Supported Site Cal Poly Pomona: Collaboration

Successes

  • With the return of Dr. Janeen Volsey (co-PI) to work, we have had more opportunities to meet and discuss issues related to CPP physics single subject credential program and courses with our colleagues at CEIS in the second year of the grant.
  • In collaboration with a colleague from the College of Education, Dr. Sadaghiani visited a classroom of a PhysTEC future high school candidate.
  • Collaborative work among four PhysTEC PIs and the Faculty Advisory Panel (FAP) has been the foundation of our success. In 2013-14 AY, this collaboration has expended to several education faculty and staff who are involved with CPP science single subject credentials.
  • The CPP Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (CEMaST) and the PhysTEC team work closely in a variety of activities such as planning LA seminar refreshments and outreach events aimed to recruit and support science teachers.
  • Starting Fall 2013, the CPP science single subject advisory is taking place under supervision of faculty in CEMaST.
  • Steve McCauley (Co-PI) and the department chair have created a strong collaborative community among the Physics and Astronomy faculty.
    • Physics and Astronomy faculty members were informed about the PhysTEC activities on a regular basis.
    • Faculty members were invited to LA information and recruiting meetings and several attended.
  • PIs seek collaborative opportunities with faculty in the Colleges of Science and Education. For example, the information and flyers regarding LA events often are distributed in the College of Education buildings.
  • Through outreach, science fair, and mini-lessons, we have collaborated with local school districts including Harrison and Cortez elementary in Pomona Unifies School District, Collegewood elementary in Walnut Valley Unifies School District, and LA Unifies School District.

Challenges

  • The pool of experienced and qualified collaborative high school physics teachers for placing our credential candidates during their clinical study has been very small.
  • Physics credential students also complete other science subject exams, and some students have had difficulties passing the California CSET exam in biology.
  • Dr. Janeen Volsey (co-PI), our education faculty expert in single subject science credential programs, was on medical leave for most of 2012-2013 AY.
  • We are challenged for allocating time and resources for reaching and communicating with new allies in the College of Education. Our department is down to 9 full time faculty members from 17 a few years ago.

Sustainability

  • We will continue our efforts to communicate and collaborate with our colleagues involved in physics single subject credential program within the College of Education.
  • We keep in touch with our alumni who have chosen to become high school physics teachers, so that in three years we can use them as collaborative teachers to mentor the upcoming groups of future teachers.
  • We have invited two of our alumni physics teachers to present in department events or seminars.

Lessons Learned

  • We need to identify qualified local high school physics teachers as collaborative teachers.
  • In the first year, we should have allocated additional time focused on planning collaborative activities between the Colleges of Education and Science.

Activities

  • The IRB application was completed and has been approved for pre- and post-evaluation of calculus-based introductory physics classes. Pre- and post-tests for FCI and CSEM were given to several hundreds of introductory students in Spring 2013.
  • Reports on PhysTEC progress and successes were regularly shared with Physics and Astronomy faculty at department meetings several times during the first and second year of the project.