ASU Graduate Program for
Teachers of the Physical Sciences

The Department of Physics at Arizona State University offers a STEM program of courses specifically designed to meet professional development needs of high school and post-secondary physics, chemistry, and physical science teachers. Teachers can enroll in these courses to earn credit towards re-certification, become more effective, progress toward becoming qualified faculty by the Higher Learning Commission, pursue an interdisciplinary Master of Natural Science degree (MNS), or as electives in Education degrees. For some courses, prerequisites are two semesters of trigonometry-based college physics and an introductory calculus course (brief calculus is sufficient). Most courses are held during the summer. Depending on teacher interest, they may be offered at other times. A Modeling Instruction course is offered each spring semester (and each fall semester, starting in 2016).

Executive summary. View. Download
Modeling Instruction & MNS programs brochure.
Flier of upcoming summer courses.

Teachers value Modeling Workshops:

  • most useful for Dual Enrollment physics & two-year college teaching (2015).View. Download
  • best preparation to become highly qualified and/or certified. View. Download.
  • for effective student learning. Letters to ASU Dean
  • an outstanding program! View. Download

    What is Modeling Instruction? an overview. View. Download
    Physics First professional development in Modeling Instruction. View Download.

    Want to donate to our ASU Foundation "Improving Physics and Chemistry Teachers" scholarship fund? Click here.

    Donate to our $1M endowment fund for these scholarships in perpetuity by clicking here. As of November 2016, every donation to our endowment fund is matched, 1-for-1. Double your investment!

    Modeling Workshops nationwide are listed at the American Modeling Teachers Association website: http://modelinginstruction.org and at http://www.phystec.org/pd/?set=Modeling Each summer, about 60 are held, in typically 25 states.
    Would you like to host (or attend) a Modeling Workshop? Download this 2-page "how to".

    All courses are content-intensive. Courses are in three categories:

    Category I. Physics pedagogy. Core courses on physics teaching (PHS 530 & 531) are open to anyone seeking to improve their practice of teaching physics; they are required for those seeking the MNS degree. These courses provide thorough grounding in research-based physics pedagogy integrated with content in full accord with the National Science Education Standards(NSES) and use of computer technology in physics teaching. Although subject to faculty oversight, most courses in Category I and some in Category II are taught by teams of outstanding in-service physics teachers. This conforms to the "peer teaching principle" espoused by the NSES, which holds that professionals are best taught by peers who are exceptionally well-versed in the objectives, methods and problems of the profession.

    Category II. Interdisciplinary science. Courses in this category:

    1. enhance teacher understanding of interdisciplinary connections and relations of science to society;
    2. help teachers determine how to use that understanding to enrich their own teaching, and
    3. foster collaboration between physics teachers and teachers in other sciences.
    Consider PHS 542: Integrated Mathematics and Physics. This course takes the position, admittedly atypical, that understanding science requires mathematics and understanding mathematics requires science. The course examines the commonality in conceptual physics models and mathematical models in such a way as to promote an ongoing dialogue between physics and mathematics teachers. An emphasis is placed on the underlying structure of student learning (multiple cycles of data gathering, model building, data interpretation, and model generalization) as a means of guiding modeling instruction. Enrollment of physics/mathematics teacher teams from the same school is encouraged. In summer 2008, the focus was on grades 8 and 9 because of the movement nationwide toward Physics First.

    Category III. Contemporary physics. These courses are taught by research faculty who work in areas addressed by the courses. The listed courses span the range of major research areas in contemporary physics. They introduce teachers to ideas, methods and results of 20th century physics that are ordinarily taught only to physics majors in advanced undergraduate and graduate programs. The courses bring physics teachers into extended contact with research faculty to share the excitement of scientific research. They provide unprecedented opportunities for researchers to explain their fields to highly-motivated, well-informed teachers and thereby influence their students.

    Leadership Workshop The one-day-per-week leadership workshop is directed by experienced Teaching Associates. The main purpose is to build a cohesive peer learning community focused on action research. Teachers collectively consider how to expand what they have learned in courses through science interest groups, and how to use it in extra-curricular projects and science clubs.

