Courses: CD173 Curriculum for Young Children: Math, Science, and Technology

This course explores how to create and implement curriculum for young children, with a focus in the use of technology to teach math and science, and the development of technological fluency. The underlying philosophy of this course is that people learn better when engaged in making and designing their own meaningful projects; therefore, we will become designers of curriculum and technological tools and we will test it out in a pilot project in an early childhood classroom. We will observe how children play and learn with technology and we will learn how to use on-line tools to document their learning experience. This course has three pillars: design of innovative curriculum and technological environments, observation and evaluation of technology-rich curriculum in the classroom, and documentation of the experience using new technologies.


Details:

  • Tuesdays 4-7pm, Fall 2009
  • Eliot Pearson Department of Child Development, Curriculum Lab
  • Professor Marina Bers (email)
  • 617-627-4490
  • Office Hour: Tuesdays 3:30-4pm and by appointment

Course Requirements

  • Readings. All students are expected to do the readings, and to participate in discussions of the readings in class. Prof. Bers book, “Blocks to Robots: learning with technology in the Early Childhood Classroom” will be used. Most of the other readings are linked from the syllabus.
  • Class Presentations. Class time will be organized as discussions, not lectures. To help get discussions started, each session a student will be asked to summarize the readings and describe one question or issue that he or she found particularly provocative in that week's reading.
  • Design Studio. Students will work individually and in teams to experience different educational software and to design interactive projects. These experiences are aimed at connecting the readings and the theory with hands-on practice.
  • Empowering Ideas Paper (Due September 22). Students will choose a "powerful idea" in the areas of math, science or technology, that empowered them to think in new ways when they were young. They will write a three page report describing what is the powerful idea, a personal recount of how they first encountered it, the struggles to grasp it and the tools, people and related ideas that helped them understand it. They will also specify if and how, it relates to the MA curriculum frameworks.
  • Curriculum Proposal I (Due November 3). Students will choose a "powerful idea" in the areas of math, science or technology and design a robotics-based curricular activity or set of activities that helps students in any of the different age-levels to explore and understand it.
  • Curriculum Proposal II (Due November 24). Students will choose a "powerful idea" in the areas of math, science or technology and design a Scratch-based curricular activity or set of activities that helps students to explore and understand it.
  • Final Project. For the final project students have two choices:
    1. Develop a design proposal for how to adapt Scratch to early childhood
    2. Implement either of the curriculum proposals in their classrooms.

Note. Students should talk with Prof. Bers at the beginning of the semester to decide the best option for them. Students will report results from their final project during a final presentation on December 8th. The final paper should be approx. 15 pages and are due on Dec 10th.


Please click here for more course information and the course schedule.