Seminar presentations

 

            As noted in the syllabus, all students will give brief presentations of chapters from Douglas AllchinŐs book, Teaching the Nature of Science: Perspectives and Resources. The following is a brief description of what is expected of you and how you will be evaluated.

 

1. Each of you will be evaluated with regard to your attendance/participation in all five sessions in which chapters are presented. Part of this is a matter of professional courtesy - you demonstrate respect to your fellow participants when you ask intelligent questions about chapters when you are not the presenter that week. But part also, to be candid, is the practical necessity of giving you all an incentive to study the readings in the absence of an exam on this material. Half of your presentation grade will be based on this assessment.

 

2. As a presenter, I will expect you to meet with me briefly once prior to your session to discuss the chapter you have been assigned, what you think are the main discussion points, and any questions you might have. Please let me know in advance when you plan to drop by so I can be sure to have read and thought about the chapter prior to our meeting.

 

3. To facilitate the discussion, I expect you to prepare a brief handout outlining the major claims of the chapter, evidence for them and the outstanding questions you propose we discuss. Mention of what you take to be the chapterŐs weaknesses and strengths, or the relevance of the chapterŐs topic for your own research, is particularly welcome. Please pass this out at least one week in advance of your presentation.

 

4. With regard to your presentation itself, you will be evaluated primarily with regard to the extent to which you accurately portray the authors' views and present an intelligent critique of them. When you disagree with Allchin consider how he might respond to your objection.