T404 – Teaching and Learning in Diverse Settings: Science and Social Studies
This course examines the content and methods of teaching social studies and the sciences to young children from diverse family, linguistic and cultural backgrounds in kindergarten through grade three. The course explores the big ideas and process of inquiry in each domain; processes by which children learn; and methods for guiding children in conceptualizing the social and scientific world they inhabit. The primary foci of the course include:
- Understanding the big ideas and inquiry processes insocial studies and the sciences, and connections between the domains that teachers can utilize to bridge children’s theories with new knowledge;
- Creating learning environments that are
- child-centered: helping children make connections between prior knowledge and current learning tasks;
- knowledge-centered: providing an understanding of concepts in each discipline and the connections between the disciplines; i.e., providing a cognitive road map to help students understand the big ideas and inquiry processes in social studies and science;
- assessment-centered: articulating learning goals and using systematic ongoing observation and documentation of children’s progress toward meeting goals;
- learning-centered: providing a broad range of learning resources and organizational formats to support children’s leaning including hands-on materials and technology resources used in large group, small group, pair shares, individual work, and open-ended play, experimentation, and exploration activities;
- community-centered: establishing norms of respect, collaboration, and perseverance toward goals.
Methods of curriculum development, pedagogy, and assessment for the social sciences and sciences that help teacher candidates structure learning activities where children learn to think, discuss, and inquire about topics in the disciplines. Candidates will develop learning opportunities that explicitly address the needs of children from diverse backgrounds including those with special needs and for whom English is a second language.