In this online certificate program, you will engage in the practices of science firsthand. You will learn to embrace the wonder and excitement of scientific inquiry and facilitate scientific learning in your own classroom.
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Tuition and Curriculum
Most courses in science focus on delivering an established body of knowledge. If you haven’t had much experience doing science for yourself, it’s hard to have a feel for what those practices mean. This program will give you hands-on experience in addition to a theoretical background. It is to science what studio courses are to art.
The Department of Education at Tufts University offers a Certificate in Science Education aimed mainly at in-service K-8 teachers and graduate students whose primary interest lies in classroom instruction who desire further education in science and the pedagogy of science at the elementary and middle school levels.
The online program allows teachers to study at a top-ranked university while continuing to work. Teachers may also sign up for a single course without applying to the full program.
"The approach that you taught us is an absolute game-changer as far as I’m concerned.”
Chris Taft, 7th grade teacher
West Springfield, MA
“I’ve taught a unit on gravity for 10 years and never wondered about it before! I can’t stop asking ‘why’ and ‘how come,’ and looking for inconsistencies in things! This class made me look at and think about everything so differently.”
Jen Wysk, 6th grade teacher
Who Should Apply
The program is primarily designed for currently practicing K-8 classroom teachers with a minimum of two years teaching experience and with Initial Teacher Licensure at Pre-K-2, 1-6 levels, or 5-8 level in math/sciences. The program is of particular interest to those teachers who are seeking to further their education with the aim of fulfilling the requirements for Massachusetts Professional Licensure as they continue to teach.
The certificate in Science Education is open to students with a bachelor's degree and is especially appropriate for K-8 science educators.
If you are interested in registering for a course, fill out this information form for instructions.
David Hammer, Program Advisor
David Hammer is professor and chair of the Department of Education with a secondary appointment in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. His research is mainly in science education—with a focus on physics—from K-12 to college. Professor Hammer works with the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO). His research interests include intuitive "epistemologies," how instructors interpret and respond to student thinking, and resource-based models of knowledge and reasoning.
Vesal Dini, Instructor
Vesal Dini is a postdoctoral scholar at Tufts University researching learning and teaching. Vesal’s professional interests include responsive teaching practice, teacher professional development, online learning and K-16 physics education.
How to Apply to the Certificate Program
You do not need to apply to the certificate program to take courses for graduate credit. However, if you decide to take the full three-course sequence, you may be eligible to recieve a certificate for your work.
Domestic applicants must apply by August 31. Applicants to certificate programs are usually notified of a decision within two weeks of receipt of a completed application.
A bachelor's degree is required to apply.
One letter of recommendation is required for certificate programs.
GRE General Test scores are not required.
For more information, email email@example.com.
The tuition rate per course is $1,500. The program requires completion of three required courses.
The program includes three online courses offered by the Department of Education.
Fall Course ED-211
Scientists are professional learners, and course one emphasizes learning how to learn. You’ll study phenomena on your own terms, including to identify your own questions, design your own experiments, and arrive at and assess your own understanding. The goal will be to experience scientific inquiry: the pursuit of sensible, coherent understanding of what happens in the world. You’ll also begin to study students’ thinking in science.
Spring Course ED-212
You’ll continue to explore students' thinking in course two, conducting your own inquiries into natural phenomena, and at the same time ramp up your exploration of students’ thinking in science. This will involve watching video from K-12 classes (like this one) and working to recognize and interpret students’ ideas and reasoning. From there, you’ll consider possible next moves for students’ progress, as nascent scientists.
Summer Course ED-213
Finally, course three will focus on what takes place in your and your colleagues’ teaching. You’ll watch and discuss video snippets from your classes, first to interpret students’ thinking and from there to consider possibilities for how the teacher might respond. In this, you’ll learn to give your students the same sorts of opportunities to engage in science for themselves that you experienced in the first course.