LSSU Response to

Periodic Review/Program Evaluation Recommendations


Recommendations from Review Panel Regarding Programs to Prepare

Teachers of CHEMISTRY (DC)


July  2006


The faculty at Lake Superior State University appreciate the opportunity to provide additional information and address the concerns noted in the careful review of the Chemistry (DC) application submitted in February 2005.  The items noted in the July 6, 2006 recommendations have been separated below into a numbered list to facilitate careful analysis of each point.  The responses on this page are presented in the order used within the Reviewer's Comments provided by the MDE in July, 2006.  We have also made many of the comments available in numerical order on the updated (DC) Chemistry Standards MatrixAll changes made in response to the recommendations of the reviewers have been posted to the LSSU PR/PE website:  Changes (as noted in the narrative below) to the application are noted with bold text on the main page, and hyperlinks are provided to the revised versions of Form XX, instructional faculty and the Standards Matrix for the DC program. There are minor changes to the Program Application and Narrative - these changes are summarized in the banner-header at the top of the document.


We believe we have made a careful effort to address the points noted by the reviewers, yet if additional questions arise, or we can further clarify the strengths of our program, we look forward to the opportunity to address those issues as well.  We thank the reviewers for their careful and thoughtful analysis. 

  1. TE443 is the only course cited for some standards on the matrix.  Reviewers request additional information showing how these standards are covered in chemistry courses.  This applies to the following standards:


As the reviewers are certainly aware, Standards 2 through 11 are prefaced with the statement “the preparation of high school chemistry teachers will enable teachers to …”  Our perspective in preparing the initial narrative for Standards 2-11 was to frame our thinking in the context of teacher specific training.  The syllabi for the content classes in chemistry do not generally specifically detail the education related outcomes of the courses, any more than these syllabi identify the ancillary outcomes related to the specific preparation of pre-service doctors, firefighters, biologists, environmental health specialists or engineers.  The content of these standards are present in the chemistry courses, but the application to the secondary classroom is largely implicit for education students in CH prefixed courses, and explicit in TE443 and the program field experiences.  We recognize that there are teaching related aspects to the content courses, and we will endeavor to make these connections more explicit to the reviewers in the narratives below.

    1. Standard 4.0 -  . . . design and conduct inquiry-based open-ended investigations . . .


Laboratory experiences, required in every course in the program, integrally incorporate learner investigations.   L Laboratory experiences totaling over 330 hours are required in the major, and totaling over 210 hours in the minor.  During these laboratory session students gain invaluable experience in the processes and procedures for implementing chemical based investigations.  Preparing teacher candidates to lead inquiry-based open-ended investigations begins with training university students in the concepts and skills of chemical analysis, and finds its fruition in the classroom experiences of the education course field experiences, including the discussions of TE443.  While many experiments assigned through the program are focused on specific learning outcomes they might be considered to not be inquiry based.  For example in Quantitative Analysis we teach specific analytical techniques including applications of gravimetric and volumetric analysis.  The students then use these techniques for the analysis of “real-world” samples, the outcome of such analysis is open-ended as the students work to learn about the purity or contamination levels of drinking water or river sediments.  The teacher candidate applies these principles in developing activities for their secondary classrooms.  The institution has led EPA funded grants with several local districts to assist the secondary students to become active in water quality monitoring of local streams.  Through these collaborative projects our faculty, and graduates-now-teachers, have worked to apply the techniques of the university classroom to the real-world contexts of the secondary student’s world.  TE443 includes discussion of constructivist learning theory and its application to the classroom as discussed in Chiappetta chapter 9.  See also our response to Standard 10.0.

