Arizona State University: Goals & Outcomes
The Goals of the ASU PhysTEC project are to:
- Increase the quality and quantity of physics teachers
- Mentor and support physics teachers in the early part of their career
- Transform our existing Physics Department into a highly interactive setting in order to better prepare physics students
- Demonstrate successful models for increasing the number of highly qualified physics teachers
- Spread best practice ideas throughout the physics teacher preparation community
- Raise awareness of the drastic under-representation of physics teachers and physics education throughout the United States
- Through the use of our Learning Assistant Program, ASU PhysTEC has been able to transform the dynamic of multiple physics course sections, as well as prepare upper division physics students for a career in teaching.
- Pre-post testing was used to measure the benefits of learning assistants by comparing the scores of students in the same classes with and without learning assistants. After completion of our first year, we have found that students are benefitting from the hands-on dynamic that the Learning Assistant Program has provided. Furthermore, student success, as measured by the percentage of students who do not receive a grade of D, E, or W, was greatly improved from 45% to 86% in two introductory physics courses given in the spring semester 2013 and to 90% in spring 2014.
- ASU PhysTEC formed a partnership with K-12 physical science teachers throughout the state. Our Teacher in Residence's close professional relationships with many local teachers has helped ASU PhysTEC connect to the teaching community.
- With the help of University advocates, the ASU Physics Department has teamed up with the University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College to create a new and exciting degree program (BS Physics with Concentration in Secondary Education) that gives students a full and comprehensive knowledge of physics while preparing them for a career in teaching once they graduate. Eight students enrolled in this program in its first year (2013-2014)
- Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College developed a 30-credit certificate program that can be added to any major, and this will be used to provide a teaching path to the BS Biophysics and BA Physics programs in 2014-2015.
- Our Teacher in Residence has proved to be a tremendous asset to our project. She brings a unique perspective to the table that has been and will continue to be extremely beneficial to students who have chosen a career in physics teaching.
- We have created our own PhysTEC website (http://phystec.physics.asu.edu) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ASUPhysTEC), which we hope will increase the number of future physics teachers at our University and gain support from existing physics teachers who can help us promote physics teaching.