Physics Teacher Preparation Contributes More Than Additional Graduates Documents

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Physics Teacher Preparation Contributes More Than Additional Graduates 

written by Ron Henderson

Physics departments across the country are facing pressure to increase the number of graduates.  Some of the more successful efforts have involved curriculum and programming changes geared toward particular career paths.  Students want to know what they can do with a physics degree, and "anything you want" is not a sufficient answer.  In response, MTSU Physics and Astronomy recently added high school teaching to our list of concentrations.  There is a shortage of high school teachers with credentials in STEM areas in this country – especially in physics – but there are very few physics teachers being produced.  We have a situation where there is demand for a product that physics departments have the ability to supply, yet physics departments are not sure how to respond.  The APS and AAPT have taken a leadership role by establishing the Physics Teacher Education Coalition to provide resources to universities wishing to better prepare physics teachers.  At MTSU, we have found that curriculum and programming changes made to boost the number of physics teachers has resulted in a spill-over effect that benefits other areas in the department.

Last Modified June 14, 2012