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Sample student forum responses for education practices

1. Assessment: Uses assessment strategies (traditional and alternate) to assist the continuous development of the learner.

Forum topic: "Now that you have had experience with assessment concepts, develop a performance assessment for science. Briefly describe how you would assess a student involved in a science activity."

Sample student response: "I would use a rubric to assess the students process. With science activities it is more important to understand how and why then to produce correct answers. Using the rubric would give the teacher a chance to observe the students in action. In my experience at USF I have learned that assessment is an ongoing process for the teacher. It can be done in ways that are non-threatening for the students as well as the conventional ways that we grew up knowing."
2. Diversity: Uses teaching and learning strategies that reflect each student's culture, learning styles, special needs, and socioeconomic background.
Forum topic: "Describe a strategy you would use to welcome a newly mainstreamed or exceptional education student into your class."
Sample student response: "I think a good strategy would be to get to know the individual's strengths ahead of time, and to plan an activity in which the strength could observed by the class. I feel this would help to make the new student feel welcome as well as let other students in the class see that the individual can make a positive contribution."
6. Ethics: Adheres to Code of Ethics and Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida.
Forum topic: "Describe a method that you have used, seen, or found that could be an effective strategy for teaching students about safety in the classroom or the lab."
Sample student response: "Students need to be taught the safety rules that we need them to follow. First, we have to model them. Explain the consequences and how dangerous it would be if safety rules were not observed. Write the rules and keep them posted in the classroom. Review the rules every time you are going to do an experiment."
7. Human Development and Learning: Uses an understanding of learning and human development to provide a positive learning environment, which supports the intellectual, personal, and social development of all students.
Forum topic: "When students do science projects (constructivist activity), a variety of learning situations occur. Describe how science projects address multiple intelligences and learning styles."
Sample student response: "Science projects enable students with different learning styles to succeed when they may not in another activity. I have found that hands-on or environmental projects really keep the attention of my students. Students will have a better self-concept when they are able to perform certain tasks. Using multi-sensory approaches when teaching helps students with different learning styles succeed. Creating a positive learning environment is important in any classroom."
8. Knowledge of Subject Matter: Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
Forum topic: "Add a misconception you have observed or discovered concerning science. For example: the speed of sound is one mile per second, or the moon has no gravity."
Sample student response: "Last year while teaching the solar system I was amazed at how many students had difficulty with the sun being the center of the solar system, and not the Earth. We spent several class periods discussing the issue. I hope that for many of the children it is more clear, but I am afraid there are still many who went back to their old way of thinking."
9. Learning Environments: Creates and maintains positive learning environments in which students are actively engaged in learning, social interaction, cooperative learning and self-motivation.
Forum topic: "Facts about science teaching: Science teachers rely on lectures and textbooks, although hands-on activities are increasing. 75% of elementary classrooms use textbooks or a single science program. Across all levels, the time spent in science classes on various activities: lecture 38%, lab 23%, seatwork 19%, group work 10%. Question: Considering these factors, what change could improve the attitudes of K-12 students in science?"
Sample student response: "Children need to see the relevance of what they are learning in their lives. We can begin to make science more interesting for children by encouraging them to question - question everything including information found in textbooks or other resources. From questioning comes understanding. At this point, interest in the subject may occur. Even if full-blown interest does not occur and the process stops short at understanding, students will hopefully apply what they have learned to life. If this happens, they will look at life differently, maybe even more scientifically."
10. Planning: Plans, implements, and evaluates effective instruction in a variety of learning environments.
Forum topic: "Give an example of a place that you visited and the science that you learned there."

Sample student response: "When I was in Biology class, we visited the trees on campus to examine how the size of the trees and the roughness of the bark effected the vines growing on the tree."

11. Technology: Uses appropriate technology in teaching and learning processes.

"What do you consider to be the most important factor(s) or feature(s) when evaluating software? What type (tutor, tutee, reference, simulation, tool, etc.) of software would you consider the most important for learning science?"

Sample student response:" As teachers, it's vital that we incorporate technology into the classroom. If we're bringing software into the classroom, it's our responsibility to make sure that it's appropriate in a number of ways. The software should be age appropriate, educational, informative, user-friendly, imaginative, and should also make student think. Software is a great tool and used appropriately, it can be an asset."

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Copyright 2006 Drs.Cavanaugh  Last modified: March 06, 2008