Physics for Elementary Teachers: A New Curriculum Feature Summary

Physics for Elementary Teachers: A New Curriculum
In accordance with the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act of 2002, it will soon be required that all elementary students are assessed in science content by the end of their fifth grade year. It is recognized that few elementary teachers are prepared for this, especially in the physical sciences. Realizing this, many teacher preparation programs are replacing traditional science requirements for pre-service elementary teachers (usually a two semester sequence in any single lab science) with a cluster of one-semester content courses, including one in physics or physical science. Thus university physics departments are increasingly being called upon to implement a course exclusively for this audience. This can be quite a challenge since this is not the audience to which physics courses are traditionally targeted and it is desirable that such a course model the inquiry-based pedagogy that elementary teachers are expected to use in their own classrooms. Further, physics faculty may be unfamiliar with these inquiry-based methods of teaching. The Physics for Elementary Teachers (PET) curriculum has been designed to address this challenge.
May 19, 2008 - June 19, 2014