MA in Geosciences Domains of Study
Areas of Study Within the
M.A. in Science Education (5-12, Geosciences) Degree
The WGU Master of Arts in Science Education (5-12, Geosciences) program content is based on research on effective instruction as well as national and state standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to teach effectively in diverse classrooms. The M.A. in Science Education (5-12, Geosciences) program content and training processes are consistent with the accountability intent of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The degree program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified teachers. As described in the federal legislation, a highly qualified teacher is one who not only possesses full state certification, but also has solid content knowledge of the subject(s) he or she teaches. The hallmarks of our program include: (a) appropriate and rigorous subject-matter preparation, (b) research-based pedagogical course preparation, and (c) clinical field experiences in which teacher candidates are supervised by trained coaches.
The following section includes the larger domains of knowledge, which are then followed by the subject-specific subdomains of knowledge.
Natural Science Domain
This domain focuses on scientific concepts and inquiry and covers life science, earth and space science, and physical science. Evaluation of your previous college transcripts may clear assessment requirements for some areas of this domain, which could shorten your program of study by removing assessments. To waive or clear a subdomain, the transcript must show that you have taken equivalent classes in the subdomain content areas and passed those classes with a C grade or higher at an accredited institution of higher education.
Focuses on application of scientific data, concepts, content, assumptions, methods of study, theories, and models in the natural sciences.
General Science Content Domain
Below are all of the subdomains that make up this content domain. Each subdomain is made up of specific competencies, or performance descriptions, that correspond to the specific skills or knowledge areas you must master.
This sub-domain focuses on equations, inequalities, polynomials, conic sections, and functional analysis including logarithmic, exponential, and inverse functions in problem solving.
The focus in this subdomain is on chemical structure, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, solutions, rates, and energy changes.
Earth and Space Science
This subdomain is a study of astronomy, geology, meteorology, and oceanography.
Advanced Geosciences Content Domain
This domain focuses on the following areas in the geosciences: earth systems and functions, earth systems equilibrium, the solar system, the universe, and oceanographic concepts.
This subdomain focuses on earth systems structure and functions, earth systems equilibrium, the solar system, the universe, and oceanography.
The comprehensive exam will assess the student’s knowledge of the subdomains listed above in General Science Content and Advanced Geosciences Content.
Specific Teaching Practices-Science
Content focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe, effective, research-based instruction in science.
Teacher Work Sample Written Project
The Teacher Work Sample Written Project is the culmination of the student’s WGU degree program. It requires the demonstration of competencies through a deliverable of significant scope that includes both a written project and an oral defense.
The Teacher Work Sample is a written project containing a comprehensive, original, research based curriculum unit designed to meet an identified educational need. It provides direct evidence of the candidate’s ability to design and implement a multi-week, standards-based unit of instruction, assess student learning, and then reflect on the learning process. The WGU Teacher Work Sample requires students to plan and teach a multi-week standards-based instructional unit consisting of seven components: 1) Contextual factors, 2) learning goals, 3) assessment, 4) design for instruction, 5) instructional decision making, 6) analysis of student learning, and 7) self-evaluation and reflection.
The final master's exam will be a comprehensive oral defense. This exam may be face-to-face when possible but will most likely be by telephone conference. The oral defense will include a presentation (typically PowerPoint) and defense of the Teacher Work Sample (TWS). Candidates will be asked to reflect upon the TWS, note its strengths and weaknesses, discuss its impact on student learning, and suggest future improvements. Questions related to a candidate’s work in the program will test their preparation and ability to synthesize and practically apply information obtained from courses, self-directed study, and project experiences. The purpose of the exam is a checkpoint to assure that candidates have acquired the critically required skills and knowledge specified in the program competencies.