The theme to this newsletter is the need for the participation of our members: from a request for letters from our editor, Tom Rossing, to a general discussion of the roles scientists can play, to some practical instruction for how to do it. As Tom notes, letters can go to any of our editors, and will be considered for the then-current issue. To facilitate this process, you may click here to send an electronic letter to one of the editors.

### Scientists Have Important Roles, Responsibilities in Future of Science Education

Bruce Alberts, President, National Academy of Sciences

There are times in the history of this country where circumstances combine in unintended ways to provide an unusual opportunity for change. These have usually been times in which some widely perceived crisis pulls us together as a people to address a challenge head-on. I believe this to be the case for the challenge of public education. Moreover, scientists and engineers have a special part to play in the next decade, inasmuch as a revolution in science education, beginning in kindergarten, can serve as a wedge to drive a general K-12 education reform effort of great importance for the future of the United States.

Our institutions change only very slowly, reflecting the tremendous inertia inherent to all human affairs. But it is well past time to recognize that the accelerating impact of science and technology on everyone's life makes a basic understanding of science and mathematics an essential part of any education for the 21st century. Science must, therefore, become a core subject that is taught as "the fourth R" in every school year, starting in kindergarten.

I am not talking about science as most students currently experience it - as the dry memorization of science terms - but about science as an exciting and empowering experience in problem-solving, that takes advantage of the curiosity of young children and increases each student's understanding of the world.

This means that an enormous change must take place in our schools: not only must teachers find time for science in an already crowded curriculum, they must also learn new teaching skills to capitalize on the joy of discovery and build critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, these are learning experiences that most teachers have not experienced in school themselves.

Teachers are the key for any meaningful educational reform effort. Thus, for example, teachers must not only be made aware of the outstanding hands-on science curricula that have been developed in this country for elementary schools, but they must be introduced to this unfamiliar kind of science teaching by experienced teachers who have used this approach and are convinced of its value. The teachers must also be provided with the appropriate science materials by their districts, and they must be given the opportunity to improve their science teaching gradually through a combination of expert coaching and frequent discussions with their peers.

Scientists and engineers working in partnerships with local teachers represent an essential new force that will be required for effective science education reform. As explained in the accompanying sidebar by my colleague Jan Tuomi, a dynamic teacher with 20 years of experience, technical professionals bring critically needed skills to this partnership. But to be effective, we scientists must first be willing to be educated about the opportunities and problems in our schools. This means that we must approach this problem with humility that reflects how little most of us really understand about how children learn, as well as our respect for the tremendous energy, devotion and skill required to be a successful K-12 teacher in today's schools.

We also need to do something that comes very naturally to scientists and engineers, but is unfortunately all too rare in the education world; to focus on learning from the experience of others, so as to apply the elements that have been successful elsewhere to local science education reforms. In this way, we can help develop and refine a successful general strategy for reform that will be applicable to many different sites.

A revolutionary change in the way that school systems view science cannot occur in one or two years, and to some, it may seem impossible to achieve in a lifetime. But we know from experience in a variety of localities that a dramatic reform is possible on a 4 to 6-year time frame. When I examine the ways that local scientist and engineers have been able to catalyze major advances in K-12 science education, I am especially struck by the opportunity for a major improvement of science education in elementary school.

My message is, therefore, a simple one: if you are motivated enough to devote four hours a week to this important national issue for the next five years, I urge that you form an alliance with some outstanding science teachers in your local district, take the time to become informed on this important issue, and work to become an effective advocate in your local area for major education reform.

To help you, Project RISE (Regional Initiatives in Science Education) stands ready with information and advice for scientists and engineers who want to get involved. Project RISE is a project of the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academics of Science and Engineering. For more information, you may ask for program information and to be placed on the mailing list by contacting:

Project RISE
Jan Tuomi, Director
National Research Council
2101 Constitution Ave., NW
HA486
Washington, DC 20418

On Science Education Partnerships

• Sussman, Art, ed., Science Education Partnerships: A Manual for Scien- tists and K-12 Teachers, San Francisco: University of California, 1993. Available through Science Press, P.O. Box 31188, San Francisco, CA 94131 FAX 415-476-9926 ISBN 0-9635683-1-0
• Beane, DeAnna Banks, Opening Up the Mathematics and Science Filter: Our Schools Did It, So Can Yours: A Nine Step Guide to Increasing Minority Student Participation in Mathematics and Science, Washington, DC, The Mid-Atlantic Equity Center, 1992. 5010 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 310, Washington, DC 20016 (202) 885-8517

On Science, Math and Technology Curriculum Reform

• American Association for the Advancement of Science, Benchmarks for Science Literacy, New York, Oxford University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-19-508986-3
• National Research Council, Fulfilling the Promise, Biology Education in the Nation's Schools, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1990 ISBN 0-309-04243-7

On School Reform

• Schlechty, Philip C., Schools for the 21st Century: Leadership Impera- tives for Educational Reform. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1990 ISBN 1-55542-366-3

On Effective Science Teaching

• Harlen, Wynne, ed., Primary Science...Taking the Plunge, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann Educational, 1985 ISBN 0-435-57350-0 Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy Sciences, has identified elementary science education and the role of scientists in society as two major issues (see Science 264, 496 (April 22, 1994)). A highly-respected molecular biologist, he feels that if scientists can help to improve performance in the classroom, it will make it easier to garner public and political support for science.

