ED 220: Changing Pedagogies in Math and Science Education


Spring 2008 7:00-10:00pm Wednesdays

Rm. 336-3388 Park Science Building, Bryn Mawr College




Victor Donnay, Ph.D.                  610-526-5352                    vdonnay@brynmawr.edu

Nell Anderson, Director, Praxis   610-526-5031                    nanderso@brynmawr.edu



Description: This 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 education?


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 including:

§          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 challenges.


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


*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




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.



15%       Attendance and participation in classroom activities

15%       Fulfillment of Praxis expectations: attendance, professional demeanor, fulfilling agreement with teacher.

30%       Class assignments

10%       Journal

30%       Final project


General Structure:

-   presentation of new material

-   discussion of readings/ placement experiences.

-   teacher talk: examine the teaching choices/practices that were made in the class.


Readings: 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. 




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).



Web Based Resources: