This syllabus is electronically interactive. As such it will be updated over the course of the semester (look for current updates at the bottom of the page).
Think about this syllabus as a contract; you are responsible for the information in it, even if I never bring it up in class. Reread it regularly over the course of the semester.
Michele Koomen, Ph.D (Co-Instructor 1)
Access to Education:
Every student has a right to learn and to participate in this class. I recognize that we all learn differently. If you have learning challenges, please see me about how we can work together to support your learning needs. Bring any documentation and suggestions about how I may assist you. We will work together to make this a great learning experience for you.
Location and Time of classes
Tuesday: 2:30 - 5:30PM, Nobel 123
Thursday: 2:30 pm - 5:00 PM, Nobel Hall 123
MN Wild Flowers by Stan Tekiela
The Earth Book by AIMS (on Moodle)
Chemistry Matters by AIMS (on Moodle)
Out of this World by AIMS (on Moodle)
The Chemistry Resource book (download from Moodle)
Colored pencils or markers, especially for lab
EDU 247 Course Description
Gustavus Adolphus College Catalog:
EDU 247 Course Overview:
This course requires a high level of participation of all students within a collaborative and cooperative learning context. Active learning of science will include individual and group processing of science content, activities, presentations, investigations, experimentation, field work, laboratory work, field excursions, and individual and group projects.
The Conceptual Framework is part of the Experimental Design assignment. Students engage in scientific inquiry and resolution of a question about the natural world that builds upon foundational knowledge of science content. They apply and experience the conceptual framework as they work toward resolution of that question through a process that includes: observe and wonder, developing a research question and multiple hypotheses, plan and test, analysis and interpretation of results and coming to conclusion and communicating your results. Finally, they evaluate their entire project through the lens of the Nature of Science including an evaluating of how SI might be utilized (based on their project) in the classroom.
To apply and come to appreciate the diversity of life and nature that is found in our own natural history.
To understand the complexity and delicacy of the interconnections between living and non-living systems.
To understand and apply in our daily lives the concepts of environmental stewardship.
To understand the process of inquiry including asking oneself questions and seeking answers using experimental design and the processes of science.
To learn science within a context that is inviting, collaborative, cooperative and respectful.
To move beyond only learning the science that is needed for course evaluation and grading
EDU 247 Course Requirements
Food and drink:
Email and Moodle:
The emphasis of this course is on the understanding and learning of basic science concepts of chemistry, Earth/space, and environmental science. Expectations are high for all students in terms of the quality, integrity and consistency in completion of assignments and participation. The evaluation for a grade will de-emphasize the rote learning of science facts and terminology. Your grade will be a reflection of your efforts to understand, process, and investigate the science content. All assignments and written reflections are expected to be thoughtful, purposeful, and developed with integrity that is required in our education profession. Your grade will reflect your understanding of the content, your efforts, and your ability to work with integrity in a cooperative learning environment.
Exams/Quizzes (35% of your grade)
There will be two exams and 5 quizzes during the course. Each exam will include essay questions and may be solely based on essay.
Mid-Term Exam 1: April 11 (15 points)
Final Exam : Friday, May 24, 2013 (10:30-12:30) (15 points)
There will be five unannounced quizzes over course readings, each 1 point.
Written Assignments (37.5 points)
Research Synthesis Paper, (15 points or 15%) due May 14, 2013
Your product for this assignment may be a formal paper (similar to what we did in EDU 246) or another medium such as a potential series of articles written for a newspaper such as the Star Tribune, a web blog, a substantial letter written to a policy maker (such as our local St. Peter U. S. Congressman, Tim Walz) or a written medium (approved by Michele) of your own choosing. The product that you write and create for this assignment will represent your synthesis of the information, dilemmas and outcomes of A Civil Action and the film Flow with thorough research (meaning scientific type peer reviewed journals) of an additional issue of water. Your written product should allow me to understand how you have made sense of the book A Civil Action and your selected water research and what you have learned with your research regarding a significant issue of the water crisis and access to water. Like in EDU 246, this is a very “open” writing assignment. Open, does not mean that it is not well thought-out, nor does it mean that themes are not developed. You will be evaluated on the substance of what you say and the persuasiveness and clarity of your arguments.
Experimental Design (independent and dependent variables) due April 25, 2013 (15 points or 15%)
Experiments will use plants, seeds or water and follow the experimental design process of observation, coming up with a question, developing hypotheses, data collection and interpretation and presentation of results. Raw data will be displayed in a bar, histogram or pie graph using Excel with identification of the descriptive statistics including mean, medium and mode. This experimental project will also include the importance of sampling techniques (including random sampling), replication, controlling variables and using constant procedures. Data analysis and conclusions T test (for continuous data) and or the Chi-square test (categorical data) will be used to analyze the significance of the results.
