Realizing the Democratic Ideal:

Teacher Education at Illinois State University



Fall Semester 2017

last updated 8/6/2017


Catalog Description:


18 hrs in PHY, C or better in TCH 216, or conc reg req. PHY 310 req. Adm to Teacher Ed req. Clin Exp: 10 hrs, Type 1-6. Not for credit if had PHY 301.
Strategies, curricula, and resources for the teaching of high school physics. Application of the knowledge of physics, adolescent psychology, and pedagogical theory to secondary teaching.

Note Well:

The edTPA will be "live" effective September 1, 2017. This means all student teachers must pass the edTAP in order to graduate. A passing score of 37 is required for the 2017-2018 academic year.

We have been notified that effective January 2010, anyone who wants to complete any clinical experiences in schools must have passed a Criminal Background Check prior to starting. Be certain to visit the ISU Teacher Education Center website for the latest CBC information.

We have been notified by the Illinois State Board of Education that individuals who will be applying for their initial teaching certification or additional endorsements as of 2/1/2012 must have a grade of "C" or above in all required coursework that is part of their program. This includes all endorsement areas, major courses and professional education.


Name: Ken Wester, Coordinator
Physics Teacher Education Program
Office Location: Moulton Hall, Room 322
Office Hours: drop in or by appointment
Telephones: (309) 438-2957 (office); (309) 662-9902 (cell)
E-mail address:

Meeting Days/Times/Location:

During fall semester 2017, the class will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. starting August 21 in Moulton Hall, room 307B. A minimum of ten clock hours of independent outside clinical experiences will be required. Approximately three hours will take place at the future student teaching site, and seven hours preparing for and presenting/re-presenting an inquiry-oriented science lesson at the McLean County Juvenile Detention Center.



Teaching High School Physics, by Wenning & Vieyra (2015),Volumes I, II and III. To purchase electronic books please visit: Teaching High School Physics


This course is designed to bridge the gap between educational theory and practice. It will provide students a chance to integrate their content knowledge of physics, pedagogical knowledge of teaching, and pedagogical content knowledge as it applies to high school physics teaching.

The course is based on the assertion that teachers must act on grounded principles, and not arbitrarily. What teachers do as they present their lessons should be rooted deeply in their attitudes about issues that concern them, their students, the professions, and society -- balancing declarative knowledge with procedural knowledge, balancing expository teaching with inquiry learning, balancing depth of content with breadth of coverage, emphasizing learning over teaching, and knowing what values and knowledge are worth learning in light of national and state standards as well as the needs of students and society. The goal of imparting attitudes is to improve the educational process, to enhance the achievement of the learner, to produce better and more productive citizens, and to improve society. The aim is to prepare students for life in a democratic society.

This course will have a learning environment that is student centered, knowledge centered, assessment centered, and community centered. This course will be student centered to the extent that the teacher builds on knowledge students bring to the learning situations. This course will be knowledge centered to the extent that the teacher helps students develop an organized understanding of important concepts in the physics teaching discipline. This course will be assessment centered to the extent that the teacher makes students' thinking visible so that ideas can be presented and verified. This course will be community centered to the extent that the teacher establishes classroom norms that learning with understanding is valued and students feel free to explore what they do not understand.

Classes will consist of student participation in modeling of various teaching practices, class presentation of a model inquiry lesson using the Japanese Lesson Study process, class discussions, role playing, videos, teacher presentations, and exams to name but a few of the in-class activities. Outside of class there will be readings, homework projects, one-on-one conferences with the course instructor, the first part of the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC) will be assigned, and several smaller projects. There will be a written midterm exam, and a combined written/oral final exam.

In addition to completing the required in-course activities, students must successfully complete a minimum of ten (10) clock hours of clinical experience. Each student must complete three directed clinical experiences at the high school where (s)he has been scheduled for student teaching. Students also will work as a team to plan, deliver, evaluate, and revise an inquiry lesson taught at the McLean County Juvenile Detention Center (7 hours).

