Realizing the Democratic Ideal:

Teacher Education at Illinois State University



Spring Semester 2016

Drop Down to Course Outline

(Under revision; last updated 1/5/16)

Catalog Description:


20 hrs in PHY. Adm to Teacher Ed req.
Overview of the development of classical scientific thought relating to physical phenomena with implications for pedagogy. Note: This is a five-week course taken during the same semester as, but prior to, student teaching.

WARNING: Associated with this course is one or more NSTA-mandated summative performance assessments linked with Professional Studies' Admission to Student Teaching gateway. Failure to adequately demonstrate the required competencies in a timely fashion will result in the teacher candidate being barred from student teaching.


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); 662-425-4585 (cell)
e-mail address:

Meeting Days/Times/Location:

By mutual agreement, the class will meet on Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and every Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. assuming no formal breaks. There will be one week in which we meet on Tuesday and Wednesday and one week in which we meet on Thrusday and Friday instead of Monday and Tuesday, see schedule below. (Recall that PHY 353 meets immediately after this class on Monday evenings from approximately 9:00 - 10:00 p.m.) We will meet for four weeks, from January 12, 2016 through February 2, 2016. Class meetings will be held in Moulton Hall room 307-B unless noted otherwise. Student teaching begins Monday, February 8, 2016 and continues through April 22, 2016.


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.

Each 210-minute meeting period will include the following items within the following approximate time constraints - 1.5 classes, each whole class consisting of the following 140-minute block (due to compressing the course from 3 meetings per week to 2 meetings per week) within which there will be:

Attendance is mandatory with each missed class resulting in a one letter grade reduction, unless cleared with the instructor prior to the absence.


In this course, as in other Physics Teacher Education courses, emphasis will be placed on an Assessment-for-Learning policy where reasonably possible. That is, assessments of student performance will be used not only to assign grades, but also to improve student performance. Unsatisfactory written work will be returned to the student for improvement. A student's score can be improved following appropriate revision and resubmission of "unsatisfactory" course projects, so long as all deadlines are met.

Course Goals:

Performance Objectives for All Undergraduates:

To be admitted to student teaching, every teacher candidate must demonstrate each of the following competencies:

Source of Course Objective

Correlated Assessment
(1) create an inquiry-oriented lesson that will be used to support the teaching one of the unit plans required below. NSTA # 3 - Inquiry
NSTA # 5 - General Skills of Teaching
NSTA #10 - Professional Growth
(2) teach one 50-minute inquiry LESSON (not an interactive demonstration or laboratory) that is scientifically and pedagogically meaningful, presents physical principles and concepts, as well as the basic reasoning skills of scientist, and appeal to and age-appropriate for secondary school learners.

NSTA # 1 - Content of Science
NSTA # 3 - Inquiry
NSTA # 5 - General Skills of Teaching
NSTA # 7 - Science in the Community
NSTA #10 - Professional Growth


(3) develop two pragmatic unit plans using specific guidelines and with the assistance of the cooperating teacher at the future student teaching site. NSTA # 5 - General Skills of Teaching
NSTA #10 - Professional Growth
312 C
(4) identify, confront, and resolve issues relating to those factors arrayed against inquiry-based instruction. NSTA # 3 - Inquiry
NSTA # 5 - General Skills of Teaching
(5) keep and maintain a lesson and lab notebook that includes a summary of all lab and lesson activities (including demonstrations) encountered in this course, as well as specified resources. NSTA # 5 - General Skills of Teaching
NSTA #10 - Professional Growth
(6) regularly complete multiple-choice quizzes dealing with the history of physics. The basis for these quizzes will be the historical vignettes that were assigned as homework readings.

NSTA # 1 - Content of Science
NSTA #2 - Nature of Science
NSTA # 3 - Inquiry

(7) STARTING 2012: use a curriculum development process along with relevant state and national standards to identify appropriate concepts, processes, and attitudes that are to be developed in a high school physics course.

NSTA # 6 - Curriculum
NSTA # 7 - Science in the Community

(8) participate meaningfully in all class lessons (convert instructor-provided high school physics student performance objectives into meaningful inquiry-oriented laboratory activities and then perform those activities, discussions of readings, critical thinking activities, and Nature of Science Case Study) by actively participating and contributing ideas that reflect more than a recitation of material read. NSTA #3 - Inquiry

Additional Course Objective for Graduate Students:

Students who take this course for graduate credit will be required to complete one project to satisfy the following additional course objective:

(9) develop a coherent, focused physics history unit that is consistent with state and national standards for science education, includes community involvement and alternative assessment, and is appropriate to the needs, abilities and interests of all students.

NSTA # 6 - Curriculum
NSTA # 7 - Social Context
NSTA # 8 - Assessment
NSTA#10 - Professional Practice

Course Alignment with Teacher Education Unit's Conceptual Framework:

 Conceptual Framework

Course Objective No.

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


 Disposition and ability to collaborate ethically and effectively with others.

2, 4, 5

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


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

2, 5

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


 Knowledge and appreciation of the diversity among learners.


 Understanding what affects learning and appropriate teaching strategies.

1, 2, 4, 5

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

1, 2, 4, 6

 Contagious intellectual enthusiasm and courage enough to be creative.

1, 2, 4, 6


Course Alignment with IPTS:

IPTS Standard
5L 312 A
3I 312 B
8C, 7Q, 312 D

Course Outline:

The following knowledge is assumed: Levels of Inquiry, Writing Student Performance Objectives, and Resources for Teaching. The following content-area topics will serve as unifying themes for classes within this course:



Case Study




Introduction & Review
Introduction to Syllabus Project and PPT


(course overview)

Read associated historical vignettes; complete book readings 1-6 before next class; work on lesson plans as required; prepare inquiry lesson as necessary; read What an Inquiry Lesson is NOT.

