Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM


KIRST, Scott R., Education Department, St. Norbert College, 100 Grant Street, De Pere, WI 54115 and FLOOD, Tim P., Geology, Saint Norbert College, 100 Grant St, De Pere, WI 54115-2002,

St. Norbert College (SNC) is a small liberal arts college located in the Green Bay metropolitan area. Like most academic institutions, science departments and teacher education departments have existed as independent entities with very little deliberate instructional interaction. At SNC, a science methods course, primarily designed for K-8 pre-service teachers, and an introductory geology course are being integrated into a year-long single course called “Integrated Science Methods and Geology”. A directed intention of the new course is to support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and STEM curricula. In developing this new course, the NGSS has provided the philosophical and pedagogical framework to address this issue and funding from an NSF grant provided the time and resources to implement this project.

To begin, it was necessary to find a common pedagogical framework between the education discipline and the geology discipline as it relates to the current courses that are to be integrated. A rubric was constructed using the headers of outcomes, objectives, and assessments. Independently, faculty from these respective disciplines assessed their traditional courses to be modified using these measures. A subsequent detailed comparison and analysis of the commonalities and themes were then identified and interwoven as a precursor to development of the course. Scientific perceptions and practices, cross-cutting and overlapping concepts, and disciplinary core ideas provided many opportunities - and many challenges - to review. Foundational assumptions and language shared (and not shared) was compared between the two disciplines. The product of this integration became the basis for the development of the common syllabi. The exercise greatly assisted in developing common outcome goals and assessments of the new course, specific to the framework of the NGSS.

This new course has been adopted by SNC and will be required of future K-8 pre-service students. It is envisioned that future students who complete the teacher certification program at the College will be able to effectively apply the language and practices of science, integrate the disciplinary core ideas from both geology and education, and understand the cross-cutting concepts of the NGSS that are imperative for scientific literacy.