Weather and Climate Story Boards: due March 7, 2013 (7.5 points or 7.5%): This is a group assignment. Each group will be randomly assigned a weather and or climate topic to research. The product you will make will be classroom ready and shared with your peers in this class. See assignment description.
Science notebook 12.5% or 12.5 points:
Science notebook: Overall the purpose of the science notebook is to provide you with opportunities to process the course and lab content. A science notebook is a place to focus your attention on nature and natural events that we encounter in our daily experiences. Science can be thought of as a way of knowing our natural world. Therefore your science notebook will include (at the minimum) questions posed in class or readings, film responses and reflections, four short research projects, labs, weather observations, science based literature processing (including a summative reflection about Last Child in the Woods), at least 4 observational and phenological walks through the ARB (phenology checking), Environmental Learning Center evaluation, May Day conference, carbon & ecological footprint, and a checklist for completion. Four short research projects (tulips, seed germination, bud forcing, water properties or water in our world) will allow you to become familiar with how we do science including developing research questions, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. Please see additional assignment description for more information on the content of the notebook. Two journal checks: (April 11: 8 points; peer review due April 18) & (May 16: 4.5 points). Garden maintenance and plant propagation due as part of science notebook (below).
Garden Maintenance and Plant Propagation (7.5 % or 7.5 points)
Throughout the spring semester we will grow and propagate plants for experiments, the Wildflower Gardens of Mattson Hall and the Big Hill Farm. Each of you will be part of a small group that is responsible for seeding, planting, watering and general care of the class plants in the Gustavus greenhouse (including week ends and spring break). In addition, wildflower garden maintenance and renewed planting will be part of the expectation of this component (May 9 & 16, after or before lab and other dates as weather permits). Finally, we may work with local school children to plant either wildflowers in the Mattson Gardens or vegetables and or flowers at Big Hill Farm.
How are these points earned? Through your consistent and punctual attendance (see attendance policy above), demonstration of personal and professional behaviors as designated in the Department of Education's Statement of Professionalism. This means that you appear interested and engaged in the science course content. This means that your attention is focused on the class (side conversations or other disruptions are not part of your class interactions). Your participation in small and large group contributes to the learning of all (about science). Finally, group and cooperative learning is a large part of this course, including many projects and web activities. Expectations are high that EACH member of any group in this course works toward the shared project, including completing with integrity your specific task and making time to meet with other group members regarding the task, in a timely fashion.
A note about writing: In addition to all of the above expectations, it is assumed that in this class written assignments will be carefully edited, checked for grammar and spelling and consist of high quality writing that is expected in our teaching profession. APA is the standard for this class. Click here for more information on APA style.
Total points for class: 100 points.
In addition, your grade will be penalized by a deduction of 7. 5 points if you choose not to complete a major assignment. A major assignment is any assignment valued at 5 or more points. The majority of your assignments will be turned in electronically via email. It is your responsibility to keep complete copies of all electronic assignments until your final grade is posted at the end of the semester. Your name and e mail address is expected on each and every assignment.
There is no grading on a curve. Grades less or equal to a C do not meet the standards of the Education Department at Gustavus Adolphus College.
Note about electronic grading:
until your final grade is posted at the end of the semester.
Words of Wisdom from former EDU 247 Students
Stay on top of the readings and notebooks. It is much easier than trying to finish the night before it's due! Stay organized! There's a lot of information so keep it organized so that when it's time to refer back to, you know where it is. Collaborate with classmates-help each other stay on top of things and know what's due and what's upcoming! (Chelsey Kollodge)
Be organized and on top of things. Things will add up quickly! Also, have fun with your class! You spend a lot of time with them! (Marnie Luke)
Suggest devoting 1/2 hour to 45 minutes every night to doing something for this course. Then reward yourself with something you pick (time with friends), TV, ice cream, Facebook, a walk/run-Anything! (Kristine Carr)
Stay on top of the notebook assignments. Put in an hour or two every week or so at the end of the semester (when you have the paper and the experiment) so the notebook doesn't add so much stress. (Molly Mathiowetz)
Keep up to date on your notebooks! Don't save them for right before they are due. When things are assigned, start working on them right away so the work doesn't build up. Also, ask lots of questions. Challenge yourself to think of some to help you and your classmates understand the material at a deeper level. (Brittani Matzke)
Study technique: Read through science notebook before the test. Especially the literature section, because some questions on the test are from this section (Anna Finley).
Minnesota Board of Teaching standards embedded in EDU 247 link here
Updated: February 9, 2013