Early Teaching Experiences

The Effect of an Inquiry-Based Early Field Experience on Pre-Service Teachers’ Content Knowledge

written by Homeyra R. Sadaghiani and Sarai N. Costley

As part of a pre-service science course for teachers at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, we provided an early field inquiry-based teaching experience. A K-12 science specialist and Cal Poly Pomona faculty member worked together to help students develop a formal standards-based lesson plan and present it to a class of 5th grade students in a local elementary school. The article discusses the effect of the field experience on student content knowledge, confidence in teaching inquiry-based science lessons, as well as their attitudes towards teaching.


The First Year of PhysTEC at the University of Minnesota

written by Jon Anderson

The PhysTEC program at the U of M is based on the experiences of other PhysTEC institutions and adapted to the needs and strengths at the U of M. Members of the PhysTEC team at the U of M have a long history of commitment to improving education. At the heart of the U of M PhysTEC program is the use of Learning Assistants (LAs), a successful component of other PhysTEC sites. The ten LAs that worked in Physics 1101 in the spring 2008 semester brought a pioneering, adventurous, "make it work" attitude to their job. This was demonstrated by the way that they interacted with the students, by the feedback that they gave at the weekly LA seminar, by the way that the LA program (and consequently PhysTEC) evolved in response to the feedback given by the LAs, and by the overwhelmingly positive formal assessments of their value in the lecture.


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