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Success Stories

PhysTEC at Cornell: A Progress Report

written by Robert Thorne

This article reports on Cornell's role as a primary PhysTEC institution in addressing the national shortage of high school physics teachers. Many Cornell faculty engage in K-12 outreach activities, but the training of undergraduates to become educators is closer to Cornell's core mission and competency, and few activities can match the impact of placing a highly qualified teacher in the classroom. By embracing high school physics teaching as a career option for Cornell students, by bringing in talented high school teachers to serve as mentors and role models, and by partnering with colleagues in Education, Cornell can strengthen its undergraduate programs and help produce the teachers and educational leaders of tomorrow.

Recruiting a New Generation of Physics Teachers at Western Michigan University

written by Drew Isola and Robert Poel

The Physics Department at Western Michigan University (WMU) has been focusing heavily on the recruitment and retention of future physics teachers since the 2000-2001 academic year.  This article highlights the efforts of Western Michigan to recruit and retain science teachers.

Starting a Teacher Preparation Program at a Research University

written by Laurie McNeil

An institution classified by the Carnegie Foundation as "RU/VH" (research university, very high research activity) rarely considers the preparation of high school teachers to be a central part of its mission. Its faculty members tend to concentrate instead on producing new knowledge and preparing the future professoriate. The University of North Carolina's  mission statement highlights undergraduate and doctoral education and discovering knowledge, but only at the very end (almost as an afterthought) are they charged to "address, as appropriate, regional, national and international needs." Laurie McNeil, physics department chair at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, discusses their successful effort to implement a teacher preparation program.


supported by the National Science Foundation
published by the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers

The purpose of PhysTEC is to serve the American Physical Society community as the focal point for the improvement of graduate physics, undergraduate physics, and pre-college (K-12) science education. To sponsor programs designed to increase the number of women and minorities in physics, and to increase awareness of career opportunities for physics graduates at all levels.

CU Physics Education: Recruiting and Preparing Future Physics Teachers

written by Noah D. Finkelstein, Michael Dubson, Christopher Keller, Steven J. Pollock, Steve Iona, and Valerie K. Otero

Over the past several years, the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder) has dramatically expanded its efforts to recruit and nurture the highest caliber future high school physics teachers. This collaboration has provided a rich venue for research, support for local communities and classrooms, and a coordinated recruitment, preparation and induction program for future K-12 teachers.

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