Performance Objectives for All Undergraduates:

Every teacher candidate must demonstrate each of the following competencies:

Source of Objective

Correlated Assessment
(1a) critique in writing a poorly written physics examination. NSTA # 8 - Assessment
(1b) create a physics examination with tasks inspired by physics education research to evaluate knowledge, skills, and dispositions. NSTA # 8 - Assessment
(1c) create a detailed, multidimensional scoring rubric for a complex task. NSTA # 6 - Curriculum
(2) document the process of developing, teaching, evaluating, and reflecting upon a model inquiry lesson using the Lesson Study approach. NSTA # 3 - Inquiry
NSTA # 5 - General Skills of Teaching
NSTA # 6 - Curriculum
NSTA # 7 - Science in the Comm
NSTA # 9 - Safety and Welfare
(3) create an outline of the "Planning" portin of edTPA including special considerations for nature of science, issues, and science in the community, that is consistent with state and national standards for science education, alternative assessment, and is appropriate to the needs, abilities and interests of all students.

NSTA #2 - Nature of Science
NSTA # 4 - Issues
NSTA # 6 - Curriculum
NSTA # 7 - Science in the Community
NSTA # 8 - Assessment

(4) state the basic limits of school law (including negligence and liability); characterize appropriate safety procedures; describe effective use of demonstrations; characterize appropriate laboratory work; explain issues related to diversity, inclusion of disabled and gifted; distinguish between ethical and unethical behaviors as defined by the teaching profession; classroom management; teaching resources; effective instruction; etc. NSTA #10 - Professional Practice
(5) understand and articulate the knowledge and practices of contemporary science; distinguish science from non science, understand the evolution and practice of science as a human endeavor; critically analyze assertions made in the name of science; observe, ask questions, design inquiries, and collect and interpret data in order to develop concepts and relationships from empirical experiences; conduct inquiries into the factual basis of issues and assess possible actions and outcomes based upon their goals and values. NSTA #1 - Content of Science
NSTA #2 - Nature of Science
NSTA #3 - Inquiry
NSTA #4 - Issues
NSTA #7 - Science in the Community
(6) identify one or more learning theories that explain how students learn, and describe how one's teaching practices can best be made to align with this understanding. NSTA # 5 - General Skills of Teaching
NSTA #10 - Professional Practice
(7) identify students' understanding and reasoning using testing to decide what might be troublesome about that thinking and to address the specific difficulty with targeted instruction.  
(8) demonstrate a detailed and accurate knowledge of the subject matter of this course by completing a written midterm and a written/oral final examination. NSTA # 5 - General Skills of Teaching
NSTA #10 - Professional Practice
(9) in future student teaching classroom, identify and ensure compliance with guidelines for class, lab, and storeroom safety, examine current teaching for gender equity, cultural diversity, and management style, and school for accessibility for those with disabilities - the goal of which is to improve teaching and learning in school as a matter of social justice. NSTA # 9 - Safety and Welfare
(10) actively and meaningfully participate in all class lessons (demonstrating selected science content knowledge, process skills, and attitudes that are closely related to scientific literacy), discussions, and other class activities by contributing ideas that reflect more than a recitation of material read.

NSTA # 1 - Content of Science
NSTA # 3 - Inquiry


IPTS Correlation

1B, 1K, 3C, 3F, 3P, 4A, 4B, 4K, 5Q, 8K,


2C, 5A 311 F
2D, 2J, 2N, 3K, 3L, 4C, 4K, 5D, 8E, 8T 311 E
2I, 7A 311 A

311 B, 311 E

2L, 3M, 3N, 50, 7E, 7G 311 G
2M, 4D, 4F, 5I, 7B 311 F
4I 311 D
7A 311



Additional Course Objectives for Graduate Students:

Students who take this course for graduate credit also will be required to complete additional projects to demonstrate that they can :

develop and apply a coherent, focused science curriculum that is consistent with state and national standards for science education and appropriate to meet the needs, abilities and interests of students.

relate science to the community and make effective use of human and institutional resources to advance the education of students in science.

use a variety of contemporary assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and personal development of the learner in all aspects of science.

design and manage safe and supportive learning environments which nurture high expectations for the success of all students.

demonstrate that they are part of a professional community, improving practice through their personal actions, education and development.

