Member Institution California State University, Sacramento
California State University, Sacramento
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The physics department at California State University, Sacramento has a history of commitment to training future K-12 teachers. The department participated in the NSF-funded Sacramento Area Collaborative for Teacher Education, working closely with colleagues in the College of Education to develop a new physics course for future K-8 teachers. The course models research-based teaching strategies as well as the scientific process for future teachers. Each year, two special sections of the course are reserved for cohorts who take their science methods course in the same semester they take this physics course.
We have launched a "Teacher Preparation Concentration" for our physics majors, and created two classes that provide teaching experiences with a strong mentoring component to these future physics teachers. The program is starting its sixth year and three TPC students have completed the credentialing program thus far. Three more undergraduate physics majors are currently enrolled in the program.
In Fall 2011 we started an innovative learning assistant program with the goals of turning STEM-oriented students on to the excitement of teaching, increase the number of physics majors, and most importantly increase the short supply of highly qualified physics teachers. The pilot project, where physis majors worked as LAs to help facilitate project-based instruction, ran in Fall 2011 in a large introduction to astronomy course. In Spring 2012 we expanded the program to include also a conceptual physics class. In Fall 2013 the LA program will run in two sessions of the first semester calculus-based physics, and one biology class. See our webpage at https://sites.google.com/site/csuslaprogram/