Joint Statement on the Education of Future Teachers

In 1999, the AIP member societies, including the APS, AIP, and AAPT, endorsed the following statement about science teacher preparation.

The scientific societies listed below urge the physics community, specifically physical science and engineering departments and their faculty members, to take an active role in improving the pre-service training of K-12 physics/science teachers. Improving teacher training involves building cooperative working relationships between physicists in universities and colleges and the individuals and groups involved in teaching physics to K- 12 students. Strengthening the science education of future teachers addresses the pressing national need for improving K-12 physics education and recognizes that these teachers play a critical education role as the first and often-times last physics teacher for most students. While this responsibility can be manifested in many ways, research indicates that effective pre-service teacher education involves hands-on, laboratory-based learning. Good science and mathematics education will help create a scientifically literate public, capable of making informed decisions on public policy involving scientific matters. A strong K-12 physics education is also the first step in producing the next generation of researchers, innovators, and technical workers.

Endorsing societies:
American Physical Society
American Association for Physics Teachers
American Astronomical Society
American Institute of Physics
Acoustical Society of America
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
American Vacuum Society

In April of 2003, the APS wrote to all physics department heads in colleges and universities in the US asking for their departments to endorse the above statement. Please check the APS website to see the institutions that have signed the agreement.

Also, acting on the above statement, the APS, AIP, and AAPT initiated the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) project in 2001. For more information, please visit the PhysTEC site at