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Children and Science

The goal of this course is to understand the interpretive frameworks students of various ages bring to science class and how those frameworks influence their learning of scientific frameworks.    We will explore student frameworks for a variety of science domains (e.g., the nature of earth and the movement of heavenly bodies, the human body, the nature of matter, force and motion, groundwater) as well as their more general conceptions of how they learn and do science. In addition, we will explore the teaching conditions which help students (a) bridge between their initial conceptions and scientists’’’’ conceptions and (b) deepen their understanding of scientific inquiry. Through the course, you should gain skill (a) in devising, giving, and analyzing clinical interviews designed to uncover student ideas and (b) in planning lesson sequences to promote conceptual understanding, critical thinking, and conceptual change.

Dr. Carol Smith
University of Massachusetts Boston

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