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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jessica J Thompson
EDC&I 571
Seattle Campus

Ambitious Learning by Design in Science Classrooms

Explores the frontiers of research in science learning environments that are both rigorous and equitable. Allows individuals to wrestle with the current problems of teaching and learning, including how to design opportunities for all students to participate in the discourses and practice of science. Prerequisite: EDC&I 471 or equivalent.

Class description

This course is grounded in the following proposition: To systemically improve learning by children, we as educators must routinely inquire into our own practice and make evidence-based decisions about how our teaching must improve over time.

In this course we explore how to pose testable questions about our own teaching in order to find out how we are influencing student participation and thinking about science. We will learn how to design data collection strategies that will help us compile the evidence we need to improve our practice. Examples of evidence might be video of teacher instruction, observational notes, students' journals, drawings or written work, responses to questionnaires distributed in class, or interviews with students. Participants in this course will be mentored as they conduct a small study of their own that brings evidence to bear on some important question about the relationship between instruction and learning in young people.

This course is appropriate for those working in outdoor education, K-12 classrooms, higher education, and informal education.

Student learning goals

understand the conditions that foster the learning of science ideas and the practices of science

understand the breadth of processes and products that are the objects of study in practitioner research

understand the basic methodological traditions of practitioner research that help us investigate relationships between teaching and learning

understand the basic processes by which practitioner research is conducted, evaluated, and disseminated

be able to knowledgeably critique academic research studies and synthesize productive ideas from groups of such studies

understand how to foster a workplace environment in which systematic inquiry into practice can become a valued practice

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jessica J Thompson
Date: 02/22/2010