Chapter 9  Learning in Middle Grades and Secondary Schools


·         Cognitive Approaches and Strategies for Teaching Science in a Constructivist Manner

·         Assessing and Reviewing

·         Resources to Examine

·         References


    1. Standard 9.0 -  . . . teaching through investigative experiences . . . application of the scientific process. . .


Chemistry is an extensively laboratory based curriculum.  There is a required laboratory component for each course in the program.  These laboratories focus on investigative experiences and the application of the scientific process (evidenced by the laboratory activities described in each syllabus).    These laboratories have as their focus the university teaching individuals (teacher candidates, pre-professional students, pre-engineering students, pre-firefighters and others) through and about investigative scientific processes.  The teacher candidate then uses these skills and applies them in the context of their pre-service field experiences (90 hrs prior to student teaching, and generally two semesters of supervised student teaching under the direction of a highly qualified science educator).  Chiappetta’s 13th chapter on laboratory work is discussed in TE443 where teacher candidates relate their experiences in the many chemistry laboratories to their new role as teacher and coordinator of student learning in laboratory.

Chapter 13  Laboratory and Field Work

·        What is Laboratory Work?

·        Preparing Students for Laboratory Experiences

·        Ensuring Successful Laboratory Experiences

·        Fieldwork

·        Assessing and Reviewing

·        Resources to Examine

·        References



    1. Standard 10.0 - . . . understanding and appreciation for the nature of scientific inquiry  . . .


As with Standard 9.0, the chemistry program has extensive appreciation for the nature of scientific inquiry as evidenced by our use of laboratory experiences in every course sequence.  Chemical knowledge is implicitly based on the collective knowledge of chemists who used laboratory investigations to explore and understand the world.  The historical nature of the basis of chemical knowledge is frequently discussed as we explore both what we know and how we know it.  Such historical context for scientific knowledge is frequently contained in the the supplemental readings found in interspersed in the textbook, and lecture.  The extent of our student's laboratory experiences is noted in our response to Standard 4.0.  Teaching science through inquiry is the subject of Chiappetta’s tenth chapter which is discussed in TE443.

Chapter 10  Inquiry and Teaching Science

·        What is Inquiry?

·        Content and Process as They Relate to Inquiry and Discovery Learning

·        Strategies and Techniques for Conducting Inquiry-Based Instruction

·        Grouping and Cooperative Learning

·        Concerns Associated with Inquiry-Based Instruction

·        Assessing and Reviewing

·        Resources to Examine

·        References



    1. Standard 11.0 - . . . study of composition, structure, properties, reactions of matter, and the dynamic interrelations of matter.


The study of the composition, structure, properties, reactions of matter and the dynamic interrelations of matter is fundamental to the study of chemistry.  Each topic is given introduction in the General Chemistry, and reiterated though the balance of the curriculum.  The stated course objectives for CH115/ CH116 General Chemistry I/II, and the expanded objectives (CH115/CH116) certainly give considerable attention to these topics – as related to the instruction of all (university) students.  CH 105 discusses the carbon containing types of matter and relates 
organic reactions with biochemical systems.  A further example is our discussion of dynamics in biological systems is covered as part of metabolism in CH105.  The discussion of how teacher candidates connect these topics to secondary classroom instruction is more properly a discussion topic for the methods courses and the associated field experiences.


    1. Standard 6.0 – understand and promote the maintenance of a safe science classroom as identified by the Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS) . . .  Please provide additional information as to how the teacher candidates are directed to or become knowledgeable of CSSS guidelines.  For example, perhaps site the website ( HYPERLINK "" in the syllabi for TE443 and some of the chemistry courses.


