Supported Site Ball State University: Early Teaching Experience

Successes

  • Starting in 2003 and continuing through the present, PhysTEC collaborations have resulted in many contacts who also serve as Early Field Experience supervisors of Ball State’s preservice physics teachers.
  • TIRs have been very effective in helping the students obtain their placement through their school contacts, and benefiting from it as much as possible through continued communication.
  • Students are required to take the course Basic Concepts in Science Education, early in their preservice teaching careers.

Challenges

  • With turnover in the Physics and Astronomy Department, the Office of Teacher Education Services (OTES), and the local schools, a sustained involvement to maintain effective placements for our preservice teachers must continue.

Sustainability/Institutional Buy-In

  • Faculty members are seeking teaching load credit for the many responsibilities they have assumed in the new licensure program. Departmental buy-in and sustainability will occur once content faculty receive this credit for monitoring student progress in a manner similar to that currently provided for Teachers College faculty.

Lessons Learned

  • To reform teacher preparation programs, the physical science faculties must be given additional credit and/or compensation. However, producing a better teacher that will remain in the profession may be the only reward for a job well done.

Activity Summary

  • To prepare its students for student teaching, the Teachers College provides early teaching experiences. Students observe, prepare instructional presentations, and undertake other related instructional tasks. These field experiences are scheduled by the Teachers College and conducted in the on-campus Burris Laboratory School, as well as in affiliated public school systems in Muncie and others within commuting distance of the university.
  • Michael Wolter, 2003-2004 TIR, through the PhysTEC/TIR experience monitored the placement of many of the department’s preservice physics teachers.
  • The Department of Physics and Astronomy provides opportunities for several undergraduate students as teaching assistants in introductory physics classes. Responsibilities in this position may include tutoring.
  • Beginning in the fall 2003 and continuing through 2007 due to the PhysTEC collaborations, students pursuing field experiences in physics were typically supervised by Michael Wolter, former PhysTEC TIR (2003-2004) and Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.