ED 220: Changing Pedagogies in Math
and Science Education
2008 7:00-10:00pm Wednesdays
336-3388 Park Science Building, Bryn Mawr College
Anderson, Director, Praxis
praxis course will examine research-based approaches to teaching mathematics
and science that involve active, hands-on, inquiry based learning. How do these
new approaches reflect current research? How are these new pedagogical methods
being implemented in K-12 and college classrooms? What challenges arise when
one tries to bring about these types of changes in education? What is the
regional, state, national and international context for math and science
The course will meet once a week (Wed 7-10pm, Rm 336 and/or
338 Park ). During the weekly meeting, there will be a variety of activities
presentations by visiting educators who will discussion
their experiences in education and educational change and related issues. These
sessions will provide the theoretical framework to help students understand
their praxis experiences.
discussions of weekly readings. Students in the course
will take turns leading discussions and giving presentations.
reflection sessions in which students will make
connections between the theoretical material they have been learning in class
and their practical experiences in the field.
field journal sharing in which students report on their
experiences in the field.
teaching self-study in which we examine the teaching
strategies used in that week’s presentations and the associated successes and
Field Placement: Students in the course will each have a field placement with a
local K-16 teacher who is engaged in some aspect of educational reform in math
or science. The students will observe and assist their host teachers for a
total of 4 - 6 hours per week (typically 2 visits per week).
Objectives: Students will
- become keen observers of and active participants in
pedagogical reform in classrooms.
- understand the theoretical and research underpinnings
of pedagogical reform in mathematics and science.
- become familiar with pedagogical strategies inherent
in current curricular innovations, understand their rationale and
implementation and have some opportunities to try out these strategies
- learn about a variety of different
roles/positions/jobs that play a role in math and science education.
- become familiar with personal, institutional,
community and systemic incentives for and resistance to change so as to
develop their ability to become effective change agents in education.
- develop a heightened analytical sense of themselves
*Ed 220 is not a ‘methods’
course in math/science education so the primary focus of the course is not on
practicalities of day-to-day teaching.
Course Assignments: Students will
- keep a journal about their field placement
experiences in which they record their observations and reflections and
make linkages between their field experiences and the course material.
material related to math and science education; some assigned and
some of their own choosing.
- write weekly reaction papers (1-2 pages) related to
the readings, the guest presentations, and/or their placements. To be
submitted to Blackboard site by 5pm Tuesday evening.
- write a range of short (1-3 pages) papers. Many of
these will involve finding examples from their placement of issues we
discuss in class. The placement journal will provide a basis for these
- take turns giving presentations and leading
discussions in class.
- create a
Glossary of Teaching Techniques which describes different teaching
techniques they have learned about, how, when (and when not) to implement
these techniques. The Glossary will be a collaborative construction of the
whole class and will be web based.
- write a final paper/project (10-15 pages). There are a variety of options.
Some examples: develop a lesson plan or create a project based assignment
linked to your course and then explain the rational for the choices you
made. The project should
demonstrate understanding of a variety of the topics covered in the
course. Due the last day of written work.
- give a 15 minute oral presentation summarizing their
final project during exam period.
- combine all their work for the term into a portfolio
(exact format to be decided) which will provide opportunity for
reflection. The portfolio will contain a variety of artifacts (pieces of
work from the semester) including representatives from the main categories
of assignments: journal entry, reaction paper, short essay, (other)
students’ presentations, guest presenters.
Schedule: The course schedule with a list of topics,
readings, assignments and discussion topics are outlined in the electronic Ed
220 Syllabus Matrix. This
schedule is tentative and subject to change.
Attendance and participation in classroom activities
Fulfillment of Praxis expectations: attendance, professional demeanor,
fulfilling agreement with teacher.
- presentation of new material
- discussion of readings/ placement
- teacher talk: examine the teaching
choices/practices that were made in the class.
There will be a variety of readings for the course: some from books,
some from reports on the web. The readings will be available on the course
Blackboard site (http://blackboard.brynmawr.edu/) as
pdf files or accessible on the web.
There will also be hard copies of the reading on reserve at Collier
and whenever possible a hard copy
of the complete book from which the readings came.
People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School, Expanded Edition, Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., Cocking, R.R.. National
Academy Press. Washington, D.C. 2000. Also available on line (free), one
page at a time from the National Academics of Science: http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309070368/html/ .
A slightly earlier version of the book
(1999) is available in easy to read form on-line at:
The only differences between
the two versions seem to be: Introduction (Ch 1) and the Next Steps for
Research (Ch. 11).
students learn: history, mathematics, and science in the classroom, M. Suzanne Donovan and John D.
Bransford, editors, National Academy Press. Washington, D.C. 2005. The
book can be read online (free), one page at a time from the National
Academics of Science:
the black box: raising standards through classroom assessment, Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam, 1998 Phi Delta Kappa International, http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/kbla9810.htm
- Assessment for Learning,
P. Black, C. Harrison, C. Lee, B. Marshall, D. Wiliam, Open
University Press, 2003.
and Teaching Elementary Mathematics, Liping Ma, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999.
- Mapping the field, Deborah Pomeroy, Studies in Science Education, 24 (1994), 49-73.
and Democracy, The Case for Quantitative Literacy, Lynn Steen, Executive Editor,
National Council on Education and the Disciplines 2001 (Preface and
for All, American
Association for the Advancement of Science. Americans. Project 2061.
Oxford University Press N.Y. 1990 (Chapter 1).
for Conceptual Change: Confronting Children's Experience. Watson, B, Konicek, R. Phi Delta
Kappan. May 1990 pp. 680 – 685.
instruction that works: research-based strategies for increasing student
achievement. Robert J. Marzano, Debra J.
Pickering, Jane E. Pollock.
- What the Best College Teachers Do, Ken Bain, Harvard
University Press, 2004.
Standards-Based Mathematics Instruction: A casebook for professional
development. Mary Kay
Stein, Margaret Schwan Smith, Marjorie A. Henningsen, Edward A. Silver,
Teachers College Press, 2000.
- California Dreaming: Reforming Mathematics Education, Suzanne
M. Wilson, Yale University Press, 2003.