Rutgers University has two physics teacher preparation programs: a 5-year M. Ed. + physics teaching certificate and a post baccalaureate M. Ed. + physics teaching certificate. Both are 45-credit programs.
Specifically, out of the 45 credit hours that are required by the Rutgers Ed.M. degree, we dedicate 18 hours to course work that relates to the teaching of physics/physical science (physics-specific pedagogy courses) and 6 credit hours to upper division (300-400) physics courses. Physics-specific pedagogy courses are the courses that are designed specifically for physics teachers, not all science teachers. The remaining credits include 12 credit hours of general education courses and 9 credit hours of student teaching internship. Description of the course work for each program can be found at http://www.gse.rutgers.edu and the details of the preparation of physical science teachers are provided in Etkina, E. (2005). Physics teacher preparation: Dreams and reality. Journal of Physics Teacher Education Online, 3(2), 3-9.
In addition to coursework, the students teach as lab and recitation instructors in reformed introductory physics courses during three semesters in the program (the fourth semester they spend doing student teaching).
It is important to note that students study in cohorts – they take all physical science methods courses together, teach together in the introductory courses, simultaneously do student teaching, and look for jobs. Being in the same courses with each other for two years helps build a community that later self-supports itself when the graduates start teaching.
Coursework in which students learn how to teach physics (each course is a 3 credit course):
Development of ideas in physical science - Future physics teachers learn how physicists developed the ideas and laws that are a part of high school physics curriculum and how student learning resembles scientists' grappling.
Teaching physical science – Future physics teachers learn to design lessons and units to promote learning though inquiry and active construction of knowledge and to assess conceptual understanding, reasoning, and process understanding as opposed to factual knowledge in every unit of high school curriculum.
Research internship in X-ray astrophysics - Future physics teachers learn how to bring authentic research into the classroom and how to engage high school students in authentic inquiry using NASA archival databases.
Teaching internship seminar - Future physics teachers learn how to implement everything learned above in a real classroom and how to face teaching reality.
Multiple representation in physical science - Future teachers learn how to engage students in meaningful, expert-like problem solving.
For the past 6 years the program has been producing 5-7 physics teachers every year.
Information about the program and course syllabi can be obtained from Eugenia Etkina at firstname.lastname@example.org
The program is described in detail in
Etkina, E. (2005). Physics teacher preparation: Dreams and reality. Journal of Physics Teacher Education Online, 3(2), 3-9.
A resource for physics teachers
This website contains more than 200 videotaped physics experiments that one can use for labs, learning f new material, homework, exam questions, etc.
Scientific abilities website
Formative assessment tasks, self-assessment rubrics and design labs to help students develop scientific abilities.
Investigative Science Learning Environment
A website with the resources for the ISLE curriculum
The New Jersey Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers
The NJ AAPT section website has a collection of Rutgers QuarkNet material.