Supported Site University of Arizona: Goals & Outcomes

Goal

The Goal of the PhysTEC grant at the University of Arizona is to increase the number and improve the quality of physics and physical science teachers produced in the College of Science Teacher Preparation Program (CoS TPP). This unique program, situated entirely within the College of Science, prepares science and science education majors for middle and high school science teaching in the content areas of biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics. Over the course of the program’s seven years of existence, we have prepared 64 science teachers, 67% of whom are still teaching. The PhysTEC project provided a teacher-in-residence for each year of the project, supported meetings of our teacher advisory group, and provided resources for reform of introductory physics courses.

Selected Outcomes

  • Our introductory science teaching classes fill each semester, an indication that the CoS TPP is well regarded by the students in the College.
  • Students in our program are involved in classroom experiences from the very first course in the program, resulting in some 120 hours of experiences prior to student teaching. As a result, our student teachers claim, and their mentors agree, that they are well prepared for student teaching.
  • We have prepared 12 physics teachers over the last five years, seven of whom are women.
  • All but one of the physics teachers prepared in our program is still teaching. The one teacher who just left teaching taught for three years, and is pursuing a position in which he will assist other teachers through professional development.
  • Student in the program perceive the teachers-in-residence as a valuable part of the program, as they have more current expertise about the classroom than do our faculty members and adjunct instructors.