Knowledge and appreciation of scientific inquiry in education; illustration of various strategies through study of research reports; technical aspects of the research process, including choice of research strategies, conceptual and operational definitions of variables, data analysis, and interpretation of results.
For many students, statistics is their least favorite course and they only take it because they have to. It frightens people. This course will not frighten you. People are only afraid of the unknown. Knowledge reduces fear. In this course you will learn statistics slowly, carefully, and one step at a time. You'll come to see that, taken methodically, statistics is easy. You'll come, if not to love statistics, at least to view them as your friend. Or, if not friend, acquaintance. At least not your enemy! The purpose of the course is to learn how to conduct a research study involving empirical data and, especially, to learn a number of basic statistical techniques for analyzing such data. You will learn by doing and in the process reduce whatever apprehension you may have about statistics (especially chi-square – everybody comes to love chi-square) and will be able to speak research jargon well enough to impress even your skeptical qualitative analysis friends.
The course will emphasize both case studies and original writing. For case studies selected science stories will be examined to see how they were written and how the original scientific material on which the story was based was translated into the published form. A written critique of each case study will be required. For the original writing portion selected scientific publications will be supplied from which a science story will be written in a form suitable for publication in the national media. The course will thus require an analysis in both directions of how a science story is created – from story back to the original science and from the original science to the story.
This course presents a graduate-level survey of the critical thinking skills necessary for developing reasoned arguments and discerning whether arguments of others are worthwhile. Students will learn the methods of deductive, inductive, and experimental reasoning, and evaluate the sorts of arguments that appear in scientific literature and writing about science.
The 21st century will pose a number of extremely serious challenges and policy decisions to be made including those around energy availability, climate change, gene-based technologies (foods, stem cells, cloning, diagnostics, enhancement, etc), surveillance & privacy, intellectual property & knowledge privatization, and economic & cultural globalization. Decisions in these areas will require a substantial public dialog. This course will explore the relationship between science and its applications to a set of contemporary problems and will examine how science policy is made and translated. It will review what science is and how scientists arrive at conclusions, the distinctions between science and non-science, the principal science-public policy issues of the 21st century, and conditions that are necessary for an effective science-public-political interface.
By using national (Science for All Americans, Benchmarks for Science Literacy, National Science Education Standards, etc.) and state (Learning Standards for Mathematics, Science, & Technology, etc.) documents, articles published in the educational literature concerning research about science curricula, electronic media, the Internet, and classroom presentations, students will actively develop and incorporate science curricula for use at the local level. Aspects of teaching, learning, and assessing will be presented within the course work. One focus will be methods and suggestions for organizing science curricula and integrating school and public science education programs. A major objective of LAI 531 is to enable science educators to be prepared to play a vital role in improving science curriculum innovation, implementation, and evolution in their own particular situation. Technology will be utilized in appropriate manners, and electronic curricular resources will be evaluated regarding reliability and validity.
This course will review current research on informal science education. Learning theories and methods pertaining to informal science education settings, such as museums, nature preserves, zoos, TV, popular science magazine, etc. will be discussed. Assessment techniques applicable to learning in informal science education settings, as well as resources and exemplary informal science learning programs will be reviewed. The interaction between formal and informal science education will also be discussed.
Students in this course will develop a sense of the history and nature of science by reading primary historical and philosophical sources (e.g. Aristotle, Darwin, Galileo, Newton, Kuhn, Popper) and writing descriptively and analytically about their work (in support of NYSED English/Language Arts Standards). Students will also seek information that will allow them to prepare timelines that show temporal relations among these human activities: use of materials (stone & bone, ceramics, metals, polymers, semiconductors), power sources (animal, fire, water, wind, fossil fuels, chemical, electrical and nuclear energy), development of scientific thinking (perception & order, logic, experimentation, mathematization, hypothesis testing), milestones in scientific understanding, and development of the instruments of science. The course will also explore ways to connect and integrate historical and philosophical issues with science instruction and to reflect the diverse backgrounds of contributors to science.
This course is designed to fulfill the Federal requirement for research training for graduate science students. You are required to participate in 11 of the 14 discussion threads to pass. As well, proof of completion of an online tutorial in human subjects research ethics will be required by submission of certificates offered at completion. Students will also be required to submit a detailed ethics case study relevant to their field of expertise. This section will explore in greater depth issues related to the medical sciences, including: nursing, pharmacology, medicine, genetics, etc. Topics discussed in this colloquium will focus on those relating to medical and clinical practice and research. The discussion and readings from the core curriculum are supplemented with weekly readings and lectures pertinent to the medical sciences and research.
This course is the program's capstone project.