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Biology, Science Education Licensure Program (6-12)*

*M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

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ENLIGHTEN, ENGAGE, AND EMPOWER

 

Be the science teacher for the 21st century learner. Engage students in real-world scientific investigations that foster their value and appreciation for science.

 

Prepare students for a progressive and changing world by creating dynamic and rigorous learning experiences. Reach out and teach under-represented populations.

 

Earn your Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Science Education, integrated with STEM Education. The program offers licensure in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physics. The VT Science Education program boasts a nearly 100% job placement rate!

The Secondary Science Education Program is nationally accredited and leads to licensure in middle and secondary science (in one of biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics, grades 6-12). The program includes a field experience in schools during the fall semester and a student teaching internship during the spring semester.

Check out the Program Content Requirements (for your initial licensure area), and the Licensure Program Checklist (listing of the courses you'll take while a student in our Science Education Program). Have you taken classes in other science disciplines and want to make your Science Education Licensure even more valuable? After receiving your initial licensure, you can receive an endorsement for an additional science discipline area if you have the coursework completed. See the Endorsement Checklists in the drop down areas below to see if this might apply for you!

Want to know even more? Check out our Overview information on teacher preparation and initial licensure (this link will take you to the Teacher Preparation Programs page on this website, where you will find expanded information about required tests, scholarships, and other related information for all teacher preparation program applicants). 

Program Content Requirements and Checklists

Reimagining the future begins with practices that put educational excellence, innovation, and equity at the fore. At the Virginia Tech School of Education, you will develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to transform teaching and learning, conduct groundbreaking research, and engage with learning communities around the globe. Teacher candidates from historically underrepresented populations are especially encouraged to join and contribute to our learning community. 

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WHAT YOU'LL STUDY

The Science Education M.A.Ed. Initial Teaching Licensure Program includes 39 credit-hours of coursework in educational foundations, science teaching pedagogy, special education, instructional technology, content area reading, history/philosophy of science, and STEM/robotics.

The program includes a field experience in schools during the fall semester and a student teaching internship during the spring semester. Students admitted to the program are required to complete all science content requirements and 12 hours of education coursework before beginning the field experience in the fall.

The normal course load for the M.A.Ed. program is 12 hours per semester and 6 hours/summer session. Students beginning the program as dual status may take one or more courses during the academic semester. Students must complete 12 hours of professional education courses and all science content course requirements for licensure prior to the fall field experience. See below for the specific courses you'll take.

ADDITIONAL LINKS

Professional Education Courses (required licensure courses offered during the academic year and/or the summer semesters)

  • EDEP 5154: Psychological Foundations of Education for Pre-service Teachers (3 hrs)
  • EDCI 5104: Schooling in American Society (3 hrs)
  • EDCI 5264: Comprehending Processes and Reading in the Content Areas (3 hrs)
  • EDCI 5554: Educating Exceptional Learners Across the Lifespan (3 hrs)

Electives:

  • EDCI 4024: Humanizing the K-12 Classroom (Elective with Service Learning) (3 hrs)
  • EDCI 4454: Engineering, Leadership/Management (Elective for Physics Licensure Students) (3 hrs)
  • EDCI 5854: Biotechnology Literacy by Design (3 hrs)

Science Education and Field Experience Courses (taken during fall semester of "fifth year" or second year in program)

  • EDCI 5724: Teaching in Middle & Secondary School I: Science (3 hrs)
  • EDCI 5364: Technology in the Science Classroom (3 hrs)
  • EDCI 5374: Assessment in K-12 Science Education (3 hrs)
  • EDCI 5964: Field Studies in Education (3 hrs)
  • STS 5205: Main Themes in the History of Science and Technology (3 hrs) (Required if not taken as undergraduate)

Science Education and Internship Courses (taken during spring semester of "fifth year" or second year in program)

  • EDCI 5744: Teaching in Middle & Secondary School II: Science (3 hrs)
  • EDCI 5754: Internship in Education (9 hrs)
  • MAED Comprehensive Exam (electronic portfolio)

SCIENCE RESEARCH REQUIREMENT

As a requirement for licensure, all students must demonstrate the ability to design and conduct open-ended investigations in a science discipline, requiring data processing and analysis, and reporting the results. This requirement can be met by completing an undergraduate or graduate course that requires original scientific research.

The requirement may also be met with internships or work experiences that involve original scientific research. 

