Chapter 13: Planning a Science Unit Objectives:

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Chapter 13: Planning a Science Unit
Objectives:
1. Review science education reform
2. Become aware of science education resources
3. Critique a science unit plan
4. Discuss elements of an effective science unit
5. Plan an effective science unit
I.
Introduction
A.
Units organize curriculum into cohesive units of instruction
1.
2.
Break up a course into segments larger than lesson plan
May contain multiple topics made up of related components
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Facts
Concepts
Principles
Theories
Skills
B.
Resource Unit = set of resources that can be used to teach a
topic
C.
Teaching Unit
1.
2.
Specific set of resources chosen by the instructor from many
Sequence of content and experiences for students
II.
Science Reform and Planning Science Units
A.
Traditional Science Education
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
B.
Large amounts of content are covered in the school year
Textbooks drive the planning and instruction
Much direct instruction with a focus on definitions and terms
Labs generally confirm concepts already presented in class
Assessment is heavy on paper and pencil exams
Science Reform
1.
Learned Societies have proposed a different approach = Reform
a.
b.
c.
2.
American Association for the Advancement of Science 1990
National Science Teachers Association 1992
National Research Council 1996
Recommendations of Science Reform
a.
b.
c.
d.
Fewer topics covered in more depth
Multidisciplinary approach rather than strict discipline boundaries
Holistic approach utilizing other areas of knowledge
Teach science within the context of everyday life
4. Inquiry based instruction
a. Students explore concepts to formulate their own conclusions
b. Topics are meaningful to student and studied in depth
5. Authentic Assessment
a.
b.
c.
d.
Measure learning outcomes in real-life situations
Replace paper and pencil assessments with performance of tasks
Projects judged by rubrics rather than exams
Portfolios should be used to gather multiple kinds of evidence
C. Other considerations for unit planning
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Begin with what students already know
Provide multiple learning opportunities
Provide concrete, as well as abstract, instruction
Include inquiry/investigative activities
Use appropriate level mathematics
Reflect state standards
Realistic time frame
III. Resources for Unit Planning
A.
Ideas for Unit Plans
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
B.
Science Teachers
College Professors
Innovative Curriculum Materials
Science Textbooks
Laboratory Manuals
Professional Organizations
Museums, Aquariums, Nature Centers, Planetariums
Internet
National Science Teachers Association
Science Magazines
Television Programs
Sample Unit Plan: pp. 259-267
C. Concept Mapping
1. Visual representation of the relationships between science concepts
2. Novak and Gowin, 1984; pp. 77-78 in chapter 4
3. Key concepts in ovals; words describing relationship on lines
4. Concept Map on Concept Mapping
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