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Research and Practice in Teaching and Learning Science, UCSC Education 286

Instructor: Doris Ash
Education Department
231 Crown College
831 459 5549

 Detailed Syllabus (PDF, 107k)

The research and practice in teaching and learning science course is specifically designed for scientists who want to explore science inquiry teaching and learning. The course will focus on undergraduate and graduate level teaching but is applicable for those teaching high school students as well as in informal learning settings, such as museums. The focus will be on three areas: research on best teaching practice, for example teaching in both small and large groups; learning, what research says about learners; and last, how both of these relate to science inquiry. Each class participant will be expected to design and put into practice several lessons based on these three main areas, science teaching, learning and inquiry.


Supplemental Reader

Web Links


  • This is designed as a five-credit course, including both seminar and lab.
  • No prior education courses are required.
  • The laboratory component will focus on science inquiry; two laboratory sessions will be held at the Exploratorium; these are scheduled for April 7 and 28.
  • Regular meetings at UCSC on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:45 in the CfAO building conference room. May 14 no class.
  • We will have video and teleconference links with other CfAO sites and this course coordinates with the Maui graduate professional development inquiry workshop.
  • There are two readers; one with core readings; the second contains supplemental readings that can be used for the design project.


Evaluation will be based on the following:

  • Classroom attendance and participation 10 %
  • Teaching and Assessment Design
  • Project Research and Background 20 %
  • Assessment plan 20 %
  • Teaching Event practice 20 %
  • Final documentation 30 %

Narrative Evaluation Format

Overall, this student's participation and written assignments indicated:

  • impressive
  • well-developed
  • a good working
  • satisfactory
  • uneven
  • minimal
  • understanding of the ideas in the course.

Class participation

  • made strong contributions to class meetings
  • was clearly engaged during class meetings
  • contributed insightful ideas and supported other students' learning
  • listened actively and contributed to the classroom dynamics
  • attended class regularly
  • was usually present
  • attended irregularly
  • was often absent

Written assignments

The required Teaching and Assessment Design was:

  • extraordinary, with coherent analysis that integrated ideas and evidence in well-developed and eloquent reflections
  • very well developed, with clear connections between ideas and evidence to support the arguments of good sound quality, reflecting active engagement with the topic, though in places the work would have benefited from being pushed further
  • satisfactory though somewhat uneven times sketchy and not sufficiently grounded in the course materials or not addressing the topic fully
  • not satisfactory, either showing a lack of adequate engagement with the topic or not turned in at all.

View the Detailed Syllabus (PDF, 107k).

Last Modified: Aug 20, 2007 

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