Resources and Programs

in Higher Education

Science Content Courses for

Elementary Education Majors

The following is the original request for information on specialized content science courses for elementary education majors offered at universities and colleges from around the world.

On Mon, 5 May 1997, David T. Crowther wrote:

Dear Colleagues,

I am interested in putting together a list of Universities/Colleges that have specialized content science courses for elementary education majors.

If you are part of, or know details about, a program where specific content courses (NOT METHODS COURSES) have been developed specifically for elementary education majors please E-mail me directly back and I will compile a list. I am interested in details like what the course is, where it is taught (name of institution) and what department offers it ( eg. science department or a college of education), who teaches the course, what department the instructor is from, where this fits into graduation requirements, does the course replace a general education requirement or is it in addition to a general education requirement in the same content area, and preferably a contact person & number associated with the program.

These were the results from the first response. (Note that they are now not totally accurate due to changes people have made since the report in EJSE Vol 1 (4).

Preliminary results from the e-mail sample were as follows:

Who Else is doing this type of program??

32 universities /colleges in 22 states (All in the U.S.) have programs designed specifically for elementary education majors. One international program was from Sydney, Australia
*Average of 2 courses per sight (6 most / 1 least)
*Majority of courses are Physical (Physics/chemistry) sciences (from the initial response)
*Life science courses are a close second (from the initial response)
*7 of the 32 programs offer the content courses in the college of education
*23 of the 29 programs offer the content courses in the respective science departments.
* 1 program offers joint credit
*6 other universities / colleges in 3 additional (3 same) states are currently designing courses for elementary education majors.

     THE LIST!!

Please note that this is a copy of the original e-mail responses in rough (un-edited) form. They are listed in order as they were received. The name of the institution is in bold. If at any time you would like to change your information or add to this list please contact David Crowther ( or John Cannon (

The University of Northern Colorado

At University of Northern Colorado we offer 3 science courses specifically designed for elementary teachers. One each in biology, earth science and physical science (physics and chemistry). Each is taught by a content person from the respective departments. The physical science class is team taught by physics and chemistry faculty (1 from each department). Elementary Education majors must take 2 of the 3. These count as general ed courses. You may contact me for additional information if desired.

Gerry Saunders
Biology Education
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639
Phone: 970-351-2210
Fax: 970-351-2335

The State University of New York College at Oswego

We have a wonderful course PHY 206/206L "Physics for Elementary Education Majors" taught in the Physics Department at the State University of New York College at Oswego. It is taught most often by physics professor Ronald Brown (rbrown@Oswego.EDU), but also by physics department chair Roger Hinrichs (

The course is a 3 sh lecture with 1 sh lab that is required of all N-6 (elementary) general science concentrates and for all N-9 (middle school) biology, chemistry, and earth science concentrates. N-9 physics concentrates take a 2 semester introductory physics course instead.

PHY 206/206L is also in high demand for non-science N-6 and N-9 concentrates (English, social studies, modern language, and math) because (1) it's a great course (inquiry-based, hands-on, interesting, practical), (2) it satisfies the college general education science requirements, and (3) it simultaneously satisfies the physical science lab requirement for all elementary/middle school majors.

Ron Brown, in particular, would be happy to give you more information about the course. His address is 125A Snygg Hall, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126 (315-341-2678,

Suzanne Weber
Curriculum & Instruction Department
SUNY Oswego,
Oswego, NY 13126
(315) 341-2641 (Work)
(315) 341-3259 (Fax)
Suzanne P. Weber sueweber@Oswego.EDU

I am sending you a copy of the latest description of Physics 206/206L- Physics/Physics Laboratory for Elementary Education Majors, which has been taught at SUNY Oswego since 1992 (class - Spr'92, lab since F'92). The new General Education Program is being implemented, and the course description is up-to-date, having just recently been submitted for approval. I believe that Professor Sue Weber has already E-Mailed you a brief introduction to the course, which satisfies the physical science laboratory requirement for N-6 elementary and N-9 middle school science concentrates at the College. Dr. Roger Hinrichs and I both teach the course. It is a fun course, heavily hands-on with lots of demonstrations - very enjoyable and satisfying to teach, and tries to break down the "science anxiety barrier" between students and physics courses.

Ronald A. Brown
Professor of Physics
SUNY at Oswego
Oswego, NY 13126
School Phone: 1-315-341-2678 (office)
1-315-341-3044 (Physics Dept. Office)

Brooklyn College ( of the City University of New York )

We have 3 content courses that are taught in a constructivist (or at least "pro to-constructivist" manner by our science faculty. There are senior faculty from all four science departments involved. Some courses are interdisciplinary and others that are single discipline. Some are very scripted as far as topics and others that are open to change by the faculty member.

All of our elementary and Early childhood majors are required to take 18 credits of science. The core curriculum of the whole college requires 8 and we have these three additional courses that are an additional 10 credits. Two of these courses are co-requisites with science methods courses. I can send a better description by snail mail or fax.

Paul Jablon
Brooklyn College ( of the City University of New York)
School of Education
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210
(718) 951 5061 Fax: 718 951 3115

Kansas State University

We have had a physics course for elementary ed students for the past 18 years.
Some info about the class is available at
More details can be found in the following publications

1. Dean Zollman, "Interactive Video Activities for Elementary Education Students," in 101 Success Stories of Information Technology in Higher Education, edited by Judith V. Boettcher ( McGraw Hill, New York, 1993).

