WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto
Graduate Studies
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
University of Toronto
Curriculum Making in Science:
A Critical & Creative Inquiry
into Science Inquiry

Welcome!
This is the course website for CTL 1799, which is a half-course in graduate studies at OISE-UT dealing with the nature of empirical activities in science (and, to a degree, technology/engineering) education. The directory at right provides links to course descriptions and resources. If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, etc., please don't hesitate to pass them along to me.
DIRECTORY

Course Description.
Course Resources.




Course Description
INTRODUCTION
This course deals with a theme that is prominent in science curricula in many parts of the world; that is, empirical activities associated with knowledge building, dissemination and use in the sciences (and in fields of technology / engineering). Uses of science inquiry are explored in light of important theoretical perspectives, including: constructivism, knowledge duality, semiotics, actor network theory, capital theory, metacognition, and critical theory and the nature of science (and technology).

ASSIGNMENTS & EVALUATION

Formative Evaluation
This course is conducted in a PeppeR™ online learning environment, the location of which is made known to registered students through a private email message to them. Throughout the course, students are expected to read lectures notes, assigned and unassigned readings, and complete related assignments. More specific descriptions of these assignments are provided during classes. Evaluation criteria for online contributions are: i) clarity and logic of writing; ii) use of argumentation principles, including claims, counter-claims, examples and references to relevant refereed sources mostly from the course; and, iii) length (depending on assignments). This work is valued at 25% of the course grade.
Summative Evaluation
Inquiry Learning Evaluation: Each student is to submit a short essay providing an argumentative evaluation of a relatively narrow aspect of empirical activities (e.g., 'guided discovery labs') addressed in the course. This submission will be evaluated in terms of: i) clarity and logic of writing, ii) use of argumentation principles (e.g., Toulmin, 1958)[1]), including claims, counter-claims, examples and references to refereed sources; and ii) length (~ 1,000 words). The reference list must correspond with that used in the body of the work, must comprise about 10% of the total wordage and must follow APA Style. [Value = 25%]

[1] Toulmin, S. (1958). The uses of argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Applied Inquiry Learning: This is to be the ‘culminating’ assignment for the course. Students are asked to relate refereed literature (as addressed in the course and beyond) in ways that might help teachers make theoretically sound uses of empirical activities in science (and/or technology) education. This assignment may take different forms, depending on the student’s interests, abilities, etc.; e.g., a theoretical essay arguing for particular perspectives about empirical activities or an outline of teaching and learning approaches justified through reference to refereed publications or some combination of the two. Prior to embarking on this project, students are advised to submit a short (e.g., ~250 word) description of it for approval by the course instructor. The final submission will be evaluated in terms of: i) clarity and logic of writing, ii) use of argumentation principles, including claims, counter-claims, examples and references to relevant refereed sources (≥50% from the course); and, iii) length (~ 5,000 words). The reference list must correspond with that used in the body of the work, must comprise about 10% of the total word total and must follow APA Style[1].[Value = 50%]

[1] A good source for APA Style is: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/


†Note: This is not an official course description; but, rather, an indication of the nature of this course.
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Course Resources
Introduction
To help students to achieve the goals of this course, several resources are provided.
Although there is no formal course text, a few books will be recommended. In addition, several readings will be provided from various refereed journal articles, book chapters, etc. A list of possible (optional) readings is given here. To supplement supplied readings, students should make great use of the UofT Library, including its provision of full-text journal articles. Students also are strongly urged to use ideas, perspectives, practices, etc. provided through my website. Although the resources on my site is largely oriented towards science education, there may be many ideas, resources, etc. that apply to other subjects - including mathematics & technology education. These are outlined briefly, as well as linked, at right.
Educational Resources
The following sets of web pages could be very helpful for students in this course:

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