Listing a URL in a syllabus is certainly a good start.  However, TE443 is the best and most relevant place to hold a discussion of the supervision of a safe science learning environment.  Laboratory safety is essential, and explicitly discussed in the CH115/116 syllabi, in all chemistry courses.  However the discussion in a university laboratory centers on university student safety, not on the implications for science activities performed in distant (both physically and conceptually) secondary classrooms.  In the science methods course we hold discussion regarding the Council of State Science Supervisors, illustrate reference sources such as Flinn Scientific Catalogs for laboratory/school safety, and we provide discipline specific information on laboratory safety, and practice laboratory safety inspections.  We have used several different science methods textbooks over time, but each has given special attention to this important matter in a separate chapter in the textbook on science safety.  The table of contents for Chiappetta’s book, referenced in the TE443 syllabus, has been provided for the reviewer’s reference.  The chapter on laboratory safety, given a week’s instructional time in our course, addresses the discipline specific safety needs for each field of study.  Teacher candidates prepare summaries of the textbook readings, and consistently relate their appreciation for the discipline specific discussion of safety topics.  For example, the handling of animals in a biology class, the handling and disposal of waste from chemistry, and the health hazards of some minerals in earth/space science classes.


We wish the reviewers to consider that not every web reference provided in our comprehensive secondary science methods textbook can be expected to also be present in the syllabus.  Further, it is not an explicit goal of every science course to specifically and explicitly address the teaching standards for pre-service teacher candidates.  Some outcomes, and their application into the secondary classroom, occur through the integration of pedagogical and content knowledge – a process which requires analytical synthesis and internalization of deep science knowledge in powerful learning environments associated with the field placements.  For example, electrical engineers may be concerned about the use of ground fault interrupt circuits, but that need not be an explicitly stated in the general chemistry syllabus – even if we do have and use them in our laboratories.  Nevertheless, we recognize the intent of the reviewers, and have added reference to the CSSS resources to all course syllabi.    Laboratory safety is the topic of Chiappetta’s 14th chapter, which is discussed in TE443.

Chapter 14  Safety in the Laboratory and Classroom

·        Introduction

·        Safety and the Law

·        General Safety Responsibilities

·        Safety Goggles and Eye Protection

·        Specific Safety Guidelines for Biology

·        Specific Safety Guidelines for Chemistry

·        Safety in the Earth Science Laboratory

·        Safety Guidlines for Physics and Physical Science Laboratories

·        Radiation Safety

·        Safety Units for Students

·        Assessing and Reviewing

·        Resources to Examine

·        References



  1. Reviewers request additional information explaining how the following standards are covered in chemistry course work as well as TE443.

    1. Standard 3.0 – relate the concepts of chemistry to contemporary, historical, technological, and societal issues. . . 


As is common with many chemistry textbooks, see individual syllabi for the text used in each course, those in use by the LSSU faculty employ special topics insets.  In the General Chemistry textbook (CH115/ CH116), for example, these sections are called “Facets of Chemistry,” “ Chemistry in Practice,” and “Chemistry in Action”.  These sections are designed to help students see the relevance of what they are learning.  In the first chapter of CH115 the university students can read “Experiments Leading to the Discovery of Subatomic Particles”, “The Mass Spectrometer and the Experimental Measurement of Atomic Masses”, and an article regarding the uses of gold.  Other chapters have similar applications related to the content of the chapter, and the textbooks of other courses have similar applications for their content.  For example, in CH105 Life Chemistry I - a course used in the chemistry minor- there is discussion on the impact of antibiotics on society and medicine.  However, these applications topics are not generally referenced in the table of contents of the textbook, let alone given specific notice in the syllabi.  The subjects of science technology and society is specifically discussed in Chiappetta’s 12th chapter as a part of TE443 the science methods course.

Chapter 12  Science, Technology, and Society

·         A Rationale for STS

·         What is Technology?