2. Dean Zollman, "Learning Cycles in a Large Enrollment Class," The Physics Teacher 28, 20-25 (1990).

3. Dean Zollman, "Preparing Future Science Teachers: The Physics Component of a New Programme," Physics Education 29, pp. 271-275 (1994).

Dean Zollman
Professor of Physics
503 Cardwell Hall Voice: 913-532-1619
Kansas State University FAX: 913-532-7167
Manhattan, KS 66506-2601

University of Northern Colorado

You may be interested in the proceedings of a conference held here at UNC several years ago. It is called "Critical Issues in Reforming Elementary Teacher Preparation in Mathematics and Science" and is available in the Resources in Education in ERIC (Document #ED359176). Six different institutions presented science and mathematics courses which had been re-designed / developed specifically for prospective elementary teachers.

April Gardner
Assoc. Prof. of Biological Sciences
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639 (April Gardner)

Virginia Tech

We are now working with colleagues in physics and geology to create special content courses for elementary teaching candidates - one has already been created in biology.

Michael L. Bentley, EdD
Assc. Prof., Dept. of Teaching & Learning
College of Human Resources & Education
314 WMH / Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
ph. (540) 231-3166 FAX (540) 231-9075

Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska)

Creighton University has a 2-semester requirement for El Ed Majors. I think the courses are titled "Natural Science 205 & 206 for Elementary Ed Majors." In the past they have been taught by Katherine Becker, whose part-time appointments were shared by the Physics Dept for the Nat Sci courses, and she also taught a separate elem science methods out of the education dept. I don't think the Nat Sci course will be offered next Fall as things are in transition. I have recommended that the class be taught by Dr. Gary Mickels in the Chemistry dept. He has expressed his desire to teach it, and I have worked with him in the past and think his approach will be good. I would be willing to teach it myself out of the educ dept, and that is something that the educ dept chair, Dr. Tim Dickel, is kicking around. I am not sure if it meets a gen ed/core requirement, but I THINK it does. I do know that students have been allowed to substitute other sciences for the Nat Sci requirement, particularly if they have had some science course work before declaring their major in el ed. And it sounds like they will be even more lenient with substitutions since the class is not being offered this Fall. Maybe the students have a choice of taking Nat Sci 205 OR 206.

For more info on Creighton's course, call Katherine Becker,

Lynne E. Houtz, Ph.D. phone 402-465-2309.
Assistant Professor of Education FAX 402-465-2179
Nebraska Wesleyan University
5000 St. Paul Avenue
Lincoln, NE 68504-2796

Morehead State University (Morehead, Kentucky)

We have a life science and a physical science course for elementary teachers. SCI109--Physical Science for elementary teachers Taught in the Physcial Science Department Meets a general education requirement It is taught by science education faculty in the Physical science department.

BIOL110--Biological Science for the Elementary Teacher Taught in the Biology and Environmental Science Department Meets a general education requirement It is taught by biology faculty with an interest in education.

Robert Boram Ph.D
Dept. of Physical Sciences
Morehead State University
Morehead, KY 40351
Phone: 606-783-2931

University of Maine

Unfortunately , we did all the groundwork for such a course here at the University of Maine, with many meetings with interested science faculty members from many departments across

campus, but did not get the course off the ground. The Dean of the College of sciences was committed to teaching such a course and "meshing it" with a methods course taught the same semester. However, the university is undergoing total restructuring to "cut costs", the College of sciences is being broken up and joined in pieces to other Colleges, and the Dean is off to a

new job in Michigan. This would have been a course that please the science AND the Education faculty (not an easy thing to do), cut across many science disciplines with large principles (brainstormed by the science faculty) and inter-disciplinary content. The science content course would have carried a science prefix, and could have been taken by Education or non-Education majors as a science course. The simultaneous methods course would have been taught with an Education prefix, and would not have counted as a science course for Education or non-Education majors.

For my 4 years at the University of Maine, I have taught various science content courses for elementary education majors (earth science principles I, teach science principles II, and physical science principles), which carry Education prefixes and can not be counted as science courses by non-Education majors. They are taken principally by Elementary Education courses, however a few Secondary Education majors and a few non-Education majors take the courses. Elementary Education majors can take them as natural science courses in the university program that is being phased out. In the new program (started two years ago), these courses are being  "certified" as General Education courses: a) writing intensive; or b) science application courses.

So Education students can take them as natural science courses and to satisfy the new general Education requirements of the university. These new designations (a and b) of the courses are resulting in a slight increase of non-Education majors who take the courses. However, non- Education majors can not count them as natural science courses; only as General Education courses under "a" or "b" designations (above).

Our intention in creating the "still-born" science content course for Elem. Education majors in concert with science faculty (described in the first paragraph) was to create a course that was not "looked down upon" by science faculty, and that would prepare the future elementary teachers with science knowledge and skills that would be much more useful than those acquired in a a first-year or sophomore survey course taken in one of the science departments (which many of our elementary education majors have to take if they don't take the "Principles" courses). We also find that the emotional component for many of our elementary education majors when they take a science content survey course and achieve a "D" or "C" grade is negative enough to strongly bias them against teaching much science to their future elementary students. We spend a significant amount of time in the "Principles" courses trying to convince a large number of future science teachers that that "D" or "C" grade was not telling them that they cannot do science, cannot teach science, and/or cannot understand science.

