How Physics is important in our life

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The Role, Education, Qualifications, and Professional Development of Secondary School Physics Teachers American Association of Physics TeachersThe Role, Education, Qualifications, and Professional Development of Secondary School Physics Teachers © 2009 Published and Distributed by: The American Association of Physics Teachers One Physics Ellipse College Park, MD 20740 www.aapt.orgThe Role, Education, Qualifications, and Professional Development of Secondary School Physics Teachers AAPT  - Secondary School Physics TeachersAcknowledgments: The writing committee would like to extend thanks to the AAPT members who had been involved in the creation of the original “Role, Qualifications, and Education of a High School Physics Teachers,” published in 988. Special thanks are extended to William C. Kelly and John W. Layman, members of the original committee who have contributed in the review process of this document. Bill Kelly passed away just prior to completion of this document, his major contributions to these documents will remain as part of his legacy. Writing Committee members: Chair: Patrick Callahan, Delaware Valley Regional High School (NJ) Beverly (Trina) Cannon, Highland Park High School (TX) Elizabeth Chesick, Baldwin School (PA) Joan Mackin, Retired (PA) Shannon Mandel, Barrington High School (IL) Carl Wenning, Illinois State University (IL) AAPT  - Secondary School Physics TeachersTable of Contents Executive Summary 5 1. Introduction 9 2. Role of a Physics Teacher 12 3. Education and Qualifications 15 4. Professional Development 20 5. Summary 26 AAPT  - Secondary School Physics TeachersAAPT  - Secondary School Physics TeachersExecutive Summary Introduction Candidates for secondary school physics teaching positions may be drawn from a variety of sources. Some may have completed an accredited physics or physics teaching program, others may have training in other educational, science, engineering, or business disciplines. Still others may be entering the profession as an alternative or second career. The purpose of this document is to provide some guidance for administrators to gauge a candidate’s qualifications to teach physics. Knowledge of physics content A secondary school physics teacher is expected to have a major or a minor in physics (or equivalent physics coursework). Coursework in physics should cover a wide range of topics in the areas of general physics, classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, wave motion, sound, optics, and modern physics. A subset of these courses should also employ inquiry- based laboratory activities. Teachers should have had a physics research experience to connect theory with practice in the discipline. Knowledge of teaching physics Classroom climate The classroom of a qualified physics teacher is an active learning community where students: work in groups conducting meaningful experimental investigations; build and test scientific explanations; engage in thought provoking activities; and conduct inter-group discussions and evaluation of each other’s arguments. In such a climate students are actively engaged in discussions and collaboration. Classroom Example: Instead of explaining to students how circuits work and providing analogies, the teacher provides groups of students a light bulb, one wire and a battery. After students succeed in lighting the bulb, they describe their experiments to the class and craft an explanation as to why that particular method worked. Other groups compare their work with that group and the whole class participates in a class discussion. Curriculum This includes knowledge of sequences of topics that help students build understanding of new concepts or skills. These concepts or skills are built AAPT  - Secondary School Physics Teachersbeginning with knowledge the student brings to the classroom. Sequencing choices are often supported by findings within physics education research. Classroom Example: When the teacher plans a lesson she/he can clearly articulate what specific lesson components build on student ideas known from research, the teacher modifies the lesson based on student responses, and the teacher avoids using terminology with which students are unfamiliar. Knowledge of learners This includes knowledge of ideas that students bring into the classroom (not necessarily wrong ideas) and difficulties that they might have constructing concepts or interpreting physics language that might differ from everyday language. Classroom Example: When the teacher has to do a demonstration lesson she/he ascertains what students learned before and what they are expected to do next. For example, if the assignment is to teach gas pressure, the teacher might elicit student understanding of principles through concept questions or students’ responses to questions on impulse and momentum. This information is then used by the teacher to modify and adjust the lesson plan. Effective instructional strategies This involves knowledge of multiple methods or activity sequences that lead to successful student learning of a specific concept or process skill. The teacher should be able to employ a variety of concrete and abstract representations and experimental procedures to appeal to the variety of ways students learn. The teacher should always encourage students to arrive at an answer by reasoning rather than by memorization and recall. Classroom Example: The teacher: uses and encourages students to construct multiple representations of the same idea during a lesson; asks students to explain (using queries like “How?,” “Why?,” or “Explain”) phenomena or answers; and allows students to discuss questions in groups before presenting an answer. When students have difficulty understanding a concept, a teacher suggests or encourages students to employ alternative approaches. Assessment This includes the ability to employ different methods