Science

The outcomes in the following charts are derived from the National Science Education Standards and those of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. They are intended as a guide for the development of courses for pre-service elementary teachers.

The National Science Education Standards most relevant to the construction of the first sixty hours of an elementary teacher education program are:

Teaching Standards- Teachers of Science develop communities of learners that reflect the intellectual rigor of scientific inquiry and the attitudes and social values conducive to science learning.

Professional Development Standard-

Professional development of teachers of science requires learning essential science content through the perspectives and methods of inquiry. Inquiry is so basic to science that every activity should support it in one way or another.

Content Standards: represent what students should understand in the areas of physical, life, earth, and space science. They also establish the kinds of concepts and processes important for students’ complete understanding of the science endeavor. There is 90% correlation between the NSRS and the AAAS Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy.

Unifying themes- in each of the science disciplines

1) systems, order, and organization

2) evidence, models, and explanation

3) change, constancy, and measurement

4) evolution and equilibrium

5) form and function

 

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Standard - Candidates know, understand, and use the fundamental concepts in the subject matter of science- including physical, life, and earth and space sciences as well as concepts in science and technology, science in personal and social perspectives, the history and nature of science, the unifying concepts of science, and the inquiry processes scientists use in discovery of new knowledge to build a base for scientific literacy.

 

 

 

Foreword

The following document is an outline of the minimum an elementary teacher should know and be able to do in the content area of science. Research has documented that most people teach in a manner in which they were taught. Therefore, the undergraduate science instruction of future teachers should model the pedagogical practices recommended by professional organizations of science and science education.

Top the Table- lists the area of science addressed by the outcomes and the National Science Content Standards for Grades K-4 and 5-8.

Column 1- Outcomes- states expectations of teacher candidates related to each content area. The NCATE standard specifies that candidates know, understand, and use the subject matter. The statements specify that teacher candidates accomplish the knowing, understanding, and applying of knowledge through inquiry strategies derived from the constructivist view of the learning process. The outcomes infuse inquiry into all aspects of the curriculum by having the knowledge outcomes flow from inquiry classroom activities.

Column 2-Indicators – are actions that provide evidence that teacher candidates have accomplished the outcomes. They are a combination of traditional learning hierarchies and science process skills.

Column 3-Assessment Type-the manner in which evidence is obtained to verify that the outcome has been achieved. The type of evidence flows logically from the cognitive level of the outcome statement. A knowledge level outcome requires recall, the ability to select from a list, or accurately match a function to a name. To exhibit understanding, a teacher candidate must write an explanation or engage in a higher order cognitive process.

Column 4- Assessment Examples. The assessment examples are not inclusive nor compulsory but simply an example of what could be required to demonstrate attainment of knowledge and skills in that content area. Only one sub-topic is addressed for each outcome, however it is assumed that the course instructors would provide comparable assessment items for course goals as they deem appropriate.

 

Area: Physical Science Grades K-4 Properties of objects and materials. Position and motion of objects. Light, heat, electricity, magnetism. Grades 5-8 Properties and changes of properties in matter; Motion and force; Transfer of energy.

Outcomes

Indicators

Assessment Type

Sample Assessment Task

1. As a result of investigative activities, the teacher candidate must construct the meaning of the terms and concepts associated with the main content areas as outlined in the national science standards for physical science.

2. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate will understand the concepts and relationships associated with the national science standards for physical science.

 

3. Based on their learning of the terms, concepts, and relationships, the teacher candidate will be able to use concepts and relationships related to the content area designated in the national science standards for physical science.

a. Know terms and concepts: to select, define, recall, use them in another context, describe and classify them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

b. Understand terms and concepts: explain, compare and contrast them, analyze them, employ them in synthesis of more complex ideas, evaluate them, and use them to evaluate other concepts.

 

c. Use terms and concepts: solve problems involving target terms and concepts. and design and carry out scientific investigations.

!Higher order multiple choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

!Restricted/extended response question

 

 

 

 

 

!Performance

Assessments

 

 

! Select the statement that is true for both light and sound. Both

a) have similar type waves

b) travel at similar speeds

c) can travel through liquids

d) cannot be bent

 

 

 

 

!During a sun flare the explosion is so violent that it can be seen from earth, but the sound is never heard.

Discuss the above true statement, and explain why it is true.