We also have a faculty member who is 60% physics department and 40% college of Education (paid for by the Maine SSI grant) who teaches a Physics by Inquiry (a laLillian MacDermott) course for elementary education majors and others, which stays a lot in the science stage of the "context of inquiry." A few of my secondary education majors have taken this course and benefitted a great deal from it. I suspect that the course is aimed a bit "over the heads" of some of the elementary education majors (in what respects I am still trying to determine), because I have been getting mixed reactions from them (e.g., that the course's instructional staff "condescend" to Education majors, or that the course "just isn't for them"). I suspect that these messages are "trying to tell me some- thing indirectly" that I am not picking up yet. But I suspect that if there is any problem with the Physics by Inquiry course for our Elementary Education majors, then it may just be in the attitude(s) of one or more of the course's instructors.

Herman G. Weller
Associate Professor Science Education
University of Maine
College of Education
214 Shibles Hall
Orono, ME, 04469
E-mail: Weller@Maine.Maine.Edu
FAX (207) 581-2423
Office phone (207) 581-2436

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has 3 content courses that are designed specifically for elementary majors; a life science, earth science and physical science course. Each is taught by Arts and Science faculty.

Pat McClurg

Here's some info about a content science course taught in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Univ. of Wy. It has been taught by Drs. Ron Canterna, Professor of Astronomy/Physics, and Lee Schick, Professor of Physics and Department Chair. I was the graduate teaching assistant for the "CLAS" in Fall 1993, and learned an immense amount about cooperative learning and hands on learning in Science. I can't give you all the details about where it fits in the students' required classes, but I'll do a little research and let you know more soon.

Rena Faye Norby
Laramie, WY 82070

University of Arizona

We are trying to get NSF (CCD) funding to create such a course. We have implemented some of this in a previous course for non-science majors (based on what we have done with elementary and middle school inservice teachers) but had not addressed the specific needs of preservice teachers.

Our biggest problem is that all previous attempts to create a class for preservice teachers (ours is in Planetary Sciences) have failed for lack of students from the Ed College. This time we are trying to address the needs of ALL non-science majors, but have a separate 1-unit class to specifically address the needs of the preservice teachers.

We would be interested in your experiences and what you hear from others. Our feeling is that the REAL needs of non-science majors is not that different from the needs of the elementary preservice teachers (content and hands-on experiences).

Larry Lebofsky
Lunar and Planetary Lab
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721-0092
(520) 621-6947
(520) 621-4933 (FAX)

California State University, Long Beach

I teach a science course specifically for el. ed majors. To learn more about it (SCED 401), my home page URL is:

SCED 401 is the capstone science class for students who are Liberal Studies majors. Almost every student who enrolls in this class is planning to be an elementary school teacher. This link will show you the course's syllabus and related information.

Al Colburn <>

Morehead State University, Morehead, KY.

We here at Morehead State University, Morehead, KY. teach 2 specialized content courses for elementary education majors.

BIOL 110--Biological Science for the Elementary Teacher Taught in the Biology and Environmental Science Department Meets a general education requirement. It is taught by biology faculty with an interest in education.

Biology 110 Biology for the Elementary Teacher 2 hrs. lecture, 2 hrs. lab/week

Instructor: Candace Glendening (this semester) (606-783-2932)

Taught by the Biology Dept. Ms. Glendening is a member of the Biology Dept. fall semester it will be taught by Dr. Busroe (also a member of the Biology Dept.) 6060-783-2951

SCI 109--Physical Science for elementary teachers Taught in the Physcial Science Department

Meets a general education requirement It is taught by science education faculty in the Physical science department.

Science 109 Physical Science for the Elementary Teacher 2hrs. lecture/2 hrs. lab/wk.

Team taught by Dr. Ron Fiel 606-783-2913 r.

and Dr. Robert Boram 606-783-2931 r.

Both are members of the Department of Physical Sciences

Both courses also fulfill general education requirements and both are science content courses and not methods courses.

Joan Whitworth Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Science
Morehead State University
(606) 783-2965

Robert Boram Ph.D
Dept. of Physical Sciences
Morehead State University
Morehead, KY 40351
Phone: 606-783-2931

Western Michigan University

At Western Michigan University, we are developing six (6) science CONTENT courses for elem ed students...two courses in each of three areas - life, physical, and earth sciences. The development work is funded by a three year FIPSE grant (P116B51275). Any information about the courses should list FIPSE as supporting the work with the above number. Thanks.

We are in the second year of the three years. Three of the courses are being taught, the other three in various stages of development. Parts of two of them will be taught to area teachers in a workshop format this summer. This should provide good feedback.

The courses meet twice a week for 2 1/2 hours each. class size is limited to 24. The emphasis is on having the students construct and reflect on science knowledge; there is little lecturing, lots of puzzling, discussing, and frustration on the part of the students who are not used to such an approach! But...after about 8 weeks most begin to get into the swing of it.

General ed credit. These courses are ONLY for elem ed folks; others cannot get in. So they do not carry Gen Ed credit. But the University has agreed to waive the science part of Gen Ed for a student who successfully completes the three Level 1 courses - one course in each of the above areas.

These six courses are followed by a METHODS course taught in the College of Education and this course is integrated with the six science content courses (these are taught in the College of Arts and Sciences by science faculty, science educators in our department and doctoral students in science education in our department).

It is anticipated that all six courses will be required for student in Elem Ed choosing the science/math minor (well over 90% of the students). This is supported by the faculty of both colleges, so it appears to be a matter of time and paperwork.

We will move into new quarters including 4 teaching labs just for these courses in Fall 1998.

