Early Teaching Experiences

Early Teaching Experiences: Strategies

published by the Physics Teacher Education Coalition

PhysTEC suggests early teaching experience as both a mechanism for recruitment and to provide future teachers with a realistic view of their chosen career.  Ways of providing this experience include becoming a learning assistant, exposing student teachers to a variety of grade levels, and inviting more experienced teachers to become involved with the teacher preparation program, either as mentors or as advisors in program development.


Learning Assistants: Strategies

published by the Physics Teacher Education Coalition

Learning Assistants are talented undergraduates who work with faculty members to make large-enrollment courses more collaborative, student-centered, and interactive. Learning Assistant programs provide potential future teachers with strongly supported and low-stress early teaching experiences that can encourage them to pursue teaching certification. In many cases, these potential teachers can be unsuspecting students who do not know they have an interest in teaching until they try it. Thus, a Learning Assistant program broadens the pool of students from which you can recruit future physics teachers. In fact, research has shown that Learning Assistant programs improve undergraduate performance in physics courses, facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration among faculty, involve more faculty in teacher preparation efforts, and recruit talented science majors to teaching careers. Learning Assistants also enhance their content knowledge through the process of teaching course material.


Teaching to Learn: The Colorado Learning Assistant program's impact on learning content

written by Noah D. Finkelstein, Valerie K. Otero, and Steven J. Pollock

As part of the PhysTEC coalition, the Colorado Learning Assistant (LA) program has been expanded in order to address the needs of teacher preparation and support.  This piece discusses the Colorado Learning Assistant (LA) program, and focuses on its impact on the content expertise of future physics teachers.


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