This program will provide graduate education for those who wish to work as:
i) university or college science educators, directing science teacher education programs, working closely with schools and school systems on local, state and national science projects;
ii) university research or policy specialists, with the bulk of their time spent on guiding research on various aspects of science instruction;
iii) directors and supervisors in K-12 school systems, covering the design and implementation of science programs at local, county and state levels; and,
iv) classroom teachers with improved knowledge of science education theory and practice.
A carefully sequenced series of science education core courses and research experiences, coupled with exposure to science education events at state and national levels, will provide the backbone of the program. Students will be introduced to current science education research areas such as science learning, science teaching (physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, environmental science), curriculum and assessment (nature and history of science, scientific literacy, reform), science teacher education (professional development, teacher knowledge) and societal issues (gender, culture and diversity). As part of the coursework students will be required to complete research projects, write and submit articles for publication, make presentations at science education conferences and learn to use computer and library research resources.
Beyond the science education core coursework, students will be required to take courses in statistics and research methodologies, will complete breadth and depth requirements in science content areas and will undertake independent research under the guidance of advisors in science education and in their science cognate discipline. Initially, the program will target part-time students from the region, but will expand after the first cohort groups by attracting full-time students. Part-time students will complete the program in approximately five to six years.