You Have the Wisdom and Know-how to Make a Difference!
Jan Tuomi

As a teacher who has been involved in partnerships with scientists and engineers for several years, the most unexpected thing I have learned is that you have much, much more to contribute to a partnership than just your content knowledge. I hope that the points below help motivate you to believe you have a lot to contribute and to get involved in a local science education initiative.

Your knowledge about science can be very helpful to educators. Child- ren's classroom experiences in science are largely determined by a specific curriculum (textbook or set of materials) adopted by their district or school. Through a variety of marketing techniques, textbook publishers exert great influence on committees charged with review of materials. You can also influence decisions concerning the kinds of science curricula begin used in your area by participating in the review of classroom materials and related activities. The draft National Science Education Standards will be released by the National Research Council late this year, launching a year of national dialogue. By participating in efforts to educate your community about them-- and the nature of good science education in general--you can have an impact on the success of current and future reforms.

Your experience doing science can also benefit classroom teachers. Many science teachers are expected to teach the "scientific method" to students without having had opportunities to "do" science in a hands-on manner them- selves. By working with both new and experienced teachers on professional development activities that involve them directly in scientific activities, you can have an impact on the way teachers design and implement science experiences and enrich the way they communicate the nature of the scientific process to their students.

You are familiar with the humbling experience of not knowing the answer to a problem and can solve complex problems through experimentation and persistence. You can contribute a great deal to current reform efforts by building partnerships with local science teachers in which you can apply these skills to collaborative explorations of current problems in science education. By working closely with teachers, you will find that you can contribute your professional strengths while also learning a great deal about the educational environment. Over time, your participation in partnership activities will help you become an informed advocate for continuous educational progress in science education.

The high level of professional status given to scientists by communities, in general, allows you to serve as an invaluable source of support to the outstanding teachers in your area--the very teachers who often have to struggle hard to be heard by school or district personnel. As we all know, it is the best teachers in our communities who have much of the wisdom and insight needed to improve our schools. You can encourage the community to listen to these teachers' voices by actively supporting them in the district headquarters, foundation boardrooms, and community meetings. Ongoing, equal partnerships with master teachers in your area will provide you with the opportunities you need to become an informed advocate for improved science instruction and systemic reform.

You have practical experience with grant-writing which many educators lack. When a major reform effort requires start-up capital, your experience can help with the preparation of a well-planned and substantive application. Your professional and business contacts can also provide introductions to private foundation boards.

You belong to an international professional community. Your professional affiliations offer countless opportunities for spreading the word about important issues in science education. Potentially, you can magnify the impact of current reforms by emphasizing the importance of sharing successes and coordinating efforts throughout the scientific community as a whole.

Note from the chair: Help us help you get involved, as outlined above, by filling in our member survey

Ken Lyons

Since this is my last time to address the membership as chair of the FED, I have decided to take the opportunity to provide a summary of the major things that have happened this year. At the beginning of the year, we had some 3400 members. We had sponsored some symposia, but we did not yet have permanent newsletter editors nor any on-going projects for member involvement. We were a new organization, still getting off the ground. the process takes time-- usually more than we'd like.

Naturally, we have continued our sponsorship of symposia in 1994. At the March meeting, that job was facilitated this year by a very conveniently situated group at Carnegie Mellon, who had much to tell us about physics education research. The symposia and workshops they helped us develop were well received, and very well attended. We have also made progress on other fronts, though. As I write this, we are preparing for our third newsletter issue under our permanent editors. We have our first member project underway, with the August launching of the database for undergraduate research opportunities. We still need your help in gathering the information (see below), but the project is underway and working. And, of course, we have continued to grow, with our membership now approaching the 4000 mark. In terms of organization, we have also now staffed the program, nominations, and fellowship committees called for in our bylaws.

to FedReg@aps.org. The template will be returned in the usual reply fashion, or to the address you specify in the command, if any. You edit the template file to insert your information and mail it back--and you're done. Once we have information installed, it can be searched and retrieved using a similar procedure. To obtain the search template, send the message

to FedReg@aps.org. [Ed. note: We anticipate that this database will be accessible via mosaic by mid-December. Details will appear here soon.]

Looking to the future, we anticipate that the database program will be expanded to encompass a mentoring project for high school students. We are making progress on the Media Fellowship idea mentioned in my column last month. The FEd is cooperating in the planning of a conference on graduate physics education, sponsored by APS. Ruth Howes, as our Chair- Elect and head of our program committee, is planning our symposia for the spring meeting as I write this--and if any of you have ideas for symposia of interest at the sectional meetings in the fall, I hope you will contact her (rhowes@nsf.gov). As the variety of our activities expands we hope to find more of you taking an active role.

The Forum is only as strong as its members. We need your ideas, your support, and most of all your involvement. I continue to invite any of you with specific questions or ideas to contact me by e-mail (kbl@physics.att.com). I won't be chair next year, but I'll definitely still be on board helping Ruth as she takes over. I am glad to have had the opportunity to be a part of the effort to get the Forum on Education off to a good start. We're making progress.

