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Icon for: Mohan Aggarwal


Alabama A&M University, University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, American Association of Physics Teachers

Alliance for Physics Excellence

NSF Awards: 1238192

2015 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

The APEX project is comprised of several components, each with its own subset of goals relating to the overarching goal of transforming secondary physics education in Alabama. The goal of the Alabama Physics Education Center (APEC) for teacher training is 1) to increase the quantity of highly qualified in-service teachers and under-represented minority pre-service teachers; 2) to increase the depth and breadth of content knowledge, pedagogy, and instructional technology knowledge and skills; 3) create and promote the development of an undergraduate physics education program at AAMU and UA-T; 4) implement a cyberinfrastructure resource repository for sharing and disseminating best teaching practices and lessons learned; and 5) to distribute laboratory equipment to schools via Alabama Science in Motion. The goal of the Physics Teaching Research (PTR) component is the classroom action research that creates evidence-based best practices for the knowledge base which guides the teacher in curriculum decision making. The video addresses depth and breadth content knowledge, pedagogical skills, teacher-participant reactions to hands on activities, as well as the positive impact on their classroom instruction and active action research.For more information, Visit http://apex.aamu.edu

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Discussion from the 2015 Teaching & Learning Video Showcase (11 posts)
  • Dean Livelybrooks

    May 11, 2015 | 01:44 p.m.

    Program looks good and I appreciate Alabama’s recognition and implementation of statewide curricular resources and how it ‘plays’ with this particular TPD regime. Is there opportunity to engage university physics majors (undergrads. and grads.) to supplement the summer workshop TPD format by working alongside teachers in classrooms?

  • Icon for: Mohan Aggarwal

    Mohan Aggarwal

    Lead Presenter
    Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics
    May 14, 2015 | 05:41 a.m.

    Thanks for your kind words of appreciation. unfortunately in this particular project there is no opportunity to engage other university undergraduate physics majors. Very few majors supported by the project take part in summer professional development workshops. However, our department has some NSF-REU projects in which other undergraduate physics majors take part. For more information on our project, please visit our specially maintained website by Dr. Marius Schamschula, our Webmaster, http://apex.aamu.edu

  • Icon for: Lisa Hogan

    Lisa Hogan

    Technology Integrator
    May 11, 2015 | 02:36 p.m.

    It’s exciting to hear teachers talk about learning new strategies to make learning physics more active. Can you tell me more about the cyberinfrastructure resource repository for sharing and disseminating best teaching practices and lessons learned? Will teachers from outside Alabama be able to access this repository?

  • Icon for: Mohan Aggarwal

    Mohan Aggarwal

    Lead Presenter
    Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics
    May 14, 2015 | 06:06 a.m.

    Thank you for your encouraging comments. Cyberinfrastructure resource repository for sharing and disseminating information is shared through our specially maintained website http://apex.aamu.edu This gives details about our Physics Teacher Institute (PTI)Physics Teaching Research Program (PTR). Summer professional development workshops are given by highly trained and experienced Presidential awardees in Teaching science and mathematics. Teaching materials and various books are written by our instructors under American Association of Physics Teachers. Other information is disseminated through various wiki’s, also available in our website. All the teachers from anywhere can access our website. our Website is constantly updated by Dr. Marius Schamschula, one of the Co-Principal investigators.

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Co-Principal Investigator
    May 12, 2015 | 10:00 a.m.

    Sounds like a really helpful program that has teachers engaged. I am curious what sort of teacher community has grown up (whether by design or by hap) either among the participating teachers, or within the teachers’ home schools? People experimenting with new pedagogy often are a little isolated, but on the other hand if they get results they can stimulate others to find out what’s going on!

  • Icon for: Mohan Aggarwal

    Mohan Aggarwal

    Lead Presenter
    Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics
    May 14, 2015 | 06:22 a.m.

    thanks for your keen observation and nice comments. We have 3 cohorts of teachers that are going through 3 years of professional development activities. 2 weeks in summer and 3 followup workshops in the following Fall, Winter and Spring. There are 22 teacher scholar participants including Alabama Science in Motion specialists, 33 teachers in cohort 2 and about 35 teachers in cohort 3. They are selected on their interest to improve physics and so called leaders in their own right. according to our observation these teachers participate fully in all the intensive activities and use these techniques in their classrooms. According to Classroom observations and action research part of the project we are accessing the positive impact that this training has. All the relevant information on the project is available on our website http://apex.aamu.edu

  • Icon for: Avron Barr

    Avron Barr

    May 12, 2015 | 12:20 p.m.

    The teachers’ testimonials are compelling. Can you characterize teachers who are “early adopters”? Do you foresee challenges in scaling up the program?

  • Icon for: Mohan Aggarwal

    Mohan Aggarwal

    Lead Presenter
    Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics
    May 14, 2015 | 06:30 a.m.

    Thanks for your encouraging remarks. in our teacher scholar spectrum we have teachers from young age to 30 years experienced. They have positive comments such as “it would be better if i knew this kind of program earlier in my career”
    Some of the young teachers are enthusiastically implementing one strategy at a time and their students seem to be very receptive. There are some challenges in scaling up the program such as convincing the school administrators and superintendents to incorporate physics as a required course in high schools in Alabama. For more information please visit our website http://apex.aamu.edu

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Hassrick

    Elizabeth Hassrick

    Research Scientist
    May 13, 2015 | 09:49 a.m.

    The video of students doing the lab activities was intriguing- I wanted to see more of what they were doing! They seemed VERY engaged- standing, moving around, drawing, mapping, talking, coloring, building. Could you talk more about the critical difference between the Apex curriculum and ‘business as usual’?

  • Icon for: Mohan Aggarwal

    Mohan Aggarwal

    Lead Presenter
    Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics
    May 14, 2015 | 06:40 a.m.

    Thank you for your nice observation. unfortunately we do not have full videos, but lots of information is maintained at our specially maintained website http://apex.aamu.edu Curriculum is listed on the link http://apex.aamu.edu/mediawiki/index.php/Physic... Also the instructions for the professional training is given by very experienced and presidential award winners in teaching science and mathematics using enquiry based physics. This is very different than normal teaching in schools.

  • Icon for: Deborah Kariuki

    Deborah Kariuki

    Computer Science Teacher
    May 15, 2015 | 10:00 p.m.

    Wow, I found myself wanting to get a chance to participate with those teachers they were very enthusiastic of what they were experiencing. It seems that APEX has hit the jackpot with the teachers who were at the workshop and they seemed to have fun working on the projects. What states or school have adapted this system. It is very good to see physic teachers having such high hope for this system of teaching.

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.