·         Technological Products, Systems, and Processes

·         STS Issues and Problems

·         STS Curriculum Programs

·         Considerations for STS Instruction

·         Evolution Versus Creationism in Science Teaching

·         Assessing and Reviewing

·         Resources to Examine

·         References


    1. Standard 5.0 – . . . research, reading and discussion and reflect in an informed way on the role of science in human affairs;


The university has stressed the importance of writing through a number of initiatives.  The syllabi for CH115/ CH116 General Chemistry I/II  reflect this focus on reading writing and discussion through a mandatory writing assignment linked to the role of chemistry in modern society.  In Organic Chemistry CH225/226 students prepare posters of pharmaceutical products and make class presentations on the drugs which include molecular models of the compound and discussion of its importance to human affairs.  Through these activities the (university) students become trained in the use of the chemical literature and the application of chemical concepts.  Teacher candidates in TE443 explicitly discuss the application of these topics in the secondary classroom through our analysis of the textbook readings by  Chiappetta addressing the nature and purposes of science education

Chapter 1  Thoughts and Actions of Beginning Science Teachers

·         Thoughts and Actions of Beginning Science

·         Informed and Uninformed Science Teaching

·         Assessing and Reviewing

·         References

Chapter 2  Purpose of Science Teaching

·         Goals and Purposes of Science Education from 1980 to the Present

·         Conclusion

·         Assessing and Reviewing

·         Resources

·         References



    1. Standard 8.0 - . . . conceptual understanding will occur for all science students; provide additional documentation explaining how teacher candidate activities provide experiences that encompass all students.


The syllabi for content area courses describe the content focused learning objectives and activities.  These courses are used by many major and minors.  There are generally no teacher-specific outcomes for teacher candidates identified in the syllabi, nor are there engineering- or biology- or criminalistics- or environmental health-specific outcomes explicit in the syllabi.  The content courses provide the foundation knowledge, and model learning activities focusing on the application of that knowledge.  The education courses bring the content together with the pedagogy, and through extensive pre-student teaching field experiences, and an extended student teaching internship, these are put into practice in the secondary classroom under the supervision and mentorship of a highly qualified practicing teacher.  The issues of diverse learners in science instruction is specifically and explicitly discussed in Chiappetta’s eighth chapter during TE443, the Secondary Science Methods course.  Activities and lessons designed for TE443 call for the candidate to address the needs of all students.

Chapter 8  Diverse Adolescent Learners and Their Schools

·         Student Diversity

·         Equity in Science Education

·         Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

·         Gender-Inclusiveness

·         Exceptionalities

·         Adolescents' School Science Experience

·         Assessing and Reviewing

·         Resources to Examine

·         References



  1. Instructional Faculty table:
    1. Include the instructor for CH462 Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry Lab.


The instructional faculty table omitted from the list Dr. Iretski as the instructor of not only physical chemistry courses, but also of the laboratory component CH462.  The table has been updated to include this.


    1. Explain what the institution is planning to do to increase chemistry faculty experience with and knowledge of K-12 Michigan Curriculum Framework and assessment.  Currently, only one of six faculty members listed familiarity with MCF and MEAP.


The School of Education will work with the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District and the EUP Math/Science Center to hold faculty training sessions in the fall of 2006 to redress the issue of awareness of the MCF and MEAP.  We recognize the importance of this awareness, and that our making the disciplinary faculty aware of the requirement did not equate with their participating in the training opportunities that were offered in the past.  We have the support of our Provost/Academic VP to promote this training and are confident that we will make significant inroads into raising the awareness of our content-area faculty.  A letter of support from our regional math/science director, expressing willingness to facilitate this training for our faculty, is copied below.


-------- Original Message --------


Re: fall faculty training


Thu, 20 Jul 2006 15:34:07 -0400


Michelle Ribant <>


David Myton <>



Dave - We at the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District, especially the General Education staff, will be most willing to conduct either half day or short seminar presentations to your staff on the content specific Michigan Curriculum Frameworks and the associated Grade Level Content Expectations (the assessment piece) as well as the very new High School Content Expectations.  I am imagining that you will want to either have a large group session with Math, Science, Language Arts and Social Studies professors and then maybe breakouts around the specific contents?  The large group could then come back together or meet a second time for a short period to talk about the ramifications of testing; MEAP, AYP, NCLB?  We could also work with each group separately. Your call as to what would work best with the faculty.  The first week of school is typically a good week for us as our districts are extremely busy getting things underway.  If that week would work for you, pick some dates, times and we will go from there.  Michelle Ribant, Curriculum Coordinator, EUPISD


    1. Provide additional explanation for how presentations, prepharmacy advising, and science fair judging provided P-12 collaborative opportunities for chemistry faculty.


