Assumption Associate Professor of Education, Eric Howe, Ph.D. and the epistemology of science

Assumption College Undergraduate

A timely topic of significant interest in education is the push for greater emphasis on STEM education. (See a previous bachelor’s in education blog post about this topic.)

Associate professor of science education at Assumption College, Professor Eric Howe, Ph.D. shares, “anecdotally, I’ve found that there has been heightened interest in science teaching when we’ve met with prospective students at open houses and education fairs.”

Professor Howe’s research examines the role of history and philosophy of science can play in helping students to understand its nature (or the epistemology of science). As of this month, he launched an historical fiction novel that shares the story of Sir Isaac Newton’s unknown manuscripts.

“These document a monumental discovery he made in 1693, during his period of alchemy exploration. It is a story that combines science, faith and the secret of life,” said Howe.

Professor Howe teaches BIO 140 – Inquiry Biology for Educators, which focuses on genetics, ecology and evolution.

His course incorporates constructivist approaches, which means that students take the primary responsibility for building on their prior knowledge through simulations and inquiry projects.

Students in the class work in partnership with a visiting Worcester school during the semester.

“I have my own BIO 140 students partner with one or more 5th graders. The Assumption students have the opportunity to take the introductory conceptual material we examine in BIO 140 and design — and teach — appropriate material to their partner 5th graders.”

Professor Howe explained that the education bachelor’s program is uniquely specialized with faculty members whose expertise are in teaching English, history, mathematics, science and special education.

“Our students are exposed to genuine Pedagogical Content Knowledge, meaning that they learn the nuances of how to teach the respective disciplines from faculty with expertise in those domains.”

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