Sincerely,
Ken Lyons, Chair 1994

### Missionary Field Notes

Clifford Swartz

Your call has come. Perhaps you have a child in the class. Perhaps your college is forming an alliance with the local schools. Perhaps your company is making a goodwill gesture to the community. For some such reason, you have been invited to speak about physics to students in high school or elementary school. Now what?

You'd better make sure of what the school expects, and see if there's an overlap with what you expect. It may be that you've been invited to fill the opening in the assembly schedule because the village magician had to cancel. Can you bring your bed of nails? Are you being invited for show-and-tell, or to describe your specialty which is outside the standard curriculum, or to be a substitute teacher on some standard topic?

There's some justification for a little razzle-dazzle show-and-tell. The only scientist I ever met before college produced dry ice in my glove by flooding it with CO2 gas. I thought that was pretty neat, although I was only eight years old and didn't understand the science involved. I doubt that it had anything to do with my future interest in physics. Still, a lot of our colleagues take science shows on the road and apparently spark great interest in their school audiences. Unless the scientist dresses up like Dr. Wizard, the kids can find out that not all scientists are mad and can get a sense of the excitement and fun of science.

Even when entertainment is the chief ingredient of the visit, the students should be brought into the act. They can be the foils. The long- haired girl (or boy) can hold onto the Van de Graaff; the tallest student can drop two objects at the same time; the strongest student can try to pull apart the Magdeburg hemispheres. No matter what the purpose for your visit, don't lecture non-stop. The younger the audience, the shorter their attention span. On the other hand, don't require continual student activity. Get them out of their seats, and then get them back for awhile.

A lot of physics demonstrations are portable, safe, and entertaining. Before settling on just entertainment, however, consider the point of your visit. What does the teacher expect to happen, and what do you expect to accomplish? Never mind what the students expect. Students do not think of school activities as being any of their business.

A safe rule for any one teaching session, whether for young or old, is that only one idea can be explored. You must leave time at the beginning to describe that idea explicitly, then demonstrate the idea, and then leave time at the end to tell the audience what you have demonstrated. If the main idea is to show students that physics can be fun, then plan your activities so that both you and they have fun. However, you are in a school during school time and there should be more substantial results than just fun and games during one hour. Is your point that professional physicists are human and have fun? That might be a valuable moral, but not many of these students will be professional physicists, no matter how much fun you have had. Is your point that the students will have fun studying more science--perhaps enrolling in physics? Better talk this over with the science teachers. Their courses may be no fun at all. If your visit is intended to be a recruiting drive, you should be very familiar with what you are selling, and then make the pitch explicitly.

Perhaps your visit is intended to supplement the regular syllabus because your specialty is related to the topic the students have been studying. Now lots of prior consultation is called for. The teacher should tell you in detail what the class has been doing. Read their textbook on the subject. You will want to use symbols familiar to them, and take only small steps beyond what they have already learned. Find out in advance if the teacher or book have been dogmatic about explanations with which you may not agree, and where you must use some diplomacy. (Another way to view this is ...).

There's another stricture about missionary effort. You not only have to know your gospel; you have to know the heathen. There is no need for you to be familiar with the current and local fads of the students. You are an outsider and they will not expect it. But you should be aware of the more universal characteristics of children and their learning possibilities. Consider how you would teach six-month children to walk. You would not lecture, or demonstrate, or give multiple-choice exams. Even beating the kids will do no good. The only thing to do is to let them mull it over for six months and then they will walk. Even as there are obvious developmental stages in physical abilities, so too are there stages of concept development. The nature of these was explored and described by Jean Piaget and they are known by his name, though to a large extent they are part of the common wisdom of dealing with children. A century and a half ago, Joseph Henry described the stages and the implications for science instruction. For our purposes, the most important stage involves the ability of students to use symbolic reasoning, such as algebra. Our school culture assumes that students develop this ability during early adolescence, but probably two-thirds of a standard population cannot understand algebra by the time they are eighteen. On the other hand, some of these may be very good at hearing and producing complicat- ed music, or in artistic expression, or in dealing with words. Nevertheless, for teaching our science lessons we must be aware of these stages and the age groups with which we can employ various logical methods. Most third graders cannot understand analogies; most sixth graders have no sense of sizes (or historical times) beyond their own tangible experiences; most ninth graders do not understand functional dependence of one variable on another; most twelfth graders cannot easily use power-of-ten notation. Of course, I am not talking about your children or mine, all of whom are precocious.

So you have been elected? You are to be visiting scientist for an hour. Find out what the teacher expects. Search your conscience and decide what one thing you want to accomplish. Take the time to learn about your audience. Get them out of their seats and let them measure something. Tell them what one thing they have learned. Try to arrange a follow-up, for you and for them. When you're all done, ask yourself: did they learn anything? Did you learn anything? Did you and they have fun? Be careful. Teaching can be addictive.

Clifford Swartz is Professor of Physics at State University of New York in Stony Brook, NY. He was awarded the Oersted Medal in 1987, and he has served as editor of The Physics Teacher for many years.

