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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - SCE6836
Tracking Number - 4818

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2014-11-01
Campus: St Petersburg
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only): The is a request to assign a permanent course number only.
Comments: Approved by USFSP. To USF Sys 8/14/14. To SCNS after 8/21. Nmbr 6836 approved effective 11/1/14

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2013-09-13
  2. Department:
  3. College: EP
  4. Budget Account Number: USFO1STP 511724 10000 000000000000
  5. Contact Person: Lyman Dukes
  6. Phone: 7278734991
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: SCE
  9. Number: 6836
  10. Full Title: Teaching Earth Space in Middle Grades
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?: N
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Teaching MG Earth / Space
  19. Course Online?: C - Face-to-face (0% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: -
  22. Prerequisites: N/A
  23. Corequisites: N/A
  24. Course Description: The purpose of this course is to assist middle grade teachers in developing science content knowledge and experiencing first hand inquiry teaching.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Replacing Selected Topics with Permanent number; already listed in program
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? This course is part of the required sequence in the approved Middle Grades STEM graduate degree program.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? Yes, 3 or more times
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) A Doctoral degree and at least 18 credit hours in the discipline are required.
  29. Objectives: • Use 6-9 Florida Sunshine State Standards: Science Content as specified in course outline

    • Expand Critical thinking skills

    • Become familiar and facile in presenting the Nature of Science

    • Increase awareness of Science Teaching Standards: Constructivist and Inquired-Based Approach

    • Increase Science Process Skills – Inquiry and Questioning

    • Participate in differentiated grouping for instruction to accommodate a wide range of abilities/disabilities and age ranges

    • Apply knowledge of mathematics and technology to scientific investigation.

    • Compare the development, use, benefits, and limitations of theories, laws, hypotheses, and models.

    • Identify appropriate substitutions for materials and activities necessary for effective science instruction in middle grades.

    • Use multiple assessment tools and strategies to identify and address student misconceptions in the middle grades.

    • Select appropriate strategies for teaching scientific inquiry to middle school grades

    • Identify appropriate technological tools that facilitate the learning of middle school science.

  30. Learning Outcomes: As a result of participating in this course learners will:

    • Develop content knowledge about Space, Galaxies, the Sun-Earth-Moon system, Earth as a system and its place in the universe, land form processes, Earth's history, and weather and climate.

    • Develop a deeper understanding of inquiry-based learning models.

    • Build a range of effective teaching methodologies, strategies, and tools for use in teaching middle grades earth and space science concepts.

    • Produce a media-rich learning environment to use with students.

    • Experience models which illustrate ways to teach middle grade students beyond the textbook.

    • Understand and utilize the scientific process and critical thinking skills.

    Florida Educator Accomplished Practices: The Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPs) assessed in this course include:


    a. Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor.

    b. Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.

    c. Designs instruction for students to achieve mastery.

    d. Selects appropriate formative assessments to monitor learning.

    e. Uses diagnostic student data to plan lessons.

    f. Develops learning experiences that require students to demonstrate a variety of applicable skills and competencies.


    d. Respects students’ cultural linguistic and family background.

    e. Models clear, acceptable oral and written communication skills.

    f. Maintains a climate of openness, inquiry, fairness and support.

    g. Integrates current information and communication technologies.

    h. Adapts the learning environment to accommodate the differing needs and diversity of students.


    a. Deliver engaging and challenging lessons.

    b. Deepen and enrich students’ understanding through content area literacy strategies, verbalization of thought, and application of the subject matter.

    c. Identify gaps in students’ subject matter knowledge.

    d. Modify instruction to respond to preconceptions or misconceptions.

    e. Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and life experiences.

    f. Employ higher-order questioning techniques.

    g. Apply varied instructional strategies and resources, including appropriate technology, to provide comprehensible instruction and to teach for student understanding.

    h. Differentiate instruction based on an assessment of student learning needs and recognition of individual differences in students.

    i. Support, encourage, and provide immediate and specific feedback to students to promote student achievement.

    j. Utilize student feedback to monitor instructional needs and to adjust instruction.

  31. Major Topics: • Identify the components of the solar system (e.g., Kuiper belt, Oort cloud), their characteristics, how they interact (e.g., solar winds, impacts, gravitational attraction), and how they evolve.