Course Alignment with Teacher Education Unit's Conceptual Framework:

Conceptual Framework

Course Objective No.

Moral Virtues:
 #1. Sensitivity toward the varieties of individual and cultural diversity.

2, 4, 5, 7-9

 #2. Disposition and ability to collaborate ethically and effectively with others.

2-5, 8, 9

 #3. Reverence for learning and seriousness of personal, professional, and public purpose.


 #4. Respect for learners of all ages, with special regard for children and adolescents.

2, 7-9

Intellectual Virtues:
 #5. Wide general knowledge and deep knowledge of the content to be taught.

2, 4-7, 9

 #6. Knowledge and appreciation of the diversity among learners.

2, 6-9

 #7. Understanding what affects learning and appropriate teaching strategies.


 #8. Interest in and an ability to seek out informational, technological, and collegial resources.

2, 4-6, 8, 9

 #9. Contagious intellectual enthusiasm and courage enough to be creative.

2, 4-6, 9

Course Outline:

Please note that resource links are provided with a number of the topics below. Familiarize yourself with (e.g., read) the materials at each of these sites BEFORE the class. It will be expected that you will have done so. You need not actually read online books, but you should be familiar with their basic contents (e.g., review tables of contents for online books at the very least).


4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Homework Assignments and Reminders


  • Active Learning Strategies; Read and prepare notes from : Chapter 15 (Teaching High School Physics, Wenning & R. Vieyra). Be prepared to discuss these topics in class.
  • Read and prepare notes from the PowerPoint; Problem Based Learning


  • Difficulties with solving physics exercises; read and prepare notes form Chapter 19(Teaching High School Physics, Wenning &R. Vieyra). Be prepared to disucss these topics in class.
  • Read and prepare note cards with a minimum of 8 points of interest from: Coooperative Learning (including PowerPoint)


Wed 9/6




  • Meet at McLean County Juvenile Detention Center 4:00


  • Alternative Conceptions: Read and prepare notes from Chapter 18 (Teaching High School Physics, Wenning &R. Vieyra)
  • Work problems 1,3,4,5 from problem sheet
  • Work on identifying learning segment
  • Research NGSS High School Physical Science Standards


  • Discuss Chapter 18
  • Microteaching Problem Presentations
  • Discuss NGSS Standards
  • Read and Prepare notes, Chapter 5, Inquiry in Introductory Physics
  • Read and prepare notes : Why Inquiry? (ppt)
  • Continue working on 5 E learning segment lesson plans


  • Discussion on Chapter 5, Inquiry
  • Problem presentations
  • Read and prepare notes; chapter 6 levels of inquiry
  • Read and prepare notes on handout: Teaching Science Through Inquiry
  • Prepare an introduction to an inquiry lesson/lab
  • Group discussion, Levels of Inquiry
  • Inquiry lesson/lab presentation
  • JDC planning time
  • Read and prepare notes: chapter 20: Metacognition and Self-Regulation
  • Read and prepare notes: chapter 21 Differentiating Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment's
  • Finalize JDC lesson topic, turn in description of lesson (not a formal lesson plan)
  • Work assigned problems for problem presentations


