Teacher Preparation Section

Alma Robinson, Virginia Tech

As readers of the Teacher Preparation Section know, we often feature articles describing the fantastic teacher preparation programs that are being implemented at PhysTEC supported sites. For the next few issues, however, we wanted to highlight practices and programs that have found ways to recruit and train future physics teachers without the benefit of PhysTEC funding.

David Griffiths describes how Reed College hosted a panel discussion on high school physics teaching during one of their weekly seminars. They invited local physics teachers (some of whom were Reed alumni) to serve on the panel and speak about their experiences in the classroom. Through this discussion, both faculty and students gained a better understanding of what a high school physics teaching career might look like, including job opportunities and certification requirements.

Steve Campolo and Harold M. Hastings discuss the development of Hofstra University’s “Make-it” class, a course dedicated to having students (including preservice physics teachers) construct complicated electrical projects from scratch. This student-centered, active-learning lab course helps students understand the design process, develop fabrication skills, and learn how to apply their content knowledge to create a tangible product.

Donna Stokes, Paige Evans, Cheryl Craig, and Simon Bott explain how The University of Houston’s (UH) Robert Noyce Scholarship Program: Recruitment, Preparation and Retention of Teachers for Secondary Physics and Chemistry Education provides an array of programs and opportunities to UH’s preservice science teachers, including targeted coursework, internships, professional development, and scholarship support.

Finally, the 2017 PhysTEC conference will be held on February 17 - 18 in Atlanta, GA, preceding the AAPT Winter Meeting. Please see the 2017 PhysTEC Conference webpage for more information.