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Improving the preparation of K-12 teachers through physics education research
1.For specific references and additional discussion, see L. C. McDermott, “Preparing K-12 teachers in physics: Insights from history, experience, and research,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 74, 758–762 (2006).
2.Other important aspects include classroom management, social and cultural problems, psychological concerns, epistemological beliefs, and theories of learning.
3.L. C. McDermott, “A perspective on teacher preparation in physics and other sciences: The need for special courses for teachers,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 58, 734–742 (1990);
3.L. C. McDermott,“Teacher education and the implementation of elementary science curricula,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 44, 434–441 (1976);
3.L. C. McDermott,“Improving high school physics teacher preparation,” Phys. Teach.0031-921X 13, 523–529 (1974);
4.L. G. Ortiz, P. R. L. Heron, and P. S. Shaffer, “Student understanding of static equilibrium: Predicting and accounting for balancing,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 73, 545–553 (2005).
5.P. S. Shaffer and L. C. McDermott, “A research-based approach to improving student understanding of the vector nature of kinematical concepts,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 73, 921–931 (2005).
6.L. C. McDermott and P. S. Shaffer, “Research as a guide for curriculum development: An example from introductory electricity, Part I: Investigation of student understanding,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 60, 994–1003 (1992);
6.P. S. Shaffer and L. C. McDermott, “Research as a guide for curriculum development: An example from introductory electricity, Part II: Design of instructional strategies,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 60, 1003–1013 (1992).
7.L. C. McDermott, P. S. Shaffer, and M. D. Somers, “Research as a guide for teaching introductory mechanics: An illustration in the context of the Atwood’s machine,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 62, 46–55 (1994).
8.K. Wosilait, P. R. L. Heron, P. S. Shaffer, and L. C. McDermott, “Development and assessment of a research-based tutorial on light and shadow,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 66, 906–913 (1999);
8.P. R. L. Heron and L. C. McDermott, “Bridging the gap between teaching and learning in geometrical optics: The role of research,” Opt. Photonics News1047-6938 9(9), 30–36 (1998).
9.The results support the views expressed in Ref. 1.
10.L. C. McDermott and E. F. Redish, “Resource letter: PER-1: Physics education research,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 67, 755–767 (1999).
11.See, for example, “Balance and motion,” in Full Option Science System (Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, CA, 1995).
12.See “Background for the teacher,” p. 2 of “Balance” in “Teacher Guide: Balance and motion,” in Full Option Science System (Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, CA, 1995).
13.L. C. McDermott and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington, Physics by Inquiry (Wiley, NY, 1996).
14.PbI has been used in courses for nonscience majors, as well as in preparatory courses for students aspiring to science-related careers but who are underprepared in science and mathematics. Two examples are R. E. Scherr, “An implementation of Physics by Inquiry in a large-enrollment class,” Phys. Teach.0031-921X 41(2), 113–118 (2003)and
14.L. C. McDermott, L. K. Piternick, and M. L. Rosenquist, “Helping minority students succeed in science, Part I. Development of a curriculum in physics and biology,” J. Coll. Sci. Teach.0047-231X 9, 136–140 (1980).
15.The term “pedagogical content knowledge” was introduced by L. S. Shulman, to characterize what a teacher needs to know beyond the content and pedagogy in order to help students learn. See, for example, L. S. Shulman, “Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching,” Educational Researcher 15(2), 4–14 (1986).
16.This question is discussed in greater detail in Ref. 7.
17.L. C. McDermott, P. S. Shaffer, and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington, Tutorials in Introductory Physics (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002).
18.See, for example, the discussion of research in the context of electric circuits described in L. C. McDermott, P. S. Shaffer, and C. P. Constantinou, “Preparing teachers to teach physics and physical science by inquiry,” Phys. Educ.0031-9120 35(6), 411–416 (2000).
19.For a more detailed description of the teaching experience, see D. L. Messina, L. S. DeWater, and M. R. Stetzer, “Helping preservice teachers implement and assess research-based instruction in K-12 classrooms,” AIP Conf. Proc.0094-243X edited by J. Marx, P. Heron, and S. Franklin (AIP, Melville, New York, 2005), p. 97.
20.See Secs. 1 and 2 of the module Light and Color in Physics by Inquiry (Ref. 13).
21.In addition to the examples from dynamics and geometrical optics discussed in this paper, see also the second paper in Refs. 6 and 18.
22.For additional assessments of teacher understanding in courses based on Physics by Inquiry that were reported by faculty at other institutions, see, for example, R. E. Scherr, “An implementation of Physics by Inquiry in a large-enrollment class,” Phys. Teach.0031-921X 41(2), 113–118 (2003);
22.K. C. Trundle, R. K. Atwood, and J. E. Christopher, “Preservice elementary teachers’ conceptions of moon phases before and after instruction,” J. Res. Sci. Teach.0022-4308 39(7), 633–658 (2002);
22.J. A. Marshall and J. T. Dorward, “Inquiry experiences as a lecture supplement for preservice elementary teachers and general education students,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 68(7), S27–S36 (2000);
22.B. Thacker, E. Kim, K. Trefz, and S. M. Lea, “Comparing problem solving performance of physics students in inquiry-based and traditional introductory physics courses,” Am. J. Phys.0002-9505 62(7), 627–633 (1994); and
22.S. M. Lea, “Adapting a research-based curriculum to disparate teaching environments,” J. Coll. Sci. Teach.0047-231X 22(4), 242–244 (1993).
23.See, for example, Refs. 4–6 and 8.
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