    Teaching Associates assist faculty in course design, development and conduct as needed. Teaching Associates are outstanding, experienced inservice physics teachers who are thoroughly versed in the methods and objectives of Modeling Instruction. Their responsibilities include:

    Course design. The ultimate target for the MNS program is not the teachers themselves but their students. Therefore each course addresses the subject at a level which prepares teachers to entice and inform their students. The teachers are engaged in activities and projects that they can set up for their students. As the standard high school curriculum does not include "contemporary physics," teachers need the material developed in a modular form that can be used for extracurricular projects and interest groups or in advanced enrichment courses for seniors. In the long run, this serves to prepare teachers for sorely needed content reform of high school science. Such reform, as advocated by AAAS Project 2061, will never be achieved without preparing the teachers.

    Teaching Guidelines. Faculty who teach the MNS courses agree to support the objectives of the project and adhere to the following teaching guidelines.

    Two published articles on the ASU graduate program are:
    Jane Jackson: ASU's Preparation of Out-of-Field Physics Teachers, Journal of Physics Teacher Education Online (2010)
    D. Hestenes et al: A Graduate Program for High School Physics & Physical Science Teachers, Am. J. Phys.79: 971-979 ( 2011)

    Doctoral program. ASU offers a doctorate in science education through a Learning, Literacies, and Technologies Program, an interdisciplinary program between the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education.Thus, talented teachers in the MNS program have an option to continue with doctoral research in science education.

    Teachers in ASU-College of Education M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction: Accomplished Teaching can take up to five of our courses as science content electives. Teachers in the NAU MAST degree can transfer up to 12 credits of our courses. Teachers in the U of A Teachers in Industry masters degree program are encouraged to take our courses in spring and fall semesters.

    Course Scheduling
    Most courses in Category I are held each summer, as is the Leadership Workshop. Courses in Categories II and III are rotated; each course is held every two to five years, according to teacher interest and faculty availability.

    Course schedule for 2016 to 2018 (updated in February 2017): view  download

    Below is the schedule of MNS courses in summer 2017.

    Modeling Workshop courses, etc: June 5-23, 2017 (3 credits, unless otherwise indicated.)
    Each workshop is described below and at http://www.phystec.org/pd/?set=Modeling

     PHS 530 / PHY 480: Methods of Teaching Physics I (mechanics)
    Choose between these two sections:
    *
    June 5-23, 2017
    ASU - Tempe campus ( 8:00 - 3:30 MTWTh, 8-12 F) PS-H-356
    Instructor: Jeff Steinert

    * June 12-30 at Carl Hayden HS, 3333 W Roosevelt, Phoenix
    Instructor: Richard McNamara

    For in-service and preservice high school teachers and post-secondary faculty.

    Prerequisite: 2 semesters college physics


    CHM 594 / CHM 480: Modeling Instruction in Chemistry I
    June 5-23, 2017
    Tempe Preparatory Academy (on Southern Ave.)
    ( 8:00 - 3:30 MTWTh, 8:00 - 12:00 F)
    Instructor: Mitch Sweet
    (CHM 594 is line # )

    For in-service and preservice high school teachers and post-secondary faculty.

    Prerequisite: 2 semesters college chemistry

    PHS 531 / PHY 494: Methods of Teaching Physics II: e&m (Modeling Workshop in Electricity & Magnetism
    June 5-23, 2017

    ASU - Tempe campus
    ( 8:00 - 3:30 MTWTh, 8:00 - 12:00 F) PS-H357
    Instructor: Michael Crofton
    (PHS 531 is line #)

    For in-service and preservice high school teachers and post-secondary faculty. Prerequisite: PHS 530 or PHY 480

    We have a 3-year rotation of Modeling Workshops in mechanical waves & sound, CASTLE electricity, and e&m. (We added our waves workshop to align with NGSS and AP-Physics I. )

    PHS 505 / CHM 505: Energy & the Environment
    June 5-23, 2017
    ASU - Tempe campus: 8:30 to 12:30 MTWRF
    Instructor: Cory Waxman

    For in-service and preservice high school teachers and post-secondary faculty of physical sciences. (This is not a Modeling Workshop, but is led by a modeler.)

