BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 4700 - Research Methods for Secondary Science Instruction | Teach North Texas

BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 4700 - Research Methods for Secondary Science Instruction

This course is a requirement for science majors only. Most scientists agree that learning about science has two aspects. The first is to learn material that has already been established--the structure of DNA, how to find forces on blocks being pushed up a ramp, the definition of an acid, and so on. The second is to learn how scientists gained this knowledge, how new discoveries gain authority and are adopted by the scientific community, how to evaluate scientific claims when they conflict, and how to design and carry out investigations to answer new questions. Most high school and college science courses are mainly devoted to the former aspect. Education in the latter aspect of science has traditionally been left mainly to graduate school. Based on the philosophy that this second aspect of science has a place in high school and undergraduate curricula alike, Research Methods provides students with specific techniques to address scientific questions as well as examples of how to provide this sort of training for students through individualized instruction. The purpose of this course is to present TNT students with the tools scientists use to solve scientific problems. These tools enable scientists to develop new knowledge and insights, the most important of which are eventually presented in textbooks and taught in more conventional science classes. These tools include:

  • Use of experiments to answer scientific questions

  • Design of experiments to reduce systematic and random errors

  • Use of statistics to interpret experimental results and deal with sampling errors

  • Use of probes and computers to gather and analyze data

  • Ethical treatment of human subjects

  • Laboratory safety

  • Finding and reading articles in the current scientific literature<

  • Mathematical modeling of scientific phenomena

  • Applying scientific arguments in matters of social importance

  • Writing scientific papers

  • Reviewing scientific papers

  • Oral presentation of scientific work

Research Methods is primarily a laboratory course, and most of these topics are developed in connection with three independent inquiries TNT students design and carry out.


Minimum of 16 hours in major content, EDSE 3500, and EDSE 4000.

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