This is a sample syllabus from the course, which can be offered for 1-3 units, these requirements are for the 3-unit course. An undergraduate student trying to get a leg up on teaching might sign up for one hour, and not have total responsibility for a lab, or have to develop a new activity, just assist.
PHYS 400V---Lab and Classroom Practices in Physics
Course Content: The weekly readings will be from physics education research literature. The classroom time will give you experience in using classroom methods that are measurably effective in promoting student learning.
A Partial List of Topics
Preparation for classroom presentations
Testing and grading
Addressing student alternative conceptions
Effective use of classroom demonstrations
Interactive classroom techniques
Course Structure and Grading Policy
Four hours a week in an apprentice teacher role, 1 unplanned absence = 1/2 of a letter grade
Before semester begins: Ten half-days of meetings on topics essential to classroom experience, 10-25 pages of reading per day.
Remainder of the semester, a 1-hour meeting each week to discuss the week’s reading (20-25 pages).
Performance in class is observed.
First 4 weeks, observations provide feedback.
Remainder of semester, results graded.
New topics given 2-week period before evaluation. Progressively more responsibility given.
The work in class will be 1/2 of grade.
Assignments accompanying weekly reading, 1/3.
Final: develop a lesson or activity (1/6).
Section 1 -- General
Institute fur die Padagogik der Naturwissenschaften, 1992.
Section 2 -- Alternative Conceptions
Section 3 -- Labs and Cooperative Grouping
Section 4 -- Problem Solving and Grading
SAMPLE READING ASSIGNMENT:
McDermott, L. C. (1984). Research on conceptual understanding in mechanics. Physics Today, 37 (7), 2.
This article summarizes many studies conducted to determine common physics alternative conceptions held by students. The article also makes recommendation for instruction intended to overcome these difficulties.
1. What are some preconceptions about passive forces?
2. What are some preconceptions about the gravitational force?
3. What are some preconceptions about velocity and acceleration?
4. What are some preconceptions about force and motion?
5. What are some implications of the research on traditional instruction?