Chicago State University: Course Information
Courses in the teacher education program at CSU are guided by best practices. Currently, there is one required undergraduate science teaching methods course totaling three semester hours taught by the Chemistry and Physics Department. There are two additional courses in Physics which integrate content and pedagogy. In the first course preservice teachers engage in research-based laboratory activities and then work as facilitators in CSU's introductory physics classes alongside the course instructor. In the second course, students complete activities that are appropriate for the high school classroom and discuss the pedagogical issues they may face as high school physics teachers.
Courses in all physics options at CSU are reform-based. All students taking the calculus and algebra-based introductory courses are immersed in an active learning environment where PER-based instructional materials are used. A full complement of these materials would include Interactive PowerPoint lectures, Research-Based Laboratories, Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research (TIPERs), Clicker Question Sequences. These diverse instructional techniques are a result of three National Science Foundation Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grants (two led by CSU (2004, 2007), and one led by the Ohio State University (2007). These grants have allowed us to make significant changes in how physics is taught at our university. In addition, the department has received an NSF Noyce award (October 2008) to provide scholarships for preservice science teachers and STEM professionals who are pursuing certification in science. The department has strong connections to inservice science teachers in the Chicago Public Schools through ongoing professional development programs such as the Chicago Science Vans. The Van Programs are supported by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and provide professional development as well as teaching and equipment support to teachers in Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago suburbs. The Van programs are available to both preservice and inservice teachers and help us establish a network of teachers with diverse experiences that share a common goal.