red Supported Site University of Alabama: Goals & Outcomes

Goal

  • Increase the number of teachers certified to teach physics with a physics major or minor.
  • Increase physics faculty collaboration in identifying and sustaining physics and physical science education candidates through graduation and induction.
  • Strengthen professional relationships between physics and astronomy and the curriculum and instruction departments to disseminate best practices through the teacher preparation program.
  • Continue reform of the entry-level physics curriculum using research-based inquiry-oriented design and best practices.
  • Strengthen the physics course for pre-service elementary teachers to emphasize inquiry-oriented teaching of major physics concepts.

Selected Outcomes

  • During the first year of the program, the number of students pursuing certification at either the undergraduate or graduate levels increased from zero to six. During the second year, in spite of turnover in the program we have maintained six students in the program.
  • A successful Learning Assistant program has been implemented that included 12 LAs in the fall and spring semesters assisting primarily in Studio Physics courses. Starting in the second year, LAs were successfully included in an upper-level electricity and magnetism course.
  • Several LAs obtained early teaching experiences by providing instructional assistance on a weekly basis in local high school physics classes.
  • A series of one-hour courses on high school labs was developed and taught in collaboration with Alabama Science in Motion.
  • A NSF-Math and Science Partnership project (APEX) was funded, which provides scholarships to PhysTEC students.