A

Statement of Task

The committee will produce a report that identifies the goals and challenges facing undergraduate physics education and identifies how best practices for undergraduate physics education can be implemented on a widespread and sustained basis. In so doing, the committee will assess the status of physics education research (PER) and will discuss how PER can assist in accomplishing the goal of improving undergraduate physics education best practices and education policy. As part of this task, the committee will:

1.  Assess the current status of Physics Education and PER by:

a.  Describing the current landscape of undergraduate physics education with a focus on its ability to recruit and retain undergraduate students in physics, to prepare and support teachers of physics and physical science from K-12, and to provide meaningful physics education to other science and technology professionals;

b.  Discussing progress and issues in the PER field, including preparation of a synthesis of findings from this body of research; and

c.  Identifying and examining the efficacy of current assessment methods.

2.  Address the future of undergraduate physics education and PER by:

a.  Identifying best practices in undergraduate physics education for majors and non-majors alike;



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OCR for page 109
A Statement of Task The committee will produce a report that identifies the goals and challenges facing undergraduate physics education and identifies how best practices for under- graduate physics education can be implemented on a widespread and sustained basis. In so doing, the committee will assess the status of physics education research (PER) and will discuss how PER can assist in accomplishing the goal of improving undergraduate physics education best practices and education policy. As part of this task, the committee will: 1. Assess the current status of Physics Education and PER by: a. Describing the current landscape of undergraduate physics education with a focus on its ability to recruit and retain undergraduate students in physics, to prepare and support teachers of physics and physical sci- ence from K-12, and to provide meaningful physics education to other science and technology professionals; b. Discussing progress and issues in the PER field, including preparation of a synthesis of findings from this body of research; and c. Identifying and examining the efficacy of current assessment methods. 2. Address the future of undergraduate physics education and PER by: a. Identifying best practices in undergraduate physics education for majors and non-majors alike; 109

OCR for page 109
110 Adapting to a Changing World b. Identifying those practices and programs in physics that effectively engage, recruit, prepare, and support current and future pre-college teachers; c. Considering mechanisms to deploy assessment tools by which best prac- tices and research-based findings in physics education can be scaled to make them more widespread and sustained; d. Identifying the future directions of PER; e. Recommending strategies for academic institutions and policymakers to implement those mechanisms to improve undergraduate physics education.