Details for Curriculum Studies: Integrated Sciences

CRS441 Curriculum Studies - Integrated Sciences deals with science courses that characterise the general 7 - 12 secondary school curricula. Science can be an uncomfortable topic in many Christian schools, sometimes being seen as the basis for a secular worldview that the school explicitly exists to challenge. The way that some people use science in irritating and distressing attacks on faith makes such suspicion understandable. However, many of these disputes rest on naïve and simplistic accounts of both science and faith. Science is an important part of contemporary life and a compulsory part of schooling, so those responsible for teaching it require a deeper understanding of such issues than may be the case for others, within the contexts of teaching and learning that they share with their fellow teachers. CRS441 integrates concern for such issues with teaching practice in contemporary secondary schools.


Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: CRS441
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: Elizabeth Beech

Prerequisites

The following courses are prerequisites:

Awards offering Curriculum Studies: Integrated Sciences

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content

Curriculum Objective

CRS441 Curriculum Studies - Integrated Sciences deals with science courses that characterise the general 7 - 12 secondary school curricula. Science can be an uncomfortable topic in many Christian schools, sometimes being seen as the basis for a secular worldview that the school explicitly exists to challenge. The way that some people use science in irritating and distressing attacks on faith makes such suspicion understandable. However, many of these disputes rest on naïve and simplistic accounts of both science and faith. Science is an important part of contemporary life and a compulsory part of schooling, so those responsible for teaching it require a deeper understanding of such issues than may be the case for others, within the contexts of teaching and learning that they share with their fellow teachers. CRS441 integrates concern for such issues with teaching practice in contemporary secondary schools.

Outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate key policy and curriculum issues.
  2. Analyse specific issues relevant to teaching science in schools according to one’s understanding of key curricular and system factors.
  3. Defend practice within parameters set by school and system policies and current Education Authority mandates using the current educational literature.
  4. Develop lesson plans and programs for teaching Science at the secondary level of National and local science syllabi, within schools sharing a Christian or alternate worldview
  5. Consider the integration of aims, objectives, content, outcomes and banded statements of learner achievement in the planning of coherent science lessons.
  6. Plan coherent science units of work that integrate objectives, content, outcomes and banded standards of achievement.
  7. Assemble a range of appropriate strategies, technologies and resources for teaching and assessing Science units.

Subject Content

  1. What makes ‘science’ different?
  • Introduction to History and Nature of Science (HNS)
  • Science and other school subjects
  • Place of HNS in National and State curricula (ACARA ‘Science as a Human Endeavour’, NESA integration of former ‘Prescribed Focus Areas’ into Outcomes and Content)
  • Tentativeness and contingency in scientific work
  • Integrated vs ‘discipline-based’ Science
  • Responding to learners with different intended destinations

 

  1. Teaching science Christianly 1: Science/Religion debates
  • Historic points of conflict: ancient, medieval, and modern
  • Axes of controversy in exemplary cases
  • Conflict within science in National and State curricula.
  • Responding to parental and community expectations

 

  1. ‘Curriculum’: Teacher planning within national, state and local prerogatives.
  • Nature of ‘Curriculum’
  • Policy vs Curriculum vs Syllabus
  • Models of curriculum
  • Models of curriculum development
  • Planning and programming within competing prerogatives: the Quality Outcomes for Teaching and Learning model.

 

  1. ‘Evaluation’: Assessment, reporting & accountability.
  • Complex nature of evaluation of student learning
  • Purposes, functions and implications of different components of, and approaches to, evaluating student learning
  • ‘Backwash’ and the role of accountability in school programming

Assessment 1: Analysis of integrated science curriculum documents (Essay)

 

  1. ‘Taxonomies’: useful tools for planning repeatably effective lessons
  • Importance of clarity in discussions of learning
  • Introduction to widely used educational taxonomies: Bloom, Gardner, Gore, Shulman
  • Applying taxonomies to planning and evaluating teaching programs
  • Evaluating impact of differing taxonomies on teaching practice

 

  1. Planning effective science lessons
  • Types of science lesson
  • Relevance of specific taxonomies to different science lessons
  • Role and limitations of lesson planning formats
  • Clarification of format expected for Assessment 2.

Assessment 2: Forum posting of fully documented plans for two curriculum-appropriate science lessons at specified level (Plan)

 

  1. Teacher skills and science activities
  • Role of differing teacher expertise in science department planning
  • Increasing teacher expertise – the role of local and wider knowledge
  • An instruction to ‘micro-skills’ and teaching techniques

 

  1. Learning cycles as planning tools
  • Integration of learning research to suggest learning cycles
  • Planning science lessons and units as learning cycles

 

  1. Planning effective science units
  • Patterns of science programming in secondary schools
  • Impact of educational research on teacher choice between programming patterns
  • Role of practical and field work in science programming

 

  1. Assessing science achievement
  • Learner achievement of conceptual and practical outcomes
  • Jurisdictionally mandated levels of achievement
  • Broad assessment techniques in Integrated Science

 

  1. Integrating assessment and learning
  • Outcomes Based Education as ‘backward planning’
  • Impact of learner destination on intended learning outcomes
  • Impact of transition points: Stage 3 to 4; Stage 5 to 6 and Stage 6 to further study/employment

 

  1. Teaching science Christianly 2: Controversial issues in science classes
  • Consensus, Conflict and Separation views of the relationship between Science and Religion
  • Varying degree of resolution in broadly contemporary controversies within Science Education: such as, use of laboratory animals, risk management, sex education, climate change and the use of natural resources.
  • Interactions and disjunctions between such general areas of controversy and tensions more particularly related to religious belief.

Assessment 3: Fully documented plan for curriculum-appropriate science unit at specified level. (Plan)

This course may be offered in the following formats

  • Face to face (onsite)
  • eLearning (online)

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis College.

Assessment Methods

  • Essay (40%)
  • Forum posting of Lesson Plans (20%)
  • Unit of Work (40%)

 

Prescribed Text

  • References will include the most current curriculum requirements for schools.

Check with the instructor each semester before purchasing any prescribed texts or representative references.