Q&A about book readings No.1 & No.2



Q&A about book readings No.3



Energy & Momentum(1)
Q&A about book readings No.4


N/A (Ad Hoc Committee work)
Read associated historical vignettes; complete book readings 7-9 before next class; work on lesson plans as required; prepare inquiry lesson as necessary; continue work on unit plan;

Energy & Momentum(2)
Q&A about book readings No.5


Q&A about book readings No.6


Q&A about book readings No.7


Read associated historical vignettes; complete book readings 10-12 before next class; work on lesson plans as required; prepare inquiry lesson as necessary; continue work on unit plan;

Light & Optics(1)
Q&A about book readings No.8


Light & Optics(2)
Q&A about book readings No.9


Electricity & Magnetism(1)
Q&A about book readings No.10


Read associated historical vignettes; complete book readings 13-14 before next class; work on lesson plans as required; prepare inquiry lesson as necessary; complete work on unit plan;



Electricity & Magnetism(2)
Q&A about book readings No.11


Electricity & Magnetism(3)
Q&A about book readings No.12



Temperature & Heat
Q&A about book readings No.13


Read associated historical vignettes


Atomic & Nuclear Physics
Q&A about book readings No.14




Summing Up
Ad Hoc Committee presentation


One text will be used in this course for background reading: Cunningham, J. & Herr, N. (1994). Hands-On Physics Activities with Real-Life Applications. The Center for Applied Research in Education. Students should already own this book courtesy of the Illinois Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and their Guidebook Program for teacher candidates.

Additionally, the following books are recommended and provide additional pedagogical content knowledge background; several copies are available for loan from the course instructor:

Students will want to investigate Eric Weisstein's World of Scientific Biography at Wolfram Research for many online biographies.An especially good historical reference with more detailed biographical sketches is Isaac Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (1972, New York: Avon Books) available for loan from the course instructor or for purchase from

Curriculum Resources:

Extensive use will be made of the instructional materials associated with the Modeling Method of Instruction, including mechanics and the so-called second semester topics. Students can gain access to Modeling materials through the Modeling Instruction Program web site at Arizona State University.

Reading Assignments by Class: (readings should be completed before the class in question)

  1. Motion:
  2. Force:
  3. Pressure:
  4. Energy and Momentum (Part I):
  5. Energy and Momentum (Part II):
  6. Waves (Part I):
  7. Waves (Part II):
  8. Light (Part I):
  9. Light (Part II):
  10. Electricity and Magnetism (Part I):
  11. Electricity and Magnetism (Part II):
  12. Temperature and Heat:
  13. Thermodynamics:
  14. Atomic & Nuclear Physics:

 Student Performance Assessments:

The following work assignments will be used to assess student performance in relation to each of the stated performance objectives:

312A: edTPA Task 1 "Identify a learning segment to plan, teach and analyze" ( defined as 3-5 lessons) and write a lesson plan for each lesson (25% of course grade)

Each student will create, with the assistance of his or her cooperating teacher, a unit plan that will be used during student teaching. The unit plan will assist with short-term planning during student teaching. The unit will be developed using guidelines in the the edTPA Asssessment Handbook. and will be scored with the use of a EdTPA Scoring Rubric. EdTPA lesson plan template should be used for for this assessment. One of the lessons will be "taught" to to the class and assessed using an Inquiry Lesson Scoring Rubric . Before begining work, students should read Levels of Inquiry ,Writing Student Performance Objectives and What an Inquiry Lesson is NOT. Failure to adequately demonstrate the required competency at a mastery level (82% or above) will result in the teacher candidate being barred from student teaching.


 312B: TEACH ONE INQUIRY LESSON (20% of course grade)

Each student will individually present one of the above 50-minute inquiry-oriented lesson (not lab) geared toward high school students in an introductory physics course. Student performance will be peer assessed using an Inquiry Lesson Scoring Rubric. Lessons will be videotaped. Students may improve their overall scores on the taught inquiry lessons by completing a debriefing with the course instructor followed by a written professional reflection.

312C: edTPA Task 1 (35% of course grade)

As part of the edTPA, each student will complete Task 1: Planning for Instruction and Assessment as outlined in the edTPA Assessment Handbook. To help you organize your thougths prior to writing, please use the edTPA writing organizers.

312D: Syllabus Project (0% of course grade)

Teacher candidates will create the framework of a course syllabus that aligns curriculum goals with Illinois Learning Standards, subject matter, activities, resources, and assessments; demonstrates an understanding of the depth of coverage vs. breadth of coverage argument; and incorporates community resources to enhance scientific literacy. Definitive performance criteria are available in the form of a scoring rubric.

312E: CLASS PARTICIPATION (20% of course grade)

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 Rubric. Attendance is mandatory with each missed class resulting in a one letter grade reduction, unless cleared with the instructor prior to the absence.

Submission Deadlines:

All required Student Tasks/Assignments MUST be completed and/or turned in by the Friday prior to student teaching. There will be no exceptions to this rule without a substantial grade penalty. In the advent that work is not completed and submitted in final form by the due date, the course grade will be lowered by one full letter grade.



The following table represents the relative weighting of the tasks and activities:

Learning Segment Lesson Plan

125 points

 Teach Inquiry Lesson

100 points

 edTPA Task 1
175 points
 Syllabus Project
 Class Participation
100 points


500 points

Criterion-base grading standards have been set as follows:

 A > 90%

 82% < B < 90%

 74% < C < 82%

 66% < D < 74%

 F < 66%

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.

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.

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.

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:


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