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An update on “Physics First” in Baltimore County Public Schools October 14, 2004 George Newberry Coordinator, Secondary Science
WHERE DID THE CONCEPT OF “PHYSICS FIRST” COME FROM? “Today, the nation has the challenge to ensure that all America’s children have the opportunity to learn and understand science, mathematics, and technology at the higher levels defined by national standards. … To satisfy the national standards, high school students need to take three years of science and mathematics as a coherent core curriculum, reinforcing the disciplines and the connections between them and leading to a student who is comfortable with science, technology, and the scientific way of thinking.” Leon Lederman in American Renaissance in Science Education (A.R.I.S.E.)
WHAT IS “PHYSICS FIRST?” An idea that proposed changing the sequence of courses offered in high school from BIOLOGY – CHEMISTRY – PHYSICS to PHYSICS – CHEMISTRY - BIOLOGY
Proposed by Leon Lederman Leon M. Lederman • Pritzker Professor of Physics • 1988 Nobel Laureate in Physics • Fermilab Director Emeritus Representative Publications about Physics Education "Reform of Science Education: A Curriculum", Leon Lederman, Interciencia, Vol. 27 No. 2, 66, (February 2002) ”Revolution in Science Education: Put Physics First", Leon Lederman, Physics Today, Vol. 55, (November 2002)
Lederman writes: “Why is the population so ignorant of science, both the process and the content? Among the most obvious failures . . . ” • Students arrive in HS with poor preparation and poor attitudes about science and math. • Most states require only 2-3 science courses in grades 9-12, rather than a coherent sequence of science courses. • In most schools, the sequence is biology, chemistry, physics; only 50% of students take chemistry; only 20% of students complete the whole sequence.
Most of the science requirement is fulfilled by courses constructed as if they are discrete, disconnected disciplines. • Most students do not have access to important emerging ideas in biology since it is usually offered as a first or second science course without chemistry or physics prerequisites. Modern biology requires knowledge and skills drawn from chemistry and physics.
When?! . . . 1894 The current sequence of high school study in science BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, PHYSICS was set out in 1894 on the basis of a recommendation by a prestigious national commission, the Committee of Ten
Lederman and other experts in the field are suggesting . . . . . . that this sequence is now inappropriate and does not respect developments in the disciplines over the past century or changes in teaching of mathematics (with algebra introduced as early as 7th or 8th grade).
What are the Pre-requisites for Biology? An expert examined high school biology texts to look for items which were used but not developed, therefore considered prerequisites for a study of biology.
These are the topics that children are expected to know: • Acids • Activation energy • Half-life • pH • Acids • Bases, catalysis, • Chemical reactions • Conservation of energy • Photosynthesis • Absorption spectra • Etc.
OTHER RATIONALE Maryland High School Assessments Existing Biology Assessment and “NCLB” Legislation Proposed Physics, Chemistry, and Earth Science Assessments Recent Revisions to Core Learning Goals in Science – Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science Initiatives from State and Nat’l Science Educ Organizations Maryland State Department of Education National Science Foundation American Association for the Advancement of Science National Science Teachers Association National Research Council American Renaissance in Science Education Changes in the Nature of the Discipline of Biology Its integration with other areas of science, mathematics, and technology Emphasis on abstract principles and concepts
The following statement was adopted by the Executive Board of the American Association of Physics Teachers at its meeting in College Park, MD on April 13, 2002. “The Executive Board of AAPT recognizes that teaching physics to students early in their high school education is an important and useful way to bring physics to a significantly larger number of students than has been customary. This approach, which we call “Physics First,” has the potential to advance more substantially the AAPT’s goal of ‘physics for all,’ as well as to lay the foundation for more advanced high school courses in chemistry, biology, or physics.”
Research and Observations on Physics First • Physics is the foundation for chemistry; and chemistry is the foundation for contemporary biology. • Physics topics are of high interest for 9th grade students. • The mathematics required is consistent with math offered in grade 9 (Algebra I). • More students enroll in upper level physics. • More females enroll in upper level physics. • Student achievement in upper level physics is enhanced. •
SYSTEM SUMMARY of BCPS BIOLOGY UNIT ASSESSMENT SCORES • 2001-2002 Range = 14.72% to 17.27% Average = 16.04% • 2002-2003 Range = 56.49% to 80.04% Average = 67.59% • 2003-2004 Range = 59.7% to 81.59% Average = 67.60% Scores for the Biology HSA and BCPS Final Exams are similar. 58.5%, up from 52.8% 55%, down from 58.7%
Balto Co. School-to-School Comparison BCPS Ave = 58.5% State Ave = 60.9%
SINCE OUR LAST UPDATE FOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS OF SCHOOLS . . . • We have conducted School-to-School presentations on “Physics First” for all high schools • The Office of Science received feedback (positive and negative) on the proposed program.
Original Thinking Concept of “Physics First” • Conceptual Physics in Grade 9 • Chemistry in Grade 10 • Biology in Grade 11 Current Thinking Fundamentals of Physics and Chemistry -- Integrated Physical Science Course in Grade 9 -- Biology in Grade 10 • What have we gained. . . • Moving biology ahead by one year • Still providing students with concepts and knowledge that are fundamental to learning biology • Elective and AP Programs remain virtually intact with potential to grow • Greater credibility with teaching staff • What have we lost. . . Nothing
SUMMER 2004 • Participants from Offices of Tech-Ed, Mathematics, and Science participated in a DACUM in June 2004. • In July, a scope and sequence of topics for an integrated physical science class was developed.
