LSSU Response to

Periodic Review/Program Evaluation Recommendations

 

Recommendations from Review Panel Regarding Programs to Prepare

Teachers of Secondary Integrated Science (DI)

 

August 6, 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 Secondary Integrated Science (DI) application submitted in February 2005.  The items noted in the Reviewer’s recommendations have been separated below into a numbered list to facilitate careful analysis of each point.  All changes made in response to the recommendations of the reviewers have been posted to the LSSU PR/PE website: http://education.lssu.edu/PRPE.  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 the Secondary DI program narrative, Form XX (Aug06), instructional faculty(Aug06) and the Standards Matrix for the Secondary-DI program.

 

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.  


Additional information:

 

Standard 1.2.1 (7-12 matrix)organization of living things – life cycles.  Please provide narrative within matrix explaining how this standard is met. Currently there is no narrative, and the syllabus accessed by the link provided offers little or no indication that this standard is met.  

BL131 discusses meiosis from a cellular perspective. In discussing meiosis, we of course talk about the generalized life cycle of gametogenesis followed by syngamy followed by further mitosis and development (for multicellular organisms). We also discuss developmental biology at the end of the term. Specific life cycles of specific taxa are described in BIOL132, the organismal biology class.

Standard 1.2.2 (7-12 matrix) – living and non-living. Please provide narrative within matrix explaining how this standard is met. Currently there is no narrative, and the syllabus accessed by the link provided offers little or no indication that this standard is met.  

BL131 begins with a discussion of the chemistry of life. We describe the evolution of early life and in this discussion, the distinction between living and non-living systems is made (and  students see that there really isn’t that good of a definition of ‘life’ – are viruses ‘living’? are organisms that are by all appearances inert but can start up again ‘alive’ during their inert state?)

Standard 1.2.4 (7-12 matrix)classification. Please provide narrative within matrix explaining how this standard is met. Currently there is no narrative, and the syllabus accessed by the link provided offers little or no indication that this standard is met.  

Classification in BIOL131 is limited. The more full discussion of classification is in the BIOL 132, organismal biology class. But in BIOL131, we do discuss the distinctions between prokaryotes and eukaryotes (and, in the former, the(including the distinction between archaebacter and eubacter). From a cellular structure perspective, the distinction between bacterial, animal, fungal, and plant cells are discussed in detail.

Standard 1.3.6 (7-12 matrix)heredity. Please provide narrative within matrix explaining how this standard is met. Currently there is no narrative, and the syllabus accessed by the link provided offers little or no indication that this standard is met.

Heredity should be listed as a BL131 topic. Genetics is a major unit of BIOL131. Heredity is not really covered specifically in BIOL132 apart from some aspects of evolution in terms of development of major taxa.  We have added this commentary to the Standards Matrix, and added BL131 to the matrix as the course primarily meeting this standard.

 

1. Please clarify and update Form XX, Application Attachment 3 and the sequence of courses portion of the program summary.  On Form XX the integrated science secondary Endorsement Only program states 74 semester hours, but appears to add to 71.

We intend both the comprehensive major and endorsement program to be identical, adding to a total of 74 hours.  We omitted on the original Form XX to indicate that BL337 (updated syllabus) would be required in the endorsement program, accounting for the missing 3 semester hours.  An updated Form XX is provided on the Program Application.

 

2. Please cross-list GG 108 Physical Geography: Meteorology and Climatology as a geology or earth science course, or explain how a geography course can be included in a science program.

GG 108  and GG108 Lab Physical Geography: Meteorology and Climatology was last taught by Dr. John Lenters, whose qualifications as listed on the instructional faculty form indicate his exceptional qualifications in the field of meteorology and climatic modeling.  He also was the lead instructor for our Elements of Physics, and a member of the School of Environmental and Physical Sciences, and Department of Geology and Physics.  The course content clearly addresses the program standards, this is not the issue raised in the reviewer comments, and calls to mind the old adage "if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck..."   


A course rubric change in itself does not meaningfully impact the nature or value of the course in meeting the program standards, the department is convinced that this course is appropriate and consistent with disciplinary standards in its current form. We therefore request that the review panel consider permitting the use of GG108 Physical Geography: Meteorology and Climatology (GG108 Laboratory) in its present format.

