From the Editor of the Teacher Preparation Section

John Stewart, Editor

Teacher Preparation SectionIn this issue, we look at two examples of projects designed to reach out to working teachers and provide meaningful, research-based professional development. Jim Nelson, the leader of the Physics Teaching Resource Agent (PTRA) program since 1984, discusses that very successful, longstanding program. The University of Arkansas Physics and Mathematical Sciences departments have recently received a seven million dollar MSP grant to improve the college outcomes of students in Oklahoma and Arkansas by improving the professional development of science teachers in 38 school districts. The partnership cuts across all demographic boundaries from rural to urban and from underprivileged to affluent. The PI, Gay Stewart, provides an outline of the program.

The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) held its annual meeting in Pittsburgh on March 13th and 14th. The meeting featured many workshops presented by leaders in physics education reform including Lillian McDermott, Gay Stewart, Michael Marder, Valerie Otero, Paul Hickman, and many others. At the right, Valerie Otero from the University of Colorado – Boulder talks with Rob Thorne of Cornell during a break. The presentations for all workshops at the conference are available at

John Stewart  is a Visiting Assistant Professor of physics at the University of Arkansas. He is a long-time participant in the Arkansas PhysTEC project and editor of, the National Science Digital Library's collection on physics and astronomy teacher preparation and the home of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC).

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 APS.