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PERC 2016 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Educating Pre-service Physics Teachers
Abstract: This session brings together presenters that are involved in designing, teaching in, and studying different programs that aim to educate and prepare future physics teachers in the US and around the world.  The session will focus on crucial aspects of physics teacher preparation programs and conceptual models that afford theoretical insights into their features. The session will conclude with a panel discussion with the audience.
Abstract Type: Talk Symposium

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Shulamit Kapon
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
and Co-Presenter(s)
Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University

Symposium Specific Information

Moderator: Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University
Presentation 1 Title: Strong introductory courses + professors who care about teaching = physics teachers
Presentation 1 Authors: Gay Stewart, West Virginia University
John Stewart, West Virginia University
Presentation 1 Abstract: Previously at the University of Arkansas (UA), and now at West Virginia University (WVU), we have led physics teacher preparation programs as part of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC). Our invitation to apply as one of the first primary program institutions was initiated by our NSF program officer, based on his familiarity with our reformed introductory course. Years of student interviews supported that it was both the opportunity to engage in an  environment supporting real learning with their peers and having professors who felt education was important that empowered students to choose a teaching career. 15 years after having its first PhysTEC graduate, UA remains in the 5+Club. At WVU, we are also seeing significant impact from these factors. We will discuss the characteristics reported by the students as most impactful on their decision to teach, and shown by our research to have strong correlation with improved learning.
Presentation 2 Title: Project lab course for first year students: Cutting the Gordian knot in physics teacher preparation
Presentation 2 Authors: Gorazd Planinsic, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Presentation 2 Abstract: One of the major problems in training of future teachers is finding an authentic environment where they can practice new approaches to teaching and learning. Ideally, you want to place your students with reformed in-service teachers but unfortunately often this is not possible. In our department we took a different approach. We created Project lab course which pre-service physics teachers take twice: first time as students (in their first year of studies) and second time as future teachers (in their 4th or 5th year). As first year students they work on open-ended experimental projects. During their second time, already enrolled in the Physics Teacher preparation program, they design project tasks for first year students, observe groups of students solving problems and evaluate their reports using scientific abilities rubrics. I will describe logistical details of such clinical experience and present examples of pre-service teacher work and their reflections on the experience.
Presentation 3 Title: Changing the landscape of physics teaching – Helping engineers become effective physics teachers
Presentation 3 Authors: Shulamit Kapon, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Avraham Merzel, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Presentation 3 Abstract: In 2011, the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology launched a special program, Views, whose objective is to help alleviate the shortage in high-quality high school STEM teachers in Israel. Views invites Technion graduates to study towards an additional bachelor's degree in STEM education. In its first year, 60 students enrolled in the program; this year, the program has attracted over 300. The increase in the number and quality of students enrolling necessitated substantial reform of the teacher preparation courses. We will review the theoretical underpinning of the reformed program of the physics education track; discuss in detail the design of one of the physics teaching methods courses; and present preliminary findings from a study that followed the students throughout this course, focusing on challenges these pre-service teachers experienced in the design and teaching of engaging lessons in physics, and on our support of the students in this process.
Presentation 4 Title: A theory-guided research agenda for physics teacher education
Presentation 4 Authors: Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University
Bor Gregorcic, Uppsala University
Stamatis Vokos, Seattle Pacific University
Presentation 4 Abstract: The authors have recently proposed a theoretical perspective to guide the development and improvement of physics teacher education (PTE) programs. According to the Development of Habits through Apprenticeship in a Community (DHAC), the primary role of PTE programs is to help novice teachers to develop the requisite habits of mind and habits of practice through apprenticeship in a community centered around master teachers and veteran teachers, all of whom share a similar framework for what physics learning consists of and how it can be realized. This conceptual model explains features of effective PTE programs and makes testable predictions. In this session, the authors will describe briefly the DHAC theoretical perspective and propose a research agenda to test it, refine it, and build on it.