Site leaders at PhysTEC supported site Chicago State University (CSU) published an article in the May 2012 edition of The Physics Teacher titled "A Collaboration Between University and High School in Preparing Physics Teachers: Chicago State University's Teacher Immersion Institute." CSU is now exploring exciting changes to its physics teacher preparation program by utilizing the expertise of Chicago Area teachers and early teaching experiences for students interested in, but not yet committed to, the physics teaching profession.
PhysTEC has published a compendium of research articles on the preparation of physics and physical-science teachers titled "Teacher Education in Physics." The book includes new reports that reflect cutting-edge research and practice, as well as reprints of previously published seminal papers. A free pdf version of the book is now available.
APS in conjunction with AAPT will be holding a workshop in College Park, MD to assist departments in developing strategies for increasing the number of physics majors. Institutions are encouraged to come as teams of two or more to help develop effective, workable plans that can be implemented on their campuses. Plenary speakers Carl Wieman, Office of Science and Technology Policy and S. James Gates Jr., University of Maryland, will contribute their insights on the topic as well.
The Winter 2012 edition of the PhysTEC newsletter introduces the new funded sites, profiles a PhysTEC teacher, features the formation of the Chemistry Teacher Education Coalition, and provides perspectives on broader issues surrounding physics teacher preparation.
The PhysTEC Conference is the nation's largest meeting dedicated to physics teacher education; featuring workshops, panel discussions, and presentations by national leaders, as well as excellent networking opportunities. The 2012 conference was held February 3-4 in conjunction with the American Association of Physics Teachers Winter Meeting.
The PhysTEC project co-sponsored its third workshop focusing on the University of Colorado's Learning Assistant program November 2-3, 2011. The Learning Assistant program is a highly supported peer teaching experience that has been shown to improve students' learning and attitudes toward science in undergraduate lecture classes and recruit talented science and math students into teaching careers.
If you want to boost your department’s efforts to prepare physics teachers, but do not know where to begin, here is a list of steps you can take to begin having an impact right away.
The PhysTEC project recently announced that it would fund Boston University; California State University, San Marcos; State University of New York, Geneseo; and Virginia Tech to develop their physics teacher education programs into national models.
The PhysTEC Noyce selection committee selected 11 applicants to receive PhysTEC Noyce scholarships in the 2011-2012 academic year. Of these, seven are returning scholars, and four are new applicants. Awards went to students at Seattle Pacific, Arkansas, and the University of North Carolina. Each of these scholars will receive up to $15,000 toward tuition and other education-related expenses, and will become part of a cohort that receives project support during their early years in the classroom.
The Fall 2010 edition of the PhysTEC newsletter introduces the new funded sites, profiles PhysTEC teachers and a Teacher in Residence, features the national Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics, and provides perspectives on broader issues surrounding physics teacher preparation.
The 2010 application process for PhysTEC sites is now closed. The 68 submissions are currently being reviewed and a smaller set of applicants will be invited to submit full proposals. Sites selected for the 2011-2012 academic year will be announced in the spring.
The PhysTEC project sponsored a workshop focusing on the University of Colorado's Learning Assistant (LA) program to be held Oct. 13-14, 2010 at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The Learning Assistant program is a highly supported peer teaching experience that has been shown to improve students' learning and attitudes toward science in undergraduate lecture classes and recruit talented science and math students into teaching careers.
The PhysTEC project has developed a process to formally recognize institutions that graduate a large number of high school physics teachers and follow the key components of the PhysTEC program. To apply to be a PhysTEC Endorsed Site, download the following document.
The PhysTEC project recently announced that it would fund California State University, Long Beach; Chicago State University; Middle Tennessee State University; Towson University, and the University of California, Davis to develop their physics teacher education programs into national models.
The Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics (T-TEP) found that "except for a handful of isolated pockets of excellence, the national system of preparing physics teachers is largely inefficient, mostly incoherent, and massively unprepared to deal with the current and future needs of the nation's students." The findings and recommendations were unveiled in February 2010 at the PTEC Conference and joint APS/AAPT Meeting.
APS member and University of Colorado PhysTEC site leader Noah Finkelstein cited PhysTEC in testimony to the Research and Science Education Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology. Read the testimony
A letter delivered to President Barack Obama by University of Kentucky President Lee Todd on behalf of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities' Science and Math Teacher Imperative cites PhysTEC as an exemplary program. Read the letter
The Fall 2009 edition of the PhysTEC newsletter contains the latest project news and results; profiles and interviews with PhysTEC teachers, Noyce scholars, and Teachers In Residence; and perspectives on the broader issues surrounding physics teacher preparation.
The 2009 request for new PhysTEC sites has closed. The project received over 50 letters of interest, and will announce final selections in early 2010. PhysTEC anticipates offering additional rounds of funding in Fall 2010 and 2011.
Download the Request for Sites
The American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers recently received a five-year, $6.5 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue work on PhysTEC. More...
PhysTEC site leaders, Teachers In Residence, and newly graduated teachers gathered in Ann Arbor, Michigan for project meetings, professional development workshops, and the AAPT Summer Meeting. Presentations by PhysTEC Teachers In Residence are available on the PTEC website.
Project advisor Paul Hickman talks with Florida International's new Teacher in Residence Diane Crenshaw
PhysTEC requests proposals for new sites to develop model physics teacher preparation programs, to begin in the 2010-2011 academic year. Proposals are solicited for two types of sites:
Comprehensive sites, which will receive up to $100k per year for three years. These sites will implement the full PhysTEC program.
Pilot sites, which will receive up to $25k per year for three years to implement specific elements of teacher preparation programs.
Institutions wishing to apply must submit a letter of interest by 2 November 2009. For a full description of the program as well as detailed application guidelines:
Download the Request for Sites
Only applications from institutions that are PTEC members will be considered. Joining PTEC is free; please see www.PTEC.org/join for the application procedure.
Minority-serving institutions are strongly encouraged to apply.
Project leaders Ted Hodapp of the American Physical Society, Jack Hehn of the American Institute of Physics, and Warren Hein of the American Association of Physics Teachers co-authored an article entitled "Preparing high-school physics teachers." The article appears in the February, 2009 edition of Physics Today.
The 2009 PTEC Conference was held in Pittsburgh on March 13 and 14, 2009. Over 100 participants attended workshops, panels, and talks by leaders in physics teacher preparation.
Presentations from the conference are available for download on the PTEC website.
Jon Anderson, Teacher in Residence at the University of Minnesota, won second prize in a contest at the 2008 Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics Teachers Conference. Read a recent article by Anderson about the University of Minnesota's PhysTEC program in the APS Forum on Education newsletter.
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The American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) recently won a $750k award from the National Science Foundation to provide scholarships to around 30 new physics teachers over the next 5 years. These PhysTEC Noyce Scholars will receive up to $15,000 of scholarship support per year, in exchange for a commitment to teach in a “high-needs” school after graduation.
APS Assistant Director of Education Monica Plisch will lead the project, which includes the PhysTEC sites Ball State University, Cornell University, Seattle Pacific University, the University of Arkansas, the University of North Carolina, and Western Michigan University. Funding comes from the NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program, which is designed to increase the number of qualified science and math teachers in high-needs school districts. Several PhysTEC institutions, including Arkansas, Seattle Pacific, the University of Arizona, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, already offer Noyce scholarships to their teachers, and the project will be able to take advantage of the expertise these sites have gained.
Read about our recent activities in the very first PhysTEC Newsletter
Thanks to the new UNC-BEST program, physics and biology majors at the University of North Carolina can now earn teaching certification and complete their undergraduate science degrees all in four years. View press release.