Ok, it might have been a stretch.  Faculty are encouraged, but not required, to participate in collaborative activities.  Many are highly committed, both in time and professional development, in grant funded research activities, local environmental projects, and university curriculum related initiatives.  The involvement of some faculty with school advising (meeting with secondary students to discuss careers), science fair judging (working cooperatively with secondary teachers to review the products of student scientific inquiry), and presentations at schools (where faculty work cooperatively with school teachers) are all valuable, and within the context of our institution, and appropriate.   One chemistry faculty member, this author, has been able to participate in grant-funded teacher training (AMAESD Title II Grant), MDE Math/Science Curriculum Integration workshop (Marquette in Summer 2006), conducted with the EUPISD reviews of teachers under NCLB for HQ status, participated in NES sponsored MTTC test review panels and had extensive training in issues related to teacher preparation.  The opportunities to participate in such experiences are limited in number, and frequently conflict with on-campus teaching duties for most faculty – thus to have one faculty of 5 well versed in these topics (20%) may be near the limit of our capacity.


While we serve a large geographic region, the number of schools and chemistry instructors is small.  The EUPISD and EUP Math Science Center, with LSSU, led an initiative to address math instruction over the past two years (to the exclusion of focused efforts in science).  LSSU participated with the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona district in a science curriculum project, but focused to elementary teachers.  In each case LSSU is increasing our participation with our educational community, albeit with few of the LSSU chemistry faculty needed or available.   The school of education will continue to make our content area faculty aware of the opportunities available.


  1. Please update the sequence of courses from the Program Summary to include the new course CH462.


The course CH462 was inadvertently omitted from the list of the major courses in Section 2.b.  The correct list, consistent with Form XX, is as follows:

CH115/116 General Chemistry I/II

CH225/226 Organic Chemistry I/II

CH231 Quantitative Analysis

CH332 Instrumental Analysis

CH361/362 Physical Chemistry I/II

CH451 Biochemistry I

CH462 Adv. Inorganic and Physical Chemistry Lab, and

TE443 Secondary Science Methods

The narrative for the application has been revised to include this correction.


  1. Reviewers request that the institution provide additional information about how teacher candidates gain chemistry-specific field experience beyond TE 443.


Field experience, in classrooms related to their levels and subjects of certification, are required in TE 250, 301, 430, 431, 440, and 443.  Course descriptions and syllabi of each course are now available as a part of this program application.  Each education course requires 15 clock hours of field experience in the subjects of their training, e.g. chemistry, for a total preservice field experience requirement totaling a minimum of 90 hours.  The requirements for these field experiences are described in our Field Experience Guidelines which apply to candidates AFTER Admission.  These guidelines are part of the school policy documents and are posted online at  The candidates submit their field logs using the LSSU form F325-b -a Field Experience Log for courses TE301 and above (includes a reflective narrative), and candidates submit  F320-b Field Experience Log for TE250 experiences.  Additional narrative is provided in Section 5 of the Program Application narrative.  The field experience requirements are discussed in the Undergraduate handbook, available online, but also excerpted below:


Field Experience Expectations

Field experience for TE 150, TE 250, and TE 400 level classes

outside of the Sault Area School District will be arranged by the

individual student. Arrangements for field experience in the Sault

Area Schools will be handled through the office of the Field

Placement Director.

·         Canadian students may complete their field experience in the K-12 schools in Ontario.

·         Field experience for TE 301 will be arranged by the Field Placement Director in cooperation with the course instructor.

·         All placements for the internship year will be made by the Field Placement Director.


