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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - SCE6838

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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): In the elementary math science masters’ program, only two graduate level science courses are required for graduation. This course, SCE 5937 Selected Topics in Physical/Earth Sci ED course for elementary education was a semester long course covering both physical science and earth science topics and was used to fulfill one science requirement. This course was only taught once a year. To provide more in-depth coverage of the science topics (physical and earth science). The course has been divided into two courses. Students may take either course to fulfill their science requirement. This was done to allow greater flexibility in course offerings (students could fulfill their science requirement in any semester instead of waiting for the course to cycle around), provide more content depth in these important areas, and allows the university to better manage faculty and resources by co-indexing these courses with the middle grades STEM Physical and Earth science courses when there is low student enrollment.
Comments: Approved by USFSP. To USF Sys 8/14/14. To SCNS after 8/21. Nmbr 6830 approed as 6838. Effective 11/1/14

  1. Department and Contact Information

    Tracking Number Date & Time Submitted
    4858 2013-12-11
    Department College Budget Account Number
    EP USFO1STP 511724 10000 000000000000
    Contact Person Phone Email
    Lyman Dukes 7278734991

  2. Course Information

    Prefix Number Full Title
    SCE 6838 Teaching Earth Space in Elementary

    Is the course title variable? N
    Is a permit required for registration? N
    Are the credit hours variable? N
    Is this course repeatable? N
    If repeatable, how many times? 0

    Credit Hours Section Type Grading Option
    3 C - Class Lecture (Primarily) -
    Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum)
    Teaching EL Earth/Space
    Course Online? Percentage Online
    C - Face-to-face (0% online) 0



    Course Description

    The purpose of this course is to assist elementary teachers in developing science content knowledge and experiencing first hand inquiry teaching.

  3. Justification

    A. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course.

    Needed for program/concentration/certificate change

    B. 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 Elementary Education Math/Science graduate degree program.

    C. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times?

    Yes, 3 or more times

    D. 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.

  4. Other Course Information

    A. Objectives

    • Use K-5 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 elementary grades.

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

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

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

    B. Learning Outcomes

    As a result of participating in this course learners will:

    • Develop content knowledge about Florida science Big Ideas 1-7.

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

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

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

    • Experience models which illustrate ways to teach elementary 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.

    C. Major Topics

    • Familiarity with Florida Science Standards Big Ideas for K-5th grade. Big Idea 1: the practice of science, 2: characteristics of scientific knowledge, 3: the role of theories, laws, hypotheses, and models, 4: science and society, 5: earth in space and time, 6: earth structures, 7: earth systems and patterns.

    • Identify the components of the solar system and common characteristics of the planets.

    • Identify devices and techniques for collecting and analyzing data about the earth and celestial objects.

    • Identify the properties of gravity and it's role in space and earth structures

    • 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 the sun and the pervasive role it plays in earth processes.

    • Relate how the sun impacts atmospheric conditions and how this relates to weather.

    • Identify the characteristics of earth cycles, rock, water, carbon

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

    • Identify the factors that contribute to the soil in different areas

    • Distinguish between the processes of weathering, erosion

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

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

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

    D. Textbooks

    No textbook is currently required for this course; there will numerous readings available online that will be required readings for this course.

    E. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases

    These resources are constantly being updated, however, an example of one activity used in this course is:

    Watch the video” The Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) “and answer the following 4 questions:

    1. What is the GOODs project?

    2. What does it hope to accomplish?

    3. What type of Electromagnetic sources did they use in their research?

    4. What are some of things they learned?

    F. 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

    G. 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. Final exam will be held the last day of class.

    H. 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.

    I. 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.

    J. Program This Course Supports

    Elemenary Education Math/Science degree program

  5. Course Concurrence Information

    This course is unique to the Elementary Education Math/Science master degree program.

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