Course Title: Science Principles and Practices

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Science Principles and Practices

Credit Points: 12


Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

TCHE2435

Bundoora Campus

Postgraduate

360H Education

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Grant Cooper

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7851

Course Coordinator Email: grant.cooper@rmit.edu.au


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

None


Course Description

In this course you will be introduced to theoretical and pedagogical perspectives and issues in Science education. The course endeavours to create learning environments where you can develop an understanding and appreciation of the nature of science and science learning. You will engage at theoretical and practical levels with key concepts and processes related to teaching and learning science in primary contexts. You will explore science for yourselves through hands-on activities in ways that reflect the constructivist philosophy and inquiry-based approaches which the course promotes. You will develop the skills necessary for designing and implement lessons that engage and motivate children.

This course includes a work integrated learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/ or community is integral to your experience.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast selected science concepts, skills and processes
  • Analyse theoretical rationales and pedagogical approaches that support primary science
  • Appraise contemporary issues and dilemmas associated with science.
  • Apply the skills and knowledge necessary for planning, implementing and assessing primary science curricula
  • Discuss critically the nature of science and the role of teachers in primary science education.


You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes in this course:

The course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Determine and apply the specialist knowledge and professional skills required to creatively solve problems, demonstrating expert judgement and ethical responsibility relating to your professional practice
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on complex theories and recent developments, both local and international, to extend and challenge knowledge and practice in education
  • Professionally communicate with specialist and non-specialist audiences, as producers and consumers of knowledge, about philosophical and pedagogical propositions, processes and outcomes
  • Engage with complex bodies of knowledge and multiple professional skills in order to contribute to your professional identity and career within contemporary contexts.


Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning activities that include but are not limited to: lectures, tutorials, on-line material, practical science, group activities, collaborative work with peers, investigations, reading, and web-based research.

The university-based component of the course will involve face-to-face interaction in a workshop format that will combine lecture and tutorial styles with practical hands-on science. The face-to-face sessions will be supplemented by online materials. Demonstrations and examples of science and science teaching appropriate to a variety of primary school settings will be an important component of the course. Some of the demonstrations will be contributed by you and your peers and will contribute to the completion of assessment tasks. The strong emphasis on practical activities is designed to enable you to explore science and science teaching concepts through your own inquiry in ways that reflect the approaches that the course recommends you adopt with children. There will also be an emphasis on group learning activities that encourage collaborative approaches. An important part of the course will be the requirement that you to teach a science session either to your peers or in a school classroom.

In addition to scheduled contact time it is expected that students will do several hours of independent study each week. This time should be devoted to engaging with the set readings, writing reflections on the learning activities in the unit (lectures, readings, workshop activities, and assessment), accessing online support materials and communication tools provided on the Learning Hub, researching science and technology topics, and preparing assessment tasks.


Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

You will be provided with resources in this course that enable you to undertake the practical science component. Additionally you will be provided through our online systems with readings and other material. A list of other learning resources will be provided by your lecturer including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources independently.

Additionally the Primary Connections a series of curriculum guides written to fit with the Australian primary curriculum will be used as models for how science curriculum can be developed and implemented using a constructivist approach.


Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities.

Assessment may include both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. Assessment tasks are directly linked to the stated course objectives and outcomes. The assessment tasks will include both individual and group work.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

An assessment charter http://mams.rmit.edu.au/kh6a3ly2wi2h1.pdf summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=ln1kd66y87rc