Rural AAPT/PTRA Program (Previous Rural Regional Sites)
The Rural AAPT/PTRA program was an initiative to serve rural teachers. The program provided opportunities for these teachers to grow professionally in physics content, in the use of technology for instruction, and in established successful teaching strategies. Additionally these teachers became the foundation of a professional and supportive local network for physics teachers.
Features were introduced to accommodate teachers in a rural environment (e.g., establishment of AAPT/PTRA Rural Regional Sites at designated colleges/universities, and the appointment of a member of the physics department as a Rural Center Coordinator (RCC)). The RCC arranged and hosted all sessions, but PTRAs in the general geographic area conducted the workshops. Rural participants were able to attend up to 42 workshop hours per year.
An additional goal is was to identify rural participants who exhibited leadership potential as well as content knowledge to apply for national AAPT/PTRA leader training and thus work toward a locally implemented rural site.
Urban AAPT/PTRA Program (Previous Urban Sites)
The Urban AAPT/PTRA initiative directed specific efforts to teachers in urban schools. The goal was to bring the urban teacher to an understanding of the best pedagogical practices of physics learning. A way to affect the urban teacher with these state of the art ideas was to have them experience the approaches themselves over a period of time. The AAPT/PTRA workshops were presented in a way that illustrated these state of the art ideas for the urban teachers to learn and implement themselves. Since teachers may not have easy access to computers, the initial workshops focused on some of the low technology activities. This does not mean low-level content or process skills. A great deal of science content and high-level pedagogical learning processes can be provided without expensive equipment. This program can provided a long-term experience that enabled the teacher to grow professionally and be able to present workshops to the other teachers in urban school districts.