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A physics department’s role in preparing physics teachers: The Colorado Learning Assistant model Documents

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A physics department’s role in preparing physics teachers: The Colorado Learning Assistant model 

written by Valerie K. Otero, Steven J. Pollock, and Noah D. Finkelstein

In response to substantial evidence that many U.S. students are inadequately prepared in science and mathematics, we have developed an effective and adaptable model that improves the education of all students in introductory physics and increases the numbers of talented physics majors becoming certified to teach physics. We report on the Colorado Learning Assistant model and discuss its effectiveness at a large research university. Since its inception in 2003, we have increased the pool of well-qualified K–12 physics teachers by a factor of approximately three, engaged scientists significantly in the recruiting and preparation of future teachers, and improved the introductory physics sequence so that students' learning gains are typically double the traditional average.

Last Modified February 11, 2011