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EPS2200 Teaching Biology and Earth Science

Semester 2, 2019 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Teach Biology & Earth Science
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070199 - Teacher Education not elsewher
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Jennifer Donovan


Pre-requisite: BEDU (Primary) Only - EDP2111

Other requisites

Students enrolling in courses which do not follow the recommended enrolment pattern cannot be assured of a developmental learning experience or program completion within their preferred timeframe.


Science is a dynamic, collaborative and creative human endeavour exploring the unknown, investigating universal mysteries, making predictions and solving problems. Children are natural scientists who ask many questions about the biological and geological world. Becoming a science teaching specialist requires a deep understanding of the nature and philosophy of these disciplines and the capacity to teach using an inquiry approach. To achieve this, a suite of three elective courses supporting the specialist teaching and learning of primary science collectively adopt the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. This first course is the “I do” aspect of the model in which learning experiences are scaffolded by the teaching team. As such, pre-service teachers will participate in a guided science inquiry, all the while making connections to ways in which they could teach this to learners. Consequently, both science understandings and pedagogical content knowledge will be gained. The course explores how to integrate science ideas from two disciplines at levels based on current science education research, and will afford opportunities for achievement of several national standards aligned with science education.


In this course, pre-service teachers will learn about inquiry approaches and how to select an appropriate inquiry method for a particular problem. They will be active participants in a guided inquiry to answer a question that integrates aspects of Biological and Earth Sciences. They will also consider how to plan for and teach guided inquiries to learners. Pre-service teachers will also deepen their existing understanding of the nature of science and the organisation and structure of the Australian Curriculum: Science. They will develop and implement authentic teaching of a science concept, and will develop their science communication skills by producing a visual presentation of their learning. To enhance their understanding of assessment procedures in science, they will develop criteria by which their learning could be assessed. This course allows pre-service teachers to experience collaborative learning and to consider the integration of ICT, literacy, numeracy and design technology with science.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course in accordance with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s (AITSL) Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST). On successful completion of this course pre-service teachers should be able to:

  1. describe and evaluate different inquiry approaches for teaching science (APST 2.1)
  2. develop deeper understanding of the science concepts and related pedagogical content knowledge relevant to Biological Science and Earth and Space Science strands (APST 2.1, 4.2)
  3. apply their understanding of science concepts and pedagogical content knowledge in developing and implementing short teaching episodes and lesson plans (APST 2.2, 4.2)
  4. plan and facilitate an extended science inquiry, including resource selection and analysis of data (APST 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.4)
  5. integrate ICT, numeracy and literacy strategies in science teaching (APST 2.5, 2.6)
  6. apply ethical and safety standards in managing practical science experiences (APST 4.2, 4.4)
  7. develop new science communication skills and apply their understanding of assessment to develop a rubric for evaluation of their science communication (APST 5.1).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Inquiry and the nature of science 20.00
2. Geological time and biodiversity 20.00
3. Teaching a specific science concept effectively 20.00
4. Collecting and analysing scientific information 20.00
5. Science communication skills 10.00
6. Reflecting on science and science PCK learning through inquiry. 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Private Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 16 Jul 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 16 Jul 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library's referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement
2. forms part of the Bachelor of Education and is benchmarked against the:

  1. internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review
  2. Queensland College of Teachers
  3. Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Other requirements

  1. Participation: Students can expect it will be necessary to participate in and contribute to a range of learning opportunities in this course including online study activities, lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations, group discussions and self-directed study activities in order to apply the coursework that will enable quality assessment tasks to be submitted as evidence of professional development.