Certificate in Science Education

The Certificate in Science Education is designed for practicing teachers responsible for delivering K-8 Maritime science curriculum. This program is designed to provide teachers with a robust background in the sciences, specifically in the content areas reflected in the Atlantic Canadian Science Curriculum documents as well as the scientific literacy skills outlined in the Pan Canadian Scientific Framework. The program is offered in a hybrid format with both online and in-classroom courses.

<Back to Teacher Education Home>


EDUC 5123: Life and Physical Science I (3-credit)
Based in the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) Science Framework this course will focus on three areas of Life and Physical Science:

  • Knowledge of concepts in Life Sciences (Biology)
  • Knowledge of concepts in Physical Sciences (Chemistry)
  • The development of attitudes and skills that promote scientific literacy and stewardship

This course examines the content of the Atlantic Canada Science Curricula for K-8 from the lens of inquiry teaching and learning. Teachers will be encouraged to develop science units based on local resources and context.

EDUC 5118: Design and Manage a Classroom Laboratory (1-credit)
Teachers will gain experience in classroom experimentation and will reexamine the use of experimental methods in their teaching practices. They will explore the resources available for experiments, including both inexpensive materials for the classroom, and the resources available to them from community partnerships such as the School of Science and Technology at CBU.

EDUC 5117: The Nature of Western Science (3-credit)
Science is not merely a body of facts, but a mode of understanding the world around us. Through this course teachers explore the ideas of what it means to be science literate, and think deeply about the nature of science and what it means to do science: what makes teaching science different from other disciplines? This course serves to introduce themes that will be explored in greater depth in subsequent courses: science as a socio-cultural construct, the connections between science, technology and the environment, science as inquiry, and general practices for addressing student misconceptions. Teachers will be challenged to re-think their teaching philosophies, to re-frame themselves and their students as scientists, and to make connections between the subject matter and the world outside the classroom.

EDUC 5126: Assessment in Science Education (3-credit)
This course will examine some of the emerging trends in assessing student progress and achievement in the science classroom. Participants will design, develop, and implement authentic assessment strategies in their own classrooms. Emphasis will be placed on performance based assessment and evaluation of the dimensions of scientific literacy. The teacher-students will be required to provide critical reflection on the theory-into-practice activities, supporting their online dialogue with current research on student evaluation practices.

EDUC 5116: Technology in the Science Classroom (1-credit)
Based in the Principles of Science Technology Society and the Environment (STSE) as outlined in the Pan-Canadian Assessment Protocol (PCAP) Science Framework this course will introduce students to the various forms of technology available to teachers responsible for delivering the Nova Scotia public school science curriculum. Students will complete a series of hands-on learning activities that illustrate how these learning tools can be effectively integrated into the science classroom. Students will also be encouraged to discuss the core principals of STSE in relation to their teaching practice.

EDUC 5119: Two-Eyed Seeing (TES) in the Science Classroom (3-credit)
To learn using Two-Eyed Seeing is to learn to see with our one eye with the best (or strengths) in the Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing; to learn to see with our other eye with best (or strengths) in the mainstream (or Western) knowledges and ways of knowing; and to learn to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all peoples. Integrative Science is the transdisciplinary and transcultural result of weaving the methods from both worldviews to understand ourselves, the natural world around us, and how to live in harmony with our natural environment. Teachers will learn how to extend learning beyond the walls of the classroom by including the lived experiences of themselves and their students. Science as taught in this way involves a fundamental shift in how we teach as well as how we think about the world. This course contains both lectures and self-directed exercises. The lectures will concentrate on TES and modern educational theories that support the TES vision. Teachers will encounter the assumptions, values and intentions underlying their own understandings of science as well as those underlying both Western and Indigenous Sciences. The result of these encounters will provide the framework for new understandings to be built upon.

EDUC 5125: Earth, Space and Physical Science II (3-credit)
As a continuation of EDUC 575 this course will examine the content of the remaining disciplinary areas of focus identified in the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) Science Framework. This course will focus on three areas within Physical and Earth and Space Science:

  • Knowledge of concepts in Physical Sciences (Physics)
  • Knowledge of concepts in Earth and Space (Geology, Meteorology and Astronomy)
  • The development of attitudes and skills that promote scientific literacy, stewardship and collaboration.

Topics considered are the nature of motion, forces (gravity, magnetism and friction), waves and sound, light, earth and water systems, weather and astronomy. Teachers will represent science content in engaging and active learning frameworks while deepening their own understandings of natural phenomena. Experiments and field trips will allow the exploration of physics and Earth science in a hands–on mode. Within each major topic students will develop and present a teaching module in which ideas from the unit are presented in a manner suitable for elementary or intermediate students.

EDUC 5121: Math for the Sciences (1-credit)
Mathematical patterns are central to understanding the phenomenal world. This course ties specific mathematical tools into the science classroom, and focuses on data analysis methods (histograms, averages and graphing linear relationships). The deep learning is that the measurements we make in science follow mathematical relationships that can be uncovered by careful analysis. Even simple methods appropriate to the early elementary level can reveal these patterns in a well-designed lesson frame.

EDUC 5124: Implementing Scientific Inquiry in the Classroom (3-credit)
There are many approaches to encouraging inquiry within science classrooms. In this course teachers will be introduced to a five step learning cycle for the design and development of Inquiry based teaching. Each stage of the learning cycle will be examined in detail from designing high level inquiry questions to evaluating readiness to move into new inquiries. Through the development of lessons based in learning cycles teachers will also examine the connections between science, technology, society and the environment as they affect lesson and unit design. Such topics may be interdisciplinary, and include such things as climate change, human impact on the environment, and the exploration of space. The course will conclude with the creation of a unit of work that may form the basis of the research project conducted in EDUC 585.

EDUC 5127: Seminar: Research trends and Curriculum Development for the Science Classroom (3-credit)
This seminar-style course focuses on an analysis of research trends in science education and how such trends relate to the broader educational community. In this course students have a forum for discussion and presentation of their inquiries, which contributes to preparing them to evaluate and conduct research in science education as teacher-inquirers. The ultimate goal is to support students in developing and articulating a theoretical and research-based framework for NS public school science program. Participants will examine the assumptions and limits of a variety of research approaches and reflect on how research might inform practice.

EDUC 5128: Research and Development of a Science Unit (6-credit)
This capstone course will require students to produce and present a researched unit within a specific strand of the Nova Scotia science curriculum, implementing the major tenets of scientific inquiry and/or problem-based learning. Students will report on a pilot of the developed unit and incorporate the findings into the final product.
Prerequisites: 21 credits from EDUC5123, EDUC5118, EDUC5117, EDUC5126, EDUC5116, EDUC5119, EDUC5125, EDUC5121, EDUC5124, EDUC5127

Contact Us

Kristin O'Rourke
Manager, Teacher Education Programs

Office: L138

Phone: 902-563-1647