It is required that all students entering into the Internship

experience carry professional liability insurance. This insurance is

offered through the office of the Uniserv Director of the Michigan

Education Association. The insurance is at a reasonable rate and

includes a student membership in the professional organization of


Additional Information

·         These field experiences are required of students as partial fulfillment of each course.

·         Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from the field sites.

·         Students are expected to dress appropriately and conduct themselves in a professional manner when working in the schools.

·         Additional field experience throughout the teaching preparation years is encouraged. Persons needing assistance in locating additional experiences may seek help from the Field Placement Director.

·         Students should report to the office at the school upon each visit.

·         Students should wear nametags when visiting the schools.


TE 250 Student Diversity and Schools

During this course students will be required to participate in 15

hours of tutoring students at the elementary or secondary levels.

This may include working with individual students, small groups

and/or large groups. Individual instructors will require evidence of

completion of this requirement and may establish other

requirements related to this experience.

TE 301 Learning Theory and Teaching Practices

The field experience for this course is an integral part of the class.

Students will be expected to spend eight class sessions in the

schools at the level in which they plan to teach. Specific

expectations for this field experience will be designed by the course


TE 400 Level Courses

Students are expected to spend a minimum of three hours per week,

per course, engaged in classroom practice during the fall and spring

semesters working at the level of and in the area of their expertise.

Instructors of these courses will provide specific requirements for

the field experiences and required documentation.

TE 491/492 Internship in Teaching Diverse Learners I and II

Teacher Interns will begin their academic courses on campus in

mid-August before reporting to their K-12 assignments. The

teaching internship begins in the field when teachers report for their

fall semester or at the completion of the August classes on campus.

Interns are expected to be with their assigned cooperating teachers

during the school year. A calendar of activities related to the

internships will be distributed to all interns, cooperating teachers,

school administrators and university supervisors.

Students will be asked to identify the geographical area within

LSSU service area where they would like to serve their internship

year. The School of Education will attempt to place the students

where they desire. However, there is no guarantee, actual or

implied, that internships will be provided in these areas. Students

are not allowed to do their internship at a school where a family

member is employed and will not be placed in a school district

where a family member is an administrator or on the school board.

Students who attempt to establish their own internship placement

without going through the process as established by the Field

Placement Director may jeopardize their placement for that given

academic year.



  1. Please provide some specific assignment guidelines for the minority/woman activity for TE443.  Reviewers were unable to locate this information on the syllabus.


The biographical poster assignment, described as in the excerpt below from the TE443 syllabus, requires candidates to generate a student assignment, including assessment rubric, in which the learner will identify the contributions of a minority or woman from the content area under examination.  The teacher candidate prepares a lesson, rubric, and exemplar of the assignment poster, as a model for their subsequent use as an assignment for their classroom.  Individuals in the student teaching internship often report the successful use of such assignments in their classes.


Biographical Poster (5%) – as described in the syllabus for TE443

Prepare a lesson plan for an activity where you assign your students to prepare a poster display of a biographical nature on a scientist (from your areas of endorsement).  Create a series of overhead transparencies, or use other appropriate instructional technology, to use in your classroom to define the assignment, its grading rubric.  Prepare a poster to model the assignment for the class.  The focus should be to emphasize the wide diversity of cultural and ethnic backgrounds of scientists (scientists other than white men of European descent).  Outline their background, scientific contributions, and information on their life to help understand them as a whole person, and to demonstrate the interconnectedness of all science.  In-class presentations will allow each person to present their poster before they are placed on display in the school offices.  Turn In: lesson plan, poster and webpage evaluation rubric


  1. The application for approval would be improved by including links to the syllabi for all cited courses.  For example, TE250 and TE301 are referenced in part C of the Program Summary but the syllabi are not made available


The education courses required for the secondary science programs have been itemized for the reviewer’s reference, with hyperlinks to the course syllabi for each.