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  The Graduate School of Education 2019-2021 Master of Education (Ed.M.) Programs with No State Certification Programs in the Department of Learning and Teaching Ed.M. in Science Education  

Ed.M. in Science Education

Coordinator: Eugenia Etkina (848-932-0783; email:

Please visit the website.

The master of education (Ed.M.) degree program in science education is designed for individuals who possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education, who have relevant experience in physical (physics) or life sciences, and who wish to pursue a master's degree in education. A strong science background in physical or life science is highly recommended for the successful completion of the program.

Learning Goals of the Program

The overall goal of the program is to help students identify and characterize their aims for the degree, as well as their future plans in using the knowledge and practices gained from the degree. The program will thus be individually crafted to suit each student's personal goals for the degree. We anticipate the following four overarching categories of goals:
  1. to expand and deepen understanding of science knowledge and science learning;
  2. to improve professional practice in formal or informal settings;
  3. to develop knowledge of current research and theory related to science instruction in formal or informal settings through analysis and synthesis of seminal work in the field; and
  4. to develop a plan for future learning and professional development.
To assess whether the program achieved the above goals, students will make a portfolio comprised of the elements listed in section III.


Programs of study are individually constructed by the student and his or her adviser using the outline below:

I. Science Education (15 credits)

15:262:612 Inquiry and the Design of Learning Environments (3)
15:300:462 (G) Demonstration and Technology in Science Education (3)
15:256:591 Topics in Science Education (Learning in Informal Contexts) (3)
15:262:603 Design of Learning Environments (3)
15:295:518 Motivation in the Classroom (3)

Physical Science Area
15:256:551 Development of Ideas in Physical Science (3)
15:256:552 Teaching and Assessment in Physical Science (3)
15:256:555 Research Internship in Science Education (3)
15:256:557 Multiple Representations in Physical Science (3)
15:256:654 Science Education Practicum (3)

Biological Science Area
15:256:550 Biology and Society (3)
15:256:553 Teaching and Assessment in Life Science (3)
15:256:555 Research Internship in Science Education (3)
15:256:556 Understanding Evolution: A Classroom Perspective(3)
15:256:654 Science Education Practicum (3)

II. Cognitive and Instructional Psychology (6 credits)

15:295:502 Cognition and Memory (3)
15:295:510 Cooperative Learning: Theory, Research, and Practice (3)
15:295:550 Learning through Problem-Solving (3)
15:295:611 Memory Systems and Processes (3)
16:300:695 Topics in Educational Psychology: Seminar on Reasoning (3)

Graduate-Level Electives (9 credits)
Physical or life science or science education course selection must be approved by adviser.


To provide evidence of the achievement of the goals the student and faculty jointly set for the degree the student will create a portfolio with the following components:
a. Section 1 is the introductory section that reiterates the goals of
the author in pursuing the degree.
b. Section 2 discusses how each course and other relevant experiences
(such as internships) have promoted the goal/s set, and what the author
has learned and taken away from these experiences.
c. Section 3 provides relevant artifacts that demonstrate changes in
knowledge, beliefs, and practice related to the set goals. These
artifacts can come from coursework or other activities.
d. Section 4 describes a "future directions" plan that identifies
areas for improvement, knowledge of professional development
opportunities in the science education relevant to the set goals, and
concrete steps that the author plans to take.
The portfolio should demonstrate deep knowledge of core topics (as related to the goals), and ability to synthesize and analyze research in science education.

Tentative schedule for completing portfolio requirements and suggestions for successful completion:
1. A draft of Section 1 should be completed by the end of the first
semester, approved by the adviser, and then continuously revised as the
student progresses through the program.
2. As the student progresses through the program she or he should keep a
journal that addresses Sections 2 and 3 of the portfolio. The student
should collect relevant artifacts and meet with the adviser at least
once each semester to discuss artifacts and reflect on the connection of
the courses work to the portfolio requirements.
3. When the student is completing the last semester in the program
she or he needs to develop a professional development plan to address Section 4 of the portfolio and to schedule a meeting with the adviser for portfolio hearing and evaluation.
Portfolio creation is an ongoing iterative process in which both the student and the adviser are expected to take active roles. The portfolio sections will be stored electronically both on the hard drive of the students and the adviser. In addition, completed portfolios will be
stored for a period of five years on the departmental server. The following rubrics should help students create and maintain the portfolio.

The following rubrics should help students create and maintain the portfolio:

Section of the portfolio


Needs Improvement


Section 1

The goals are generic.

The goals are defined and personalized but not justified.

The goals are clearly defined, personalized, and justified.

Section 2

The relationship between the courses and goals is not articulated.

Some courses are missing or the discussion of the relation between course and goals is incomplete.

All courses are discussed with respect to the goals and the evidence of attainment is provided.

Section 3

Insufficient artifacts are provided and there is a lack of connection to the goals.

Artifacts are provided but not explained or linked to the goals

Artifacts are provided, explained, and linked to the goals.

Section 4

The plan is vague.

The plan is in place but lacks clear justification.

The plan for improvement and growth is clearly articulated and well justified.

For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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