  • Group discussion, Metacognition andSelf-Regulation
  • Group discussion, Differentiating Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment's
  • JDC Lesson Topic
  • Micro teaching: problem presentations
  • Work assigned problems for problem presentations
  • Read and prepare notes: Chapter 28: Effective Classroom Management
  • Micro teaching: problem presentations
  • Group Work JDC lessons
  • Group discussion: Effective Classroom Management
  • Read and prepare notes: Classroom Environments and Climate Setting , (effective classroom atmosphere and resistance to inquiry ppt)
  • Complete 5E lesson, be prepared to present overview to class
  • Work on JDC Lesson Plan


  • Group discussion, Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ppt and "Seeing is believing" article)
  • Example of Interactive Lecture Demonstration
  • Microteaching: Problem Presentations


  • Presentation of JDC lesson
  • Group discussion,Cultural, Linguistic, and Gender Diversity
  • Interactive Demonstration Presentation
  • Final JDC lesson plan completed
  • Read and prepare notes: chapter 20: Metacognition and Self-Regulation
  • Read and prepare notes: chapter 21 Differentiating Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment's
  • Finalize JDC lesson topic, turn in description of lesson (not a formal lesson plan)
  • Work assigned problems for problem presentations
  • Discuss Chapter 20 Metacognition & Self-Regulation
  • Discuss Chapter 21: Differentiating Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment's
  • Discuss/present JDC lesson plan
  • Problem presentation
  • Modify JDC Lesson as needed per class discussion.
  • Finalize prep for JDC lesson
  • Make sure you have all materials for the JDC lesson
  • Read and prepare notes: Chapter 12: The Nature of Science



  • JDC Lesson Presentation. Meet at JDC at 7:45 A.M. ready to go!
  • Read and prepare notes: Chapter 12: The Nature of Science
  • Read over edTpa booklet


  • Discussion Chapter 12, The Nature of Science
  • Group discussion Objective Test and Rubric Construction
  • Micro Teaching Problem Presentations
  • Discussion on High Stakes Testing



  • Pick up readings and notes from where we left off in class on Monday
  • Catch up on disucssions


  • Group Discussion: CER
  • Microteaching: problem presentation
  • video: classroom management
  • Turn in test analysis
  • Begin research on "The Flipped Classroom"
  • read edTPA handbook, be prepared with questions.
  • edTPA presentation by Elisa Palmer


  • Group discussion, Students with Disabilities;
  • Group discussion on homework, student cheating and teach ethics, alternative forms of assessment
  • Discuss the CER problem

Mon 11/27

  • Continue working on Theory-into-Practice project (see Assessment 311F)
  • Read and prepare notes Chapter 29 "Legal, Safe, and Ethical Teaching"
  • Research the flipped classroom and be prepared to discuss pors and cons.
  • Review reserach on standards based assessment
Wed 11/29
  • Discuss Chapter 29 "Legal, Safe, and Ethical Teaching"
  • Discuss Standard based assessment
  • Discuss the flipped classroom



  • Contine working on Theory-into Practice Project


  • Finish preparing for Theory-into-Practice project (see Assessment 311F); be certain that all assignments and clinical experiences are completed, turned in, and receive confirmation by 4 p.m. on 12/14



  All assignments and clinical experiences due by 4 p.m. on Thursday December 14without exception.



McLean County Juvenile Detention Center; Lesson Study Project - Presenting and Evaluating
Meet at JDC 15 minutes before start of first lesson. Group A: 8:15 a.m.; Group B 12:15 p.m.
Lesson times for Group A: 8:30-10:15 a.m. and 10:15-12:00 p.m.; and Group B: 12:30-1:45 pm. and 1:45-2:50 p.m.

Student Performance Assessments:

311A: TEST-RELATED PROJECTS (15% of course grade)

To be an effective teacher, students must demonstrate knowledge of science, pedagogy, and educational psychology, and be able to use this knowledge effectively through active participation in group activities. There will be a number of projects that allow for demonstration of these skills: (1) conducting a Test Item Analysis (20 points), (2) writing a Physics Content Test (80 points) which must include student-generated student performance objectives, and (3) creating a corresponding Scoring Rubric (10 points).

