Teacher Preparation Section

Alma Robinson, Virginia Tech

When I learned that celebrating the 100 th anniversary of Arnold Arons birth was the theme for this issue of the Forum on Education Newsletter, I thought the best way to commemorate this occasion in the Teacher Preparation Section would be to demonstrate how Arons’ work has contributed to the training of our secondary physics teachers.

To that end, I reached out to educators who incorporate physics education research (PER) in their training of pre-service and in-service high school physics teachers. While general science teaching methods courses are standard for science teacher education programs, integrating disciplined-based education research into those programs is far from universal.

Jon Anderson describes how Arnold Arons has impacted his physics teaching career over the years, beginning from his first readings of A Guide to Introductory Physics Teaching as a graduate student studying physics education to his becoming reacquainted with Arons’ work during a physics modeling workshop. As a high school teacher, a former PhysTEC Teacher in Residence, and a Mechanics Modeling Workshop leader, Anderson has incorporated the lessons he has learned from Arons in his work with high school physics students, pre-service teachers, and in-service teachers.

Kelli Gamez Warble, the Teacher in Residence at Arizona State University (ASU), explains the PER-based teacher preparation training at ASU through a fascinating personal narrative of her experiences from a novice teacher first learning about PER to a Modeling Workshop Leader who brings PER to ASU students and in-service teachers. Because her story takes place at the birthplace of the FCI and Physics Modeling, it naturally weaves in a bit of history about the creation of those as well.

Finally, Eugenia Etkina, the creator and coordinator of the Rutgers Physics Teacher Preparation Program, outlines how the ISLE (Investigative Science Learning Environment) philosophy is incorporated into all aspects of Rutgers’ physics teacher preparation program. ISLE activities are PER-based and encourage students to discover the laws of physics as practicing physicists do – by working collaboratively to observe physical phenomena, identify patterns and/or explanations for the observed phenomena, and design and test their explanations through experimentation.

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.