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Chapter 9. Designs for Learning. How to Read This Chapter.

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Chapter 9

Chapter 9

Designs for Learning

Designing Science Units

How to read this chapter
How to Read This Chapter

  • This chapter has been organized to help you become a creative designer of science teaching plans by drawing upon your knowledge of science and adolescent learners. You will develop a sequence of lessons as a “mini-unit”. You will also develop a course syllabus, giving you an opportunity to think about instruction at the level of an entire course of study.

  • It is advisable that you work through this chapter from beginning to end. When you finish the chapter, you will have created the following products:

    • A rationale for a science unit with general goals.

    • A list of objectives (we'll call them intended outcomes) for a science unit grouped according to type of student learning.

    • A concept map showing the relationships among the central ideas in your unit.

    • An assessment plan describing measures to assess the major objectives of the unit to provide feedback to the students, and feedback for you on the effectiveness of your teaching.

    • An instructional plan (a set of lesson plans) describing the unit, including what learning objectives are intended, and the strategies you will employ to help student achieve the unit's objectives.

Designing Science Units

Invitations to inquiry
Invitations to Inquiry

  • What is pedagogical content knowledge? How is it different than content knowledge?

  • What processes can be used to design an instructional plan?

  • How should a teacher proceed to develop instruction?

  • What are intended learning outcomes? How do cognitions, affects, cognitive skills and psychomotor skills differ?

  • How can cognitive maps be utilized in the planning and development of teaching materials?

  • What are the elements of the following types of lessons: direct/interactive, cooperative learning, constructivist and inquiry/laboratory?

  • What are the elements of a course of study?

Designing Science Units

Chapter 9 map
Chapter 9 Map

Designing Science Units

Pedagogical content knowledge pck
Pedagogical Content Knowledge(PCK)

  • PCK is a teacher’s knowledge of how to help students understand specific subject matter.

  • Key questions include:

    • What shall I do with my students to help them understand this science concept?

    • What materials are available to help me?

    • What are my students likely to already know and what will be difficult for them to learn?

    • How shall I best evaluate what my students have learned?

How would this help you teach about water on Mars?

Designing Science Units

Inquiry activity 9 1 science pck
Inquiry Activity 9.1: Science PCK

  • Visit one of the standards’ sites below:

    • National Science Education Standards - Contents

    • Benchmarks On-Line

  • Select a science content area and at least one concept to teach.

  • Use Table 9.2 as a guide.

  • Identify one or more activities that will help students understand the chosen concept

    • Exploratorium

    • Access Excellence

    • Discovery Education

These are “fast plants.” What are are they? How could

fast plants help you teach concepts in biology?

Designing Science Units

The art of designing instruction
The Art of Designing Instruction

  • Just as an artist uses physical and intellectual tools to make a painting, this chapter presents you with tools to artistically design teaching plans and associated materials.

  • A cyclic process is outlined in this chapter to help to develop ideas for a science mini-unit.

  • To help you with the process, follow this link to a mini-unit developed by Jaime Delaney, a former graduate student at Georgia State University, and now a teacher in Colorado. Refer to it while you develop your own. You’ll find lesson plans, a rationale, a concept map, and examples of outcomes, and evaluations.

Designing Science Units

Mini unit design process
Mini-Unit Design Process

Designing Science Units

Inquiry activity 9 2 a window into as high school science teacher s approach to lesson planning
Inquiry Activity 9.2: A Window into as High School Science Teacher’s Approach to Lesson Planning

  • Log-on to Teaching HS Science and select either:

    • Chemical Reactions

    • Investigating Crickets

    • Exploring Mars

    • The Physics of Optics

  • View the video and record your responses to the 4 procedural questions (#2).

  • Summarize your thoughts, then follow Minds-on Strategies for this inquiry.

Designing Science Units

Design step 1 brainstorming
Design Step 1: Brainstorming

  • This should be a fast, free-flowing listing of terms, words, and phrases for the topic of your mini-unit. Work with a few peers to generate ideas.

  • You might want to look at the Standards and/or Benchmarks to spark your brainstorming.

Designing Science Units

Design step 2 name your mini unit
Design Step 2: Name Your Mini-unit

  • This is way to give your unit focus-naming it helps.

  • Some ideas from your peers include:

    • What’s Up with the Weather?

    • The Well Cell

    • Sensational Sediments

    • We are Family: Study of Periodicity

    • What if you had a volcano in your backyard?

Designing Science Units

Design step 3 identify focus questions
Design Step 3: Identify Focus Questions

  • Focus questions should help you define the heart of your unit or course. Two or three well designed questions will help your students draw upon prior knowledge and keep sight of the “big idea”.