The emphasis - n a nutshell - is to teach solid science content courses, but to model what we belive should be effective teaching...The details of our project can be found in the FIPSE Program books of this year and last year.

Larry Oppliger

Purdue University at Calumet

We are starting to move in the direction of special science courses for the elem educ majors. At this point, we are looking at a series of 4 three hour courses, two physical and one biological. I will get more info to you as things progress.

Dr. J. Russett
X-116 Gyte Annex (219)989-2045 Office
Education Department (219)989-2848 Fax
Purdue University Calumet
Hammond, IN 46323-2094
Dr. J. Russett" <

Minnesota State University at St. Cloud

We have had an elementary life science and physical science course for elementary teachers for over 20 years. The life science course teaches content via a learning cycle and the physical science focuses on process along with content. We are currently in the process of redesigning these courses to meet a semester conversion process and are in need of an elementary earth and space science course.

P. Simpson.

Texas Tech University

A physical science course for our elementary ed students is in the final phases of development. Also, an entomology course that will focus on biological concepts is being initiated this fall. We hope also to have a specially designed horticulture course for ed el certification students.

Gerald Skoog
Professor and Chairperson
Curriculum and Instruction
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409-1071
ph 806/742-2371
FAX 806/742-2179

Plymouth State College, Plymouth, New Hampshire

It is with an ironic grin that I respond to your post. We have an excellent (imho) program that is being dismantled for political reasons. Our el ed majors take a three course (12 credit) sequence. Each of the courses has a two hour lab and the content is focused using Project 2061 and the NH State Frameworks.

spring Freshman year - Chemistry in Context - we use the ACS chemistry program of the same name. Visist their web site. I think this course should be mandatory for all students. We start the lab section of the class using some of Julia Cauthron's(sp?) "Student's as Researcher" labs, then we switch to the ACS-CIC labbook.

Fall-Soph yr - Earth science. We use a standard earth science textbook (Tarbuck and Lutgens). We use the NSTA "Earth: The Water Planet" activity book and supplement it with labs from other programs (ESCP, CEEP, etc). Student do the labs but are required to annotate them commenting on anything that might be pertinent(sp?) to a classroom teacher. Some examples might be: The directions are not clear at step two, you need to keep the top off the milk jugs, it only took 6 secs and the book said to budget 50 mins. I stress that they may advertise these as teacher tried and tested but the reality of how to get them to work and why they work is often not as clear as the book would make it. They are required to read 4 articles from the NSTA publications and write short papers on the articles. The articles are split between pedagogy and earth science content. They write four article summaries from general magazines (Nat. Geo, Discover, Sci. American). All papers are corrected for English and science content. They are also required to do a research project and present it to the class. The project are based on field trips (sewage/water treatment plant, local granite quarry, local sand/gravel pit). Students are introduced to the NH State Frameworks and develop rubrics for grading maps, projects and presentations.

spring soph year - Biology Core Concepts (I don't know the specifics - text, lab manual - This is the only course I don't teach) It covers biology from the big picture to the small. Students do field work, write lab reports and develop units that are keyed to the NH State Frameworks.

In each of these courses students only recieve 40% of their grade from tests. The lab grade and the lecture grade are combined for one four credit grade. We constantly integrate current topics (usually from the newspaper or Time) that are appropriate and have local interest. There is a lot of writing, small group work and handson actitivites. We also use a wide range of videos, video disks and WWW material. Students use these in preparing presentations. When I have my way the lecture sections never have more than 40 students and the labs 20. When the Dean gets involved all bets are off. The majority of the labs are covered by full time faculty

who also teach the lectures. This is about 16.5 contact hours a semester.

Warren Tomkiewicz does earth science and all the bio. His background is BS - bio, MS -bio, EDD - Sci Ed. I teach the earth science and the chem. My background BS - Soil science, MEd - sci.ed, PhD-sci.ed Two PhDs in chem teach the other chem sections and the lab sections are covered by a BS in physical sci ed.

The el ed majors are required to take these 12 credits. The rest of our students only need 7. We've work to have the course meet State and National guidelines regarding best practice. Maine and Minn have two comprehensive frameworks that pretty much describe our program. There is no real "methods" component b/c we do it, we don't talk about it. No lectures on hands on learning or how to use the computer.

The courses follow the sequence they do because each builds upon the other. We also felt that the chem knowledge was essential. We could use a physical science course, but ...We tried Hewitts conceptual physics but it was not successful. The 150 student lecture may have had something to do with that. Our ed program admits ~125-150 students /yr. I see most of them twice. warren sees all who make it to their Jr/Sr. year.

Dept.of Natural Science
Plymouth State College
Plymouth, New Hampster 03264

University of Maryland - Collaborative

You may be interested in the array of such courses offered at various institutions of the University of Maryland System. At Towson State University all science contnet courses for elementary ed majors are taught in the college of science, only Bio I is a gened course for everyone. Physcial science, earth science and a second life science are taught by science and science ed faculty (the latter two courses are combined content and methods). Only the bio 1 counts as gened. the others are program requirements. The UMS system, through NSF funding, established various approaches for enahancing the science and math experiences of el ed majors

who wish to specialize in math and science within their program. Courses developed for this are described on the Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation homepage.. full address:
Lorie Molitor

The University of Texas at San Antonio

I teach a course called "Science and Humanity" in the Division of Education at The University of Texas at San Antonio. It is a course that is required by all IDS majors (Interdisciplinary Studies) (i.e., elementary ed) and it also fulfills part of Domain IV (Diversity of Thought) of the Core Curriculum. I consequently have a very diverse population. About 50% elementary ed and 45% science majors with a smattering of "other". My background is in zoology (MS) and chemed (PhD). By Law (SB 994) Texas cannot offer a "science methods" course. Also, in Texas you cannot major in elementary ed. That's why we have the IDS degree. It is the largest group of majors on campus.

