The information on this page is current only prior to the summer of 2009.


Grades in (Gerencher's section of) Ed.  228 were determined by the following:


Period Examinations: Each of the three examinations will be primarily essay, with emphasis on science content which was covered in lecture, the readings, and in instructor- and student-led demonstrations.  Emphasis is on explaining demonstrations and concepts in the physical sciences.  The three period exams are not comprehensive.  Copies of some previous examinations are kept on reserve in the library for use as study guides.


Learning Center: An activity-oriented learning center on any topic for any elementary grade will be constructed by each student and set up in the laboratory.  The centers should be attractive, inviting, fun, success enhancing, safe, non-disruptive, and scientifically accurate.  Instructions for the children should be clear, efficient, and appropriate for the educational context that is chosen.  Children of elementary school ages will be invited to “play” and learn at the centers.  The centers will be critiqued for the class by the instructor. See the Science Learning Center page for examples.


Classroom demonstration:  A demonstration of a science concept, from eight to twelve minutes in length, will be conducted for the class at the level of fifth grade or above, and on a topic that has already been covered during a previous class period.  The teaching is genuine; science content from student demonstrations will appear on each of the examinations.  Demonstrations will be critiqued by the instructor either immediately after the conclusion of the demonstration or at the end of the class period during which it was presented.


 Piagetian Interview: Each student will conduct an interview with a child of elementary school age to determine how the child has structured his knowledge of some aspect of the natural world.  The interview should be taped (audio or video), transcriptions made of selected portions of the interview, and a critique/analysis of the interview should be submitted (along with the tape and transcript). 


In-school teaching experiences:  Students will be organized into teams of 3 or 4 and journey to local elementary schools to conduct hands-on science activities on topics that were selected by the regular classroom teachers.  The elementary classes, that may range from K through 8, are divided into thirds or quarters so hands-on activities can be conducted in small-group settings.  Portions of the hands-on lessons are observed by the instructor and a grade is assigned near the end of the semester based upon individual performance.  Aspects that affect the performance include the following: scientific accuracy of the explanations and discussions; variety and quality of the materials which support the activities; projected interest, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the topic; adequate preparation and practice with the materials and presentation techniques; ability to be spontaneous, natural, and engaging; ability to affect interest, direct activity, and manage behavior; and, of utmost importance, the concern for the safety and welfare of the children. Teams that work cooperatively usually have members that all benefit individually from the tighter organization and better preparation that results.  Materials and/or suggestions are available if requested; otherwise no direct help will be given.  Teams must appear at the correct locations at the scheduled times.  Assignments normally will be given to the teams at least one week prior to the teaching date, but circumstances sometimes prevent adherence to this time line.  Assigned topics and grade levels are intentionally mixed so teams experience the largest variety of both that is practical.  Although this is a graded activity, the value to the student is primarily intrinsic; it is actual teaching of science content to children via hands-on activities in varied school environments under circumstances that have great potential for success and little risk for failure.  Children enjoy being active learners as they manipulate materials in small group settings.