|The Program & Online Learning
The Program is a
series of three graduate level courses focused on improving
teacher's understanding of physical phenomena and science
pedagogy through hands-on investigations, Inquiry-based science
sessions, and classroom research.
Each course consists of a science strand and a pedagogic
strand. Each course
is a hybrid blend of face-to-face interaction combined with on
Students are expected to spend 6-9 hours on weekly assignments.
Some of What Matters About Matter: Intensive Properties
Students consider and evaluate models of matter that describe
and explain phenomena such as diffusion, compression, and
thermal expansion at the microscopic level through a specific
model of investigation. Students use video case studies to make
their understanding of inquiry more explicit, providing
opportunities to think about what children do when engaged in
inquiry, and what teachers do to support their learning.
Course Two: The Case of Heat and Temperature
Students work to disentangle these related but fundamentally
different concepts, using probes to measure temperature change
and computer software to explore and explain thermal phenomena
using the particulate theory of matter. Formative assessment,
classroom assessments that inform instruction, is studied so
that participants: (a) develop skills for eliciting and
interpreting scientific ideas held by students; (b) become
familiar with research about children's science ideas; and (c)
consider possible strategies to encourage further development of
students' scientific understanding.
Course Three: Earth's Energy Balance
This is a semester-long investigation of the global energy balance of
Earth. Participants work with scientific models, maps, satellite
images, and quantitative data, using physical models, light
probes, temperature probes and spectroscopes to investigate
light and its interaction with matter. Participants build on
work with assessment from previous course, coming to understand
formative assessment as an integral part of the
Children's Inquiry is about analyzing case studies
and video showing children talking about their own science
ideas, and developing and testing classroom strategies. The
investigations and analyses build expertise on how to engage
students in science inquiry, and how to plan for and support
children's science inquiry in the classroom.
Online Discussion Forums are interactive and integral
to the course; participants report their analyses,
posit explanations, and bring questions.
Course facilitators—a scientist and a science
educator—support the group's discussion and learning. Feedback
given and received, and is what pushes ideas further and brings
understanding to the next level.
Each small group of 5-7 people, is asynchronous,
and a lively, interactive place to get to know colleagues.
The facilitator focuses discussions on data analysis, and provides
feedback on the group's work.
Data Analysis is a key part of learning science from investigations.
Qualitative and quantitative data from investigations are
analyzed to provide evidence for evaluating predictions,
generating explanations, and forming new questions.
Investigations may be carried out over hours or weeks,
involve collecting data or analyzing an existing data set, and provide
opportunities for participants to design their own