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John Stewart, University of Arkansas
The teacher preparation section begins with Beth Cunningham and Robert Hilborn of the American Association of Physics Teachers discussing their organization’s support of in-service teachers. Prominently featured is the very successful PTRA program. This program was also discussed by Jim Nelson in the Summer 2009 edition of this newsletter.
Steven Case of the University of Kansas (KU) discusses UKanTeach, a UTeach replication site that has been particularly successful in improving the number of highly qualified STEM teachers graduating from KU. While very effective, UTeach still struggles with graduating teachers qualified in the areas of greatest need, physics and chemistry. John Quintanilla and Cindy Woods discussed the UTeach program at the University of North Texas in the Fall 2012 edition of this newsletter. A number of PhysTEC sites also now have UTeach programs. Cody Sandifer and Ronald Hermann discussed UTeach and PhysTEC at Towson University in the Spring 2013 issue and Ron Henderson discussed UTeach and PhysTEC at Middle Tennessee State University in the Fall 2010 issue.
This year’s wonderful PhysTEC conference was held in partnership with the American Chemical Society whose Chemistry Teacher Education Coalition (CTEC) proposal is under review. The combination of PhysTEC, CTEC, and UTeach may finally make major inroads into the critical shortage of chemistry and physics teachers.
Reaching out to diverse, underprivileged schools is one of the greatest challenges facing science educators. In our third article, Andrew Elby, Ayush Gupta, Luke Conlin, and Jennifer Richards present an interesting peer-led professional development program targeted at the teachers of students in an economically challenged county in Maryland.
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.