- Slides: 12
Physics Alternative Candidates' Understanding of Physics and Physics Teaching Kathleen Falconer Dan Mac. Isaac Buffalo State College AAPT Summer 2006
Introduction n n Teacher certification-NCLB Teacher Shortages in Physics Alternative Certification Attitudes and Beliefs about Science and Science Teaching Alt. Cert. Program n <http: //physicsed. buffalostate. edu>
Research Questions n n n What understandings do physics alternative certification candidates have about teaching and learning physics? 1. What are physics alternative certification candidates’ perceptions of their understanding of physics content? 2. What are their beliefs and values about physics content and physics teaching? 3. What are physics alternative certification candidates' perceptions of the teacher’s role in teaching physics and improving students’ understanding of physics content? 4. What are physics alternative certification candidates' understanding of the nature and culture of science? 5. How does this inform the physics alternative certification candidates' view of their practice?
Literature Review n n n Current reform movement in science and mathematics teaching Attitudes and Beliefs about Science and Science Teaching Teacher efficacy (Bandura, 1977) and their attitudes about science (Ruffell et. al. , 1998) may have an effect on how they teach Mostly Elementary Education Teachers Alternative Certification Grounded Theory
Methodology n Participants n n n n Interviewed 8 of 16 Alt. Cert. Candidates Two in their first semester in program Four in middle of program Two almost/have completed program Six White Males, One Asian and One Hispanic Ages range from youngest to oldest in program Teaching
Methodology n Data Collection n Semi-structured interviews n n Audio taped and transcribed Field Notes Grounded Theory Data Analysis n Five Stages n n Recursive and on-going Diagram
Findings Themes n Elitism vs. Egalitarianism n n The Alternative Certification Candidates in the program believe everyone can and should participate in physics courses. Time and Effort Solving Problems vs. Conceptual Understanding Teacher Content Knowledge n n Concepts PCK
Findings n Good Teaching and Improved Learning through Reformed Teaching n n n Teacher as a guide and facilitator- The Alternative Certification Candidates view the teacher role as very different from the traditional role, many cite examples from the program’s course instructors. The program helps the Alternative Certification Candidates develop a better understanding of physics. The Physics Alternative Certification Candidates viewed the traditional teaching of science, especially physics, as poorly done, now that they have seen different ways of teaching and realized how much introductory physics content they learned this way.
Discussion and Conclusions n Successful Physics Alternative Certification Candidates Prior to the Program n n n don’t know their own physics although they are welleducated (not news) don’t know about research based instructional methods (very traditional views of pedagogy) don’t know that they don’t know these things (self image, delicate politically and challenging attitudinally). Arrive expecting ‘tune-up’ and class management
Discussion and Conclusions n Successful Physics Alternative Certification Candidates After Participating in the Program n n n successful candidates change quickly when they see student centered instruction (see a better way) and view and experience (via PER instruments and readings) research on same successful students quickly recognize own limited physics understanding after reformed courses with incorporated reflection (frequent shock; some anger) successful candidates grow sophisticated vocabulary regarding reformed physics instruction and how students learn (discourse is a big feature)
Discussion and Conclusions n Successful Physics Alternative Certification Candidates After Participating in the Program n n surprisingly egalitarian view of physics learning (all can learn with time and adequate effort) surprisingly strong and insightful at real world, practical everyday examples and applications of physics, seemingly stronger with more professional experience