Endorsed Site Rutgers University: Mentoring, Master Teachers, and REUs

Rutgers University

Introduction
Physical Science Teacher Preparation Program
Mentoring, Master Teachers, and REUs

Advisory and mentoring programs

5-year students are advised, by the program director, from their sophomore year, long before they apply for the program. A special Teacher Education office holds meetings on campus describing all teacher education programs. As soon as a person shows interest in the program, the personal advising begins. Students take all courses in cohorts, so this helps build community. A yahoo discussion group set up from the first day of class helps create a conversation which really starts only when they get to oral exams in the course Teaching Physical science in the spring of the first year. This course is a real community builder because it is impossible to prepare for the exam by oneself. Another feature of the program that helps advising and mentoring is that students teach in a reformed physics course, so they see the new methods in action. The director picks out a school for student teaching for them, almost all with graduates of the Rutgers program who provide the necessary support during student teaching. The graduates have their yahoo discussion group, it is very big now; they talk about teaching and personal things all the time there.

Involvement of master teachers in pre-service education or mentoring

This is done through three venues.
-- When students do student teaching they are placed with master teachers (carefully selected, mostly Rutgers graduates, sometimes Ed.Ds);
-- Master teachers visit classes and participate in the development of class materials;
-- Master teachers interact and advise students during the 4 weeks of the summer course "Research internship in X-ray astrophysics".

Research opportunities for undergraduates (REUs)

All students in the program learn to do research in X-ray astrophysics (at a graduate level). Any of the GSE students can join the Physics Education Research group and participate in its research projects.