Conceptual Model of Physics Teacher Preparation: Developing Habits of Mind and Practice through Apprenticeship in a Community

eugenia etkina rutgers

Eugenia Etkina Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey  

This talk will describe a conceptual framework aimed at providing a better understanding of the process of physics teacher formation. Literature on teacher preparation suggests that pre-service teachers (PSTs) learn best when they are immersed in a community, which shares a common vision of good teaching and helps PSTs develop requisite knowledge, skills, and dispositions consistent with that vision. However, often due to the time pressures and complexities of classroom environment a teacher cannot afford multiple considerations and deliberations with oneself before every decision. We therefore suggest that good teacher preparation programs should, in addition to the knowledge, skills and dispositions, strive to develop in PSTs productive habits. We group these habits into habits of mind, habits of practice, and habits of maintenance and improvement. I will present examples of those and describe the structure and features of the Rutgers Physics Teacher preparation program that is focused on the development of productive habits. I will also provide evidence from their teaching practice that PSTs indeed develop these habits in the program.