PhysTEC Conferences

2005 Conference on the Preparation of Physics and Physical Science Teachers

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton presenting his workshop on interactive lecture demonstrations

The 2005 Conference of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition provided a much broader array of presenters than ever before and a wider range of participants as well. Held in Muncie, IN at Ball State University on March 11-12, 2005, the Conference offered three concurrent sessions of workshops on each day, augmented on March 11 by a session featuring six concurrent Micro-workshops. Beyond the scheduled sessions, many participants, especially the education and physics faculty members at PhysTEC institutions, found time to meet informally to share what they had learned in the year since the last Conference.


The presenters were drawn from national leaders in teacher preparation, including

  • Andy Elby, University of Maryland
  • Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University
  • Fred Goldberg, San Diego State University
  • Ron Thornton, Tufts University
as well as faculty members from PhysTEC institutions. Eight of the workshops dealt explicitly with assessment, the theme of the conference.

Over 71 attended, and participants ranged from college and university faculty to teachers-in-residence in physics departments to high school teachers. This diversity added a variety of perspectives to the informal conversations over lunch and between sessions.

The design of the Conference—combining the annual coming together of the PhysTEC community with an infusion of national experts and interested participants—will be a model for future Conferences.