From the Editor of the Teacher Preparation Section
The annual Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) conference was held February 29th and March 1st in Austin, Texas. Gabe Popkin provides an overview of the conference. This article is reprinted from the first annual Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) newsletter released this spring. The full article is available at phystec.org. The next PTEC conference will be held in Pittsburgh immediately preceding the APS March Meeting. The conference theme is "Institutional Change" and conference information will be posted at ptec.org as it becomes available.
Four new PhysTEC sites were added last summer: Cornell University, Florida International University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Laurie McNeil, chair of the University of North Carolina Physics & Astronomy Department, discusses starting a teacher preparation program at an R1 university. Laird Kramer of Florida International University (FIU), an urban university that educates more Hispanic students than any other institution in the country, reports on the FIU program and its connections with CHEPREO, the inter-regional grid-enabled Center for High Energy Physics Research and Education Outreach. Laird reports not only an increase in the number of teachers produced by FIU, but also a dramatic increase in the number of physics majors since the inception of the program. Teacher preparation is not only an important activity valued by the community and the state, it can also support the research mission. Monica Plisch discusses the use of teacher preparation activities as part of the "broader impacts" requirements of NSF grants.
Finally, I am happy to announce that the newly redesigned PTEC website, ptec.org, is available. The site contains PTEC news and events, conference proceedings, and a growing collection of materials on teacher preparation.
John Stewart is a professor of physics at the University of Arkansas. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org