    8-week course:
    PHS 598: Leadership Workshop (1 credit)
    June 9 - July 21, 2017
    Most Friday afternoons in PS-F 462 (flexible - by consensus)
    Instructor: Jim Archambault
    (PHS 598 is line #)

    MNS degree candidates prepare to do action research. (Note: for teachers who cannot be on campus during June, Jim Archambault can arrange distance learning. Contact jane.jackson@asu.edu if you need distance learning.)

    Modeling Workshop in July
    You can take a maximum of 2 credits in 2 weeks, per AZ Board of Regents

    CHM 594/ PHS 594: Modeling Instruction in Chemistry II
    July 5-18, 2017
    (2 credits)
    ASU - Tempe campus
    ( 8:00 - 3:30 MTWTh, 8 to noon F)
    Instructor: Phil Root (tentative guest speaker: Guy Ashkenazi, PhD in chemistry education)
    (CHM 594 is line # )

    For in-service and preservice high school teachers and post-secondary faculty.
    Prerequisite: a 2- or 3-week Modeling Workshop in chemistry. (Offered in alternate summers.)


     

    Advanced courses: June 26 to July 28 (2nd summer session in five weeks)
    You can take up to 6 credits in 5 weeks, per AZ Board of Regents.

    PHS 570: Spacetime Physics
    (line #)


    PHS 542 / CHM 542: Integrated Physics & Chemistry
    (line #)

    4:00-6:30 MTWTh in PS-H355

    1:00 - 3:30 MTWTh in PS-H355?

    Carl Covatto

    Bob Culbertson


    The course offerings are repeated in subsequent summers. Most teachers who attend both summer sessions complete requirements for an MNS degree within two or three summers (if they include up to 9 transfer credits). In summer 2009, 130 teachers participated in 10 courses. On a 10-point scale, teachers gave every course an average overall rating from 8 to 10. Written comments confirm that these numbers mean high teacher satisfaction with every course.

    Important information about the Summer Program for Teachers

    We strongly recommend that teachers take a Modeling Workshop before our other courses, as Modeling Instruction is the foundation of our program. Most teachers find the modeling approach far superior to traditional instruction. It's adaptable to all sciences.

    Apply for TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS, or reserve a seat for CEUs, &/or get housing help: for summer 2017.

    1)ARIZONA high school teachers, for summer 2017, can apply for a partial tuition scholarship (and/or get help in arranging on-campus housing).
    After Feb. 7, apply online for a tuition scholarship at https://physics.asu.edu/admissions/mns-admissions/financial-support

    [We are thankful that two dozen partial tuition scholarships were given to Arizona teachers in summer 2016, due to donations from the Boeing Company in Mesa, ON Semiconductor in Phoenix, Air Products in Tempe, and individuals, many of whom are teachers who previously benefited from the program and gave back. Salt River Project and Alliance Bank of Arizona gave extensive program support.]

    2) MCCCD faculty (including dual enrollment) can apply to ASU for $250/credit scholarships. Contact shannon.trafton@asu.edu, 480-965-3521. See https://graduate.asu.edu/faculty-graduate-credit-options

    3) Teachers worldwide can apply to reserve a seat for non-credit ($400 registration; on a space-available basis; priority to teachers who commit to leadership) and get help in arranging on-campus housing. Apply online after Feb. 7 at
    https://physics.asu.edu/content/modeling-instruction-application-reserve-seat-ceu
    You need NOT apply to ASU. Questions? e-mail Jane.Jackson@asu.edu


    ASU logistics and the application process:
    How to apply to ASU and register for summer courses as a nondegree graduate student. How to apply to the MNS degree progam.(Note: We are at the Tempe campus, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.)

    To search for any ASU course online, visit http://www.asu.edu/classes

    Housing - Contact jane.jackson@asu.edu for information in 2017. (In 2016, a private bedroom and bath cost about $650 for 3 weeks, + $20 linens (optional). In 2014 it cost $390. We had excellent apartment housing on campus.)
    * Do you need family housing or off-campus housing? Want tips on what to bring to ASU, and how to get around in Tempe? Download or view this info, updated in 2016.

