Curriculum Overview

UTeach Curriculum Overview

The UTeach course sequence is a tightly articulated set of 8 courses (9 for mathematics majors) focused specifically on the needs of future secondary STEM teachers.

Recruitment Courses

UTeach students begin by taking two one-credit recruitment courses that allow them to try out teaching math or science.

The courses, Step 1: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching and Step 2: Inquiry-Based Lesson Design, are taught by master teachers—non-tenured clinical faculty with exemplary secondary classroom teaching experience who work closely with students as they develop inquiry-based lessons using research-based curricula and materials.

graphical representation of UTeach curriculum

STEM Education Courses

Each of the courses in the STEM education sequence takes an integrated approach to content and pedagogy, emphasizing a strong connection between theory and practice, as well as the explicit relationships between mathematics and science. These courses are taught by research faculty in mathematics or science education, with assistance from master teachers.

  • Knowing and Learning in Mathematics and Science explores the implications of learning theories on individual learning and social (classroom) learning, and within the context of larger social justice issues. 
  • Classroom Interactions provides theoretical and practical frameworks for analyzing different instructional activities, focusing on content development through various classroom interactions. 
  • Project-Based Instruction focuses on problem- and project-based curricula and processes. Students develop project-based instructional units and plan, implement, and analyze three-day problem-based teaching experiences in high school classrooms.

Specialized STEM Content Courses

The specialized STEM content courses, taken concurrently with the education sequence, provide content knowledge of particular importance for STEM teachers, and often fulfill multiple degree requirements. 

  • Perspectives on Science and Mathematics is taught by faculty in the history or philosophy of science or mathematics. This course promotes an understanding that science is a dynamic human endeavor that has been shaped by practical needs, social conflicts, and individual personalities. Students prepare lesson plans incorporating historical science and mathematics content.
  • Research Methods is a lab course taught by a team of science and mathematics faculty. This course focuses on students’ understanding of how scientists develop new knowledge. Students design, implement, and document four independent research inquiries. 
  • Functions and Modeling, required only for mathematics majors, is taught by a mathematics faculty member with working knowledge of secondary mathematics curricula, grade-level expectations, and how math curriculum extends to the college level. This course emphasizes mathematical content knowledge and connections, as well as lab applications of mathematics topics. 

Apprentice Teaching

In a final apprentice teaching experience, students engage in 40 hours of classroom observation and on-site planning before assuming full teaching responsibilities approximately 4 hours per day for 12 weeks in a secondary classroom. 

Portfolio

Throughout their course of study, students are engaged in creating individual portfolios through which they demonstrate specific teaching proficiencies, as well as mastery of the content knowledge of their major. Using a web-based portfolio system, students continually reflect on their experiences and select specific artifacts to support their conclusions about important concepts in secondary STEM education.