311B: LESSON STUDY PROJECT (25% of course grade)

The Lesson Study Project will be used to create, teach, refine and re-teach a model inquiry lesson that focuses on students' learning rather than upon a teachers' teaching. Students working in cooperative groups will create a detailed inquiry-oriented lesson plan following Inquiry Lesson Plan Guidelines. The lesson's Student Performance Objectives must comply with Student Performance Assessment Guidelines. The teaching of the lesson will be assessed using an Inquiry Lesson Scoring Rubric. This approach will culminate with a report in which teacher candidates document the lesson planning process, the teaching process, and the review process, and draw attention to what they have learned about lesson planning. Each student must prepare his or her own Lesson Study Project Report following specific guidelines. There will be peer assessment using a special JDC peer assessment scoring rubric associated with this cooperative learning project.

311C: Informal teacher lesson plan (5% of course grade)

Each student will create a lesson plan outline for the learning segment in which the student plans to use for EdTPA. This outline will be a "working document" for the teacher and should include all handouts etc. that will be used during the learning segment.

311D: THEORY-INTO-PRACTICE PROJECT (20% of course grade)

Each teacher candidate will complete a written Theory-into-Practice Project. In this project the teacher candidate will identify and characterize one or more learning theories that best explain his or her understanding of how high school students learn, and present in writing a description of teaching practices that are consistent with this understanding and that satisfy certain criteria. A TIP essay rubric and a TIP presentation and oral defense rubric will be used.


In order to help teacher candidates better understand student difficulties with physics concepts, they will participate in a diagnostic learning environment project A diagnostic learning environment is one in which assessment is used to identify students' understanding and reasoning, to decide what might be troublesome about that thinking, and to address identified difficulties with targeted instruction. To this end, each student will complete a series of activities using

311F: MId Term Examination (20% of course grade)

The midterm examination will be a written essay test worth 125 points. The midterm examination will deal with subject matter related to work projects, in-class presentations, required course readings, etc. to date.

311G: CLINICAL EXPERIENCE HOURS (0% of course grade)

Students must successfully complete a minimum of ten (10) clock hours of clinical experience as shown in the distribution table below. These field experiences will be completed on campus, at the McLean County Juvenile Detention Center, and in the high school in which a student will be placed for student teaching. Hours will be credited when clinical experiences are properly completed.

311H: NGSS/5E Learning Cycle (15% of course grade)

The student will create a lesson plan utilizing the 5E learning cycle corelated to the NGSS High School Physical Science Standards.


7 hrs.
Lesson Study Presentation
(at Juvenile Detention Center)

 3 hrs.
Field Experiences
(at future student teaching site)

Students will complete an on-site tour of the JDC facility before teaching the Lesson Study Project (1 hour); students will prepare, deliver, assess and re-teach Lesson Study Project to JDC students (6 hours).

311I: CLASS PARTICIPATION (0% of course grade)

To be an effective teacher, students must demonstrate a knowledge of science, pedagogy, and educational psychology, and be able to use this knowledge effectively through active participation in class discussion and projects, and an ability to think critically. Students will be evaluated on the degree of their contributions to in-class discussions and other group activities. Class participation will be assessed with the use of a Participation Scoring Rubric. While such participation will evaluated, it will not part of the final course grade. It will, however, be used to help the PTE program coordinator to make recommendation about admission to student teaching.



 A > 90%

 82% < B < 90%

 74% < C < 82%

 66% < D < 74%

 F < 66%

The above grading scale might seem a bit high to the student, but it assumes that students will take advantage of the instructor's Assessment-for-Learning Policy. Satisfactory completion of ALL components of the course (e.g., Challenger Learning Center Project, cooperative teaching including pre- and post-conferences, projects, exams and quizzes, surveys, and ten hours of clinical experience) is a prerequisite for a passing grade. In addition, the student is expect to attend class regularly and participate fully.