### Browsing Through the Journals

Thomas Rossing

Over the years, few people have contributed as much to physics education as Albert Bartlett. Readers of The Physics Teacher regularly use snippets from his "et cetera..." column in their classes, and his celebrated lecture on exponential growth has fascinated well over 1000 audiences. His paper "Physics from the News: Curve Fitting" in the May issue of The Physics Teacher deserves careful reading. Al carefully analyzes the Transportation Department estimate that a single 40,000-kg truck does as much damage to an interstate highway as 9600 cars to illustrate how "real world" physics problems can be incorporated into our physics teaching. Another recent paper by Bartlett and Bruce Mechtly, "Graphical representations of Fraunhofer interference and diffraction" [American Journal of Physics 62, 501-510 (1994)], is also highly recommended.

Also in the May issue of The Physics Teacher is an interesting explanation of "The Quartz Watch with Digital Readout," by Richard Crane. Since 1983, Crane's articles on "How Things Work" have been a regular feature in The Physics Teacher. [A book of reprints of these articles from 1983 to 1991 is available from AAPT]. The first part of the digital watch is identical to that of the analog watch described earlier (Phys. Teach. 31, 501 (Nov. 1993)): a quartz tuning fork with a train of 15 divide-by-two's to bring the fork's 32,768-Hz frequency down to 1 Hz. The reduction from 1 Hz down to the pulse that advances the month requires 21 more divisions by 2.

"Scottish teaching under the microscope" is the title of a report in the August issue of Physics World. A recent assessment of Scotland's universities looked at such things as the aims of the curricula being taught and how they are designed and reviewed: are students asked for feedback and is industry asked to comment on the employability of graduates? General teaching and learning environments were examined, as well as staff resources and development opportunities. On the whole, according to the report, Scotland's ten universities got good marks.

At a recent commencement, Purdue University awarded doctorates in both physics and chemistry to Harry T. Kloor, according to the Aug. 22 issue of Chemical and Engineering News. Kloor's dissertations, both theoretical, dealt with unrelated topics. His research in chemistry focused on theoretical analysis of the Verwey transition in magnetite, while his thesis was related to the search for a fifth fundamental force in nature. Research has indicated that Kloor is the first person to earn simultaneous doctorates in the U.S.

A book review of La vie a fil tendu by Georges Charpak in Nature (18 Aug. 1994) tells us that "scientists'lives are only rarely worth telling." Although I strongly disagree with this statement, I was happy to read a review of Charpak's autobiographical book and to gain some insight into the life of this Nobel laureate whose work is widely acclaimed by his colleagues but little known outside the particle-physics community. Charpak grew up in the Polish Ukraine, emigrated to Palestine, and subsequently to France. There he joined a resistance group, was imprisoned at Dachau, but eventually came to study under Fridiric Joliot. Charpak's scientific career was mostly centered at CERN, where he distinguished himself as an inventor and developer of particle detectors.

The declining popularity of physics, reflected in declining enrollments in physics courses (especially by humanities students) is a world-wide phenomenon. In England and Wales, according to an editorial in the July issue of Physics Education, the number taking A-level physics fell by 20% from 1987 to 1993. The same issue carries an article "Bucking the trend"suggests a number of ideas for stimulating interest in physics. These ideas range from lining the corridors with photographs and other exhibits to students' achievements to visiting science museums. In addition to pointing out the similarities in problems, reading physics education journals from other countries points out cultural differences. The reviewer of an instructional videotape liked the images but "found the American commentary to be the weakest element"; users are advised to turn off the sound and provide their own commentary.

"The fundamental change that has led to the breakthroughs in cognitive studies in the past few decades has been a new willingness to model what is happening in the mind in terms of inferred structures," Edward Redish reminds us in an interesting paper on "Implications of cognitive studies for teaching physics" in the September issue of American Journal of Physics. Redish formulates 4 important principles pertaining to mental patterns or models: 1. People tend to organize their experiences and observations into patterns or mental models (the construction principle); 2. It is reasonably easy to learn something that matches or extends an existing mental model (the assimilation principle); 3. It is very difficult to change an established experimental model substantially (the accommodation principle); 4. Since each individual constructs his or her own mental ecology, different students have different metal models for physical phenomena and different mental models for learning (the individuality principle).

Students in elementary and secondary schools are pulling their math and science test scores out of the slump that hit in the mid-1970s, according to a news note in the August 26 issue of Science. Students in all the ages studied, 9, 13, and 17, made gains in average proficiency between 1982 and 1992, bringing them just about where they were in the early 1970s, according to the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress report.

Many profitable high-tech companies depend on physics and engineering skills for their success, Marianne Hamm reminds us in an article "Life Beyond Research" in the Spring 1994 issue of the CSWP Gazette (published by the APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics). Hamm, who is the chief operations officer of an accelerator company, suggests four ways that physics graduate students can prepare themselves to someday start their own company: 1. Broaden your background and experience as much as possible; 2. Be flexible; if you are prepared to do only one type of research, you will not be able to start your own business; 3. Don't let your graduate school interests focus only on physics; 4. Don't be afraid to take a calculated risk.