  • Focus questions should center around the “enduring understandings” that promote science literacy.

Designing Science Units

Design step 4 identify intended learning outcomes
Design Step 4: Identify Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Use your initial list of ideas to create a list of intended learning outcomes. Outcomes are statements of what you want students to know or be able to do.

  • They are skills, concepts, and values you intend the students will learn.

  • Write these as precise statement starting with a verb, that indicates what learners should be able to do to demonstrate their knowledge.

Designing Science Units

Design step 5 categorize outcomes
Design Step 5: Categorize Outcomes

  • In this step, you will sort your outcomes into skill and nonskill categories.

  • Here is an example of intended outcomes from an environmental unit categorized into nonskill and skill groups.

Designing Science Units

Design step 6 develop a concept map of the unit
Design Step 6: Develop a Concept Map of the Unit

  • Use the ideas developed by Novak and Gowin to develop a map of your mini-unit. You will probably revise this as you further develop the unit. The map is a tool for your planning and your student’s learning. Share it with them.

Designing Science Units

Design step 7 write a rationale
Design Step 7: Write a Rationale

  • At this stage you’ve worked with your unit enough so that you can write a rationale. How might this learning:

    • affect the students’ future?

    • contributes to societal issues?

    • reflects the spirit and character of the scientific enterprise?

  • See the samples in the text. Here is part of one rationale.

  • The abilities, interests, needs, and talents of your students must also inform the rationale and emerging plans.

Designing Science Units

Design step 8 categorize outcomes cognitions affects and skills
Design Step 8: Categorize Outcomes-Cognitions, Affects and Skills

  • This step you will actually delay until after you have listed potential activities (step 9), and written lesson plans (step 10). You can then pull your outcomes from your lesson plans, and categorize them into four groups:

    • Cognitions

    • Affects

    • Cognitive skills

    • Psychomotor skills

  • You should, however, review the nature of these categories of outcomes before you go to the next two steps.

  • Use the map on the next slide, and text material to write out one outcome for each category related to your mini-unit.

Designing Science Units

Map of learning outcomes
Map of Learning Outcomes Skills

Designing Science Units

Design step 9 develop an assessment plan
Design Step 9: SkillsDevelop an Assessment Plan

  • Assessment in your mini-unit should include:

    • Daily Formative Assessments of various types (observing, listening, informal quiz, written quiz, lab work, project, etc.)

    • One end of unit Summative Assessment (performance task, project, or traditional test)

  • Start with your initial ideas about assessment, then look ahead to Chapter 10 for more assessments ideas.

Designing Science Units

Design step 10 list potential activities
Design Step 10: Skills List Potential Activities

  • Now that you have a framework for your mini-unit, you can do some exploring of science activities (use online and print resources), and then brainstorm with peers a list of potential activities. For web resources, check the section On the Web in The Art of Teaching Science text, or at the Art of Teaching Science online site.

Designing Science Units

Potential activities
Potential Activities Skills

  • You’ll find a collection of Planning Activities on the Companion Website. Take a look at them for examples of activities for you unit, and for further ideas on lesson plans

Designing Science Units

Design step 11 develop lesson plans
Design Step 11: Develop Lesson Plans Skills

  • The mini-unit should contain between four and six lesson plans. You will find three types of templates for developing your plans. I recommend the first one, the Constructivist template, as there are many examples in the Art of Teaching Science, and Jaime Delaney’s site, shown here, used the same template in the development of her lesson plans.

  • Sketch out your plans using the template of your choice, and then meet with at least one peer to explain the plans, and solicit feedback. Finalize your plans. Now you can pull all of the outcomes from your plans, and organize your learning outcomes.

Link to Jaime Delaney’s Mini-unit to see examples of lesson plans, and other elements of the mini-unit.

Designing Science Units

Design step 12 implementation revision

Teach your mini-unit to a group of middle or high school students.

If you can’t do this, present one lesson to a group of peers.

In either case, video tape one lesson.

Reflect on your mini-unit by using the feedback you obtained from students, and peers. A complete list of reflection questions is located in the text. One example is:

To what extent did students attain the learning outcomes (objectives) of the unit?

What revisions would you make in the unit?

Design Step 12 : Implementation & Revision

Designing Science Units

Inquiry 9 3 designing a the course syllabus
Inquiry 9.3: students. Designing a The Course Syllabus

In this activity you will identify and describe the major elements of a course of study for a subject and content area of middle or high school science. Your product will be a course syllabus.

Designing Science Units