Feel free to contact me, if you need other info.

Diana Mason

Rhode Island College and Providence College

Both Rhode Island College and Providence College have sceince contennt courses for Elementary Ed majors. You can find out more by contacting Dr. Pat MacKay at PC...401-865-2820 and Dr. Paul Tiskus at RIC..401-456-9760. I don't know their e-mail..sorry. Both are great guys and if they don't have the info you need they will know how to get it. Till them I sent you!

Judith K. Sweeney Internet:
Curator of Education Tel: (401) 785-9457
Museum of Natural History, Roger Williams Park Fax: (401) 941-5920
Providence, RI 02905 WWW:

Purdue University - W. Lafayette

I have taught for over twenty years a course in the Physics Department designed primarily for elementary education majors, but also populated heavily with agriculture majors and liberal arts students. The enrollment is typically 250-280 students per semester. The course is required for el ed majors and typically it is taken in the sophomore or junior year. My degree is in Science Education but I am a full professor in the Department of Physics. I was on the writing team for the AAPT-sponsored Power Ideas in Physical Science and used the material for a few semesters. Because of the nature of my course and the population demographics, I have elected to return to a text. My current selection is Hewitt. The course is conceptual in nature and does include some modern physics. It is a one-semester course, so we're limited in what we can cover (or should cover).

Van E. Neie
Dept of Physics PH: (765) 494-5511
Purdue University FAX: (765) 494-0706
1396 PHYS Bldg
W. Lafayette, IN 47907-1396

South Western Texas University

In response to your query, I have information about the program at my university. We have a year-long course called General Science that is required of all elementary ed. majors. One semester covers Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology and Astronomy topics;the other covers biology topics. The course involves three hours of lecture and two hours of lab. We choose content topics appropriate to future elementary school teachers and most of the instructors integrate investigations into the lecture portion. Classes are fairly small (24-60).

General Science is part of the 16 hrs. of science required for certification and is is addition to a year of physics (that is required for the degree) and a semester of biology. General Science is taught in the Biology dept. by science educators who are faculty in the Biology Dept. We are in the process of applying for a planning grant through the Texas State Systemic Initiative to make our program better fit the national standards. I am happy to share any

information with you about our courses.

Melanie Lewis We also have a web page that can be accessed through the swt web page (

University of Georgia

If you're interested in such things for MIDDLE GRADES programs, read on. Our middle grades (operationally defined as 4-8) program has three special science content courses, each taught by a scientist and each paired and block scheduled with a coordinated methods course (taught by me, Mike Padilla, and occasional other science ed types). Fields are life, physical and earth science. Current calendar is quarters. All 6 courses are taken by middle grades education majors who specify science as either a major or minor subject matter specialty field (they must choose two from among science, math, social studies, or language arts). Degrees of cooperation

from scientists range from simply agreeing to teach a special section for our people through extensive, day-to-day team teaching and cooperative planning (such as the physical science set which I teach with Darwin Smith, a chemist whom you may have met because he regularly attends AERA and NARST). Hope this helps.

David F. Jackson, Associate Professor
Science Education Department, University of Georgia
212 Aderhold Hall, Athens, GA 30602-7126, USA; phone (706) 542-1763; fax (706) 542-1212

North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega GA

We offer two related courses called physics 460 (offered by physics) and math 310 (offered by math) which are physics and math content courses for early childhood, middle grades and SPED in addition to their core courses. They are content courses with methods integrated--ie our students do not get a methods course with content tacked on--they get a content course with
methods included. It is required as a part of the education major.

Who teaches them is an interesting question...I do the physics one. I am an education faculty member, but in all of my prior academic life, I was a chemistry department and natural science division chair. The math one is taught by mathematics faculty, but she's been a curriculum supervisor in a large suburban school district too, and is the math technology expert. Her doctorate is in math education.

A description of these courses is in RIE--ED384672.

We also offer a series of one (QH) credit graduate courses called Teaching About ... where... is a science topic (plants, heat & energy, astronomy), which are also offered by the academic departments and taught by a mixture of education and arts & sciences faculty. These are a part of the content requirements in the graduate program and the syllabi (now somewhat outdated) were developed using college level Eisenhower funds. They can be aggregated to provide 5-10 QH content in an ece or MG grad program. Faculty here is very important, because you must be able to communicate with the target audience.

Susan Gannaway
Professor, Education
Director, Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education
North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega GA 30597
Voice 706 864-1893; Fax 706-864-1490

San Diego State University

We have a number of courses offered under the umbrella of the Natural Sciences Program in the College of Sciences and taught by faculty from science departments. These are required capstone courses for the students and are typically taken in their senior year. The courses are hands-on integrated laboratory/lecture/computer work taught in an inquiry (constructivist) fashion. These courses have existed at SDSU since before I arrived in 1986.