### National Science Standards - An Update

James H. Stith

Background: In the spring of 1991, the Board of Directors of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the presidents of several scientific societies, the United States Secretary of Education, the Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources of NSF, and the Co-Chairs of the National Education Goals Panel requested that the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Science take the lead in developing National Science Standards.

In the fall of 1991, Secretary Alexander announced a grant to the NRC to initiate the design and development of the standards. Dr. James D. Ebert, Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences was named Chair of the National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment (NCSESA). The NRC's Coordination Council for Education (CCE) developed timelines, recruited staff, and identified individuals to serve on NCSSESA and the working groups. The Chair's Advisory Committee (CAC), made up of representatives from various professional societies, was formed to provide regular advice to Ebert and to act as liaisons to their respective constituencies. Members of NCSESA and the three working groups (Teaching, Assessment, and Content (previously called Curriculum) were selected from a large pool of qualified persons to provide varied expertise in science disciplines, teaching experiences, scholarly research, and practical experience in schools. For example, approximately one-third of the members of the national committee and working groups are practicing teachers at the level for which the standards are being designed.

In the fall of 1993, Dr. Richard Klausner of NIH replaced Ebert as Chair of NCSESA, and Dr. Angelo Collins of Florida State University was named director of the project. What are science standards? The goal of the three working groups is to write proposed standards which would for the first time link three of the vital functions of education: assessment, content, and teaching. The following excerpts are taken from the charge to each working group: "Science curriculum standards are narrative descriptions of what students should understand and be able to do in science and its applications. These learning outcomes-- what students should understand and be able to do-- are the criteria by which curriculum, learning opportunities, and assessment can be judged..." "Science teaching standards are criteria which will be used to guide the development and/or selection of teaching and learning strategies to achieve curriculum standards. They recommend appropriate alternative approaches which can be used to make qualitative judgments concerning:

• the design or selection of science teaching strategies;
• the development, selection, or adaptation of instructional materials;
• the professional development, preparation, and practice of teachers; and
• the provision of various opportunities to achieve the outcomes described in the curriculum standards."

" Assessment standards are the criteria used for guiding the development and implementation of student assessment and programs evaluations. These standards will establish the qualitative criteria for judging student understanding and competence with regard to curriculum standards. The charge to the working committee on assessment standards is to examine the role of assessment in the science education system and develop standards that will drive the system in productive and socially responsible ways..."

In designing curriculum standards, the goal is not to define specific curricula, syllabi or courses of study. Teaching standards are not intended to be descriptions of the best way to teach or learn. Assessment standards are not intended to produce an actual test.

Of particular interest to the physics, community is the fact that science standards reflect what all students are expected to know at the end of grade 12. They are not designed to reflect the physics, chemistry or biology taught in the traditional high school course. Discipline-specific courses will be able to build better courses based on the knowledge that students bring from their previous K-?? experience.

Additionally, science standards are not a statement of what is, but what can be, reflecting the goals to which the community aspires. Standards that, for example, recognize that the rural student in West Virginia has different background and experiences than the inner-city student in Boston. The goal is to develop science programs with sufficient flexibility that local school districts can each build a curriculum best matched to the experiences of the students involved.

The working principles adopted by NCSESA represent a vision that science should become a central part of the school day. It is crucial that curriculum, teaching, and assessment be treated as integral parts of a whole. Not only, for example, do we need to be concerned about content, but we must assess attitudes as well. Assessing attitudes is difficult, but too important to ignore.

Current status-- In May 1994, the NRC released a Pre-Draft of Standards for review by selected individuals who had been involved in some way with the overall Standards project. This group included the NCSESA Committee, members of each of the working groups, focus groups formed by each member of the Chair's Advisory Committee, and focus groups representing many professional societies having liaisons to the project. Additionally, a group of K-12 teachers, having no prior "direct" contact with the project, were asked to review and comment on the Pre- Draft.

In the area of physics, the AAPT Task Force on National Science Education Standards (Carol-Ann Tripp, Chair) was joined by members of the APS Committee on Education in evaluating the Pre-Draft. Committee members did individual reviews that were then compiled by a smaller group, representing both AAPT and APS, which submitted a final report to NCSESA.

Over 75 groups provided input to NCSESA on the standards. During the summer of '94, the Pre-Draft underwent intense review and restructuring in response to the science community input. It is anticipated that draft standards will be released for extensive public review sometime in late fall 1994 and that the final document will be available in 1995.

The draft will open with a "Call to Arms" building the case for standards, and a "Reader's Guide" which provides suggestions on how to read and use the document. Chapters on System Standards, Program Standards, Teaching, and Professional Development Standards, Assessment Standards, and Content Standards are included. The Standards will be further subdivided by grade levels K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. It should be stressed that the sub-group boundaries are not firm; i.e., standards which are identified as the upper edge of K-4 could as well be identified as the lower range of grades 5-8.

Physics community input is needed! As mentioned above, in late fall of 1994, the draft of "National Science Education standards" will become available for broad evaluation and review by members of the scientific community. The NRC, which expects to print 30,000 copies, hopes for as wide dissemination as possible. The AAPT/APS focus group will again review and evaluate the draft and provide input to NCSESA.

