SENIOR PHYSICS SHORT COURSES

Geoff Swan

Abstract


To mitigate a shortage of qualified senior physics teachers, the Western Australian (WA) Department of Education funded six Year 11 and three Year 12 Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) physics short courses for out-of-field secondary school teachers. These intensive five-day courses were delivered at the Joondalup campus of Edith Cowan University (ECU) from 2015 to 2019. The courses included lecture, tutorial and laboratory components. While aimed at secondary science and mathematics teachers with some past knowledge at senior physics level, teachers with no previous physics or university level physics were also able to enrol. The Department of Education funded course fees, textbooks, travel and accommodation for participants as well as relief teachers for schools during participant absence. This paper will provide an overview of the Year 11 and Year 12 courses, key features of the teaching and learning environment, and evaluation by teachers. A total of 131 teachers have completed the nine courses offered, with end of course surveys of the teacher participants consistently showing high satisfaction ratings.

Keywords


senior physics, short course, Year 11, Year 12, ATAR, secondary school, teacher education, professional learning

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