Responding to unprecedented demand for high school physics teachers in the Louisville area and throughout the nation, Bellarmine University's Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education has added a new physics certification to its master of arts in teaching (MAT) program, beginning next semester.
The school already offers biology and chemistry certifications for master of arts in teaching candidates interested in science education.
Over the past two decades, the number of high school students taking physics courses has more than doubled. In 2013, the National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics reported that "the need for qualified physics teachers is greater now than at any previous time in U.S. history."
Dr. Kristin Cook, an assistant professor of science education at Bellarmine, says that school districts in Kentucky and Indiana are reporting a need for physics teachers that matches the national trend. Bellarmine's new physics certification will allow graduates to teach physics to students in grades 8 to 12.
Bellarmine's master of arts in teaching is an accelerated, five-semester graduate program that prepares candidates for teacher certification will providing the knowledge, skills and dispositions to be a highly effective educator. All candidates pursuing physics teaching must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in a related field, as well as meet Bellarmine's graduate admission requirements.
Required courses are grouped into five modules, with the fifth module being the professional semester of student teaching. Courses are conducted on one night per week and five full Saturdays each semester, with the exception of the professional semester.