FEd August 1998 Newsletter - Editor's Corner

August 1998



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Editor's Corner

Samuel Bowen

This summer newsletter is the contribution of a new editor. I have just returned to university teaching after 10 years in the Division of Educational Programs at Argonne National Laboratory. While there I was very involved in DOE programs in support of science teaching, encouraging minority students to chose science careers, and telecommunications for pre-college teachers. This issue will express a number of my interests and experiences. Readers are invited to send reactions, corrections, suggestions, and contributions for future issues after reading this issue.

In this issue we continue to examine the ABET changes which will change the future for a number of physics departments. Robert Ehrlich reports on a survey of engineering deans and their concerns about physics courses for their students. A brief summary from the ABET web page lists the engineering disciplines which do not have physics listed as an explicit requirement. The fall AAPT/APS meeting to revitalize undergraduate physics teaching is profiled. Richard Hake re-iterates his findings on the impact of teaching introductory physics so that students are more fully engaged. Your editor has a fairly long and detailed analysis of the high school physics test which was given in 18 countries as a part of the TIMSS study. A collection of addresses and resources which represent some organizations working to improve pre-college education has been compiled for physicists who may not have looked at this area before. Two pre-college efforts from the past are reviewed and their current condition and futures are discussed. These are the Chicago Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science which was started by Leon Lederman and the TIMS (Teaching Integrated Math and Science) set of laboratory exercises which was created by Howard Goldberg. Your editor has assembled an introductory web-survey of the field of cognitive psychology and learning theory in which notions of "naive" physics (decidedly non-newtonian) are described briefly. Tom Rossing has another contribution of his browsing the literature. I hope you find the issue stimulating.