Finally, he said it would be useful to create a repository of instruments and data on various promising practices for researchers to use.

WORKSHOPS BY A PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY FOR NEW PHYSICS FACULTY

Ken Krane (Oregon State University) discussed the New Faculty Workshop in Physics and Astronomy, which he and his colleagues have been running since 1996. With financial support from the National Science Foundation, the workshop is sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers in partnership with the American Physical Society and the American Astronomical Society.

Krane and his colleagues developed the workshop to improve physics teaching at research universities, which they defined as any institution that awards an M.S. or a Ph.D. in physics. These institutions represent a high leverage point to affect teaching because they enroll the vast majority of students in introductory physics, produce the majority of physics majors, and hire the majority of physics faculty.

The New Faculty Workshop is an annual event. Over the course of 3 days, Krane explained, workshop developers seek to provide a coherent and interconnected set of paradigms for improving instruction. The workshops also promote research-based reforms that new faculty can adopt with minimal time commitment and minimal risk to their tenure status, according to Krane. Small-group and plenary sessions offer opportunities for new faculty to connect with innovators in physics education and physics education research and to form their own communities of practice as they implement effective teaching strategies.2

Krane and his colleagues measure the workshop’s success in terms of the following three goals:

  1. Involve a significant fraction of the newly hired faculty in physics and astronomy.

  2. Familiarize participants with recent and successful pedagogic developments.

  3. Effect an improvement in physics and astronomy teaching when new pedagogies are implemented at home institutions.

Addressing these goals, Krane reported results from an evaluation of the program by Charles Henderson (2008). Henderson found that the

2

For more information, see the workshop paper by Krane (see http://www.nationalacademies.org/bose/Krane_CommissionedPaper.pdf) and the New Faculty Workshop home page (see http://www.aapt.org/Conferences/newfaculty/nfw.cfm).



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