The goal of the Bachelor of Science in Secondary Science Education (BSSE) degree is to prepare graduates for successful careers as science teachers at the middle and high school levels. Graduates of the BSSE will be eligible to apply for licensure as secondary Broadfield Science teachers in the state of Montana. The majority of the BSSE required coursework is in the natural and physical sciences, with additional coursework required in advanced math and education courses, along with the general education course requirements. Graduates of the degree program will meet the state’s academic requirements for highly qualified secondary science teachers, which upon licensure makes them eligible to teach earth science, physics, physical science, biology, chemistry and environmental science in Montana’s secondary schools. The program’s design emphasizes the development of teachers prepared to effectively meet the needs of middle and high school learners, particularly rural and American Indian learners. Graduates will have a solid grounding in Western and Native science content and perspectives as well as knowledge of how to use effective instructional methods for supporting science learners.
Upon completion of the BSSE, the graduate will possess the following knowledge, skills and dispositions appropriate for secondary science teachers, which are based on the INTASC standards for teacher preparation.
Standard #1 – Learner Development
The teacher candidate understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
Standard #2 – Learning Differences
The teacher candidate uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
Standard #3 – Learning Environments
The teacher candidate works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.
Standard #4 – Content Knowledge
The teacher candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
Standard #5 – Application of Content
The teacher candidate understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
Standard #6 – Assessment
The teacher candidate understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.
Standard #7 – Planning for Instruction
The teacher candidate plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
Standard #8 – Instructional Strategies
The teacher candidate understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
Standard #9 – Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
The teacher candidate engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
Standard #10 – Leadership and Collaboration
The teacher candidate seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.
The teacher of science fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well being.