Kathleen M. Fisher
Center for Research in Mathematics & Science Education & Department of Biology
6475 Alvarado Road Suite 206
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92120

Biology Lessons
SemNet Software:

Western Illinois University

We offer several pedagogical content courses at Western Illinois University which are specifically designed for elementary education majors. Each of the courses is taught through the Department of Elementary Education and Reading and is taught by one of four science education professors (all hold doctorates in science education). We have several such courses, and our undergraduates must select one of them, but often select two of them. These meet our departmental criteria and are beyond what is required by the university for general education

. (However, all students must take some laboratory science courses as a part of their general education courses.) Below I've listed the course titles, course numbers, and professors who typically teach them.

SCED 489G Energy Education for Elementary Teachers Usually taught by Kevin Finson or Don Powers

SCED 490G Environmental Science Education for Elementary Teachers Usually taught by John Beaver or Don Nelson

SCED 491G Biological Science for Elementary Teachers Usually taught by John Beaver or Don Nelson

SCED 492G Physical Science for Elementary Teachers Usually taught by Kevin Finson or Don Powers

SCED 561 Measurement in Science Education Usually taught by Kevin Finson

(This one is more for graduate students, but some undergraduate students enroll in it.)

SCED 559 Teaching Earth Science in the Elementary School Usually taught by Kevin Finson or Don Powers

Kevin D. Finson
Dept. Elem. Educ. & Reading
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
(309)-298-2101 (office)

University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota has a specialized content science course for elementary education majors.

The course is ELED-121 Physical Science for Elementary Teachers It is taught (name of institution) University of South Dakota and what Department offers it: School of Education

Who teaches the course: Paul B. Otto, Science Education What department the instructor is from: Curriculun & Instruction Where this fits into graduation: Required In addition to a general education requirement in the same content area, Contact Person: Paul B. Otto

Paul B. Otto Telephone: 605/677-5805
218-D Delzell Edu. Ctr. Fax: 605/677-5438
University of South Dakota e-mail:
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069

Bowling Green State University

At Bowling Green, we are in the very early stages of developing a non-majors biology course to meet the needs of elementary teachers. In our case, the course will be a modified version of the current general education non-majors introductory biology course. Collaboration is occurring between elementary education faculty and biological sciences faculty. I would be interested in any information you gather on content courses for elementary teachers. Thank you.

Julia McArthur
Bowling Green State University
121 Life Science

University of Washington - Seattle

Below are some content science courses for elementary education majors that are offered at the University of Washington - Seattle:

BIOLOGY 491: Special Topics in Biological Science for Teachers "Study of selected areas of biology. Designed to enhance the skills and background of K-12 teachers. (Prerequisite: teaching experience or permission of the instructor)." This course is taught by Dr Ola Edwards and Ms Helen Buttemer (both are on the faculty of the Biology Dept)

Contact: Helen Buttemer, Coordinator, Biology Teaching Program
(206) 543-1689 or (206) 543-9120
e-mail: <>

CHEMISTRY 197: Science Outreach Training "Training for participation in science-related outreach activities for the community. Emphasis on support for K-12 education and environmental community efforts"

CHEMISTRY 297: Science Outreach Participation "Continuation of 197. Work with K-12 schools or community organizations. May include scientific presentations, K-12 curriculum support, or involvement in a community project (Prerequsite: 197)"

CONTACT: Dr Paul Hopkins, Professor and Chair
Chemistry Dept, 109 Bagley Hall, Box 3517000

FOREST MANAGEMENT 400: Forestry in Washington "Examines the components of contemporary forestry practices and issues and their importance to the economy and quality of life in Washington state. For education majors, selected laboratory sessions provide hands-on experience for classrooms K-12 using the Project Learning Tree guides. One all-day field trip. Prerequisite: senior or graduate standing."

CONTACT: Dr J Alan Wagar, Research Professior, Center for Urban Horticulture
(206) 543-0389

PHYSICS 410: Physics By Inquiry for In-service Teachers "A hands-on" inquiry-oriented approach designed to train in-service teachers in the use of physical science content for any of
several science programs selected by a school of school district. Prerequisite: permission of instructor"

PHYSICS 411, 412, 413: Physics By Inquiry for Lead Teachers "Extends the content covered in previous courses and helps prepare lead teachers to train collegues to use any of several science programs selected by schools or districts. Prerequisites: at least 2 400 level Physics courses and permission of instructor"

CONTACT: Dr Lillian McDermott, Professor, Physics
(206) 543-8692 or (206) 685-2046

Andrea Freed
Research Assistant, Science Education
Univ of Washington, 122 Miller Hall
Box 353600, Seattle, WA 98195-3600

University of California - Davis

California had eliminated Education majors for Bachelor Degrees. We only have Credential programs - hence you *could* say that all science content is taught in the originating department (i.e. Physics, Chem etc.).

We have an interesting Technology in education course where the students are grouped as follows: Multi-subject (elementary), Secondary Math, Secondary Science, Secondary English, and (I think) Secondary Social Studies. The cool things about this course for elementary credential students, is that the elementary group is taught by a very eager, top-notch Science Ed.

professor (Dr. Maureen McMahon). Hence everything they do has a science bent. Also, this course does not focus on how to use technology per se, but how to include it as part of the curriculum and how to include it as part of your teaching methods.

This probably isn't what you are looking for - but I thought I would send it in case...

Liz Gibson email:
Science Education Graduate Student
Computer Lab T.A. Phone: (916) 752-7218 (UCD)
Division of Education Pager: (916) 814-6558
University of California, Davis.

