Member InstitutionMember Institution Emporia State University

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Christopher Pettit
Dr Jorge Ballester

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Preservice Teacher Preparation Program

The administration and delivery of middle- and secondary-level teacher education programs at Emporia State University are the shared responsibility of the academic disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Teachers College (college of education).  The Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) degree for programs for middle and secondary preservice teacher education has three principal components: general education, professional education, and the teaching field (licensure) content courses. The Departments of Physical Sciences at Emporia State University (comprised of the chemistry, earth science, and physics departments) collaborate with the Teachers College to administer four teaching fields (licensures): chemistry, earth/space science, physics, and science grades 5-8 (middle-level or general science).

General Physical Sciences Teaching Field Requirements
All teaching fields (licensures) in the physical sciences have a common core of course requirements including the first semester lecture and laboratory courses for chemistry (the chemistry "major's" course), earth science (an Earth systems course with topical content from geology, meteorology, and astronomy), and the one-semester algebra/trigonometry-based physics lecture/laboratory course combination (for allied science majors, not the calculus-based course, although it is an option).  In addition, a nature of science and the physical sciences teaching methods courses (taught by a science educator with an academic appointment in one of the physical sciences academic departments) constitute the twenty-hour core requirement for any of the physical sciences licensures.  

Also, because of the rural nature of Kansas, and consequently schools that typically will offer only one or two sections of physics, ESU physical sciences teaching aspirants are expected to complete requirements for two teaching fields, but only one of which must be in the physical sciences.  Therefore, some graduates will have teaching fields in physics and mathematics, for example.  However, the most common combination is physics and chemistry.  

Physics Licensure Requirements
In addition to the core requirement, the physics licensure requires the second semester sequel of the introductory physics lecture/laboratory course combination, and also modern physics, an advanced physics laboratory course, an additional physics elective course and an introductory calculus course.  

During the period between 1995 and the present, ESU has averaged 3 to 4 graduates with physics teaching credentials each year.  The number has been decreasing in more recent years at a time when there has been a proportionate increase of BS degree physics majors graduating.

The Science and Mathematics Education Center
The Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC) serves two roles.  It is both an instructional resource center, and the basis for bringing together faculty from "curriculum and instruction" in the Teachers College, and selected faculty from the biological sciences, mathematics and computer science, and the physical sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  These faculty contribute in a breadth of ways relative to science and mathematics education: they advise relative to Center activities, they initiate and recommend programs and program changes, they engage with outreach activities for pre-college classes, and they are some of the faculty who provide instruction for presevice and inservice teachers.  SMEC advisory committee members and others also develop proposals for extramural funding.  Funding from the NASA NOVA program is an example of extramural funding that was instrumental toward the reformation of elements of the preservice elementary education program by SMEC advisory and other faculty, and an effort with which some physics faculty were involved.