2019 PhysTEC Conference Invited Talks

Plenary Speakers

Rebranding Teaching

Zachary Levine, TEACH

In the marketing industry, we would say that the teaching profession has a brand image problem. Zachary will speak about lessons and
insights that TEACH has gained about how to elevate the brand of teaching in the eyes of Millennials and Generation Z.

Sports on the Moon

Arthur Eisenkraft, University of Massachusetts Boston

One day humans will thrive on the Moon for extended periods of time. Similar to life on Earth people will engage in exercise and entertainment. Sports can satisfy both of these needs. This "sports on the Moon" challenge has been attempted by high school students, college students, teachers, scientists and engineers (including some NASA scientists). This presentation will also describe how this type of challenge can be used to improve science instruction. The challenge is one of nine chapters in Active Physics, a high school curriculum project, conceived and developed by AAPT, APS, and AIP with NSF support. The curriculum uses a 7E instructional model (engage, elicit, explore, explain, elaborate, extend, evaluate) at both the lesson level and the chapter level. At the lesson level, students are engaged through a cartoon. Teachers then elicit students' prior understanding of the science content. The students then explore the science through an investigation. After completing the investigation, students explain their results and the teacher helps place their explanations into a larger theoretical structure. The students and teacher then elaborate this content and see how it applies to related situations. Finally, the students extend their understanding by transferring the science content to their chapter challenge – developing a sport that can be played on the Moon. Throughout the lesson, the teacher is evaluating student understanding.

What do thriving physics teacher education programs do? Insights from the Physics Teacher Education Program Analysis (PTEPA) Rubric.

Stephanie V. Chasteen, Chasteen Consulting

The Physics Teacher Education Program Analysis (PTEPA) Rubric is a new instrument designed by PhysTEC to provide a specific, objective, and reliable guide for physics teacher education programs, enabling self-reflection, measurement of program growth, and creating research opportunities. The PTEPA Rubric is informed by the PhysTEC Key Components, but offers more specific guidance about program practices and measurement of success. The PTEPA Rubric was developed to describe what thriving physics teacher education programs do (i.e., programs at large universities that typically graduate five or more highly-qualified physics teachers in a year). We will describe the process of PTEPA Rubric development, initial insights gained from the instrument, and how you can use it to improve your program, no matter its size.

We acknowledge funding from NSF-0808790, NSF-1707990 and APSs 21st Century Campaign for this work.

Post Conference Workshop

Get the Facts Out: Changing the Conversation Around STEM Teacher Recruitment

Wendy K. Adams, Colorado School of Mines

The new PTaP (Perceptions of Teaching as a Profession) survey and the recent APS POPA (Panel on Public Affairs) report has found that there are strongly held beliefs about the teaching profession, many of which are misperceptions. These misperceptions discourage students from exploring teaching as a viable career option. The major misperceptions that preclude consideration of teaching as a career are: (1) the inaccurate belief that the salary gap between teaching, the private sector and government is very wide; and (2) inaccurate beliefs about tangible and intangible benefits of the profession. The POPA report has also found that discussing teaching as a career option correlates with the number of teaching majors in a department. To encourage discussion about teaching as a profession and change these misperceptions, we formed a partnership among APS, the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Chemical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, 100Kin10, a behavioral change researcher, a neuroscience messaging expert, and several colleges and universities to develop a joint national campaign effort called Get the Facts Out. This campaign provides resources for faculty to use when discussing math or science teaching as a profession with STEM undergraduates.