to assess, both formatively and summatively, student conceptual understanding, acquisition of reasoning and problem solving skills, and science process skills. An equally important aspect of assessment is to enable students to self-assess their own work and that of their group, and to encourage and respond to constructive feedback. The ability to carry out this level of reflection is a powerful tool to enhance conceptual understanding. AAPT  - Secondary School Physics TeachersClassroom Example: A teacher and students set and evaluate goals for activities. Students and the teacher have multiple opportunities to revise their work and improve it while they are learning a new concept. When the teacher writes a unit test (or a lab practical exam), every assignment assesses a specific goal articulated at the beginning of the unit, so that the test and the lab exam as a whole assesses most of the goals. Acknowledgment This document was created as a collaborative effort of the American Association of Physics Teachers’ area committees on High School Physics and Teacher Preparation. The Research in Physics Education area committee also reviewed and approved of the document. AAPT  - Secondary School Physics TeachersAAPT 8 - Secondary School Physics TeachersThe Role, Education, Qualifications, and Professional Development of Secondary School Physics Teachers Overview This document is the result of the work of a subcommittee of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT); this subcommittee was established by the AAPT Committee on Physics in High Schools and eventually became a joint effort with the AAPT Committee on Teacher Preparation. The primary intent of the document is to provide guidance to secondary school administrators in the evaluation and professional support of physics teachers. Administrators may find the information provided in section 2 (Role of a Physics Teacher) and section 3 (Education and Qualifications) particularly valuable for this purpose. The writing committee also believes that the document will be beneficial to in-service teachers who wish to improve their teaching through professional development. In-service teachers may find information in section  (Professional Development) of particular interest, in addition to sections and  . 1. Introduction The following statement from The Role, Education, and Qualifications of the High School Physics Teacher (AAPT Committee on Special Projects for High School Physics, 988) describes both its focus and that of this document, which is an update of that earlier publication. “Excellence in high school physics depends on many things: the teacher, course content, availability of apparatus for laboratory experiments, a clear philosophy and workable plan for meeting students’ needs, serious dedication to learning goals, and adequate financial support. The role of the teacher, however, is the most important. Without a well-educated, strongly motivated, skilled, well-supported teacher, the arch of excellence in high school physics collapses. The teacher is the keystone of quality.” Education research has continued to show that an effective teacher is the single most important factor of student learning (Darling-Hammond, 000;  Marzano, 00  ). Marzano characterizes an ef  fective teacher as one who matches the strategies to the students. In Physics at the Crossroads (Hilborn, 99  ) the author ar  gued that physics education was at a “critical juncture.” Introductory physics courses were criticized because students who completed them lacked preparation for more advanced courses, an understanding of physics, and an ability to apply AAPT 9 - Secondary School Physics Teachersthe ideas. The ideas expressed in this report are still a concern in physics education. Factors that affect the actual teaching of physics have changed since publication of The Role, Education, and Qualifications of High School Physics Teachers (AAPT Committee on Special Projects for High School Physics, 988). George D. Nelson describes these changes as an evolutionary framework consisting of four generations of instructional change (Nelson, 00). He characterized the four generations as follows: • Generation  was a traditional approach using textbooks with the students as passive learners. Information was presented to the students in a lecture format and assigned readings in a textbook were supplemented by demonstrations and, possibly, “cookbook” laboratory activities. Students were responsible for solving problems after the teacher showed them examples of how this type of problem was solved. After the launch of Sputnik, different ideas on teaching physics emerged. Various programs were developed, including PSSC Physics (PSSC Article Collections) and Harvard Project Physics (Holton, 9  9), as a result of funding from the  National Science Foundation. These programs served as a bridge to Generation . • The Generation  ideas of teaching style changed drastically to promote student-centered learning rather than the teacher-centered model in Generation . Teachers needed additional professional development to employ the constructivist strategies in their classes. • Since 99  , a Generation  emerged, using cognitive research- based materials to support constructivist learning. Generation  may incorporate technology for collecting and analyzing data and conducting simulations to compliment student development of cognitive understanding of science concepts. Formative assessment is a key factor to enable the teacher to pose questions and help guide students in their quest for understanding of scientific concepts. • According to Nelson, Generation , an approach involving teacher collaborative learning communities, is the next step. These changes in the teaching of physics pose challenges for the preparation of physics teachers. Many states have implemented a standards-based science curriculum in grades K – that is often based on the  National Science Education Standards (National Research Council, 99  ).  