Making the Case for Teacher Preparation
the Physics Teacher Education Coalition
written by Monica Plisch
Physics teachers suffer the highest rate of attrition of any subject area, and are often under-qualified for their positions; as there is a statistical correlation between teacher expertise and student achievement, PhysTEC and PhysTEC are working to increase the number of qualified physics teachers and to improve the quality of physical science teacher education.
This presentation is a summary of the report of the National Academies' Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century, "Gathering Storm", and some of its subsequent response. The author was a member of this committee, which was created in 2005 to respond to the request by Senators Lamar Alexander and Jeff Bingaman, with endorsement of Representatives Sherwood Boehlert and Bart Gordon. The task of the committee was to delineate the top ten actions, in priority order, that federal policymakers could take to enhance the science and technology enterprise so that the US can successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st century.
published by the Physics Teacher Education Coalition
The primary goals of the PhysTEC program are to demonstrate and provide models for increasing the number of highly qualified high school physics teachers, to improve the quality of K-8 physical science teacher education, to spread best-practice ideas throughout the community, and to work toward transforming physics departments to re-engage in the preparation of physics teachers. On average, member sites have exhibited a two-fold increase in secondary physics teacher production since 2002.
This introduction to the 2006 PhysTEC Conference outlines the national needs for trained K-12 science teachers. It presents the results of a large number of studies on the lack of prepared teachers and some of the efforts that are underway to fulfill these needs.
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