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Project Title:

An Assessment and Outlook for Undergraduate Physics Education
PIN: BPAX-L-08-02-A        

Major Unit:

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Sub Unit: DBASSE Board on Science Education
DEPS Board on Physics & Astronomy

RSO: Lancaster, James

Subject/Focus Area:

Project Scope
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;
(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 practices and research-based findings in physics education can be scaled to make them more widespread and sustained;
(d) Identifying the future directions of PER; and
(e) Recommending strategies for academic institutions and policymakers to implement those mechanisms to improve undergraduate physics education.

This project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
The project start date is July 15, 2010.
The final report is expected to be released in approximately 18 months.

Project Duration: 18 months    

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Contact the Public Access Records Office to make an inquiry, request a list of the public access file materials, or obtain a copy of the materials found in the file.

Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 03/18/2011
 Meeting 2 - 05/31/2011
 Meeting 3 - 07/25/2011
 Meeting 4 - 09/22/2011
 Meeting 5 - 01/13/2012


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
new report
Adapting to a Changing World---Challenges and Opportunities in Undergraduate Physics Education