red Supported Site Cal Poly Pomona: Early Teaching Experience

Successes

  • In AY 2012-2013, 21 LA positions were offered in 25 Physics courses to assist with student learning and class activities:
    • In Fall 2012, 6 LAs were utilized by 7 physics faculty in 9 courses (5 recitations, 3 lecture, and one activity course (SCI 101, first year experience).
    • In Winter 2013, 8 LAs were utilized by 8 physics faculty in 8 courses (5 recitations, 3 lecture, and one activity format, SCI 101).
    • In Spring 2013, 7 LAs were utilized by 7 physics faculty in 7 courses (3 recitations, 3 lecture, and one activity course (SCI 210 for future elementary teachers).
  • The LA seminar, Physics teaching pedagogy course (PHY 200), was offered quarterly in AY 2012-2013:
    • All LAs were enrolled and PhysTEC PIs and the Faculty Advisory Panel attended.
    • The course included outside speakers and incorporated many of the Colorado LA program activities and videos to help Physics students at CPP integrate the pedagogy they learned to the teaching.
    • The end-of-course evaluations indicated that LAs felt the course was useful to the prospective Physics teachers and for their LA duties.
  • Physics tutoring room was revitalized:
    • Since fall 2013, we have established a physics tutoring room using our LAs and volunteer physics faculty members. This room has been very active and popular with our physics majors and engineering students in our introductory courses. A specific room (Building 3-room 2011) is designated for physics tutoring.
    • A weekly tutoring schedule is prepared and shared with faculty and students

Challenges

  • Recruiting LAs with strong commitment towards teaching is a challenge.
  • Scheduling LAs into several sections of different courses three times a year (every quarter) is a very time demanding task for the PI.
  • Depth of physics knowledge and math background of some of LAs is limited when it comes to tutoring the full range of classes.

Sustainability

  • We will continue offering an LA seminar course for LAs at least once a year.
  • The course is well attended and recognized by faculty and students.
  • New faculty members are great support for early teaching experience and would like to continue utilizing LAs in their teaching.

Lessons Learned

  • A regular weekly meeting with content faculty should be maintained.

Activities

  • The LAs led group work, class discussion, homework help sessions, and assisted with lecture demonstrations.
  • In 2012-2013 each LA tutored for up to 2 hours a week in the physics tutor room.
  • LAs and SPS led outreach events at a local school on May 9th and 16th 2013, where they designed and delivered lesson plans and activities on Force and Motion for second graders at Collegewood elementary school in Walnut Unified School District (WUSD).
  • LAs worked with future K-8 teachers in the SCI 210 course and assisted them in preparing rubrics for judging a science fair at local middle school. LAs along with the SCI 210 students were invited to help judge the Harrison Science Fair at Pomona Unified School District (PUSD) on May 14, 2013.
  • LA Seminars had a few joint meetings with Noyce Scholars who are currently in the credential program or performing their clinical practice.
  • LAs worked along with Noyce scholars and science faculty to host one hundred (100) seventh graders from Cortez elementary school (PUSD) for an outreach event at Cal Poly Pomona on April 5, 2013. We divided the students up into four groups of 24 and had them rotate through one life science, one physical science, and two math labs. Activities included mini science lessons at the middle school level and games and fun demos, followed by a campus tour. Physics LAs and Noyce Scholars led the physical science session.