Member InstitutionMember Institution University of Idaho

University of Idaho

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Christine Berven
John Davis

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Currently the University of Idaho has two options for teacher certification in the sciences: a secondary education degree with a 45-credit content teaching major, and a BS degree in a content (e.g., biology, chemistry, geology, physics) with completion of certification coursework.  College of Science and College of Education faculty, as well as 7-12 junior and senior high faculty, recognize the added value in the content-degree & certification route.  We have, for several years, been emphasizing this route.  However, we have recognized the need to be increasingly proactive in these efforts, especially in the woefully under-subscribed physics and physical science teacher preparation areas.  

Several efforts have been undertaken to increase the preparation of highly-qualified science teachers.  For example, the Colleges of Science and Education, recognizing the need for well-trained science teachers, recently joint-appointed a current faculty member.  One aspect of this person's position is to help develop such recruitment (and retention) efforts.  

In addition, the Department of Physics has begun to specifically target this need: The recently-revised strategic plan for the physics department emphasizes a goal to increase the number of well-prepared secondary education physics and physical science teachers.  To address this goal the department has begun systematic, systemic changes such as the recent revision of a physics BA program that enables a student to finish a physics BA degree with teacher certification in four years.  

Further efforts include a physics department faculty member (Christine Berven), working closely with the joint-appointed (Geology and Curriculum & Instruction) faculty member to further develop and refine efforts to increase the number of well-prepared physics and physical science teachers.