Teachers are responsible for implementing the standards-based curriculum and preparing the students for state tests in science as well as existing tests in mathematics and language AAPT 0 -  Secondary School Physics Teachersarts. The effective teaching of physics includes using strategies to promote constructivist learning, conceptual understanding of physics topics, and to develop skills and methods for students to understand the process of scientific inquiry. These teaching strategies include the use of cooperative learning, technology tools, activities performed in order to collect, analyze, and report data. The teacher needs to understand the use of formative and summative assessments and techniques to create a learning environment where students share the responsibility for their own learning. As our understanding of how to more effectively engender student learning grows this altered understanding is leading to changes in teacher preparation but it also indicates the need for ongoing professional development. In addition to our changing understanding of how people learn, physics teachers today are facing a greater variability in terms of students’ academic preparation, educational expectations, epistemologies, and demographics than in years past. The need to better engage this changing population adds support to the necessity for ongoing professional support. Science teacher education is changing. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has published reports that describe standards and the revisions needed within science teacher preparation to support students achieving these standards. The standards were based on the review of professional literature and the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 99), which we will reference as  (NSES), and were designed to be a performance assessment tool at certain times during a teacher preparation program. The first three areas of the NSTA Teacher Preparation Standards (NSTA, 00) deal with preparation in subject matter  , the nature of science, and inquiry as a methodology for teaching and learning. The remaining seven standards deal with preparation for teaching students to become more informed about science issues, preparation to meet the needs of students, curriculum, science in the community, assessment, safety in the classroom, and professional growth. The standards offer a general outline of areas that should be included in courses and experiences for the preparation of physics teachers. This revision of The Role, Education, and Qualifications of the High School Physics Teacher (AAPT Committee on Special Projects for High School Physics, 988) is based on the perspective of the current reform in physics education. What is the role of the physics teacher in the classroom and the community? What education and qualifications will help physics teachers be effective in helping students learn physics? What are personal attributes of physics teachers that help them be successful? And finally, what types of professional development opportunities will help teachers continue to grow as teachers? AAPT -  Secondary School Physics Teachers2. Role of a Physics Teacher A good physics teacher is someone who realizes that among the most valued and significant roles of a science teacher is to help a student understand a body of information and the processes of scientific investigation. This teacher derives great pleasure when students truly comprehend a concept or principle and appreciates the role scientific inquiry had in its development. Teacher Self-Preparation Behind the scene work determines the level of student understanding. Quality teaching depends on what is done by the teacher before stepping into the classroom. Preparation is key: • Set the goals in terms of conceptual and process outcomes. • Decide what students will do in the classroom to achieve these goals. • Decide how to assess whether the goals are achieved, including the roles of both formative and summative assessments. • Maintain a positive outlook and be flexible. • Prepare subject material: sequencing and correlating to standards. • Prepare lab apparatus and equipment. Teacher-Student Interaction The primary role of a teacher is to establish a learning environment where all students are able to learn and are motivated to learn, an environment that is both challenging and supportive: • Establish a learning community consisting of the teacher and the students. • Recognize and celebrate diversity in students. • Design or select varied instructional strategies to accommodate different learning styles. • Establish and implement a consistent classroom management plan. • Listen to student ideas and be prepared to address them. • Guide students to view the place of physics in the wider scientific world. • Encourage and support students in discovering concepts independently when possible. • Maintain appropriate methods of communication with parents to keep them informed of student progress and attitude and address any issues that may arise. • Make sure that student activities are challenging yet doable, and that students can track their progress. AAPT -  Secondary School Physics Teachers• Make sure that students can establish connections between classroom activities and everyday experiences. • Review safety procedures with students. • Assess student progress both formatively and summatively. Community Building in the Classroom It is important for students to feel comfortable in the classroom. A good teacher should make connections with the students: • Be authentic and genuine. • Learn the names of all students early and speak to each student every day. • Recognize and acknowledge students’ interim successes that lead to final understanding of concepts and principles. • Be available to provide extra help and be willing to respond to questions. • Involve and include all students in classroom activities. • Be fair and consistent in the