THE “INVESTIGATIVE SCIENCE” SERIES – INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE CONTENT COURSES FOR ELEMENTARY EDUCATION MAJORS
From the initial teaching of the Investigative Science sequence in 2003-2004 to today, its design has changed to accommodate a larger number of students, the various preferences of the faculty who teach in the program, and ever-tightening budgets. The sequence is still interdisciplinary, but the first semester now focuses on Physics and Chemistry and the second semester on Earth, Space, and Life Sciences. The courses are no longer team-taught, but the faculty involved meet regularly for planning and support purposes. Two sections of each course are offered every semester, resulting in 120 elementary education majors participating in the sequence each semester. The objectives and goals of the courses have not been altered, but much has been learned in the evolution of these courses. There are still many challenges to an interdisciplinary approach to science content courses for elementary education majors. This contribution will discuss the challenges, successes, and lessons learned in implementing the Investigative Science sequence and will focus on the content, lessons, and course design of the second semester covering Earth, Space, and Life Sciences.