ASU Modeling Instruction & MNS Degree Programs: legacy site

This is the original Modeling Instruction Program website. It is on a secure server at ASU.

QUICK LINKS! We update these webpages often:
* ASU's summer graduate program for teachers (click below),
* research & evaluation (scroll down and click),
* Modeling Instruction in High School Sciences: overviews, David Hestenes' advice, 300 listserv compilations; lab practicums, short workshop designs, Powerpoint presentations.
* resources for the modeling classroom (most by modelers),
* weblinks for modelers (modeling-friendly resources, most by others).

Visit our scale-up partner's Modeling Instruction site, hosted by the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA), for updated instructional resources for teachers worldwide.

AMTA Facebook page

History     Partners    Annual Report: 2022 (and 2013 )    Founders & directors     Donate or Volunteer: how


ASU Summer Graduate Program for Teachers of Physical Sciences
Modeling Workshops, interdisciplinary STEM courses, and contemporary physics courses for teachers of high school and two-year college physics and chemistry and physical science. MNS degree with concentration in physics. (updated in February 2023.) Download a flier for summer 2023. Also download a flier for Modeling Instruction in Chemistry I in fall semester 2023.

The ASU Modeling Instruction program and MNS degree program meet the following needs.

The National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996) emphasize that "coherent and integrated programs" supporting "lifelong professional development" of science teachers are essential for significant reform. "The conventional view of professional development for teachers needs to shift from technical training for specific skills to opportunities for intellectual professional growth."
The Glenn Commission report Before It's Too Late (2000) states:

"We are of one mind in our belief that the way to interest children in mathematics and science is through teachers who are not only enthusiastic about their subjects, but who are also steeped in their disciplines and who have the professional training—as teachers—to teach those subjects well. Nor is this teacher training simply a matter of preparation; it depends just as much—or even more— on sustained, high-quality professional development."

These ASU programs were rated "Accomplished" in 2015 by Change the Equation .

 Nationwide opportunities for professional growth:
Modeling Workshops nationwide for summer 2023 are listed at the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) website. (More workshops are added periodically, so visit often.)

(For historical purposes and for continuity, here is the link to the 50 Modeling Workshops nationwide in summer 2012).

Modeling Instruction in High School Sciences

Awards and evidence of effectiveness:

Modeling Instruction in Physics was designated in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the seven best K-12 educational technology programs out of 134 programs evaluated.

Modeling Instruction in Physics was designated in 2001 by the U.S. Department of Education as one of two Exemplary programs in K-12 Science Education out of 27 programs evaluated. Download the U.S. Department of Education award booklet .

Modeling Instruction in physics has a large effect size, 0.9, as measured by the Force Concept Inventory. It meets the What Works Clearinghouse standard for effectiveness. pdf

High School Modeling Instruction received the 2014 Excellence in Physics Education Award from the American Physical Society, the largest association of research physicists worldwide. Our speeches are here.

Modeling Instruction is Effective (2000): data summary.
Modeling Instruction is Effective (2011): published FCI data for ~1100 high school physics students. Download.

NSF report: Findings of the Modeling Workshop Project: 1994-2000. pdf
NSF report: Findings of the ASU Summer Graduate Program for Physics Teachers (2002-2006) pdf

Modeling Instruction in College

Modeling Instruction began in calculus-based physics at Arizona State University, in the late 1980s.

Who used Modeling Instruction in colleges and universities nationwide, as of 2017: testimonies. .pdf

A big website (as of 2017)was maintained on college Modeling Instruction curriculum in mechanics, by Eric Brewe of Drexel University. Eric was formerly in the Florida International University Physics Education Research Group, in Miami. It had a detailed guide for each week, video examples, and printable activity worksheets. (It got hacked. When Eric has time, he'll try to get it re-instated.

Website of Dwain Desbien & Tom Okuma's modeling-friendly short workshops for two-year college and high school teachers (NSF-funded until 2015). 25 modeling-friendly labs & activities from this project.

Remodeling University Physics: NSF-supported research at ASU until 2003 to reform introductory physics at the university/college level. Peer leaders: Dwain Desbien, Eric Brewe, Michael Politano. (website updated in 2007. Many instructional resources!)

