Member Institution Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville State University
Professor of Physics
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Our initiative to improve pre-service education
Since a number of years now, we (the physics faculty) have been collaborating with the college of Education and Professional studies to improve the education of physics at Jacksonville State University and at a number of school districts in northeast Alabama. A number of initiatives have been undertaken on two major fronts:
- We have been offering and updating a number of undergraduate and graduate physics courses that the pre-service students need to take as part of their course work.
- For seven continuous years now, we have been successful in obtaining federal funding for a grant project called IMPACTSEED (IMproving Physics And Chemistry Teaching at the SEcondary EDucation). This project has been offering professional development to in-service and pre-service teachers in physics and chemistry. For more information about this project, please visit its site at: http://www.jsu.edu/depart/pes/physics/impactseed/
The primary goal of IMPACTSEED is to bring the preparation of secondary education chemistry and physics teachers in alignment with state and national standards so that every student receives high quality instruction from knowledgeable, well-trained, and well-supported teachers. The project is intended to help teachers achieve a double aim:
- to make physics and chemistry understandable and fun to learn within a hands-on, inquiry-oriented setting;
- to overcome the fear-factor for physics and chemistry among students.
Project IMPACTSEED offers hands-on, inquiry-based instruction with a strong correlation to the Alabama Course of Study and national standards with primary emphasis on having students discover rather than memorize and with teachers questioning rather than telling. Project IMPACTSEED offers a number of activities, notably:
- an intensive two-week summer professional development program;
- five technology workshops during the academic year;
- sustained, year-round on-site support to the teachers;
- year-round physics and chemistry hotlines to offer immediate support to the teachers when needed;
- a website to disseminate the results of the project and to list useful resources.