We will explore major ideas, theories, questions, challenges, and opportunities that have shaped science education and discuss their implications for classroom practice. What foundational influences and individuals have impacted past and current theory, research and policy in science education? How have and how can these theories, research and policies impact the design of science classrooms and other learning environments? We will examine current issues and theoretical frameworks used to understand how students learn science through a series of focused examinations of key manuscripts that will provide illustrative examples and various perspectives. These perspectives include: the nature of scientific knowledge, learning and teaching theories, current thinking in science assessment, motivation in science education, scientific problem solving and conducting classroom-based research in science education. We will examine the evidence for the various models of students learning used in science education. As these foundational perspectives are explored, students will use in-class activities and reflection papers to challenge, ground, and explore basic and theoretical ideas more fully.