 

3. Please complete the instructional faculty form.  No instructors are currently listed for BL 122 Human Anatomy & Physiology II, PH 221 Elements of Physics I, or PH 222 Elements of Physics II.

We regret our oversight in omitting these courses from the instructional faculty table.  The revised instructional faculty table has been updated and reposted to indicate instructors for these courses, and for NS116 Oceanography.

 

4. Please clarify the sequence of courses portion of the program summary and Form XX, Application Attachment 3.  Form XX includes BL 240 Natural History of the Vertebrates.  The sequence of courses in the program summary does not list BL 240.

BL240 Natural History of the Vertebrates was incorrectly omitted from Section 2.b of the program narrative.  It has now been added, and a link to the course syllabus included for reference.

 

5. Please expand the program summary regarding how the program incorporates gender equity, multi-cultural, and global perspectives into the teaching of the subject area.  The program summary lists where this is addressed, but not how.  Provide specific examples.

Discussion of the multicultural perspectives in the preparation of teachers is initially covered in TE250 “Student Diversity in the Classroom”.  The initial DI application did not contain the course syllabi for the education related courses, but these course syllabi and descriptions are now included in a linked document from the PRPE index page and directly from this link: Education Courses.  TE250 objectives include to

"study ...the forms of diversity found among students and how these differences affect students' participation in school. History and philosophy of American schools are also studied as are the legal responsibilities and rights of teachers and school districts. Student study cooperative learning, questioning techniques, make school visits and plan and tutor elementary or secondary students as part of a 15-hour fieldwork component.”

In-class assignments and assigned readings address the stated course objective to “Explain the meaning of diversity in schools and describe ways that schools may respond to diversity”

 

The biographical poster assignment, described as in the excerpt below from the TE443 syllabus (revised July 2006 to include explicit reference to the Council of State Science Supervisors), 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

 

 

6. Form XX (Application Attachment 3) indicates 2 courses, BL 131 General Biology I and BL 132 General Biology II.  Neither of these courses are listed and described on the course descriptions.  Please update course descriptions and include BL 131 and BL 132. 

The omission of course descriptions for BL131 and 132 was a result of a course renumbering by the department.  The courses formerly identified as BL109 and BL110/111 were renumbered BL131 and BL132 respectively.  BL110/111 were half-semester courses combined into a single course.  Since the submission of this program application the university has re-prefixed all courses, so that in the future biology courses will be identified as BIOL, such that BL131 will be BIOL131.  The course descriptions for General Biology I and II are as follows – taken from the 2005-2006 university catalog:  (Available online at: http://www.collegesource.org/displayinfo/catalink.asp?tig=%7B382A319D-24C5-4FC3-82F0-001F58B8C6BC%7D&dig=%7B65F251D2-3172-40AD-B8CF-EAC0FD72776A%7D&oig=%7B2C72E220-6459-4CDC-A775-D7C6CE44CDB8%7D&vt=2)

 

BL131 General Biology I

(3,2) 4

An introduction to general biology. This course

will provide an overview of biology and serve

as a framework for further biological studies.

Deliberations on the nature and philosophy

of science (especially biology) will provide a

basis for discussion of ecology, evolution, and

cell biology. Prerequisites: Satisfy the LSSU

reading profi ciency requirement; MA086, EN091,

or equivalent scores on the math and English

placement exams.

BL132 General Biology II

(3,3) 4

An introduction to the diversity of life, including

the morphology, physiology, reproduction,

general habitats and taxonomy of organisms.

Adaptation to environment and modern concepts

of evolution are stressed as unifying themes

throughout the course. Prerequisite: BL131. Note:

“C” (2.0) or better is required to use this course

as a prerequisite for other BL/EV courses.

 

7. Reviewers suggest that the institution develop a plan to increase and promote instructors “Familiarity with K-12 Curriculum Framework and MEAP Assessment.”  Currently only 3 out of 11 faculty members listed have any “Familiarity with K-12 Curriculum Framework and MEAP Assessment.” 

 

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 the EUPIDS is copied below.

 

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

Subject:

Re: fall faculty training

Date:

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

From:

Michelle Ribant <mribant@eup.k12.mi.us>

To:

David Myton <dmyton@lssu.edu>

References:

<44BFB3B0.8000205@lssu.edu>



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