Individual members of the physics community are invited to help broaden the review process by joining with local school systems and other programs to form focus groups. While individual comments are always appreciated, at this stage in the process, NCSESA is anxious to receive input from groups that are representative of as broad a spectrum of those concerned and affected as possible.

You may obtain copies of the Draft by writing to:

NCSESA
National Research Council
2101 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20418

You may also send an e-mail request to: scistnd@nas.edu. If multiple copies are desired, NRC requests that you send a list of the people to whom you expect to make the distribution. This list should be both in hard copy and on a computer disk.

If National Science Standards are to have a positive impact, they must be supported by administrators, teachers, and parents. It is my belief that the Standards must integrate teaching assessment and content. We must ensure that the document is scientifically correct and that it distinguishes between the essential and the peripheral in the curriculum while reflecting the theory and practice of today's pedagogy. The document should also establish an attainable solid core of common understanding for each student in each science while empowering teachers rather than limiting them. Finally, the entire community should be able to use the document with trust, confidence, understanding, and with ease.

James H. Stith is Professor of Physics at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He was formerly a faculty member at the United States Military Academy, and he served as President of AAPT during 1992.

### You Have the Wisdom and Know-How to Make a Difference!

Jan Tuomi

As a teacher who has been involved in partnerships with scientists and engineers for several years, the most unexpected thing I have learned is that you have much, much more to contribute to a partnership than just your content knowledge. I hope that the points below help motivate you to believe you have a lot to contribute and to get involved in a local science education initia- tive.

Your knowledge about science can be very helpful to educators. Child- ren's classroom experiences in science are largely determined by a specific curriculum (textbook or set of materials) adopted by their district or school. Through a variety of marketing techniques, textbook publishers exert great influence on committees charged with review of materials. You can also influence decisions concerning the kinds of science curricula begin used in your area by participating in the review of classroom materials and related activities. The draft National Science Education Standards will be released by the National Research Council late this year, launching a year of national dialogue. By participating in efforts to educate your community about them-- and the nature of good science education in general--you can have an impact on the success of current and future reforms.

Your experience doing science can also benefit classroom teachers. Many science teachers are expected to teach the "scientific method" to students without having had opportunities to "do" science in a hands-on manner them- selves. By working with both new and experienced teachers on professional development activities that involve them directly in scientific activities, you can have an impact on the way teachers design and implement science experiences and enrich the way they communicate the nature of the scientific process to their students.

You are familiar with the humbling experience of not knowing the answer to a problem and can solve complex problems through experimentation and persistence. You can contribute a great deal to current reform efforts by building partnerships with local science teachers in which you can apply these skills to collaborative explorations of current problems in science education. By working closely with teachers, you will find that you can contribute your professional strengths while also learning a great deal about the educational environment. Over time, your participation in partnership activities will help you become an informed advocate for continuous educational progress in science education.

The high level of professional status given to scientists by communities, in general, allows you to serve as an invaluable source of support to the outstanding teachers in your area--the very teachers who often have to struggle hard to be heard by school or district personnel. As we all know, it is the best teachers in our communities who have much of the wisdom and insight needed to improve our schools. You can encourage the community to listen to these teachers' voices by actively supporting them in the district headquarters, foundation boardrooms, and community meetings. Ongoing, equal partnerships with master teachers in your area will provide you with the opportunities you need to become an informed advocate for improved science instruction and systemic reform.

You have practical experience with grant-writing which many educators lack. When a major reform effort requires start-up capital, your experience can help with the preparation of a well-planned and substantive application. Your professional and business contacts can also provide introductions to private foundation boards.

You belong to an international professional community. Your professional affiliations offer countless opportunities for spreading the word about important issues in science education. Potentially, you can magnify the impact of current reforms by emphasizing the importance of sharing successes and coordinating efforts throughout the scientific community as a whole.

### The Introductory University Physics Project

Donald F. Holcomb

At the January 1995 AAPT meeting in Orlando, the Introductory University Physics Project team will report on some of the outcomes of the Project's 1991-93 course trials. This Project, whose launching was spearheaded by John S. Rigden and which is sponsored by AAPT and APS and funded by the National Science Foundation, has been focussed primarily on development of alternative syllabi and text material for the introductory, calculus-based, university physics course. The word "alternative" is used to flag the fact that nearly all introductory physics textbooks in current use have very similar selections of topics, pursued in the same sequence, with very similar levels of depth in material for a particular topic. Three important guidelines have guided the IUPP effort, as it probes for attractive alternative syllabi.

Contemporary physics should be a prominent part of the course content.

The total course content should be reduced relative to the status quo. Fewer topics should be covered in more depth.

The course content should have coherence. The topics making up the subject matter of the course should be linked by a story line. The phrase "story line" describes a single or small number of organizing themes which can be used to link sequential segments of the course into a pattern with structure evident to the student.

Although very difficult to attack effectively via a physics content- centered project, we have tried to keep a fourth guideline in mind:

The needs of all student constituencies in the introductory course should be met. (By "constituencies" is meant several varieties of identifiable student groups--different academic interest groups such as pre- engineering or pre-medical students, students with differing levels of background in physics or mathematics, students from underrepresented ethnic groups, women.)

