervision is by the institution or agency concerned, and by Plymouth faculty. Students anticipating more than three hours of credit should confer early in their program with the department chair to free up sufficient blocks of time. Permission of advisor, department chair and Associate Vice President is required.
  • – OR –
  • 9
    Student teaching for students in the Master of Education Elementary or Secondary Education programs. Students must have all course work for the degree, including any required undergraduate prerequisites, completed before taking this course.
  • Total for MAT in Science Education, 5–8 Middle Level Science Education Certification – 36-39 credits

* Passing PRAXIS II scores required before starting capstone experience



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