University of Technology, Sydney

I work at the Universityof Technology, Sydney (Australia) and we have a series of five specially designed science content subjects for our primary education students. Each of these subjects is multidisciplinary rather than emphasising one science discipline area. They do however have a shift in emphasis from the first which has a biological emphasis (human body) but introduces the physical sciences (our way of gently leading a largely female audience into the physical sciences) through a natural hisotry/ environmentally based subject to everyday science and technology, then a broader science,technology and society subject and leading to a subject called Planet Earth which tries to tie together the major biological chemical physical and geological components of our planet., and finally a strongly information technology based subject.

The students in our course can select one discipline area in which to major, and they then do all four or five of the subjects in that series. We find that generally one third to one quarter of the students select the science and technology strand.

This content based strand is in addition to currently 4 x 2hr/week (and soon to be 2 X 4hr/week) science and technology education subjects which are basically curriculum subjects but contain an inherent element of content as well. All students do this strand.

Janette Griffin
Lecturer, Science and Technology Education
University of Technology, Sydney
PO Box 222
Lindfield, NSW 2086
Phone: 61 2 9514 5474
Fax: 61 2 9514 5265
Phone/fax at home: 61 2 9452 3461

Texarkana College in Texarkana, TX

At Texarkana College in Texarkana, TX we have 3 courses taken by elementary ed majors. Introduction to Life Science I, Introduction to Life Science II, and Physical Science I

David W. Allard, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Texarkana College &
Texas A&M University-Texarkana
2500 North Robison Road
Texarkana, Texas 75599
Phone: 903-838-4541 Ext 292 Fax 903-832-5030

West Texas A&M University

I am a physics instructor at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. We have a four-course sequence of science content courses that are specifically designed for preservice elementary teachers. These courses are taught by faculty in the science departments and are required of all students seeking elementary teaching certification in the State of Texas. The four three-hour courses are activity-based, and those teaching the classes model the way in which elementary

students should be taught. There is no lecture/lab format: each of the courses is set up with 2 two-hour classes per week and each course is classified as "2 sem hr lecture, 1 sem hr lab" in the catalog. In reality, activities are integrated into the classes so that appropriate inquiry or reinforcement activities are done at the time each concept is discussed.

I am sending you a summary I did for a Regents Report and for a Statewide Systemic Initiative Reform Preservice Elementary Committee on which I serve. As the report says, initial response has been excellent from many areas. Unfortunately, much of the negative response has been from the sciences, many of whose members 1) see no need in "messing" with teachers; 2) object to basically "nonrigorous science courses" (those which do not use at least trig or calculus); 3) object to "giving lab credit to a course without a formal lab." The fact that students are actually doing MORE science activities than they would do in a "normal lab" and that the activities are directly related to the material being discussed seems to carry little weight. And the fact that elementary teachers must understand concepts well enough to explain them simply instead of performing sophisticated mathematics also has little effect.

The first students who have been through the entire program will be entering student teaching next year, so we are reaching the point where "the rubber meets the road." We will begin more detailed evaluations involving performance of student teachers and, later, of teachers entering the elementary classrooms as soon as such information can be obtained.

Treasure Brasher
Department of Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering Technology
West Texas A&M University
W.T. Box 787
Canyon, TX 79016
Or by FAX at 806/655-4930
Or by phone at 806/656-2545
Or by email at ""

Louisiana State University (and NSF Collaborative)

Got your message about content courses. If you haven't contacted other Collaboratives for Teacher Preparation (NSF-funded), we have one in Louisiana where just about every university in the Collaborative has revised science and math content courses either specifically for ed majors or which will fit gen ed requirements and, therefore, enrollments in the latter courses are not restricted to ed majors.

At my institution, we have a physical science sequence specifically for ed majors and will be piloting a biology lab section with a special emphasis in nature of science, methods, for ed majors in Fall 97. There are a number of other institutions in Louisiana which have developed similar types of courses and/or interdisciplinary courses for ed majors. If you'd like, give me a call and we can discuss the details here at LSU and at other places in LA.

Melinda Oliver
Center for Scientific and Mathematical Literacy
107 Peabody Hall

Florida State University

At Florida State University we offer three interdisciplinary science courses for prospective elementary teachers: Physical Science, Earth Science, and Biological Science. Each is offered once a year, and we have full enrollment of 24 students per semester. Elementary education wants us to offer more sections, but we need more A&S faculty. These are all offered by Arts & Sciences faculty with input (and sometimes research) from science education faculty and graduate students. One thing wthat works very well is to have the TA from science education. Ken Tobin and I developed these courses starting in 1992 with NSF funding, and they are still being offered.

The Biological Sciences course is offered just by biologists, generally a few faculty offer differ parts of the same course. The Earth Sciences most recently has been offered by two meteorologists, but in the past was offered jointly by a geologist and an oceanographer. Physical Science has been offered by a chemist and a physicist. These courses count as the students' liberal studies requirement and count towards their science for elementary education requirment. Students generally take all three, unless they have come in with an AA degree from community colleges (where they would take their science requirements). Now we are working with the community college faculty as well to implment new courses there.

Penny J. Gilmer
Department of Chemistry
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-3006
Telephone: (904) 644-4026
FAX: (904) 644-8281
Cellular: (904) 556-4020
web site:

Southeast Missouri State University

At Southeast Missouri State University, elementary education (including special education and early childhood) take 10 hours of science courses in four departments of the College of Science and Technology. These content courses are in addition to 2 credits of science methods taken in the College of Education.

The CoST courses are

1. BS 118 (required for the EE major) Introduction to Process Science for Elementary Teachers -- a one credit, 2-hour laboratory course in science process skills, taught by biology faculty and teaching assistants, but including content from physical, geo, as well as life sciences as students work on individual science process skills.

