Teacher Preparation Section

Alma Robinson, Virginia Tech

This edition of the Teacher Preparation Section features four articles highlighting successful collaborations between physics departments and schools of education.

Julie Antilla-Garza and Stamatis Vokos of Seattle Pacific University (SPU) describe some of the challenges and benefits of establishing a strong physics-education partnership in a physics teacher preparation program as outlined by the National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics (T-TEP). They discuss key aspects of SPU’s collaborative efforts including the development of a Center for Physics Teacher Education and a new undergraduate pathway towards physics and math licensure.

Andrew Duffy and Peter Garik explain how the partnership between the Department of Physics and School of Education at Boston University (BU) has grown to include collaborations with other science departments through the Boston University Noyce Urban Science Scholarship and Learning Assistant programs. They also expound on the connections between their strong PhysTEC project and their thriving Improving the Teaching of Physics (Project ITOP) program.

Cody Sandifer, Ron Hermann, and David Vocke explain how the close relationships between physics and education faculty at Towson University have led to reforming the teacher preparation program, co-advising pre-service teachers, sharing resources across departments, and supporting their mutual students through programs such as PhysTEC, Noyce Scholarships, and UTeach. Because Towson University is one of the few institutions that has education faculty in the content departments, as well as a university-wide Teacher Education Executive Board, the institution inherently encourages these collaborations.

Chuhee Kwon of California State University Long Beach (CSULB) explains how a key partner in education can make all the difference in establishing and maintaining a successful collaboration between physics and education. She describes the characteristics of an ideal faculty partner in education and demonstrates the ways in which Dr. Laura Henriques, CSULB’s collaborator in education, has helped to improve physics teacher preparation.

PhysTEC will hold its yearly conference, the nation’s largest meeting dedicated to physics teacher education, in Seattle, WA from February 5th- 7th. The theme of this year’s conference is Building Thriving Programs and will be held jointly with the Building a Thriving Undergraduate Physics Program Workshop. More information can be found on the PhysTEC website.

As the PhysTEC Teacher in Residence at Virginia Tech, I’ve had the great pleasure of learning about the incredible physics teacher preparation programs around the country and meeting some of the dedicated educators who make these programs possible. I am delighted to serve as the new editor of the Teacher Preparation Section to help bring their stories to you. Finally, I would like to thank John Stewart for his guidance in helping me make this transition.

Disclaimer – The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on Education Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.