Recommended undergraduate courses at Virginia Tech include:

  • BIOL 4774: Molecular Biology Lab
  • BIOL 4004: Freshwater Ecology
  • BIOL 4994: Ecology and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 4994: Undergraduate Research
  • CHEM 4994: Undergraduate Research
  • GEOL 4994: Undergraduate Research
  • PHYS 4316: Modern Experimental Physics

Course Descriptions

Social, political, economic and historic structures maintaining power and privilege in the K-12 education system that disadvantage students of different racial, ethic, socioeconomic, class, and cultural groups. Classroom environmental design to support equity and social justice. Impact of teacher and student identity development on student learning. Twenty hours of experiential learning in educational setting. Pre: Junior Standing. (3H,3C)

Introduction to management and mentoring skills associated with the application of the engineering design process. Course covers skills necessary for leading diverse teams of people through a technical design project. Managing teams of local high school students through an authentic technical design experience associated with design competitions. Course addresses the practical applications of science, math and engineering, while building and managing teams of people to meet technical project goals. Prerequisite: ME 4015 or similar team-based design experience, or by permission of instructor. (2H,3L,3C)

A study of the people and forces that impact on American education, analyzing the social setting of schooling and the relationships among school, curriculum, clients, personnel, and culture.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Explores basic processes involved in comprehension: the role of concepts about text structure, task demands, and the role of the reader; includes teaching strategies for comprehending and using information in content area texts and in job related materials.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Strategies for effective implementation of technology in science classrooms (K-12) to support student learning. Technology examples include digital resources, software and applications, and internet tools specific to science education. Planning and analyzing the use of technology to support science practices, technology skill development, student assessment, and improving teacher practices. Principles of effective on-line portfolio development. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Roles, types, research, and development of assessments as practiced in inquiry-based science education. Impact of high stakes testing. Principles of aligning assessment with standards of learning and lesson objectives with goal of assessment as a tool for learning. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Analysis of purpose, rationale, and foci of educational programs, and related services for individuals with special needs. Identification of characteristics associated with each exceptionality. Review of procedures for assessment, eligibility decisions, and the development of individualized educational programs. Overview of selected instructional strategies, environmental adaptations, and special materials. Examination of findings concerning program efficacy.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Introduces concepts and methods that enhance the teaching of specific academic disciplines (English, history and social sciences, science, mathematics, foreign languages, and music) in combination with a field studies course.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Intensive instruction in methods of teaching an academic discipline (English, history and social science, science, mathematics, foreign languages, and music). Emphasis on classroom management, use of instructional technology, planning and delivery.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Student participation in a planned clinical experience under supervision of a university staff member in an appropriate work center.

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 12

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 12

Level: Graduate

Addresses the field of biotechnology through technological design as a core curricular requirement reflective of the national Standards for Technological Literacy (STL) (ITEA, 2000). Using problem/project-based instruction, students develop a level of general science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education literacy necessary for K-12 STEM educators to teach about biotechnology from a technological/engineering design approach. Students examine the content areas of biotechnology and apply the technological design method as they explore a variety of purposefully designed integrative instructional strategies for teaching at the intersections of the STEM disciplines. This project-oriented course provides students with the opportunity to apply instructional theories, principles, and practices in the design of authentic problem-based instructional units appropriate for inclusion into the K-12 STEM Education curriculum. Graduate standing required.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Applied study in one or more educational institutions. Research, evaluation, curricular, and instructional projects are examples of appropriate projects of study. The student is graded on the basis of the design of the project and ability to carry it through and report the results.

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Level: Graduate

Emphasizes applying human learning and developmental theories to classroom settings including school learning theories, child and adolescent cognitive development, instructional strategies, classroom management, student motivation, and learning assessment strategies. Graduate Standing Required. Admission in a graduate teacher education program or instructor permission required.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Methods and concepts in the history of science and technology. 5205: research methods, interpretive approaches, and contemporary issues in the history of science; 5206: research methods, interpretive approaches, and contemporary issues in the history of technology.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

COHORT MODEL

The Science Education Program uses a cohort model. Members of each cohort  attend all of the same classes in the same sequence and pursue common plans of study. 

The benefits of a cohort model are many. The cohort model is designed to facilitate social interaction, collaboration, and the formation of a supportive learning community.

Students in cohorts learn from and help each other with the successful completion of coursework and professional networking. Students who participate in cohort models generally report a strong sense of belonging and are more likely to complete their programs of study in a timely manner.