Master of Science Education Courses

MSE Elective Seminar Descriptions

MSE 800. Introduction to Science Education in the Classroom. This is an introduction to the content and methodology of science instruction as it relates to hands-on, minds-on science process skills appropriate for school classrooms. This course showcases constructivist strategies which will be used in subsequent courses.  3 credits.

MSE 801. Principles of Biology and Life Science. This course addresses biology and life science concepts prevalent in virtually all science curricula, as well as those set forth in the National Science Education Standards. Students engage in the use of scientific methods to address topics typically taught in biology and life science courses.  3 credits.

MSE 802. Principles of Chemistry. This course utilizes concepts in chemistry to make connections to common substances. Establishing chemistry as an integral part of everyday life, as well as discoveries made by chance, will make this topic relevant to all students.  Prerequisite: MSE 800. 3 credits.

MSE 803. Principles of Physics and Physical Science. This course utilizes hands-on experimental methods to gain confidence and experience with inquiry-based learning of physics. Topics include motion, heat, light, electricity and magnetism.  3 credits.

MSE 805. Principles of Earth and Space Science. The interaction and effects of geology, meteorology, and space exploration will be explored in this course. Field study is combined with experimental inquiries from exemplary curricula to illustrate critical connections of physics, chemistry and biology with the earth sciences.  3 credits.

MSE 811. Curriculum Design. Focusing on curriculum design using the PDE Standards Aligned System website and a "backward design" model, students will identify the desired results of a science curriculum based on national and state standards, as well as the PA assessment anchors. Students will explore research-based rationale for reform in science education and address the use of local, state, and national assessments.  3 credits.

MSE 813. Literacy in the Science Classroom. This course will explore the communication and reading literacy skills that K-12 students need in understanding science education and scientific literature. The course will provide students with opportunities to choose, apply, and evaluate writing, reading, and communication skills with their students by selecting appropriate materials and exercises that reflect the needs of a diverse population of students. The components of a balanced literacy curriculum - phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension - will be addressed as well as strategies to improve these skills in students weak in one or more of the components. Literacy skills that are unique to science will be explored, including learning to communicate in the language of science (charts, tables, data, maps, etc.).  3 credits.

MSE 820. Seminar. This course will permit some flexibility to explore current topics in elementary/middle school education as they arise. Seminar courses permit special topics to be included in the course of study. Recent offerings include literacy in science, forensics, and multimedia science. In addition, certain transfer courses may be valid for degree accreditation but may not be a complete match in the courses listed.  May be repeated for credit. 1-3 credits.

MSE 821. STEM Business Tours To the Classroom. Students will tour select local industries and organizations which utilize science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) on a daily basis. The focus of the central PA tours will be to raise awareness of scientific applications that encompass STEM to produce or analyze a product or test samples. Students will be able to build partnerships with local industries which will enable them to connect industry directly into their classroom. Additionally, emphasis will be placed on safety and environmental concerns within the industrial setting. Students will be provided with time to query the various company representatives about specific applications to the classroom. Journal articles, reflective journals, and a culminating project are requirements of the course.  3 credits.

MSE 822. Forensic Science To the Classroom. In this course, students will read, research, hypothesize, interview, compute, and use deductive reasoning to propose solutions to crimes in an effort to develop hands-on, inquiry-based lessons for their K-12 students. Students will use forensic techniques such as lifting and inking fingerprints, shoe casting, and bite identification. Science, English, and Math Standards will be incorporated into this project-based course.  3 credits.

MSE 823. Waterways: Water Chemistry, Biology, Environment, and Safety. This course provides students with a field-based opportunity to study and monitor various habitats in an attempt to become more aware of our water resources. Students will compare and contrast various local waterway systems and synthesize data regarding overall health and water quality.   3 credits.

MSE 824. Emerging Internet Technology. This course will raise awareness and competence with ever emerging Internet technologies useful for education. Although the focus will be on science education application, students will find that these technologies can be applied in a variety of educational and personal contexts. The course will involve both instructor and student based sharing and presentations on technology.  3 credits.

MSE 825. Meeting the Needs of the Exceptional Learner in the Science Classroom. Exceptional learners-those students who are atypical and not what we expect as teachers-are becoming more of an influence in education. In this course, we will discuss the characteristics of exceptional learners, what interventions are in place to assist the exceptional learner realize success in the general education classroom, and what teachers can do to advocate for exceptional learners in the school system.  3 credits.

MSE 826. Watersheds and Wetlands: Citizen Science Inquiry and the Atlantic Horseshoe Crab. Population studies, data collection, investigation, analysis, problem solving, and developing an action plan are all key to conducting citizen science. This course embraces the amazing story of the horseshoe crab in modern medicine, in the fisheries industry, in the food chain, in tourism, and its connection to a time when dinosaurs walked the earth. Students complete an overnight field trip to an estuary/saltwater marsh and complete research in the tidal wetland.  3 credits.

MSE 827. Applying Wildlife and Natural Resources To the Classroom. This course is designed to increase participants' knowledge of the birds and mammals native to Pennsylvania through the study in the classroom and the field of various wildlife habitats associated with Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and throughout the state of Pennsylvania. A primary goal will be to develop the tools and methods necessary for participants to comfortably present wildlife topics of Pennsylvania to their respective classroom. A key resource for the course will be the expertise of one of the area's wildlife specialists, who will be a co-instructor for the course. All instructional time will occur on site at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.  3 credits.

MSE 829. Research Methods and Statistics. Designed to develop the understanding of the methods employed in planning and developing research in science, students will gain experience in generating ideas for research, critically evaluating literature, synthesizing and presenting results of research, and writing in a clear and organized way. Students will explore research-based rationale for reform in science education and address the use of statistics in analyzing science education research as well as local, state, and national assessments. Enduring understandings, content worthy of understanding and the development of essential questions for science courses will be addressed.  3 credits.

MSE 830. Independent Research in Science Education: Thesis. A topic relevant to the teaching of science in the classroom will be researched with the approval of the student's advisor. The topic of research should be well documented in professional journals and studies.  Graded pass/fail. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: MSE 829. 1-3 credits.

MSE 832. Independent Research in Science Education: Project. A topic relevant to the teaching of science in the classroom will be researched with the approval of the student's advisor. The topic of research should be well documented in professional journals and studies.  Graded pass/fail. May be repeated for credit. 1-3 credits.

MSE 850. Independent Study.   May be repeated for credit. 1-6 credits.

MSE 880. Introduction to STEM Education. This course serves as a general exploration of the disciplines and approaches to STEM education. Pedagogy, assessment, standards alignment, and trends and issues will be covered In this course.  3 credits.

MSE 881. STEM Education Systemic Reform. This is the second course of the 3-course STEM concentration. Students will investigate STEM initiatives and programs, including individuals and organizations that have impacted the development of STEM education. The course will also explore funding, budgeting, and grant writing in relation to STEM reform.  Prerequisite: MSE 880. 3 credits.

MSE 882. STEM Integrative Curriculum Design. This is the third course of the three-course STEM concentration. This course will explore integrative curriculum design and assessment. Topics will include state and national standards and analysis of existing STEM curricula and pedagogies.   Prerequisite: MSE 880 and MSE 881. 3 credits.