Per a new ISU Teacher Education Policy (approved by the Council for Teacher Education during 2009 and implemented with spring semester 2010), ALL ISU teacher education candidates MUST have a completed FBI/Illinois State Police fingerprint criminal background check with results on file in the Lauby Teacher Education Center BEFORE they begin ANY pre-student teaching field/clinical experience. This includes the Social Context Project associated with Physics 353 completed during the first five weeks of the spring semester and before the start of student teacher. This background check must be done using Illinois State University’s ORI number.  The Lauby Teacher Education Center hosts criminal background check clinics regularly. See the spring 2010 CBC clinic schedule.  Follow the instructions at the schedule link to reserve a time and get your CBC completed.  It may take several weeks for the results to come to ISU, so please attend the earliest clinic possible.

Physics Toolkit:

The instructor strongly encourages teacher candidates to start assembling the "Physics Toolkit" that can be relied upon as a teacher. This would consist of a collection of books, resource guides, hyperlinks, demonstration and lab materials, etc. that deal with the teaching of all areas of physics at the introductory level. Organize your Toolkit by topic to make the information it contains more accessible. Please note that this recommended project will become an assignment in Physics 312 in preparation for student teaching.

Academic Integrity:

Students are expected to be honest in all academic work. A student's name on any in academic exercise shall be regarded as assurance that the work is the result of the student's own thought and study. Offenses involving academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following: cheating, computer dishonesty, plagiarism, grade falsification, and collusion. For more information about this important topic, visit the Student Dispute Resolution Web site.

ADVISORY: Click here for an important note dealing with Student Academic Behaviors and Their Relationship to Course Grades. Also, see SAAMEE: A Model for Academic Success

Caution: Keep in mind as you progress toward student teaching that as a student teacher your students will have an interest in finding out about you. This will lead them to Internet searches. Don't put anything on a web page, uTube, facebook, MySpace, etc., that you wouldn't want students, parents, teachers or administrators to see.

Text and Other Resource Materials:

Readings in this course will come primarily from a variety of online sources linked through the course syllabus.


Disposition Concerns: The College of Education, in an effort to ensure top quality graduates, provides faculty members and interested others with the opportunity to provide input into the teacher preparation process. One of these inputs is in the area of disposition concerns. Education faculty, in particular, are encouraged to bring to attention of CECP any significant problems associated with the following major areas. If three or more filed dispositions concerns have not been resolved, the teacher candidate will be blocked from advancing in Professional Studies.

Collaboration Issues: The ability to work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.

Honesty/Integrity: The ability to demonstrate truthfulness to oneself and to others; demonstrate moral excellence and trustworthiness.

Respect: The ability to honor, value, and demonstrate consideration and regard for oneself and others.

Reverence for Learning: Respect and seriousness of intent to acquire knowledge.

Emotional Maturity: The ability to adjust one’s emotional state to suitable level of intensity in order to remain engaged with one’s surroundings.

Reflection: The ability to review, analyze, and evaluate the success of past decisions in an effort to make better decisions in the future.

Flexibility: The willingness to accept and adapt to change.

Responsibility: The ability to act independently, demonstrating accountability, reliability and sound judgment.

Teacher Recommendation: Teacher candidates must do well enough on all course assignments to receive a positive recommendation from the teacher education program coordinator for admission to student teaching. Without a positive recommendation, teacher candidates will not be admitted.

Click here for latest listing of Teacher Education Requirements.

Click here for the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) test objectives.

Continuing Education/Professional Development for Teacher Candidates:

As a science teacher candidate, you need to regularly update your knowledge about the worlds of science and education. Here are several weekly online journals to which you might consider reading, and some will allow you to subscribe to an e-mail newsletter format so you won't miss a thing:

Science News

Discover Magazine

Education Week

Teacher Magazine

Return to Physics Methods Courses

Return to Physics Teacher Education Main Menu