TAG MInutes – January 31, 2006
by Michael Fuchs on 13 March

PhysTEC TAG Meeting January 31, 2006
11th floor Gamow Tower

Attendance: Brad Boyle, Michael Dubson, Rob Fatland, Mike Fuchs, Stephan Graham, Danielle Harlow, Chris Keller, Jeffrey Kidder, Linda Koch, Andrew Leonard, Karen Lunn, Valerie Otero, Kathy Perkins, Steve Pollock, Bud Talbot, Ed Taylor, Tari Wood

The meeting started with introductions and socializing as we waited on a few more people to show up.

Linda K talked about the Legos outreach program here that Eli Quinn is involved with. Grad students and post docs go out to local k-12 schools and get the students working with Legos robotics kits. The physics concepts that are emphasized are customizable. The question came up as to whether or not the kits could be left at school and the answer was, “It depends”.

The need for a new Teacher in Residence for next year was discussed and a call for applications went out. Folks were referred to the PhysTEC website, which says the position is kind of a “customizable sabbatical”. Valerie O talked about Steve I’s experience as TIR and his continued involvement and here. Kathy P mentioned the possibility for funded curriculum development around simulations. Funding is not certain yet. Mike D explained funding, and getting a replacement teacher. Valerie O explained what Mike F (who had to leave) is doing as TIR with LA’s. Steve P talked about Noah’s course (PHYS4810) as something that a TIR can take. Andy L asked about the “goals for the TIR”. Steve P talked about the PhysTEC’s proposal for TIRs- it’s flexible and evolving. Valerie O gave an example of faculty not knowing about standards, and how the TIR presence helps to “enhance communication with districts”. She also said that TIRs engage in dialogue with people in various places about teacher education. Steve P mentioned that there is a national meeting for TIRs. Andy L talked about need for more physics teachers.

Steve P mentioned the Summer STEM-TP workshop.

We all ate dinner while Steve P gave a presentation on Physics Education Research (PER) at Colorado and what they do with it. He talked about the Force Concept Inventory, gave away books (“Teaching Physics” by Redish and the University of Washington Tutorials).

Tari W asked how many classes are transformed. Steve P replied that almost all freshman courses are and that they are working on the sophomore ones. Tari then asked how many classes use LAs. Steve P and Kathy P discussed this. (Right now there are four classes; 1020, 1110, 1120, and 2130.) Ed T asked if clickers are used outside of science and Mike D said yes, but that the technology is still a barrier.

Jeff K asked about faculty “changing their minds” and about how they view grad student role. He asked, “What is response of physics faculty about PER?” Steven P said that it is quite varied talked about evolution.

Mike D introduced Rob Flatland geophysicist, and volunteer Science outreach teacher. Rob announced some NASA program where students can control a Mars orbiter. He also talked about a proposal to install a remote sensing network in Alaska. There is an education component to involve teachers. He also has an idea to put together a volunteer science consortium.

Ed T asked about how LAs are recruited about what the LA’s do. Steve P explained their involvement in physics classes. Ed T then asked if the model would transfer to the high school level. Valerie O explained an example from elementary schools. Andy L and Tari W talked about peer counselors at their high school. The question came up about whether or not LAs are respected by the students due to their age.

Valerie O asked teachers: “If you were going to hire someone from our School of Education, what 2 things would you want them to have?” There was then some informal conversation among participants.

Danielle H and Bud T decided on 2 things l.) a passion for teaching & learning; 2). Ability to instill passion in their students. Ed T discussed passion too, but it’s an intangible-how de you teach it? Brad B talked about “a good work ethic” and “willingness to accept feedback”. Andy L mentioned “experience in the content”/ knowledge of content – talked about necessity of math. Jeff K and Steve P talked about an integrated approach- “someone who can teach the big picture”. People also discussed classroom management issues, and how to engage learners of all abilities. Tari W agreed with what had been said so far, and added “a willingness to wear multiple hats”.

Kathy P talked about CLASS, handed out data and had groups discuss the data and then present their interpretations.

Minutes by Bud T (thanks!), elaborated by Mike F.