    • Identify devices and techniques for collecting and analyzing data about stars and other celestial objects.

    • Identify the properties of stars and the factors that affect their evolutionary patterns.

    • Evaluate celestial objects in order to determine formation, age, location, characteristics, and evolution.

    • Identify consequences of Earth's motions and orientation (e.g., seasons, tides, lunar phases).

    • Identify the characteristics and functions of the atmospheric layers.

    • Identify the movement of water in the hydrologic cycle, including sources of water, types of precipitation, and causes of condensation.

    • Relate atmospheric conditions to weather.

    • Identify various forms of water storage (e.g., aquifers, reservoirs, watersheds).

    • Identify the characteristics of ocean currents and how they influence weather patterns.

    biosphere, and cryosphere and the effects of these interactions.

    • Analyze interactions between the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and cryosphere and the effects of these interactions.

    • Analyze ways in which earth and water interact (e.g., soil absorption, runoff, leaching, groundwater, karst topography).

    • Identify the factors that contribute to the climate of a geographic area.

    • Relate surface and subsurface geologic processes to the movement of tectonic plates.

    • Trace the development of the theory of continental drift to the current theory of plate tectonics.

    • Distinguish between the processes of weathering, erosion, and deposition and their products.

    • Relate the characteristics of geologic structures to the mechanisms by which they are formed.

    • Identify the major processes of formation and properties of rocks, minerals, and fossils.

    • Identify the evidence used to define geologic eras (e.g., geologic events, biotic factors, abiotic factors).

    • Apply methods for determining geologic age (e.g., law of superposition, radioactive decay, relative dating).

    • Interpret various charts and models (e.g., topographic, geologic, weather).

    • Identify characteristics of Florida's geology and its formation.

  32. Textbooks: No textbook is currently required for this course; there will numerous readings available online that will be required readings for this course.
  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: These resources are constantly being updated, however, an example of one activity used in this course is:

    Go to this site and answer questions posed - be ready to discuss your answers and conduct your own experiment using the HR diagram :

  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: These areas will be assessed through the assignments listed below.

    Assignment Weighted Points

    Pre-test 5%

    Class Participation – Lab Notebook 40%

    Weekly Homework Assignments 30%

    Final Test 25%

    Your final grade will be based on the points that you earn throughout the course weighted as indicated by the table below. You may review your progress with Instructor at any time:

    Grade Final % Needed to Achieve:

    A 90% and above

    B+ 86-89%

    B 80-85%

    C+ 76-79%

    C 70-75%

    D 66-69%

    F below 66

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: • Course Pre-test

    • Each week there will be a hands-on lab investigating the topic of the week as described in the main course topics. You must fully participate in these activities and your lab notebook will be graded for clarity and accuracy.

    • Each week there will be homework assigned regarding the topic of the week as described in the main course topics. These assignments are due at the beginning of the next class

    • A course review will be scheduled before the Final Exam which will be held the last day of class.

  36. Attendance Policy: Course Attendance at First Class Meeting – Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: Reference: USF Regulation USF 3.027 - The following is the portion of the Regulation pertaining to graduate students. To read the entire regulation, go to:

    1. Fundamental Principles

    Academic integrity is the foundation of the University of South Florida system’s (University/USF) commitment to the academic honesty and personal integrity of its University community. Academic integrity is grounded in certain fundamental values, which include honesty, respect and fairness. Broadly defined, academic honesty is the completion of all academic endeavors and claims of scholarly knowledge as representative of one’s own efforts. Knowledge and maintenance of the academic standards of honesty and integrity as set forth by the University are the responsibility of the entire academic community, including the instructional faculty, staff and students.

    2. General Policies

    The following policies and procedures apply to all students, instructional faculty and staff who participate in administration of academic classes, programs and research at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the USF system. This regulation asserts fairness in that it requires notice to any student accused of a violation of academic integrity and provides a directive for discussion between the instructor and student to seek a fair and equitable resolution. If a fair resolution is not accomplished in this discussion, this regulation allows the student continued rights of due process under the academic grievance procedures based upon the preponderance of the evidence. The policies described below are the only policies and procedures that govern violations of academic integrity at the University and supersede any previous policies or regulations.

  38. Program This Course Supports: Middle Grades STEM degree program
  39. Course Concurrence Information: This course is unique to the MG-STEM master degree program.

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