Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC)
To improve and promote the education of future physics teachers
PhysTEC is led by APS in partnership with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). APS units that are interested in helping with this project should email Monica Plisch, APS Associate Director of Education and Diversity.
Project Goals for the Science Preparation of Future Teachers
The U.S. faces a severe shortage of qualified high school physics teachers. Two-thirds of all physics teachers lack a physics degree, including new teachers of physics. In order to address the crisis in physics education, APS and AAPT launched the PhysTEC project.
The PhysTEC project aims to
- Transform physics departments to engage in preparing physics teachers
- Demonstrate successful models for increasing the number of highly qualified teachers of physics prepared at colleges and universities
- Spread best-practice ideas throughout the physics teacher preparation community
Since 2001, PhysTEC has helped universities transform their physics teacher education programs into national models. PhysTEC supported sites have collectively more than doubled the number of graduates highly qualified to teach physics. The project has funded over 30 institutions to implement a set of Key Components critical to success in physics teacher preparation.
PhysTEC has also established a national network of more than 300 institutions committed to developing and promoting excellence in physics teacher preparation. This includes about one-third of all physics departments.
The project disseminates results and reaches out to the physics community through publications and presentations, videos, and a variety of conferences and workshops. To expand its reach, the project has developed collaborations with other organizations, including UTeach, the American Chemical Society, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
The project is funded primarily by the National Science Foundation, and has received significant funds from the APS's 21st Century Campaign, as well as direct and in-kind support from each of its partner institutions. For more information on the crisis in physics education and PhysTEC efforts to address this, please see www.phystec.org