Science Education Curriculum

The Master of Science in Science Education graduate program will enhance content knowledge and further develop the scientific process and inquiry skills of middle and high school science teachers. The program provides the opportunity for teachers to gain the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions necessary for the development, implementation and assessment of meaningful science programs in their school district.

These efforts will help ensure that science teachers are effective teachers and are prepared according to the National Science Education Standards and the National Science Teachers Association Standards for Science Teacher Preparation. This program is intended for science teachers already holding science certification.

The Master of Science in Science Education is designed to promote science learning for teachers through the use of both innovative teaching methods in the classroom, laboratory and field, and authentic assessment strategies that are applicable to their own classrooms. The program is based on the research, goals, vision and best practices derived from the science education community.

The general objectives of the Master of Science in Science Education program are to:

  • Increase the science knowledge and skills of teachers, including the use of technology, through study in biology, chemistry, meteorology, biotechnology, the earth systems or the physical sciences
  • Update the teacher’s knowledge about current issues and best practices in science teaching, learning and assessment in the classroom and laboratory setting based on national and local school data
  • Provide laboratory and/or field opportunities for teachers to participate in scientific research so that they may enhance their understanding of the process of scientific inquiry
  • Develop a discipline-based scientific collaboration with university faculty and organizations to provide teachers with support to reflect on issues and resources
  • Develop classroom-based research strategies (action research) to promote improvement of existing science teaching practices
  • Enhance teacher’s understanding and application of the national and state science education standards
  • Science Education Core Component – 9 credits
  • 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
    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.
    • Science Education Component – 20 credits

The Science Education Component requirement is satisfied by completing courses and institutes (a minimum of 20 credits selected with advisor) in biology, chemistry, environmental, biotechnology, Earth system, or physical sciences.

  • Capstone Experience – 4 credits
  • 4
    This course is designed to be a core course offering in the MS in Science Education program. The intent of this course is to implement the classroom-based research strategies developed in the action research course to promote improvement of existing teaching and learning strategies in the classroom. A research committee will be formed to assess the effectiveness of the study. A formal presentation will be made to faculty and other graduate students in one of the science colloquia during the academic year.
  • Total for MS in Science Education – 33 credits

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