Teacher Preparation Section

Alma Robinson, Virginia Tech

During the summer AAPT conference, I attended the session on Research on Physics Teacher Preparation and was immediately struck by the immense role physics departments play in shaping our students’ perceptions of teaching. Two of the presenters at that AAPT session, Monica Plisch and Wendy Adams, are featured in this issue of the Teacher Preparation Section.

Monica Plisch, APS Director of Education and Diversity, highlights the newest APS Panel on Public Affairs report, which describes the findings of a survey of nearly 8000 STEM students on their attitudes and opinions towards teaching and provides recommendations to STEM departments to help recruit future teachers. Encouragingly, the departments that discuss teaching as a career option recruit more STEM majors into teaching!

Wendy Adams, Research Associate Professor at the Colorado School of Mines, discusses a new survey instrument designed to measure students’ Perceptions of Teaching as a Profession (PTaP) as well as their perceptions of their department’s view on K-12 teaching. In addition, PTaP provides departments with a method to identify potential future teachers. Not only has PTaP revealed that many students hold negative misperceptions of teaching, it seems that in many cases, these misperceptions are discouraging students from pursuing a teaching career.

Finally, the 2018 PhysTEC conference, the largest conference on physics teacher education, will be held on February 9-10 in College Park, MD, proceeding the Building a Thriving Undergraduate Physics Program workshop. Please see https://www.phystec.org/conferences/2018/ for more information.

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.