Modeling Workshops are the best preparation

to become Highly Qualified and/or certified

  by Jane Jackson ( March 2016)


Overwhelmingly, Arizona teachers say that the BEST preparation to pass the AEPA/NES physics test is Modeling Workshops. Read some of their comments below.


The ASU Modeling Instruction program is of proven success in increasing the number and quality of local high school physics teachers, when funding is sufficient to provide free tuition.


Evidence: In fall 2008, we conducted a survey of Arizona certification in physics of 54 metropolitan Phoenix physics teachers who had taught for six years or fewer.* Twenty-six of them took a Modeling Workshop(s) before becoming certified and/or Highly Qualified (NCLB), and ALL of these teachers wrote that it was the most important preparation.


We helped 70 out-of-field teachers to become Highly Qualified in physics, chemistry, or high school general science, in our Federal ESEA “Improving Teacher Quality” grants from 2006 to 2010. Two or three ASU 3-week summer Modeling Workshops suffice to prepare for the AEPA content tests, in most cases. ASU contributed free tuition, thus making summer courses affordable for teachers. See



THE SURVEY: in fall 2008, we asked Arizona physics teachers: "What ASU courses (if you took any) helped you MOST, to pass the AEPA physics content certification test?"



I. Cross-over (out-of-field) teachers:

  *  By far the Mechanics modeling course was THE best preparational course.  If I had taken the E& M course prior to the test that would have been the best too... The intro modeling courses are perfect preparation.

  *  Modeling class.

  *  the modeling courses were a tremendous help. Waves, Light and Mechanics helped the most.


II. Teachers whose degree is in physics or physics education:

  *  First Semester of Modeling Mechanics

  *  Mechanics modeling.

  * Probably the mechanics classes, both Modeling PHY 480 and PHY 310.

  * the first modeling workshop was my methods class. 

  * I'd have to say the modeling I course. 

  * the first semester modeling class.


*Three-fourths of these teachers (40/54) had taken a Modeling Workshop. In 2008, Metropolitan Phoenix had 157 inservice physics teachers: 119 public (75%), 21 charter, 17 private/parochial. Of the 157 physics teachers, 100 (two-thirds) had taken a Modeling Workshop (most for three weeks in summer; 90 contact hours).  Survey responses comprise 10 pages.