2008 Conference on the Preparation of Physics and Physical Science Teachers

2008 Conference on the Preparation of Physics and Physical Science Teachers

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Physics Teacher Education Coalition Event
Feb 29, 2008 - Mar 01, 2008 at Austin, TX at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark

Master Teachers - Change Agents for Teacher Preparation

The conference explored the critical roles that Master Teachers play in teacher preparation programs, including recruiting future teachers, mentoring pre-service and in-service teachers, co-teaching pedagogy courses, and building bridges with local school districts. Conference sessions also focused on the use of assessment in teacher preparation, including topics such as evaluation of teacher quality, implementation and interpretation of conceptual exams, and uses of formative assessment.  

The program featured seven 90-minute sessions of four concurrent workshops that actively engaged participants, in order to model an active learning environment.  The program included considerable time to enable participants and presenters to network and share ideas informally.  

Conference Schedule

Contributed Poster Abstracts

Conference Workshops Themes

The 27 conference workshops addressed the following themes:
  • Master Teachers
  • Learning Assistants
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Building Partnerships
  • Understanding Assessment Data
  • Formative Assessment
  • Program Elements
  • Science Methods
View individual workshop descriptions or biographies of the presenters.

Plenary Speakers

  • Tom Luce, Chief Executive Officer of the National Math and Science Initiative to replicate the UTeach program, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development
  • Julie Luft, Professor of Science Education, Arizona State University-Tempe; Principal Investigator on the NSF-funded project Exploring the Development of Beginning Secondary Science Teachers in Various Induction Programs; Past President, Association for Science Teacher Education

Free Pre/Post-Conference Workshops


The UTeach Curriculum and Courses
February 28, 2008, 11 am - 4 pm, University of Texas at Austin
Michael Marder and Jill Marshall, University of Texas at Austin

UTeach is the program to prepare secondary mathematics and science teachers at University of Texas at Austin. UTeach has succeeded in doubling the number of math and science teachers graduating from UT Austin, and compact degree plans have played a role.  During this workshop, participants had the opportunity to view some of the UTeach courses in action, meet with UTeach students, and explore design of courses and the course sequence with UTeach faculty.

Interactions in Physical Science
March 2, 2008, 8 am - 3 pm, Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark
Fred Goldberg, San Diego State University and Robert Poel, Western Michigan University

Interactions in Physical Science is an NSF-supported, standards-based, guided inquiry physical science curriculum that was built on research on the teaching and learning of science.  In this workshop, participants were introduced to the Interactions curriculum, experience several activities, and worked through part of the accompanying professional development materials that support doing inquiry at the middle-school level.