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UTeach: Research Methods

Course #: EDC U 470

Learning about science includes both learning material that has already been established (e.g., the structure of DNA, how to find forces on blocks being pushed up a ramp, the definition of an acid) and learning how scientists gained this knowledge (e.g., how new discoveries gain authority and are adopted by the scientific community, how to evaluate scientific claims when they conflict, how to design and carry out investigations to answer new questions). Most high school and undergraduate college science courses are devoted to presenting the first type of knowledge. Education in the second aspect of science has traditionally been left to graduate school. Research Methods simultaneously provides students specific techniques needed to address scientific questions and examples of how to provide this sort of training for students through individualized instruction. Core Components:1. The course is primarily a laboratory course in which students develop and practice skills that are fundamental to the scientific enterprise. 2. The course is organized around four independent inquiries that UTeach students design carry out. 3. The course emphasizes the use of mathematics to model and explain both the natural and man-made worlds.4. The course requires a substantial amount of writing. The written inquiries that students produce are evaluated as examples of scientific writing.5. The course emphasizes the development of skills that are directly applicable in teaching secondary science and mathematics (e.g., use of equipment, preparation of lab materials, safety issues, and use of technology).

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