See Related: Science PD Models
Icon for: Marius Schamschula

MARIUS SCHAMSCHULA

Alabama A&M University, AAPT, FACET Innovations
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Tami LaFleur

    Tami LaFleur

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 09:27 a.m.

    Thank you for taking on the issue that high school physics has historically been complicated and inaccessible to many students from the beginning. Bringing a more hands-on approach to the content sounds very appealing. Where has APEX's work already been promoted? Is there anything that I can share with our high school science department at this point in your project? Thank you!

  • Icon for: Marius Schamschula

    Marius Schamschula

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 10:30 a.m.

    Thank you for your interest!

    For more information on APEX, please see our website http://alapex.org/, particularly see the wiki, which has more detail about the activities in the Summer Institutes and the Weekend Follow-up Workshops.

    Also, there are two prior videos we produced for the Video Showcase in the past two years:

    2015: An introduction to APEX: http://resourcecenters2015.videohall.com/presen...

    and

    2016: The Four Step Method: http://stemforall2016.videohall.com/presentatio...

  • Icon for: Tami LaFleur

    Tami LaFleur

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 09:31 p.m.

    Thank you. Have you found physics teachers receptive to using a more hands-on approach versus a traditional lecture?

  • Icon for: Marius Schamschula

    Marius Schamschula

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 10:39 a.m.

    Yes, very much so. Classroom visits have shown the teachers and their students have taken to inquiry based leaning, particularly when combined with the four step method. Students particularly like the white boarding technique, so much so, in fact, that they have been asking teachers in other disciplines to adopt it.

    Of course, the transformation of teaching techniques does not occur over night. Our teachers are in APEX cohorts for three years. The RTOP (Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol) pre-APEX and after two years of APEX has shown that teachers are adopting this reformed teaching approach.

  • Icon for: Michael Kolodziej

    Michael Kolodziej

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 07:03 p.m.

    Thank you Marius for your work and for sharing with us.  I wonder if there are any pain points that you have discovered in adoption of the method, and possibly any effective practices for overcoming them?

    Thanks in advance for any insights!

  • Icon for: Dale McCreedy

    Dale McCreedy

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 10:08 a.m.

    I very much appreciate the use of introductory elicitation questions to highlight current understandings. Are you evaluating the impact of his PD effort? What are some of the strategies being taught that allow more introverted students or those with less content knowledge adequate room to develop their own knowledge? And - as this approach takes more time than lecture - what are teachers doing to address time constraints? 

  • Icon for: Marius Schamschula

    Marius Schamschula

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 11:27 a.m.

    Yes we are constantly evaluating every aspect of our PD.

    Indeed, inquiry based learning takes more time that the traditional lecture based method. However, we know from physics Education Research, that the traditional teaching approach does not work, i.e. the students do not absorb the material.

    The APEX approach combines several components: 1) Solicitation questions, 2) inquiry learning (generally low tech), 3) modeling and 4) technology (simulations).

  • Icon for: Tami LaFleur

    Tami LaFleur

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 10:57 a.m.

    Thank you for the links, Marius. I did use them to find out more about the "four step method" and the "whiteboard method." How many teachers have you done this training with? Is there a certain location in the US that has been through this training?

  • Icon for: Marius Schamschula

    Marius Schamschula

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 11:22 a.m.

    We are currently in year 5 of APEX, about to start the no-cost extension year. As of this last weekend, two of three cohorts of teachers, along with Alabama Science in Motion (ASIM) Specialists, have completed the entire PD. APEX PD consists of three two week Summer Institutes and a total of nine two day Weekend Workshops (actually Friday/Saturday). Our cohorts are drawn from the entire state of Alabama.

  • Icon for: Dale McCreedy

    Dale McCreedy

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 11:34 p.m.

    If you had one 'take-home' message about teaching/facilitating physics for teachers  - what would it be? 

  • Icon for: Marius Schamschula

    Marius Schamschula

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 09:14 a.m.

    APEX has shown that it is possible to start with a group of teachers, predominantly trained as biology (~60%), general science (~20%), math (~10%), and within a span of three years transform them into experts in physics Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and Discipline Content Knowledge (DCK).

    As mentioned above, Alabama has the advantage of the statewide network of ASIM specialists (https://cws.auburn.edu/asim/Home/Home), who provide the high school teachers with laboratory equipment and further training. As the specialists have also been trained by APEX, and have equipment provided for APEX activities, we anticipate that the impact of the reformed physics curriculum will last many years into the future.

  • Icon for: Dale McCreedy

    Dale McCreedy

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2017 | 12:46 p.m.

    Thanks Marius! Good luck with this - what an impact increased inquiry will likely have! 

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