Member Institution San Jose State University
San Jose State University
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The SJSU physics department currently has a teaching specific graduation track: BA in Physics, Preparation for Teaching. This track provides students with a strong background in physics, but also allows potential teachers to take intro courses in all of the major sciences; Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology and Astronomy. This gives them a solid foundation in several sciences so that they can better connect curriculum across the sciences as a teacher. Info available here: http://info.sjsu.edu/web-dbgen/catalog/departments/PHYS-section-2.html
We also have a strong relationship with the Science Education Program, which is the program at San Jose State responsible for facilitating upper division credential and masters courses for future and current science teachers. Just this year a new faculty member was hired with a joint position in the department of physics and in the Science Education Program. This strengthens our connection with the program, and will provide us with more information and resources to support future physics teachers.
Next fall we plan to begin implementation of new interactive curricula in our introductory physics courses. The new faculty member mentioned above is an expert with these curricula, and will assist with the change. The intent is to decrease the amount of lecture time, and increase the amount of class time where students are actively engaged in applying physics concepts to understand phenomena. Prior research has shown that this will improve our students’ understanding of physics, but as importantly, it will also expose our future physics teachers to reformed physics curricula. It is our intention that this exposure will encourage teachers that go through our program to implement interactive techniques in their classrooms.