 

 

 

!In a small group, design and conduct an experiment which determines which color of sunglass lenses are best at protecting the eye from the intensity of light. Present and defend your conclusion to the whole group.

Area: Life Science Grades K-4 Characteristics of Organisms, Life Cycles of Organisms, Organisms and Environments. Grades 5-8 Structure and function in living systems, Reproduction and heredity, Regulation and behavior, Population and ecosystems, Diversity and adaptations of organism.

Outcomes

Indicators

Assessment Type

Sample Assessment Task

1. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate must construct the meaning of the terms and concepts associated with the main content areas as outlined in the national science standards for life science.

2. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate will understand the concepts and relationships associated with the national science standards for life science

 

 

3. Based on their learning of the terms, concepts, and relationships, the teacher candidate will be able to use concepts and relationships related to the content area designated in the national science standards for life science.

a. Know terms and concepts: select, define, recall, use them in another context, describe and classify them.

 

 

 

 

b. Understand terms and concepts: explain compare and contrast them, analyze them, employ them in synthesis of more complex ideas, evaluate them, and use them to evaluate other concepts.

 

c. Use terms and concepts: solve problems involving target terms and concepts and design and carry out scientific investigations.

 

!Higher order multiple choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

!Restricted/extended response

 

 

 

 

 

 

!Performance

Assessment

 

!. Scientists have organized living things into groups based on the organisms’

a) physical characteristics and energy source

b) habitat and method of reproduction

c) food source and mobility

d) size and growth patterns

 

 

!After distributing a small bag of plastic bread bag closures, or other sortable mixture, ask students to formulate a classification system for the contents of the bag.

Explain and justify your classification system and describe how your system is similar and different from the classification of living things.

!In a small group, design and conduct an experiment to determine what food sidewalk ants prefer.

Area: Earth and Space Science Grades K-4 Properties of earth materials, Objects in the sky, Changes in earth and sky.

Grades 5-8 Structure of the earth system, Earth˘ s history, Earth in the solar system.

Outcomes

Indicators

Assessment Type

Sample Assessment Task

1. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate must construct the meaning of the terms and concepts associated with the main content areas as outlined in the national science standards for earth and space science.

2. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate will understand the concepts and relationships associated with the national science standards for earth and space science.

 

 

 

3. Based on their learning of the terms, concepts, and relationships, the teacher candidate will be able to use concepts and relationships related to the content area designated in the national science standards for earth and space science.

 

a. Know terms and concepts: select, define, recall, use them in another context, describe and classify them.

 

 

 

b. Understand terms and concepts: explain, compare and contrast them, analyze them, employ them in synthesis of more complex ideas, evaluate them, and use them to evaluate other concepts.

 

 

c. Use terms and concepts: solve problems involving them, and design and carry out scientific investigations.

 

!Higher order multiple choice

 

 

 

 

 

!Restricted response, essay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

!Performance

Assessment

 

!We can predict which soil sample will allow water to pass through more quickly by considering

a) chemical composition of the rocks

b) density of the rocks

c) mass of the rocks in the sample

d) size of the particles in the sample

!Before you can build a house on a piece of property, you must have a perk test. A technician comes, digs a small hole, pours a measured amount of water into the hole and times how long it takes for the water to disappear. Should the results be fast or slow to pass the test? Why would this be important in a watershed area?

 

!In small groups, research and prepare a report, a poster, and an oral report to present to your peers about the impact the following local human activities have on soil and water conditions. (a) housing subdivision, (b) water treatment plant, (c) agricultural area, (d) the harbor area, (d) manufacturing (e) recreational area

Area: Science and Technology Grades K-4 Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans,

Abilities of technological design, Understanding about science and technology Grades 5-8 Abilities of technological design,

Understanding about science and technology.

Outcomes

Indicators

Assessment Type

Sample Assessment Task

1. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate must construct the meaning of the terms and concepts associated with the main content areas as outlined in the national science standards for science and technology.

2. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate will understand the concepts and relationships associated with the national science standards for science and technology.

 

 

 

3. Based on their learning of the terms, concepts, and relationships, the teacher candidate will be able to use concepts and relationships related to the content area designated in the national science standards for science and technology.

 

a. Know terms and concepts, they ought to be able to select, define, recall, use them in another context, describe and classify them.

 

 

b. Understand terms and concepts: explain, compare and contrast them, analyze them, employ them in synthesis of more complex ideas, evaluate them, and use them to evaluate other concepts.