Trials of four different alternative course patterns were conducted, in 1991-92 at the University of Minnesota, the U.S. Military Academy, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. In 1992-93, Amherst and Smith Colleges, California State University at Fullerton, Southwest Missouri State University and Tulane University were added, as well as second year trials at the Academy, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. The designs and contents of these course patterns were summarized in an April 1993 article in Physics Today.

A rather elaborate pattern of course evaluation has relied primarily on direct input from students in the courses. A group of students at each site kept running journals of their reactions to their course. Two to four visits by IUPP evaluation team members (neither authors nor instructors) were made to each site for interviews with students and faculty and for observation of classroom and lab work at the local site. All-class questionnaires were administered at most sites in the spring of 1993. A short, multiple-choice physics subject matter test was administered both before and after the one- year course to both the IUPP class and a parallel comparison class at the same institution. This test, while covering only a few topics, served to give a rough comparison of how well students in the IUPP courses had learned some standard physics materials, in comparison with their colleagues in the parallel comparison course at their institution. This test was motivated by the desire to make certain that we were "doing no harm" to the IUPP students.

The analysis of these evaluation materials has been guided by Dr. Rosanne DiStefano, Associate Professor of Physics at New York Institute of Technology, currently on leave as an NSF Faculty Fellow at the Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Final stages of analysis are pointed toward the report at the Orlando AAPT meeting, which will be given by Dr. DiStefano and Don Holcomb, one of the Co-Principal Investors for the Project. (The other Co-Principal Investigator is Larry Coleman, of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.) At this stage, it is clear that they will be able to report examples of real progress concerning the first and third goals-- effective integration of contemporary physics and establishment of a stronger sense of coherence. Progress toward the second goal, which is sometimes summarized in the phrase "less may be more," has been historically more difficult to achieve and is also more difficult to assess. But one or two examples of real success in this area seem to be coming to the surface.

Donald Holcomb is Professor of Physics at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. A condensed-matter physicist, he is co-principal investigator (with Larry Coleman) of the IUPP project, and he served as president of AAPT during 1987.

### Book Review

John Hubisz, reviewer; book by Mortimer J. Adler.

Reforming Education: The Opening of the American Mind, Mortimer J. Adler (edited by Geraldine Van Doren) [Macmillan, New York, 1988]. 362 pages. (Reviewed by John L. Hubisz, Jr.)

A common complaint among physics teachers is that their students do not read or can not read critically. Typically they go to the problems at the back of the chapter and then backtrack through the chapter to ferret out an appropriate formula to solve the problem. All in all they become very good at this, but it is well known that when essay questions, which are now being added to more and more textbooks, are asked, students fail miserably to put together a coherent sentence or two. Recent surveys of students' understanding of concepts in kinematics, dynamics, electricity, and so on, show clearly that even the best students, whether in calculus-based physics or algebra-trigonometry-based physics, do not understand the concepts.

Reforming Education is a collection of 24 essays, divided into five parts written between 1939 and 1988, detailing the problem within education generally and offering a prescription. Despite the dates, the essays are for today. In fact, I often had to remind myself of the date of the essay because the event Adler was referring to could well have been another more contemporary one.

Part One is entitled "Education in America - Problems and Principles." In the first two essays Adler shows that today's problems began early in this century and despite repeated attempts to attack and solve the problems, they have been defeated. In "Liberalism and Liberal Education," Adler points out that the basic problems of education are normative and therefore will not be solved by educational research. Our role as physicists and physics teachers, then, will be to step outside our chosen discipline and effect a change in society from within our universities and within the many boards of education in our local communities. In essay four, Adler proves that there are indeed absolute and universal principles on which education should be founded.

Part Two, "Liberal Education and Schooling," consists of five essays starting with an analysis of the relations among labor, leisure and liberal education, and follows with a history of the idea and goal of educating all the people. Next, he deals with the substance of a liberal education that should be available to all. The last essay in this part recommends the dissolution of all English departments in favor of all teachers becoming English teachers, that is, teachers of the liberal arts: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. All teachers thus become involved with writing & speaking and reading & listening. Physics teachers can require quality laboratory reports, oral reports, book and journal article critiques, and so on.

Part Three, "Teaching and Learning," consists of six essays, the first of which, "Teaching, Learning, and their Counterfeits," should be read even if you read nothing else in the collection. All learning is by instruction or by discovery. Communicating what you know is not enough. The learner must be actively engaged in the process; if not, learning can not take place. You can lecture all you want, but if the class is passively taking notes, learning will not take place. Motivating students is not enough. Even actively engaging the learner may not be enough. We physics teachers have a ready-made laboratory environment to do just this IF we reconstitute most laboratories. In essay 13, Adler argues that the order of teaching must follow the order of learning. Thus the methods of teaching should be primarily inductive and dialectical, rather than deductive and simply expository. The best mix will be something that can be worked out. "Two Essays on Docility" considers the relations between students and their teachers. Docility entails having an open mind, being able to suspend judgment, and being disposed to seek help from teachers and books to gain knowledge. The scientific approach is rarely integrated throughout introductory physics courses so we miss an ideal opportunity to encourage these habits of mind in our students. The last two essays in this part deal with education beyond schooling and the nature of an idea.

