AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

American Association of Physics Teachers Commitment for College Opportunity Day of Action

Goal

The American Association of Physics Teachers will expand its current faculty development workshop series to reach 900 new four-year college and university faculty members in the next five years who will impact more than 100,000 STEM college students each year.

Action Plan

The American Association of Physics Teachers has been leading the “Workshop for New Physics and Astronomy Faculty” in partnership with the American Physical Society and the American Astronomical Society since 1996. These workshops are designed to help new faculty at research and four-year institutions understand how to become more effective educators and support their endeavor to gain tenure. Each New Faculty Workshop presents a small number of teaching techniques that have proven to be effective in a variety of environments. These tactics can be implemented with modest time and effort and the goal of the program has been to have at least 50 percent of the new tenure-track hires in physics and astronomy using research-based interactive engagement teaching techniques in their courses. With program expansion, during the course of the next five years, the workshops will work with about 900 four-year college and university faculty members (approximately 50 percent of the new tenure-track hires in physics and astronomy in the United States), who collectively teach more than 100,000 students each year.

AAPT is also beginning a set of new research studies, one focusing on the effectiveness of the faculty training workshops themselves in promoting faculty understanding of and adoption of interactive engagement teaching methods.  The second will focus on a new aspect of the program—virtual Faculty Learning Communities—as a way supporting faculty as they implement the teaching methods promoted by the workshops. The results of these research studies will provide evidence for faculty workshop best practices, which can be used in all STEM faculty workshops.