Our secondary program in science education provides prospective teachers a wide range of opportunities to examine the connections among teaching and learning science, middle and high school youth, as well as issues of educational policy and practice. As majors, University of Nebraska-Lincoln secondary science education students must complete general education requirements and substantial study in single science area (i.e., life sciences, geosciences, physics, or chemistry) or in the broad field of natural sciences, as well as pre-professional coursework in education.
Students admitted to the Teacher Education Program in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education through our selective admissions process complete their studies with a three-semester sequence of professional education coursework and field experiences, including practicum and student teaching. Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who complete a degree in secondary science are eligible for certification to teach in the state of Nebraska and other states that provide reciprocal certification.
Key principles that define teaching and learning in secondary science in TLTE include gaining a view of science teaching that incorporates cognitive, social, and cultural factors, while also gaining a focus on the nature of science, scientific thinking, and problem solving as they are integrated in school, community, and work practices. Students will have an understanding of grades 7-12 science literacy in relation to the wider processes of science as a way of thinking throughout the school years, and across the life span, as youth acquire different ways of knowing for different contexts, practices, and purposes. There will also be a commitment to not only working with prospective teachers who can and will teach all students successfully, including students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, and students who differ in their learning, and home language, but also a commitment to working with prospective teachers who believe that all children and youth can learn science. There will be a strong focus on prospective teachers' evolving knowledge about theory, research, and professional practice, and an advocacy for an inquiry-based instructional approach that must be customized and optimized for diverse learners in many contexts.
Many educational organizations have student memberships available as well as teaching materials and upcoming conference announcements. Some of these organizations include the National Science Teachers Association, Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science, and the National Education Association.