Research & Evaluation

Research findings, publications and evaluation instruments [Force Concept Inventory (FCI), Mechanics Baseline Test (MBT), Views About Science Survey (VASS), RTOP & Modeling Self-Assessments, links to research-based concept inventories in sciences]. Dissertations; evaluations of Modeling Instruction and other programs. Two taxonomies of student conceptions about force and motion.

Cognitive Instruction in Mathematical Modeling

The CIMM program is transforming mathematics education to include conceptual understanding (grouping structure), symbol construction (algorithmic manipulations), problem solving and mathematical reasoning. (updated a little in 2022)

STEM Professional Development: our vision, policy, and actions

Science teachers need professional development! convince your policy makers.
Organize a Modeling Workshop or school inservice with these documents (1 1/2 hours to 3 weeks).

Remodeling Science Education, what is needed -- by David Hestenes (an invited talk in Taiwan, 2011)
    AMTA Camp 2014: plenary slides of David Hestenes' 3-fold vision, and a group picture

A role for physicists in STEM education reform (a guest editorial by David Hestenes), Am. J. Phys. 83: 101 (2015). Posted with permission by the AAPT.
Modeling Instruction for STEM Education Reform, a major proposal by David Hestenes (2009).
A Critical Role for Physics Departments in K-12 Science Reform -- article by David Hestenes and Jane Jackson (2004).

University - School partnerships for sustained science education reform. (NSF grant, 1999-2002).
Activities and Significance of the Modeling Workshop Project (1994-2000), by David Hestenes. David Hestenes' vision for high school physics is reflected in the activities, contributions, and significance expressed in the 10-page document submitted to the NSF.
National Center for Physics Education -- a proposal to stimulate action by the physics community, submitted by David Hestenes in 2000 to the AAPT.

National community
Local Physics Alliances - Learning communities of physics teachers

To subscribe to any of 5 modeling listservs for physics, chemistry, biology, or physical science teachers, email .

STEMteachersNYC is the first of a nationwide group of local science alliances of, by, and for K-20 teachers who are committed to effective STEM education.

Arizona community

Arizona's crisis in high school physics, and partial solutions.

The Arizona Crisis in Physics Education, by Mike Vargas & Jane Jackson (1 page; updated in 2019). view or .pdf

$2000 scholarships (in 2020, 2021, & spring 2022) for certified teachers to add a STEM subject certification (such as physics or chemistry) or to qualify to teach dual enrollment in a STEM subject (AZ 2019 Senate Bill SB1051/1551): view or .pdf

Shortage of high school physics in Arizona: 2 aspects of the problem:
     *Regular/core physics is essential, but many schools omit it, in favor of advanced physics.
view or .pdf .
     *20% of Arizona high schools no longer have physics. (2019 update). view or .pdf .

To start to alleviate the shortage, 23 teachers were awarded $2000 scholarships to add physics certification (7 for chemistry) (AZ Senate Bill SB1038 in 2017).
    Feedback from teachers (as of 2019) .pdf
    Mike Vargas' blogposts & videos; Cactus Caucus & AAPT awards (as of 2018): .pdf

The Arizona Crisis in Physics Education: a report by Earl Barrett and Larry Dukerich on their surveys of guidance counselors & students in 2017.
     How AZ Businesses can Help (2019 update). view or .pdf
     How School Principals can Help (2019 update). view or .pdf

Toni Gagliardi's thesis on the High School Physics Crisis: How Perception Creates Reality. Toni extended Larry and Earl's survey to all AZ HS physics teachers in comprehensive public high schools. (2018): view or .pdf
Why high school physics enrollment needs to double in Arizona (research quotes & policy, 2pgs Updated Dec. 2019). view or .pdf

STEM Pathways & Literacy in Arizona: A huge increase in STEM graduates in Arizona's universities by 2007, due to physics Modeling Instruction (3 pages, 2016). view or .pdf

How teachers can increase their physics enrollment in high school.