2. PH 218 (meets general education requirements for physical science) Physical Science: A process approach. This 3 credit course includes 2 lectures and 2-hr lab, half the course is chemistry, half is physics taught by faculty in those two departments.

3. BS 218 (meets general education requirements for life science) Biological Science: A process approach. This 3 credit course includes 2 lectures and a 2 hr lab, and is taught by faculty in the biology department.

4. UI 318 (meets upper level general studies requirements) Earth Science: A process approach. This 3-credit course includes 2 2-hr lecture/lab/activity periods per week, and is taught by faculty in the geosciences department.

Each of these courses is a basic course in the science area, including topics similar to any non-majors course. What sets these apart, however, is that the labs use activities that are suitable for (or easily adaptable to) elementary classroom uses. The KSAM curriculum (K-6 science and math) (a national award winning curriculum that was developed here by Ernest Kern, who teaches UI 318 and Sharon Colemen and Richard Cannon who teach PH 218, and others) is used in the three upper-level courses. Our students leave our courses with a set of activities they have used and feel confident with. While ours are not explicitely teaching methods courses, we do model a variety of methods (e.g., learning cycles, KWL charts, hands-on, concept mapping, inquiry approaches) and take class time to reflect on the teaching and learning processes being used in these courses.

Superintendents and principals report that our recent EE graduates are much more confident, prepared and likely to teach science units in their classes.

At Southeast our teacher preparation program has been a long-standing collaboration between the college of education and the "disciplinary" departments (teaching techniques courses are housed in the disciplines). We are a member of the Renaissance Group. A few years ago, the elementary education department decided to change their graduation requirements to enhance the science preparation of their pre-service teachers by requiring these 10 hours of courses.

Each of us who teach these science courses for elementary education majors is a specialist in science education (by both our PhD/EdD's and by our programs of scholarship). Our faculty appointments are in the science departments, not education (except for me, I have a dual appointment since I teach the secondary level methods courses as well).

Margaret A. Waterman, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor of Biology and Secondary Education
Southeast Missouri State University, MS 6200
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Ball State University

Here at Ball State University (Muncie, IN), our elementary education majors take three special science courses taught in departments within the College of Sciences and Humanities which are part of their General Studies requirement. One biology, one physics, and one geology---in other words, one life, one earth, and one physical science course. All are taught by science faculty in those departments and all have a lab integrated into the 3 sem. hrs. All three courses are prerequisites for the science methods course. Starting in the fall of 1998, our el ed majors will have to select a content area"specialization" which will require an additional 15 hrs. of course work. One of the areas they may select is science, so those individuals will graduate with 24 hrs. of science. Only one of the 5 courses in the concentration is designed especially for the elementary program. That is an upper division course titled Science as Inquiry. The remaing 12 hrs. in the concentration are regular science courses taught to science majors and include offerings from biology, chemistry, physics & astronomy, geology, and geography. Let me know if you have additional questions. By the way, even the methods class is taught out of a science department by science educators who are regularly appointed faculty in the biology department.


University of Illinois at Chicago

At the University of Illinois at Chicago we don't have specialized science courses for el. ed. majors. They have to take 12 credit hours of science content courses that need to have a prefix that signifies science depts and not education for the state to recognize these. However, the state is in the process of changing el. ed. certification requirements giving more freedom to Colleges of Education to develop meaningful programs for el. ed. majors. In this spirit, we are starting to concider whether or
not we need specialized courses for el. ed. majors and what they should look like, so the info you've been collecting would be very useful for us.

Maria Varelas
Assistant Professor, Science Education
Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education, M/C 147
University of Illinois at Chicago
1040 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, IL 60607-7133
Tel: (312) 996-2454
Fax: (312) 996-6400

CCAC & Indiana University of Pennsylvania

We at CCAC have a partnership program with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, regarding their el ed program. I have been teaching a course , Enviromental Science, which fulfills their requirement for natural sciences- it parallels a course taught at the main campus of Indiana Univ of PA. Coincidently, I do have a degree in Elementary Ed so I interject some personal experiences into the course, but it is basically a bio course.

Sandi Bobick
(412) 237-2668

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Did you hear from the University of Alaska Fairbanks about their science courses for ed majors? Doug Schamel in the Biology department has been offering a wonderful course for years that is co-taught with master teachers.

The Geophysical Institute, Geology Department, Chemistry Department, and Physics Department have also developed courses for these purposes. The Math Department does similar courses.

Lock Haven University in PA

At Lock Haven University in PA we have just such a course. It is open only to elem ed majors on a priority basis and addresses mostly physical science since that is their weakest area and they typically take a non-majors bio course at the other 3 hours of a 6 hour general education requirement. I teach the course and am a secondary science education specialist housed in the Chemistry department of the School of Arts and Sciences. I have full discretion of content and my background of having done a LOT of Elementary teacher workshops helps dictate content. It is very sought after because it is perceived as very useful for the subsequent methods course for background knowledge and the attitude of "let's go have fun with science" that is part of a variety of investigations and PRACTICAL activities that are done in the class.
Dr. Donald L. Oakley
302B Ulmer Hall
Lock Haven University
Lock Haven, PA 17745

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Just wanted to let you know that I am a new faculty member of the UW/Oshkosh physics department in charge of a physical science course for elementary teachers. This summer I am working on a "Workshop Physical Science" course modeled after work at Dickinson College.

Mark Lattery

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