Middle Tennessee State University: Early Teaching Experience
- 8 physics majors assisted in an introductory physics course by enrolling in Physics Practicum during AY 10-11, and this number grew to 14 during AY 11-12, 19 for AY 12-13, and 13 for AY 13-14.
- 2 physics majors completed a more extensive Learning Assistant experience in The Teaching of Physics during AY 10-11, 7 took the class during AY 11-12, and 9 in AY 12-13.
- Over 20 physics majors have completed the UTeach replication course Step One: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching.
- About 15 physics majors have completed the UTeach replication course Step Two: Inquiry Lesson Design.
- 4 physics majors acted as Learning Assistants in select sections of Non-Calculus Physics I in a pilot program during spring, 2014.
- It was difficult to justify offering a class for only 2 students (first offering of The Teaching of Physics).
- Physics faculty with a passion for physics pedagogy are not as prepared to engage students in addressing physics content knowledge as faculty trained in physics education research.
- It was initially difficult to have influence over the placements for physics majors in the early teaching experiences due to a long history of decision making by faculty outside the science college.
- Physics Practicum is required of all MTSU physics majors.
- The Teaching of Physics is required of all physics majors in the Physics Teaching concentration, but open to all majors.
- Step One and Step Two is required of all STEM majors seeking endorsement to teach at the secondary level and, therefore, all future physics teachers.
- The Physics and Astronomy department is committed to growing our involvement in PER, as evidenced by hiring our first PER faculty member.
- Interactions with current and past high school teachers are greatly valued by majors in the Physics Teaching concentration.
- The earliest teaching experience, Step One, can be a tool for recruiting physics majors.
- All physics majors at MTSU are required to take Physics Practicum as a graduation requirement, where they act as Learning Assistants in introductory physics labs.
- Physics majors in the Physics Teaching concentration take The Teaching of Physics, where they are allowed have more responsibilities in an introductory physics laboratory.
- Students enrolled in The Teaching of Physics visited the high school classroom of a local high school physics teacher that uses the Modeling approach.
- As a UTeach replication site, MTSU offered two courses with early teaching experiences as the fundamental activity, Step One and Step Two. Step One students teach lessons in the K-5 environment, while Step Two students teach in grades 6-8.
- Step One was offered for the first time in fall, 2011 and is now offered every semester.
- Step Two was offered for the first time in spring, 2011 and is also offered every semester.