The physics teaching degrees are the BS in Physics Teaching and the BS in Composite Teaching-Physical Science. The two degrees require a relatively small number of physics courses in conjunction with the requirements from the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP). The principal goal of our program relative to these degrees is to give students a scientific background adequate to prepare them to teach science.
Utah Core Curriculum Standards - Grades 6
Utah Core Curriculum Standards - Grades 7
Utah Core Curriculum Standards - Grades 8
Utah Core Curriculum Standards - Grades 9
Students will construct sufficient knowledge of physics to satisfy Utah educational standards for a highly qualified secondary science teacher.
- Each student in either of the teaching degrees is offered a paid early teaching experience as a TA in the PHYS 1200 lab. They receive weekly one-on-one mentorship and evaluation from the master teacher of the course, and are promoted to Undergraduate Teaching Fellow in a course as their skills warrant. This addresses Learning Objective 1.
- Student course evaluations are used to document TA performance. This addresses Learning Objective 1.
- Each student in either of the teaching degrees must have a graded teaching experience as a student teacher through the education department. This addresses Learning Objective 1.
- Each student must take the Praxis examination in the physics certification areas. This addresses Learning Objectives 1 and 2.
All teaching majors must meet a State of Utah mandated passing score in the ETS PRAXIS exam in their content area. We give the last 7 years of data for students coming from the physics-based coursework.
|Program||Attempted 2011||Passed 2011||Attempted 2012||Passed 2012||Attempted 2013||Passed 2013||Attempted 2014||Passed 2014||Attempted 2015||Passed 2015||Attempted 2016||Passed 2016||Attempted 2017||Passed 2017|
|Physical Science (Chemistry, Physics, General)||0||0||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Physical Science (Content)||1||1||1||1||0||0||6||5||0||0||0||0||0||0|
* Data taken from Praxis exam results. Note that the data for Physics for 2013 has a typographical error for the percentage. The correct ratio of attempts to passing scores is 4/4 = 100%. 2017 results are current through September 2017.
The Praxis exam results show a gradual shift from a success rate for physics teaching majors of 50% in 2011 to 100% in 2013 and beyond. This satisfactory situation requires no changes in our program at this time.
The PHYS 1200 Course – Introductory Physics by Hands-On Exploration teaches basic physics concepts to be used by future teachers. The students in the course are primarily Elementary Education majors. Physics Teaching students are offered positions as lab TAs and eventually as Undergraduate Teaching Fellows (UTFs) when their skills warrant. In a typical semester, there are up to 10 lab TAs and 3 UTFs. During this time frame, we have switched from optional and irregular mentorship to weekly required meetings.