     

    HOW TO GET OTHER FUNDING
    Here is a sample budget (in 2013) for each Modeling Workshop, including housing costs. View or download

    1) Ask your school district to pay with Federal Title II-A funds. Here is a sample grant proposal to help you obtain funding.
    2) Seek financial support from a community service organization. (Strategies. Updated in 2014)
    3) A list of funding sources for teachers, from foundations and community service organizations.
    4) ASU financial aid for MNS DEGREE candidates who teach in "low income" schools. (Forgivable Wm Ford Direct loans, TEACH grants)
    5) In-state tuition! MNS DEGREE teachers in 15 western states can apply for in-state tuition. See the ASU Department of Physics MNS financial assistance webpage for the application form. The deadline is April 1, each year.



    TUITION/REGISTRATION COSTS for graduate credit:

    ASU tuition in summers 2016 & 2015 was $589 per semester hour ($1032 out-of-state). Fees were $202 for 12 weeks, but some were pro-rated, so that the total tuition/fees for 3-weeks were $1875.
    ASU tuition in summer 2014 was $572 per semester hour ($1001 out-of-state). Fees were $139 for 12 weeks but were pro-rated.

    ASU tuition in summer 2013 was $556 per semester hour ($972 out-of-state). Fees were $139 for 12 weeks, but were pro-rated.
    ASU tuition in summer 2012 was $539 per semester hour ($944 out-of-state). Fees were $139 for the 12 week session, but were pro-rated.
    ASU tuition in summer 2011 was ~ $500 per semester hour (~ $850 out-of-state).
    ASU tuition in summer 2010 was $509 per semester hour ($849 out-of-state).
    ASU tuition in summer 2009 was $485 per semester hour ($806 out-of-state).
    ASU summer tuition in 2008 was $326 per credit ($571 out of state). Fees were $25 per summer session.

    To find ASU tuition and fees for any year and any category, click on "Tuition and fees schedules", etc.

    To search for any ASU course online, visit http://www.asu.edu/classes


    ASU Requirements for the Master of Natural Science Degree

    Master of Natural Science in Physics for in-service teachers

    The program started in 2001, and more than 70 teachers earned this degree from 2002 to 2016.

    As of 2013, the GRE General test is NOT required. Also, up to 12 semester hours can be transferred into the program.
    As of summer 2014, teachers in 15 western states can apply for in-state tuition. See the ASU Department of Physics MNS financial assistance webpage for the application form. The deadline each year is April 1.

    Courses in physics and physical sciences for teachers

    Category I: Physics Teaching Methods with intensive content

    PHS 530: Methods of Teaching Physics I (mechanics) (3)
    PHS 531: Methods of Teaching Physics II (e&m from a microscopic perspective) (3)
    PHS 593: Applied Project: Action Research in Physical Sciences (1-3)
    PHS 594: Modeling Workshops in Physics (models of light, mechanical waves & sound, CASTLE electricity)
    PHS 598: Leadership Workshop (1)

    Category II: Integrated Science

    PHS 505/CHM 505: Energy and the Environment (3)
    PHS 540/CHM 540: Integrated Physics and Chemistry (3)
    PHS 542: Integrated Mathematics and Physics (3)
    PHS 550: Physics and Astronomy (3)

    Category III: Contemporary Physics
    PHS 556: Astrophysics (3)
    PHS 560: Matter and Light (3)
    PHS 564: Light and Electron Optics (3)
    PHS 570: Spacetime Physics (3)
    PHS 581/CHM 581: Structure of Matter and its Properties (3)

    Electives

    PHS 534: Methods of Physical Science Teaching (3)
    PHS 594: Modeling Workshops in Physical Science (1 to 3)
    PHS 593: Applied Project: Advanced Projects in Physical Sciences (1-4)
    CHM 594: Modeling Instruction in Chemistry I and II (3; 2)
    COE 502/EDP 502: Introduction to Data Analysis (3)

     
  • Transfer courses: Some distance/online graduate courses may qualify, if approved by the student's supervisory committee. The course must be part of a graduate degree program at the respective university and must be approved by the ASU Graduate College. Highly recommended for all teachers are the two courses on Matter and Interactions developed by Drs. Bruce Sherwood and Ruth Chabay at NCSU (Science House). Chemistry teachers find the University of Maryland chemical and life sciences degree courses challenging and worthwhile (you apply as a transfer student; ask Jane Jackson for details).