 

 

c. Use terms and concepts: solve problems involving them, and design and carry out scientific investigations.

 

!Higher order multiple choice

 

 

 

 

 

!Restricted/extended response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

!Performance

Assessment

 

!Which of the following materials can be classified as man-made?

a) granite

b) wax

c) petroleum

d) styrofoam

 

!Discuss the implication of the gasoline engine on modern civilization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

!In your group select and research five recent technological devices that have impacted society. Develop a set of interview questions for people

who lived at least twenty years before the device was available. Pool the information from all the interviews in your group, rank the relative impact of the devices selected. Justify your ranking. Report results to whole class.

Area: Personal and Social Perspective Grades K-4 Personal health, Characteristics and changes in populations, Types of resources, Changes in environments, Science and technology in local challenges, Grades 5-8 Personal health, Populations, resources and environments, Natural hazards Risks and benefits.

Outcomes

Indicators

Assessment Type

Sample Assessment Task

1. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate must construct the meaning of the terms and concepts associated with the main content areas as outlined in the national science standards for science in personal and social perspectives.

 

2. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate will understand the concepts and relationships associated with the national science standards for science in personal and social perspectives.

3. Based on their learning of the terms, concepts, and relationships, the teacher candidate will be able to use concepts and relationships related to the content area designated in the national science standards for personal and social perspectives

a. Know terms and concepts: select, define, recall, use them in another context, describe and classify them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

b. Understand terms and concepts: explain, compare and contrast them, analyze them, employ them in synthesis of more complex ideas, evaluate them, and use them to evaluate other concepts.

 

c. Use terms and concepts: solve problems involving them, and design and carry out scientific investigations.

 

!Higher order multiple choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

!Restricted /extended response, essay

 

 

 

 

 

!Performance

Assessment

 

!Which of the following pairs of behaviors have the greatest potential to lengthen your life span?

a) low fat diet and consistent exercise

b) using seatbelts and getting an annual medical checkup

c) taking vitamins and avoiding sugar

d) staying out the sun and eating a high fiber diet

!Consider the block you live on.

Discuss what would happen if the number of people who lived on your block suddenly doubled. Think in terms of advantages and disadvantages.

! In your group conduct an Internet search to determine those behaviors begun in adolescence that result in the most damaging consequences in later life.

!Create a survey intended for the population at your college that would determine if the students at your college engaged in any of these risky behaviors as teenagers. Tabulate the data with the whole class and compare results with the national data you obtained.

Area: History and Nature of Science Grade K-4 Science as a human endeavor, Grade 5-8 Science as a human endeavor,

Nature of science, History of science.

Outcomes

Indicators

Assessment Type

Sample Assessment Task

1. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate must construct the meaning of the terms and concepts associated with the main content areas as outlined in the national science standards for the history and nature of science.

 

 

 

 

 

2. As a result of investigative activities the teacher candidate will understand the concepts and relationships associated with the national science standards for the history and nature of science.

 

3. Based on their learning of the terms, concepts, and relationships, the teacher candidates will be able to use concepts and relationships related to the content area designated in the national science standards for the history and nature of science.

a. Know terms and concepts: select, define, recall, use them in another context, describe and classify them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b. Understand terms and concepts: explain, compare and contrast them, analyze them, employ them in synthesis of more complex ideas, evaluate them, and use them to evaluate other concepts.

 

c. Use terms and concepts: solve problems involving them, and design and carry out scientific investigations.

 

!Higher order multiple choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

!Restricted /

Extended response

 

 

 

 

 

!Performance

Assessment

 

!Identify the inaccurate statements from the following list.

(a) scientific theories are always open to question

(b) scientific knowledge is the truth

(c) science laws describe how nature behaves

(d) the body of scientific knowledge is dynamic

(e) science requires that we believe in the theory of evolution

(f) once scientists prove something, it becomes a fact

!Respond to someone who says,

I am certain that dinosaurs became extinct because they are predators and they could not find anything to eat. In your response, be sensitive, but convey accurate scientific information.

 

! During the course of the semester, collect science articles from the public press that report new scientific information. Organize these articles, summarize the information in each article and note instances where the new information contradicts previously held knowledge. Be prepared to share these examples during discussion and to explain why this is part of normal scientific activity.