  • Calling All Physics Teachers! We have a Legacy Crisis - by Jesse Ruiz, on the need to increase physics enrollment and recruit future physics teachers. Jesse's research builds on Toni Gagliardi's, above. 2018. view or .pdf
  • Zak Kovach & Melissa Girmscheid's recruitment strategies for physics students (2018). view or .pdf
  • IncreasePhysics is a website built by Zak Kovach in 2017. Strategies to recruit students; enticing demos, resources. Zak created this to support a 1-day workshop that he and Melissa Girmscheid led at ASU for 21 physics teachers. (The 1-day workshop: 5-pg report .pdf )

  • Increasing Physics Enrollment at your School , a seminal article by Earl Barrett (The Physics Teacher, 2009)
  • A checklist on how a teacher can increase their physics enrollment , by Earl Barrett (3 pages & references; 2015, .doc). view.
  • Quotes on physics & STEM -- common themes. view
  • 10 Top Reasons why physics is in trouble in Arizona, by Earl Barrett (.doc). view
  • Earl Barrett's talk: 3-fold problem of low physics enrollment -- includes AP test results: a drastic decrease in passing rate in 2015. view
  • A school plan & budget to increase regular (core) physics, by Earl Barrett, Larry Dukerich, & Jane Jackson (2015). view

    How AZ teachers can seek funding for probeware & lab equipment.

  • How to get $$ for probeware (2017). view or .pdf
  • How to use Dual Enrollment tuition revenue for a win-win for your school, by Earl Barrett and Larry Dukerich (2015). view or .doc

    10 years of deliberate practice are needed to become an expert teacher (research by K. Anders Ericsson). Modeling Workshops are deliberate practice.

  • David Hestenes' summary
  • Jane Jackson's 15-minute talk for Eric Mazur's PoLS-T virtual summer conference (2021): Physics for All Requires Teachers to Have 10 Years of Deliberate Practice: Why and How. view or pdf or watch on YouTube

    How teachers can request Title II funds from their school district.

  • Title II: Teachers MUST be involved: a talk by Steve Larson of the ADE, to 60 physics & chemistry teachers in June 2016 (updated Feb.2019). view or .pdf
  • Steve Larson's Powerpoint for his June 2016 talk at ASU.
  • Title II legislation: excerpts from ESSA on science professional development, for use by teachers in school districts & charter schools. view or .pdf
  • Title II general excerpts: view or .pdf . (with definition of professional development, from Title VIII: General Provisions. view or .pdf .)

    Jane Jackson's presentations on Modeling Instruction.
    The Profound Influence of Physics on my Life & Career, keynote speech at the ASU Physics Dept. Awards Event, April 2016.
    Physics is Everywhere
    -- a brief version of that speech (2018).
    Modeling Instruction – Transforming Science Education Nationwide, by Jane Jackson and David Hestenes. American Physical Society's FORUM ON EDUCATION: Spring 2019 Newsletter.
    ASU Modeling Instruction program, presented at the AAPT 2019 Summer Meeting in Provo, Utah.
    27 Years Developing Modeling Instruction, a 1/2 hour podcast in support of the AMTA (August 2021). Short of time? You can read the transcript there.

    Az-AAPT - Follow this link to learn about activities of the Arizona Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, and links to NAU, UA, ASTA, and other science organizations in Arizona. (updated in 2015.)

    TCHRS listserv
    Download, to learn how to change your subscription to get a weekly MIME digest or other choices; view the archives, etc. View
    Why subscribe to TCHRS listserv for Arizona physics and chemistry faculty (high school, post-secondary): view or .pdf

    STEMteachersPHX is a local science alliance of, by, and for K-20 teachers in Arizona. It began in 2016. The Facebook page is here.

    This page, last updated on April 23, 2023, is maintained by Jane Jackson, mostly for ASU-specific information & our research & evaluations.

    This website was built in 1995 by Larry Dukerich, with guidance by David Hestenes. It has been maintained since 2005 by Jane Jackson, who is unskilled at technology. Many resources on this website are used in Modeling Workshops nationwide. The ASU Department of Physics supports this website, and it was migrated to a secure server in fall 2021 for ongoing support.

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