Overview of U.S. Science Teacher Preparation Programs and a Model Research-Guided Program in Ohio

By  Kathleen Koenig
Received: 2009-9-26 / Accepted: 2009-11-22 / Published: 2010-1-15
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Abstract Due to the rising importance of a scientifically literate citizenry, the reform of science education in Kindergarten through grade 12 has become a national focus and such reform depends heavily on appropriate teacher preparation. This article provides an overview of teacher preparation in the United States and describes how state requirements differ. This leads to variations in the nature and quality of teacher preparation programs across the country. A model research-guided teacher preparation program in Ohio is presented along with a description of how action research can be employed to assess program weaknesses and drive curricular modifications. Links to various websites and resources are provided regarding specific state teacher licensure requirements as well as links to all U.S. Colleges of Education. [More...]

An Autobiographical History in PER

By  Dewey I. Dykstra Jr
Received: 2009-10-18 / Accepted: 2009-12-8 / Published: 2010-1-15
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Abstract This is an entry in an intended series of historical articles on Physics Education Research (PER). Please note that this essay is necessarily from an individual point of view. It is the hope for this project that we can gather recollections of these and other events from the multiple points of view of other participants to enable the reader to triangulate the events. We also wish that a record of the events that constitute the origins of physics education research be documented in a public setting. Described herein are events from about 1969 to 2009 mostly in connection with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).  [More...]

The Application of Computer Network Systems in Experimental Physics Courses

By  Kai Fang, Chen Ni, Ming-nat Chen
Received: 2009-7-31 / Accepted: 2009-10-23 / Published: 2010-1-15
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Abstract Computers and network technologies are widely used in introductory and experimental physics courses. We introduced a new computer network system, the intelligent experimental network system, to collect the data and results students produce while they are doing experiments in the laboratory. We then organized the collected information into a database and analyzed it to discover the system’s merit for increased educational
effectiveness. For several semesters, teachers have used this system to manage their teaching and uncover the difficulties and misconceptions students have during the experimental course. In this paper, we describe and analyze the intelligent experimental network system in terms of its network structure, communication interface, software, application to laboratory teaching, and future prospects. Our research-based survey demonstrates the positive attitudes of students toward this computer system and method of laboratory teaching. [More...]