Broad Field Science (Education)

A major in broad field science will give you the necessary exposure to a wide range of topics in science. It also provides the depth of study required to be certified to teach science in grades 6-12 (with the exception of subject areas in which a specific license is required - biology, chemistry, earth science, physics).

This program includes coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, and mathematics. As a broad field science major, you will have the opportunity to work at one of several field stations to develop skill in outdoor education and to enhance your understanding of environmental science. You will become an expert in both the science and technology components, and you will be prepared to teach as a science specialist at the middle school level, or as a science team member at the senior high level. Please note: Specific requirements in this program change to meet state guidelines.

What you will learn

When you choose a broad field science major, you combine studies in science with a teaching concentration. You will begin your major work with eight hours of integrated sciences. This integrated science experience emphasizes the interrelatedness of science concepts and how one learns and does science. Your program of studies is designed to illustrate basic science principles and how they are applied across disciplines.

-   We will teach you the significant theoretical frameworks of scientific thought

-   We will introduce you to laboratory, field, descriptive and experimental modes of data collection and analysis; and enable you to learn experimental design strategies.

In the course of your studies you will develop several key abilities:

The ability to analyze:  You will learn to observe the natural world and draw inferences and meaning from the interplay of living and non-living matter.

The ability to solve problems: You will design and carry out experiments to expand your knowledge and experience. You will develop critical-thinking skills in the effective use of scientific methodologies, data retrieval, charts, graphs, models and computer simulations and in the analysis of data.

The ability to deal responsibly with environmental and global issues: You will embrace and see the contexts in which scientists work. These may include the goals and values of your colleagues and students, or the conflicting needs and beliefs of whole cultures.

An Alverno College graduate with a major in broadfield science will demonstrate the ability:

  • Communicates effectively, using the language, concepts, and models found in the natural sciences
  • Demonstrates proficient library and information technology in data gathering and analysis
  • Uses diverse strategies to assure inclusive and effective science teaching and assessment in various teaching situations
  • Uses the methodology of biology, physical sciences, and earth sciences to define and solve problems individually and collaboratively
  • Uses laboratory techniques with accuracy, appropriateness and safety
  • Uses ethical frameworks and her understanding of the nature of science and technology to analyze and make value judgments about the conduct of science and the application of science in society
  • Applies her learning in a professional educational setting

An Alverno College graduate with a minor in science for teachers will demonstrate the ability:

  • to accurately interpret science information and show the limitations of scientific analysis
  • to effectively use a variety of resources and technology in data gathering and analysis
  • to adequately design, conduct, and communicate science experiments
  • to use laboratory techniques with accuracy, precision, and safety, and accurately apply science concepts in experiments
  • to integrate science knowledge with knowledge from the student’s major
  • to use the methodology and models of science to define and solve problems independently, collaboratively, qualitatively, and quantitatively
  • to apply value judgments to ethical issues related to application of science and technology
  • to apply concepts and perspectives of science to the analysis of environmental problems and issues


Chris Young is the coordinator of science education and a member of the biology department.  He holds a Ph.D. in History of Science and Technology from the University of Minnesota. He has taught at Alverno since 2000, including courses in introductory biology, evolution, global warming, seminars on environmental history as well as the history and philosophy of science, the nature of science in science education, and science methods for educators. He is an active member and past officer of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology. In his ongoing research, he studies the history of ecological notions of habitat, which includes exploring Milwaukee's urban landscape and the many corridors between land and water, and between city and nature.