Professor of Biology
Syllabus: Biology 452, Biology 496
Each week students will read a paper from the literature and write an original paper (1-2 pages) in which the student briefly describes how he or she would apply the main idea of the paper in teaching a concept in her or his area of expertise.
The ‘laboratory’ will be independent and will involve three components. a) Students will observe an experienced (and preferably outstanding) teacher in middle or high school for 30 hours, and submit a weekly report of two key observations. b) Students will ‘map out’ one key concept that was included in the paper that was each week. c) Before or during spring break, students will interview 2 younger students of similar ages about a concept of their choice, using props to elicit and/or challenge students’ thinking. The results will be presented in class and summarized in a 1-2 page paper that includes:
• Evidence that the chosen concept is difficult for students
• Explanation for nature of questions and choice of props
• Summary of results
Transcripts of the interviews should be attached.
• how prior knowledge influences learning,
• the value of eliciting students’ prior knowledge,
• how to build on what students already know,
• how to challenge students’ common alternative conceptions,
• how to promote conceptual change, &
• strategies for teaching science in multicultural classrooms,
• the importance of process in both science & teaching/learning.