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Earth Science Education

Earth Science Education is one of the four secondary science programs offered at UD (along with Biology Education, Chemistry Education and Physics Education) that prepares future high school science teachers.  The degree meets requirements for secondary-level teacher certification. Earth Science educators are critically important in our efforts to teach future citizens to respect and conserve the planet’s resources, and to maintain and preserve a healthy, livable environment.

Housed in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, the Earth Science Education program provides students with a strong foundation in the earth sciences (astronomy, meteorology, geology, and oceanography) as well as educational theory, psychology and methods. Candidates are majors in the Department of Geological Sciences and complete professional studies coursework in the School of Education.

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Area of Emphasis at Delaware

The University of Delaware offers students interested in teaching Earth Science in high school an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Science Education.  The Earth Science degree is one of the four degrees, including the Bachelor of Arts in Biology Education, Chemistry Education, and Physics Education, that comprise the University’s Secondary Science Teacher Education Program.  All of the degrees within this program are accredited by NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education). For the degree, students complete University, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, Earth Science major requirements, and Professional Education courses. On completing their degree requirements, students will receive the University of Delaware’s endorsement for teaching certification. Students must have an overall GPA of 2.5 and a 2.75 in their Earth Science major courses to qualify for student teaching. In addition, students must pass the general PRAXIS I and the Earth and Space Science PRAXIS II examinations before enrolling in student teaching

What is special about the program at UD?

The University of Delaware’s Secondary Science Teacher Education Program has a strong tradition of recognizing the importance of preparing high school teachers with strong liberal arts, science content, and educational professional studies backgrounds. The objectives of the program is to prepare teachers who: 1) have a broad education in the arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics and foreign language; 2) have a deep understanding of their scientific discipline and its relationship with other disciplines; 3) understand the historical and current role of schooling in American society; 4) understand adolescent psychology and learning theory; 5) understand the behavior and needs of exceptional children; 6) are able to plan an appropriate course of instruction for students that demonstrates the teacher’s knowledge, content, learning theory, curriculum design, and evaluation; 7) possess the managerial and instruction skill required to implement their instructional plans effectively in the classroom; and 8) are motivated to participate throughout their professional lives in activities that increase their knowledge of content, improve their teaching skills, and involve them in policy issues concerned in a democratic multicultural society.

Facilities, resources and opportunities

The Department of Geological Sciences within the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment is the academic home for the Earth Science Education degree.  The Department is located in Penny Hall with some of its faculty housed in the innovative Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab).  The members of the Geological Sciences faculty have earned national and international recognition for their research and teaching activities.  Research is an important aspect of geological learning, and geology and earth science education majors are encouraged to participate. Student research projects often grow out of existing faculty research, in areas such as hydrogeology, geomicrobiology, biogeochemistry, geomorphology, paleontology, and geophysics. The Department encourages all majors to engage in geology-related summer field camp, field trips, and other available field experiences. The Department can provide majors with opportunities for internships and other on-the-job training activities.

The Secondary Science Education Program is aligned with a professional development school located in one of Delaware’s fastest growing school districts. The secondary science education majors complete all their field experiences and student teaching at the district’s middle and high schools. The university has a clinical faculty member to oversee the placements, coordinate the professional development program with the district’s staff, and work with pre- and in-service teachers to support the district’s science instruction. The strong relationship between the program’s students and faculty and the district’s science teachers, many of who are graduates from the Secondary Science Education Program, provides students with experience in linking theory, practice, and praxis. Students can also complete their student teaching in a high needs school district.

Students have three teaching field experiences during their sophomore, junior, and senior years. The field experiences culminate with a fifteen-week student teaching practicum (in the spring of the senior year). Two of the early field experiences occur in completion of students’ requirements for the educational psychology courses. The third field experience is part of the course that focuses on methods for teaching science in secondary school. Program faculty and staff supervise field experiences and student teaching. The student teaching practicum includes a weekly seminar in which the student teachers relate their experiences to the educational theories and practices they have studied in prior courses.

Possible Program of Study

The UD Catalog notes the typical course sequence to satisfy the degree requirements for the B.S. in Earth Science Education.  Students generally begin by taking introductory courses in their major and the supporting sciences, as well as mathematics, foreign language and writing courses. Earth Science Education majors take 24 credits of education classes throughout the four years of study, including the capstone experience of student teaching.

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CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Geological Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography

Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment • 111 Robinson Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA
Phone: 302-831-2841 • E-mail: ceoe-info@udel.edu

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