Aspiring to Lead: Engaging K-12 Teachers as Agents of National Change in Physics Education
Excerpts from the Executive Summary
The nation has an urgent need for highly qualified K-12 STEM educators. This need is particularly evident in the field of physics teaching. Despite significant efforts to recruit, prepare, and retain highly qualified physics teachers through existing programs, the severe deficit of highly qualified teachers at the secondary (PhysTEC, 2016). In schools where physics is offered, fewer than half of all physics teachers have a degree in physics or physics education (White & Tyler, 2015). Even more pressing is the significant challenge in elementary education. Elementary school educators have little to no training or support in teaching physics concepts at all. Only 5% of elementary educators have a degree in science, engineering, or science education, and elementary teachers report that science is the area in which they feel least prepared to teach...
The major thesis of this report is that the development and implementation of programs to address these issues in K-12 education should be carried out by teachers, for teachers.
Recognizing the need for networked physics teacher leadership to improve the quality and quantity of K-12 physics education, the AAPT selected a group of 17 Physics Master Teacher Leaders (PMTLs) supported by 13 teacher advisory members and a team of leadership advisory members. Through their work, this report includes the following elements:
Following approval of this report in February 2017, members of the original task force are currently convening to develop program proposals for each of the identified priority areas.
To learn more about this effort, please contact AAPT K-12 Program Manager Rebecca Vieyra at firstname.lastname@example.org.