Physics and Astronomy - Course Details
Fall, Spring Credits 2
The curriculum draws heavily on Project 2061 Benchmarks and NRC Science Education Standards for content and nature of science materials and focuses on middle school learning goals (especially those with strands at elementary level). Each learning goal was expanded to finer-grained target ideas creating more steps to make concepts more understandable and explicit. Activities were designed to enable students to develop deep conceptual understanding of each target area and the structure and sequence were guided by research on student learning. In this class social interactions are used to clarify ideas and to encourage peer teaching. The students' understandings are based on prior knowledge. The class is based on a constructivist framework where new understandings are scaffolded from partial to incomplete understandings, and those are refined over time.