Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News

Physics Department awarded $300,000 for teacher-in-residence program

The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) recently awarded BU's Department of Physics a $300,000 grant ($100,000 per year for the next three years) to fund a teacher-in-residence (TIR) program. The "teacher-in-residence" will be an experienced physics teacher who will work with the Physics Department and the School of Education (SED) on various education projects. Boston University's PhysTEC project is led by Physics Professors Andrew Duffy, Bennett Goldberg, and Manher Jariwala and Professor Peter Garik of SED. At the end of the three years of funding, the Office of the Provost, the Department of Physics, and the School of Education have agreed to jointly fund a TIR for an additional three years.

For the Department of Physics at Boston University, having PhysTEC funding to support a TIR for the next few years comes at a perfect time. In fall 2011, the department will begin using Learning Assistants in the discussion sections of its introductory physics courses. (Learning Assistants are undergraduate students who took the course previously and return to help the graduate teaching assistants work with students.) The TIR will help train the Learning Assistants and work with the graduate students to help them with their preparation for teaching.

The presence of a TIR also provides very special opportunities for the School of Education at Boston University. The Science Program in the School of Education is working toward defining programs to offer more students in the STEM disciplines the opportunity to earn initial licensure to teach while completing their science major. An important component of this is pre-practicum placements of interested students in easily accessible schools. Local schools for Boston University are in the high-need urban district of Boston. As a result, a science teacher with experience in a high-need district will prove invaluable for the development of new BU programs and the supervision of students during practicums.

Return to the June 1, 2011 Newsletter

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