    ASU course descriptions

    PHS 505/CHM 594: Energy and the Environment (3). For high school and post-secondary teachers of all sciences and math. Current problems in energy resources, production, consumption, and conservation. Prerequisites; one semester college chemistry and physics. Math teachers need a strong science background.
    Download course description. View

    PHS 530/PHY 480: Methods of Teaching Physics I. (3) The 1st summer Modeling Workshop. An inquiry approach to high school and post-secondary general physics teaching that incorporates computer technology and insights from physics education research. Emphasis is placed on basic models and modeling in mechanics, developing skills in scientific discourse and presentation and assessment of student learning. Prerequisite: 2 semesters college physics
    Download course description.  View
    Download a template for a Modeling Instruction lesson plan.

    PHS 531: Methods of Teaching Physics II. (3 ) This Modeling Workshop provides teachers the opportunity to expand the modeling techniques learned in PHS 530 to microscopic models of electricity and magnetism. Prerequisite: PHS 530 or instructor approval.
    Download the course description for Electricity  View

    PHS 534/PHY 494: Methods of Physical Science Teaching I. (3) Physical science and mathematics content integrated into coherent instructional units. Design of curriculum and conduct of instruction for physical science courses in high school or middle school. Instruction with collaborative inquiry methods. (Sometimes cross linked with MTE 598.) A sequel to this course was piloted as PHS594 in July 2007, and held every summer thereafter.
    Download course description. or view
    Alignment of PHS534 with AZ Science Standards (grade 8, high school). Download. View
    ADE letter: PHS534 is content course for general science certification. Download.
    Download a template for a Modeling Instruction lesson plan.

    PHS 540/CHM 540: Integrated Physics and Chemistry (3) Emphasis on coordinating concepts of physics and chemistry with a quantum mechanical description of atomic structure and bonding. Prerequisite: CHM 480 or PHY 480 (PHS 530) or instructor approval; physics or chemistry teacher in high school or community college.
    Download course description. View.

    PHS 542: Integrated Mathematics and Physics (3) Mathematical models and modeling as an integrating theme for mathematics and physics.
    Download course description. View

    PHS 550: Physics and Astronomy (3) Astronomy curricula and projects for high school and community college, with emphasis on the role of physics in astronomy. Prerequisite: two semesters college physics, knowledge of college algebra.
    course description. View

    PHS 556: Astrophysics (3) Structure and evolution of stars, galaxies and the universe. For high school and community college teachers.
    Prerequisite: PHS550 or equivalent, knowledge of introductory calculus

    Download course description. View

    PHS 560: Matter and Light (3) Interactions of light with matter. Lasers and spectroscopy. Prerequisite: two semesters college physics and one semester calculus.
    Download course description. View. Read comments from a physics teacher who took the course in 2001.

    PHS 564: Light and Electron Optics (3) Principles and practice of optical and electron-optical instruments. Reflection, refraction and diffraction. Microscopy, spectroscopy and holography. Instrument design, operation and applications. Prerequisite: one semester college physics.
    Download course description.. View

    PHS 570: Spacetime Physics (3) Special and General Theories of Relativity with implications for space and time travel. Prerequisite: two semesters college physics.
    Download course description.

    PHS 581/CHM 581: Structure of Matter and its Properties(3) Models of matter and its properties: mechanical, thermal, optical, electrical, magnetic. Prerequisite: two semesters college physics.
    Download course description. View

    PHS 593: Applied Project: Action Research in Physical Science (1-3) A project oriented course for inservice physical science teachers. Action Research Projects (aimed at practical improvements in teaching practice) will be undertaken by teams of two or more teachers. Projects begin with a written proposal subject to approval by the instructor. Classroom implementation and evaluation may be required. A final written report and a public presentation to peers at a meeting or by a published paper is normally required. May be repeated for credit.
    Download course description.  View.
    Download Action research policy document.  View.
    Download AR weekly timesheet-template. View.
    Download AR evaluation checklist.
      View.

