Courses

Summer I


Curriculum and Instruction (Graduate)

My purposes in this course are to explore with you several anthropological theories that provide lenses for understanding the relationship between culture, schooling and learning. We will consider and critique cultural difference theory, interpretive theory, social reproduction theory, and cultural practice theory. In addition, we will consider each theory's application to educational practice and research. Class sessions will include short lectures, small-group conversations, and whole-class discussions. Classes are designed for active participants. Please come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material. There are several things I hope you will gain from the course. They are: an understanding of historical curricula perspectives and concepts relevant to educational processes and settings; a greater sophistication in evaluating the contributions of curriculum theorists to educational research; and a reasonable idea of how to apply perspectives and concepts from this course to your own interests in mathematics and science education.


Syllabus


Fall Semester


Project Based Instruction (Graduate)

There has been considerable emphasis in current reform documents concerning inquiry based activities. A number of strategies have arisen to address inquiry including case based instruction (Williams, 1992), problem based learning (Hmelo, 1998) and project based learning (Blumenfeld et al., 1991). This course will first address the differences between these approaches to inquiry, some historical roots to project-based instruction and finally will attempt to explore the basic ideas and theoretical perspectives underlying project-based science instruction.


Syllabus

Forum in Mathematics and Science Education (Graduate)

This forum is based on papers presented at the 30th Carnegie Mellon Symposium on Cognition and complied into a recent volume entitled Cognition and Instruction: Twenty-five Years of Progress. In the past 25 years reciprocal relationships have been forged between psychology and education, research and practice, and laboratory and classroom learning contexts. Synergistic advances in theories, empirical findings, and instructional practice have been facilitated by the establishment of new interdisciplinary journals, teacher education courses, funding initiatives, and research institutes. So, with all of this activity, where is the field of cognition and instruction? How much progress has been made in 25 years? What remains to be done? This forum along with the edited volume proposes and illustrates some exciting and challenging answers to these questions.


Syllabus

Knowing and Learning (Graduate)

The purpose of this course is to understand different approaches to theorizing and studying mathematics and science learning and epistemology as represented by developments in mathematics and science, educational research, and other social science fields. This course attempts to synthesize the scientific basis of learning mathematics and science. The scientific achievements include a fuller understanding of: (1) memory and the structure of knowledge; (2) problem solving and reasoning; (3) the early foundations of learning; (4) regulatory processes that govern learning, including metacognition; and (5) how symbolic thinking emerges from the culture and community of the learner." A major project will focus on studying students' thinking in a particular mathematical or scientific domain.


Syllabus


Spring Semester


Project Based Instruction

Project-based instruction engages learners in exploring authentic, important, and meaningful questions of real concern to students. Through a dynamic process of investigation and collaboration and using the same processes and technologies that real scientists use, students work in teams to formulate questions, make predictions, design investigations, collect and analyze data, make products and share ideas. Students learn fundamental science and mathematical concepts and principles that they apply to their daily lives. Project-based instruction helps all students regardless of culture, race, or gender engage in science learning.


Syllabus

Forum in Mathematics and Science Education (Graduate)

This forum is based on papers presented at the 30th Carnegie Mellon Symposium on Cognition and complied into a recent volume entitled Cognition and Instruction: Twenty-five Years of Progress. In the past 25 years reciprocal relationships have been forged between psychology and education, research and practice, and laboratory and classroom learning contexts. Synergistic advances in theories, empirical findings, and instructional practice have been facilitated by the establishment of new interdisciplinary journals, teacher education courses, funding initiatives, and research institutes. So, with all of this activity, where is the field of cognition and instruction? How much progress has been made in 25 years? What remains to be done? This forum along with the edited volume proposes and illustrates some exciting and challenging answers to these questions.


Syllabus

Forum on Museum Learning (Graduate)

This Forum is centered around the book “Learning Conversations in Museums” which explores the integration of recent research on everyday, classroom, and professional scientific thinking in informal learning environments. The editors approach this question by focusing on conversations as both the process and the outcome of museum learning. People do not come to museums to talk, but they often do talk. This talk can drift from discussions of managing the visit, to remembrances of family members and friends not present, to close analyses of particular objects or displays. This volume explores how these conversations reflect and change a visitor's identity, discipline-specific knowledge, and engagement with an informal learning environment that has been purposefully constructed by an almost invisible community of designers, planners, and educators. Fitting nicely into a small but rapidly expanding market, this book presents:

  • one of the first theoretically grounded set of studies on museum learning;
  • an explicit presentation of innovative and rich methodologies on learning in museums;
  • information on a variety of museums and subject matter;
  • a study on exhibitions, ranging from art to science content;
  • authors from the museum and the academic world;
  • a range of methods--from the analysis of diaries written to record museum visits, to studies of preservice teachers using pre- and post-museum visit tests;

 


Syllabus

Curriculum and Instruction (Graduate)

My purposes in this course are to explore with you several anthropological theories that provide lenses for understanding the relationship between culture, schooling and learning. We will consider and critique cultural difference theory, interpretive theory, social reproduction theory, and cultural practice theory. In addition, we will consider each theory's application to educational practice and research. Class sessions will include short lectures, small-group conversations, and whole-class discussions. Classes are designed for active participants. Please come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material. There are several things I hope you will gain from the course. They are: an understanding of historical curricula perspectives and concepts relevant to educational processes and settings; a greater sophistication in evaluating the contributions of curriculum theorists to educational research; and a reasonable idea of how to apply perspectives and concepts from this course to your own interests in mathematics and science education.


Syllabus