Supported Site University of Missouri-Columbia: Goals & Outcomes

Goals

The PhysTEC project at the University of Missouri (MU) is working towards building a cohesive community of future physics teachers that are well prepared to implement research-based teaching strategies in their classrooms. The overarching goals are to:

  1. Increase the number of MU physics teaching degrees to a three-year total of at least ten by 2015.
  2. Better prepare teachers with physics-specific content and pedagogy.
  3. Contribute to the national PhysTEC model to effect statewide and nationwide change.

Selected Outcomes

  • MU graduated two new physics teachers in first year of funding, compared to a nine-year average of 0.8 students per year.
  • Enrollment in the undergraduate physics education degree program has more than tripled. There are now ten students enrolled in the undergraduate physics education major, compared to only three students enrolled in the year prior to funding.
  • A high school -Learning Assistant program was created, with participants gaining 3-5 hours of field experience per week in a high school classroom. To date, 20 individual MU students have participated.
  • A university level Learning Assistant program was also piloted in 2013-2014 in the first semester algebra-based physics course.
  • The BS in physics education degree program was revised to include a new physics pedagogy course and to streamline requirements for dual degrees in physics and education.
  • We established a community of future physics teachers, Tomorrow's Outstanding Physics Teachers ( TOP Teachers), to help combat the sense of isolation that previous graduates had reported.