    PHS 598: Leadership Workshop (1) Described above, the main purpose is to build a cohesive peer learning community among teachers in the MNS program.focused on action research. Teams of teachers learn to engage in action research. Can be repeated once for credit.
    Download course description.   View. See also PHS 593.


    MORE MODELING WORKSHOP COURSES:

    PHS 594: Workshops in Physical Science (1-4) Collaborative workshops on various topics in physical science and its integration with technology for inservice teachers. Workshops that have been held are listed below.

    PHS 594: Modeling Instruction in CASTLE Electricity (3) Modeling-adapted CASTLE electricity. Prerequisite: PHS 530/PHY 480 or a 3-week Modeling Workshop in physical science.
    Download course description or view

    PHS 594/PHY 494: Physical Science with Math Modeling Workshop (3) Force, motion, chemistry foundations for teachers of middle school and high school. PHS 534 is recommended prior course, but not required. Download course description or view
    Download a template for a Modeling Instruction lesson plan.

    PHS 594: Modeling Workshop in Waves (2).

    PHS 594: Modeling Instruction in Mechanical Waves and Sound (3)Prerequisite: PHS 530/PHY480. Download course description. View.

    PHS 594: Modeling Instruction in Light (3) Prerequisite: PHS 530/PHY480. Download course description. light

    PHS 594: Advanced Modeling Workshop (3) Cognition, modeling discourse management, energy thread, assessment, other issues. Prerequisite: two modeling workshops.
    View the course description. Download

    CHM 594/CHM 480: Modeling Instruction in Chemistry I (3) Key concepts in 1st semester high school and post-secondary general chemistry from a model-centered perspective. Prerequisite: chemistry or physics teacher or instructor approval.
    Download course description. View.
    View an example of chemistry modeling in action. Download
    Download a template for a Modeling Instruction lesson plan.

    CHM 594: Modeling Instruction in Chemistry II (2 or 3) Key concepts in 2nd semester high school and post-secondary general chemistry from a model-centered perspective. Prerequisite: Modeling Instruction in Chemistry I.
    Download course description.. View.

    Graduate Study at ASU

    The ASU Department of Physics web page where MNS degree students can download all the necessary resources & forms, and get academic advisement.

    (You probably won't need this, but here is a link to all the forms that graduate students need; or you can go to the Graduate Education website, click on "all forms" (at the bottom right). Also Program of Study, petitions, graduation deadlines and procedures.)

    Evaluation Instruments for Participants

    Each teacher who receives financial support is asked to give the appropriate instrument to at least one class as a baseline post-test and in the following year as both a pre-test and a post-test, to evaluate the effectiveness of your instruction. The instruments below are password-protected. Participants are given the password during their summer coursework at ASU. Should you lose your password, you may get a reminder by contacting Jane Jackson. If you wish, e-mail your summary test results in an Excel spreadsheet to Jane Jackson.

    What Arizona Science Teachers Want & Need, for Professional Development

    110 teachers were surveyed about their needs/wants by request of former AZ Governor Janet Napolitano, who wanted to know how to keep science teachers in the classroom

    Physics teachers laud ASU Modeling Workshops and Modeling Instruction (2015). Download

    Chemistry teachers laud ASU Modeling Workshops and Modeling Instruction (2015). Download
    Success using Modeling Instruction in an Early College high school in urban Phoenix: John Meyers' story (2015)

    Teachers' appreciation letters to ASU administrators (2005-2007) for Modeling Workshops.

    Teachers' need for financial support
    , due to low pay and costly medical insurance (2008 to now). Download
    How teachers want businesses to give them financial support
    ,-- written by a dozen Arizona physics and chemistry teachers.
    A business plan by teachers, to support their professional growth
    , by Robert (Robin) Blackford, physics teacher-leader in rural AZ.

    Teachers' need for ASU tuition support now, for Modeling Workshops. Download

     

    Return to the Modeling Instruction home page.

    last updated February 2, 2017

    This page is maintained by Jane Jackson jane.jackson@asu.edu

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    Department of Physics, ASU, P.O. Box 871504, Tempe, AZ 85287-1504.
    Phone: 480-965-3561, FAX: 480-965-7954. Contact us: physics.info@asu.edu