treatment of each student. • Be accurate and specific in evaluating student progress. Scientific Literacy Development Science does not happen only inside the classroom. Science teachers are charged with producing informed consumers of science who will be able to make decisions whenever science intersects public policy. Thus the teacher should be an informed and critical observer of science, concerned with developing scientific literacy: • Take advantage of community resources. • Connect with scientists outside of the classroom through speakers and field trips. • Provide students with opportunities to learn, for choice, and for success. • Provide meaningful applications, and manageable tasks for students to perform. • Bring scientific news into the classroom. • Discuss implications of new technology. • Address real-world problems that may be interdisciplinary. • Provide activities and opportunities for students to experience physics outside the classroom. AAPT -  Secondary School Physics TeachersAdditional Responsibilities In addition to classroom responsibilities, teachers are expected to fulfill other obligations: • Participate in division, department, and school-wide meetings. • Support school related activities and functions. • Contact other teachers through professional meetings and organizations. • Pursue professional development. AAPT -  Secondary School Physics Teachers3. Education and Qualifications The professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions of physics teachers should be grounded in what their physics students will need to know and be able to do in order to contribute meaningfully to life in a democratic society. National and state goals and standards reflect these needs, and have strongly converged in recent years. The physics teacher’s knowledge base consists of three components: content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and pedagogical content knowledge (Shulman, 98; Etkina, 00). Content knowledge is knowledge of the discipline itself, and includes such things as procedural methods. Various documents define the content that students should learn, e.g., Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS, 99), and teacher  -preparation documents, such as the NSES (National Research Council, 99) describe  the role and dispositions of the teacher. Pedagogical knowledge represents a “generic why and how to” of teaching. These, too, are addressed in national and state standards. Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) represents a situation-specific overlap of content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. PCK deals with the “specific why and how to” of teaching a given discipline. PCK is complex, and is often the result of many years of classroom experience (Wells et al., 99  ). It can be described as “knowledge in context” and, according to Shulman (1986), includes knowledge of student difficulties and prior conceptions in the domain, knowledge of domain representations and instructional strategies, and domain-specific assessment methods. Others have since elaborated on the construct adding teachers’ dispositions toward teaching and knowledge of curriculum (Grossman, 99  ;  Magnusson, Krajcik & Borko, 999). A broader description of what a physics teacher candidate’s knowledge base should be is provided in summary fashion as follows: Content Knowledge Physics Content: There is considerable research that indicates greater student gains in learning are associated with better-prepared teachers (Darling- Hammond, 000).  A physics teacher is a member of a learning community who has developed a broad and current understanding of the major content areas of physics and allied sciences presented here in no particular order: • Kinematics and dynamics • Impulse and momentum • Work, energy, and power • Newtonian principles and laws including engineering applications • Conservation of mass, momentum, energy, and charge • Physical properties of matter AAPT -  Secondary School Physics Teachers• Thermodynamics and kinetic-molecular motion • Atomic models, radioactivity, nuclear reactors, fission and fusion • Wave theory, sound, light, the electromagnetic spectrum and optics • Electricity and magnetism The teacher’s understanding will be at a level consistent with appropriate national and state standards, and include a familiarity of the unifying principles of science such as conservation laws, symmetry, and quantum behavior. This presupposes that the teacher possesses a general understanding of the closely allied fields of earth and space science, chemistry , and mathematics, and will be aware of the major findings of the biological and environmental sciences. Ideally, the teacher will have learned basic content knowledge through methods of inquiry thereby acquiring closely associated procedural knowledge. The teacher should have had an opportunity to experience the processes of scientific investigation: observing, asking questions, defining a problem; hypothesizing from an evidence base; making predictions; creating an experiment; identifying and controlling variables; collecting, graphically representing, and interpreting experimental data; conducting error analyses; drawing inferences and conclusions from data; and communicating results. Knowledge so gained will help the teacher better understand science as a way of knowing. Teachers, with this kind of background, can more effectively use inquiry-based classes to guide students to understand both the power and the limitations of science. Ideally, physics teachers will learn this content through a major in physics. Teachers who are assigned to teach physics without adequate content preparation should be provided support for developing requisite content knowledge. This includes taking one or more physics teaching methods courses through a high-quality teacher-preparation program that teaches and promotes the best practices of science instruction. In such programs, teacher