EDU 652 The Process of Inquiry in Natural Sciences
This course is an introduction to the basic methods and strategies of Learning in Physical Sciences which aims in the development of knowledge and practices regarding inquiry-based learning and in the development of scientific investigation skills. Specifically, the basic characteristics of science, the history of the development of teaching and learning models, the difference and the relation between inquiry – based learning and investigation, the approach of inquiry as a framework of teaching and learning and the theoretical framework of inquiry-based learning (phases and stages) are introduced. In addition, scientific practices (e.g. designing investigation, experiment execution, hypothesis and research question formulation, data interpretation etc.) are developed and inquiry-based teaching practices are introduced.
EDU 653 Cognitive Constraints in Learning Natural Sciences: Diagnosis and Teaching Interventions
The main purpose of the course is the design of educational interventions to detect alternative ideas of students and to alter the initial mental representations of students in perceptions closest to the scientific knowledge. Student responses to questions relating to issues of natural sciences reveal problems in their understanding, for example, preconceptions, naive conceptions, alternative frameworks, inert knowledge, context-dependent knowledge, contradictions. The course exemplifies ways of identifying these problems and examines theoretical propositions regarding their interpretation. Within these theoretical orientations, the course examines the role of different factors such as pre-existing knowledge, conceptual reasoning or epistemological difficulties, and instructional approaches in an attempt to address the issues pertaining to the design of more effective teaching interventions.
EDU 669 Design and analysis of educational software related to the natural sciences
The main purpose of the course is the familiarization with information and communication tools that can contribute to science learning. The course content includes: Analysis of teaching/learning problems. Design of total solutions and information and communication technology tools. Development of micro-worlds simulating natural phenomena. Distance learning. Design and development of websites facilitating interaction and communication among distributed learning communities. Sequencing learning activities through synthesis of software resources. Evaluation of the effectiveness of educational software.
EDU 751 Design of Research Proposals
The course aims in supporting students to become researches in the field of Learning about Natural Sciences by combining necessary knowledge from different fields to design and execute a research proposal. The course content includes: Identification of real problems that are amenable to productive investigation. Literature review. identifying and labelling variables. Operational definition of variables. Research design. Reliability and validity. Implementation of methods for securing reliability and validity. Data collection methods. Coding and analysis of quantitative data. Conclusions and implications. Theoretical and educational importance.
EDU 752 Analysis and Implementation of Research Evidence
The course aims in supporting students to become researches that can analyze and implement research evidence in a way that is productive and facilitating to the formulation of significant to research and society results. The course content includes: Approaches of qualitative research (ethnography, case study, grounded theory, phenomenology). Stages for designing a qualitative research. Data collection methods (questionnaire, interview, observation, video analysis, artifact analysis, auto-ethnography, focus groups). Advantages/disadvantages of data collection methods. Reliability and validity. Designing research procedures for collecting data. Coding and analysis of research data (e.g. discourse analysis, interaction analysis, pattern matching). Reporting results.
EDU 753 Models of Teaching and Didactical Recontextualization of the Content of Natural Sciences
The main purpose of the course is to make students think critically about the models of teaching in natural sciences education. In that way, they can identify the proper model of teaching in different situations and propose didactical recontextualization of the content of natural sciences, so that the content can be modified and feasible. The course content includes: Principles of designing learning environments in physical science. School knowledge and its relation to children's ideas and the structure and content of the discipline. Informal and non-formal approaches to science education. Developmental appropriateness in the objectives of science learning. The role of curriculum resources in effective teaching interventions. Teacher preparation in science.