General Criteria for Course Development
The Collaborative has adopted the following general criteria for all science,
math, interdisciplinary, technology, and methods courses we may develop. These
courses should offer a broad-based core of knowledge taught with the goal of
producing well-informed citizens. In addition, methods courses should increase
knowledge of how to teach math and science to K-8 students.
1. The most up-to date teaching technologies and methods should be
incorporated into these courses as available and appropriate to enhance
active student learning.
2. These courses should nurture student awareness and appreciation of the
variety and interconnectedness of ways scientist learn about the natural
world. Thus, each course should be broad in outlook, encouraging and
assisting students to make connections with other related disciplines.
3. These courses should invite, enable, and expect students' active interest
and involvement in the subject, beyond the receiving and recounting of
information. Students' active involvement in these courses will enable
them to hone their abilities to think clearly and critically about current
events, to become more deeply involved intellectually, and to relate
science and mathematics concepts to situation in their own lives.
4. These courses should create a sense of intellectual community among
students and between students and faculty. To foster this, small group
collaborations, whenever appropriate, should be build into the course,
allowing interactive teams of students to communicate ideas, gather,
organize, and analyze information, draw logical conclusions from objective
data, and address ethical issues. Internet forums and e-mail could
provide additional methods of interaction within the classroom, where
appropriate, or outside the class.
5. These courses should provide prospective K-8 teachers with an
understanding of the material specified in the Virginia K-8 science,
mathematics, and technology Standards of Learning as well as the national
standards developed by the National Research Council and the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
6. These courses should enable students to demonstrate their mathematics and
science understanding in a variety of assessment situations.