Part Four has three essays dealing with virtue & happiness, a sound moral philosophy, and ethics under the heading "Thinking about Moral Values." These essays should be required reading for all teachers at all levels.

All that has gone on before has been leading up to the last four essays which constitute the germ of the Paideia approach. The Paideia Proposal was introduced in 1982 as a liberal education of the highest quality that would be made available to all children, not just the college bound. The program consists of didactic instruction, coaching, and seminar. Essay 23 lists the principles of the Paideia program. In order to do this, the schools must be reconstituted. This will not be easy and will take considerable time. While there are Paideia schools in operation, they are not easily formed. An intermediate step would be to set three hours on Wednesday as "Paideia approach" time. Many more schools use this approach. During that time all teachers would engage their students in Socratically conducted seminars and coaching of reading, writing, and speaking.

It is well known that students will study that which is tested for. If essay questions are not asked, students will not prepare for them. If little or no credit is given for a writing component of the course, little or no effort will be put into that component.

We need to convince our fellow teachers that critical reading is important to an understanding of physics concepts and needs to be tested. Even that will not be enough. The Standards Committee of the AAPT and the Committee on Physics in the Pre-High School of the AAPT have recognized that no one discipline can effect a change; an attack on a much broader front is needed to solve this problem which is ecdemic in the schools. Mortimer Adler and the Paideia group have given us an approach to do just that.

Reforming Education is must reading for all of us attempting to improve education, regardless of the discipline

John Hubisz is Visiting Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. He has more than 30 years of teaching experience, mainly at the College of Mainland in Texas.

### A Letter: Preparation of Teaching Assistants

Richard S. Galik

Our department at Cornell has two aspects to its preparation of teaching assistants. The first is an intensive two and one-half day session before student orientation, which is run by the Director of Undergraduate studies and four to six "facilitators" (upper level graduate students with an interest in the education process). This workshop is coupled with classroom visitations and video-taping during their first semester as teachers. There is certainly a great deal of overlap between the topics covered in the University of Maine's meetings (ed's note: see FEd news, Summer 1994, p. 6) and our intensive workshop, and I commend that department on integrating the introduction to teaching skills and teaching philosophy with an introduction to their colleagues and peers.

One aspect which was not mentioned in the article which we emphasize is practice at the blackboard, referred to as "microteaching." Each new teaching assistant has two turns at the blackboard, each lasting 15-20 minutes; they have had the evening before to prepare. In the first microteaching session they present a problem and its solution to the "class" which consists of fellow incoming TAs and a facilitator. In the second, the TA is to respond to questions from the class about a homework assignment of several typical problems. In both cases, there is time for feedback immediately after the TA has been at the blackboard.

Without question, the incoming TAs find these microteaching sessions the most useful aspect of the workshop. I suggest that all efforts trying to bring incoming graduate students into the world of teaching incorporate them into their program.

Richard S. Galik
Professor of Physics
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-2501

### News Briefs

Fifth Inter-American Conference on Physics Education
The 5th Inter-American Conference on Physics Education, held at Texas A&M University, July 16-22, 1994, was, by all reports a big success. Approximately 150 participants from more than a dozen countries shared ideas about physics teaching, recognizing many similarities as well as differences. The daily programs included plenary and poster sessions, afternoon working group sessions, and evening presentations dealing with specific physics education topics. The Inter-American Council, which met several times during the conference, elected Marco Antonio Moreira (Brazil) as president; Alberto Maiztegui (Argentina) as vice-president and program chair; and Robert Beck Clark (USA) as executive secretary.

Guidebook to Federal Resources
Organized by federal agency and by state, Guidebook to Excellence: A Directory of Federal Resources for Math and Science Education lists programs and facilities at the national, regional, and state levels, complete with contact information. This guidebook, prepared for the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Education and Training, is available for $18 from the U.S. Government Printing Office (stock number 065-000-00641-3), Washington, DC 20402. Regional versions are free while supplies last through the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education, The Ohio State University, 1929 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1079 (email:guidebk@enc.org). DPP Education Initiatives The APS Division of Plasma Physics scheduled several education related activities at its annual meeting in Minneapolis, November 7-11, including: a College Physics Problem Solving Workshop, organized by Patricia and Kenneth Heller (U. Minnesota); an open house on Fusion Energy; a SEEP physics program for 6th graders; a Career Workshop; and a High School Physics Teachers Day, organized by Don Correll (Lawrence Livermore Laboratory). For further information, contact Barrett H. Ripin, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375 (ripin@cfe1.nrl.navy.mil.). Lotze Sponsored Scholarship for Future Teachers AAPT offers a scholarship for future high school physics teachers, funded by a grant from Barbara Lotze. Undergraduate students in physics teacher preparation curricula and high school seniors planning to enter such curricula are eligible. Stipends are$2000 per year and may be granted to an individual for more than one year. Request materials from: H. G. Voss, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1504 (Internet: voss@phyast.la.asu.edu.).