candidates will have the opportunity to observe how such practices are used in physics classes, as well as planning and teaching lessons in secondary physics classes. A careful review of the expectations for all students participating in the learning of science reveals the same set of expectations, varying in depth of expectations at various learning levels. See, for instance, the National Science Education Standards (National Research Council, 99) , Science for All Americans (AAAS, 99  ) and others. It is reasonable, therefore, to expect  that teachers should possess the very knowledge, skills, and dispositions that society expects their students to learn. AAPT -  Secondary School Physics TeachersNature of Science: A physics teacher has developed an understanding of the nature of science including an understanding of scientific nomenclature, intellectual process skills, rules of scientific evidence, postulates of science, scientific dispositions, major misconceptions about science, and unifying concepts and processes of science. Making Connections: A physics teacher has developed an ability to help students understand how physics relates to their lives, the community, and society in general. Such teachers help students address science-technology- society issues in a forthright and objective manner. They help students become informed citizens who will one day need to make decisions about science related issues as they relate to environmental quality, education, and personal and community health. Pedagogical Knowledge and Pedagogical Content Knowledge Physics Teacher Preparation Programs Secondary level physics teachers are prepared through a variety of programs. This includes undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including master-level programs and alternative certification programs. Science teacher education programs vary considerably because of their programmatic nature, differences in certification requirements of the fifty states, and the philosophies of faculties at universities and colleges. Some institutions will prepare specialists (a single field preparation model) whereas others will prepare generalists (broad field preparation model). Some teachers will receive specialized science methods courses within their content major whereas others will receive generalized science methods courses from a college of education. Universities and colleges use a variety of approaches. In some colleges and universities, students complete content and education courses and during their last semester complete student teaching. Others use Professional Development School or university-school partnership models. These models often consist of collaboratives formed between teacher-education programs, content-area departments, and school districts. One advantage of partnership programs is that field experiences are more fully integrated with course work prior to student teaching, and give teacher candidates extensive opportunities to observe and apply their knowledge in “real world” situations. All teacher-education programs should be accredited by their states. Accreditation by national agencies ensures students of the highest quality educational experience possible, and should be an important consideration for teacher candidates deciding which institution to attend or for school administrators deciding which graduates to hire. AAPT -  Secondary School Physics TeachersQualifications: Physics teachers understand what constitutes effective teaching. Physics teachers should, at a minimum, have had appropriate experiences leading to a demonstrable understanding of the following elements of pedagogical knowledge. Curriculum—Physics teachers understand how to develop learning outcomes for science instruction that incorporate state and national standards for teaching science, and select appropriate curriculum materials to meet standards-based outcomes. They understand the logical connections between the topics of the curriculum, the need to build on each other, and to create learning progressions. They are aware of the “depth versus breadth” conundrum of science teaching, and have an understanding of how to appropriately balance transmission and constructivist approaches to teaching and learning. Instruction—Physics teachers possess the following skills of teaching: • Preparation—Physics teachers prepare lessons using a variety of instructional approaches, create unit plans, and deal with the broad implications of year-long curriculum planning. This includes the proper alignment between preparing objectives, designing appropriate means of achieving these objectives, and ways of assessing whether the goals are achieved. • Instructional delivery—Physics teachers use a variety of instructional strategies to help students learn and understand the concepts of physics. These include but are not limited to interactive demonstrations, inquiry lessons and labs, reading, case study discussions, peer instruction, cooperative learning, Socratic dialogues, problem-based learning, historical studies, and the use of strategies tailored to meet the needs of diverse learners. They will effectively utilize cooperative learning strategies that involve small groups of students in roles where they share a common goal and resources in order to build interdependence. • Student ideas—Physics teachers elicit, identify, confront, and resolve resilient preconceptions that students bring to the classroom that are derived from casual observations of the physical world. Teachers should understand the difficulties that students encounter in the formulation of scientifically acceptable explanations. • Metacognition— Physics teachers help students self-assess and regulate their learning by reflecting critically on what they should know and be able to do. • Inquiry teaching—Physics teachers understand and apply accepted AAPT 8 -  Secondary School Physics Teachers

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