What to Expect
 

Course Descriptions

Below are some detailed descriptions of UNC-BEST courses and details on some of the experiences you can expect as a student in the UNC-BEST program.

BIOL 410: Principles and Methods of Teaching Biology (4)
BIOL 410 engages students as both science learners and science teachers. To be an inquiry-based teacher, students need rich, conceptual knowledge of biology and an understanding of inquiry instructional methods. In BIOL 410, students will participate in, design, and implement inquiry based biology lessons. Therefore, students will be able to experience what it is like to learn through inquiry and have the opportunity to reconstruct their biology knowledge in ways that make it more conceptually and contextually focused. The students’ insight into inquiry based learning will help them design inquiry-based lessons for the topics within the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. These inquiry based lessons will be shared with local science educators during a symposium held at the end of the semester. BIOL 410 includes a required fieldwork experience where students work in local high school science classrooms once a week evaluating science instruction, tutoring students, and designing and implementing science lessons. BIOL 410 counts as an upper level (>400) biology elective, an APPLES service learning course and fulfills the Experiential Education (EE) General Education Requirement.

CHEM 410: Instructional Methods in the Chemistry Classroom (4)
This course explores areas and ideas associated with chemical education by reading current literature on misconceptions in chemistry, theories of learning, and theories of teaching.  Students will develop a comprehensive philosophy and approach to teaching chemistry that focuses on the mastery of chemistry content through the use of student-centered activities.  The fieldwork component of this course is designed to promote the prospective teacher's ability to observe and reflect as well as to plan and carry out instruction effectively with individuals, small groups, and large groups of students.  The student will have opportunities to learn to plan for instruction and to teach collaboratively with a cooperating teacher.  CHEM 410 counts as an upper level chemistry elective and fulfills the Experiential Education (EE) General Education Requirement. 

GEOL 412: Principles and Methods of Teaching Geology (4)
GEOL 412 is a course on how people learn and understand the earth system. It is designed to engage students as both science learners and future science teachers. In order to become an inquiry-based teacher, students need a rich, conceptual knowledge of the earth system and an understanding of inquiry instructional methods. Emphasis is placed on current teaching methods supported by research in geology, geoscience education, education, psychology, and cognitive science. In GEOL 412, students will participate in, design, and implement inquiry based earth and environmental science lessons. As a result, students will be able to experience what it is like to learn through inquiry and have the opportunity to reconstruct their geology knowledge in ways that make it more conceptually and contextually focused. The students' insight into inquiry based learning will help them design inquiry-based lessons for the topics within the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The course includes a required fieldwork experience where students work in local high school science classrooms once a week evaluating science instruction, tutoring students, and designing and implementing science lessons. GEOL 410 counts as an upper level (>400) geology elective and fulfills the Experiential Education (EE) General Education Requirement.

MATH 410: Teaching and Learning Mathematics (4)
MATH 410 investigates how people learn and understand mathematics as well as develops the knowledge and skills required for effective teaching. Students will explore and utilize current teaching methods supported by research in mathematics and mathematics education, and education with an emphasis on inquiry-based instruction while designing their unit lesson plan. Students will also examine and implement a variety of technology useful in the teaching of mathematics, specifically concepts within the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. MATH 410 fulfills the Experiential Education (EE) General Education Requirement.

PHYS 410: Teaching and Learning Physics (4)
Teaching and Learning Physics is a course on how people learn and understand physics. This course is designed to prepare undergraduate majors in physics to become excellent high school teachers of physics. Emphasis is placed on current teaching methods supported by research in physics, physics education, education, psychology, and cognitive science. The course is structured around the major concepts required by the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) as well as the major ideas that inform quality teaching. A large component of the course will involve fieldwork in a local high school and is designed to promote the prospective teacher's ability to observe and reflect as well as to plan and carry out instruction effectively with individuals, small groups, and large groups of students. PHYS 410 counts as an upper level (>400) physics elective and fulfills the Experiential Education (EE) General Education Requirement.

EDUC 532: Understanding Students (3)
In EDUC 532 students explore the theories and research that elucidate child and adolescent development including physical, cognitive, language and socio-emotional development. Students also investigate how various contexts, such as peer groups, schools and families impact a young person’s development. Students apply these understandings of development to the high school classroom, exploring how knowledge of development supports the design of appropriate learning experiences. The major course project challenges students to focus in depth on a single high school student in their internship or fieldwork classroom. To conduct the student case study, students will analyze a high school student’s work and assessments, interview the student and school personnel who know the student, propose interventions for improving the students’ academic success and monitor the effectiveness of these interventions. EDUC 352 fulfills the Social and Behavioral Sciences (SS) General Education Requirement.

EDUC 533: Diversity and Teaching (3)
In EDUC 533 students explore the impact of students’ lives outside school on their learning, including the impact of culture, family and personal values. Throughout the course, students will examine the intersection of race and culture in schools and investigate how history, identity and sociocultural issues have impacted and continue to impact academic opportunities and achievement. This course challenges students to explore how their class, culture, family and personal values have influenced their own academic narrative. Furthermore, students will explore another culture that is different from their own through interviews, observations and readings. EDUC 533 meets the U.S. Diversity (US) General Education Requirement.

EDUC 535: Teachers and Schools (3)
EDUC 535 helps teachers develop the knowledge and skills needed to be leaders in their classrooms, in their professional communities and in their broader community. Students will learn about key legal issues related to education and develop structures for effectively communicating with students and parents. In addition, students will develop strategies for working with exceptional/at-risk youth. Finally, students will learn about strategies for monitoring and communicating student progress as well as managing student behavior. A final project allows students to write a three year personal professional growth plan. EDUC 355 fulfills the Social and Behavioral Sciences (SS) General Education Requirement.

UNC-BEST Seminars (1)

UNC-BEST seminars will meets five times each semester for three-hour sessions that include dinner and discussions. The seminars are intended to enhance the UNC-BEST community by bringing together students with science and education faculty and to address current critical issues in science and science education. The themes and topics for each semester will be determined by both faculty and students.

EDUC 569: High School Science Student Teaching Internship (12)
During the student teaching internship, teacher candidates assume responsibility for a biology or physics classroom in a local high school. Under the mentoring of a high school science teacher and a UNC teaching coach, teachers design and implement lessons to help their students master the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, assess student understandings and manage student behavior. During the internship, students are challenged to apply the ideas and skills gained in their education courses and develop a personal pedagogical style based on evidence and scholarship. The internship is an intensive full-time experience where students are transformed from students into teachers.

Note: New EDUC course descriptions will be added in the near future. Meanwhile, please find them on the School of Eductaion website:  http://soe.unc.edu/academics/uncbest/

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Michael Edge and Devon Hubbard UNC-BEST students Michael Edge & Devon Hubbard set up a pendulum while Dr. Alice Churukian looks on.
 
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