PROPOSED SEQUENCE OF COURSES current proposed current proposed
PROPOSED SEQUENCE OF COURSES current proposed
The BCPS Model How is our model for a “Physics First” implementation different from that used elsewhere?
COLLABORATION • Between the Offices of • Science • Mathematics • Technology Education • Instructional Technology
e-Learning An online learning environment that enables users to: Share Resources Curriculum materials Student Activities Communicate and Collaborate Create online professional learning communities Access reporting features such as gradebooks
Physics First Project and e-Learning • Identifying common topics for instruction • Defining a common language • Sharing resources for science, mathematics, and technology education • Communicating across content areas • Promoting integrated learning experiences for students
BCPS Tools for Physics First e-Learning Project • Collaboration between Offices of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education • A learning management system – Desire2Learn (D2L) • Provision by Department of Technology for a network that allows ease of access • Support through the Office of Instructional Technology’s e-Learning Resource Teacher
Logon to Desire2Learn All users are assigned a username and password in order to logon to the BCPS D2L site. http://bcps.mdk12online.org
Select The Topic Links to additional resources and support Use this area to set your personal settings.
Courses and Course Modules What is Newton’s Law? Where can I find resources to assist me as I teach this part of the unit?
Locating Additional Teaching Resources and Building Background Knowledge
0 IETC Introduction to Engineering & Technology Concepts A new world class technology literacy course for all high school students, meeting the Maryland State Department of Education Voluntary State Curriculum indicators for the basic Technology Education 1 credit requirement.
0 The Blue Print For Progress - The VisionThe graduates ofBaltimore County Public Schools will have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to reach their potential as responsible, productive citizens in a global economy and multicultural society. In his first speech as superintendent, Dr. Joe Hairston identified these challenges for the school system: "To grow and improve, we must continue to adapt to changing conditions and expectations. An organization which fails to adapt is one that is soon left behind … but all changes will be carefully planned ... .“ " We have the awesome responsibility of producing the next generation of citizens and the world's workforce, the decision-makers and thinkers of the future ... ."
0 The BCPS Blueprint For ProgressCONNECTIONS TO KEY STRATEGIES • Set high and consistent expectations and institutionalize continuous feedback processes and support systems to ensure that quality daily instruction and continually increasing student achievement occur in all schools. • Focus on the consistent and systematic implementation of the Essential Curriculum in all content areas, as revised and aligned with the Maryland Content Standards, Learning Outcomes, and Core Learning Goals. • Identify and consistently implement a common core of research-based instructional practices that will result in more engaging work for students by incorporating state-of-the-art knowledge of lesson and unit planning, student learning styles, direct instruction, diverse and ongoing assessment, critical thinking, brain research, and multiple intelligence. • Establish a flexible and responsive direction for the use of technology to prepare students to meet the requirements of a technologically oriented society and to meet the data access needs of staff members.
0 A NEW BASIC TECH. ED. MARYLAND REQUIRED CREDIT CURRICULUM Introduction to Engineering & Technology Concepts is a direct response to the challenges of vision and leadership presented in Dr. Hairston's speech. The new IETC curriculum will provide students with: • A rigorous grade 9 academic and technology education experience, aligned and coordinated with Algebra I and a new integrated physical science and chemistry curriculum. • Skills and knowledge to be successful in the technology-based, information technology-driven workplace, home, and recreation spaces of the next century. • Enhanced skills and knowledge to ensure achievement in those areas as measured and reported by local, state and national assessment instruments and graduation programming initiatives at the high school level.
0 Course Content IETC 1. The Nature of Technology and Techno-logical Systems 2. Measurement Systems, Tools, Production Tools, and Machines 3. Engineering Design Tools, Software, and Processes 4. Core Technologies 5. Inputs to Technological Systems 6. Energy and Power Technology 7. Design and Engineering Problem Solving 8. Communication Design & Engineering Solutions 9. Technology Enterprises: Structures and Functions
0 IETC Course STEM Coordination Tech. Ed. 1. The Nature of Technology - 2. A Technological System 3. Measurement Systems and Tools and their role in Technology 4. Production Tools and their Safe Use 5. The Problem-Solving and Design Process 6. Technological Processes 7. Core Technologies (not a chapter in the textbook) 8. Inputs to Technological Systems 9. Energy: The Foundations of Technology 10. Developing Design Solutions 11. Communication Design Solutions Math: Algebra Symbols and Operations of Algebra Equations in One Variable Graphing Linear Equations in Two Variables Writing Linear Equations Statistical Analysis Solving Systems of Linear Equations Science General Science Skills Measurement - Metric & Standard Data Collection Organizing Data Interpreting and Analyzing Data (% error) Patterns & Predictions Graphing Modeling in Science Nature of Science Vectors (in Matrix Form) & Scalars Motion Velocity / Distance / Time Acceleration Gravity Newton’s Laws Friction Collisions Pressure
CLG 1: Functions and Algebra The student will demonstrate the ability to • investigate, • interpret, and • communicate solutions to mathematical and real-world problems using patterns, functions, and algebra.
CLG 3: Data Analysis & Probability The student will demonstrate the ability to • apply probability and • statistical methods for representing, interpreting data and communicating results, using technology when needed.
Verbal description Algebraic representation Table of values Graphical representation Real-World Situations
During which time interval was the average velocity the slowest? Slope = Average Velocity
Circumference Diameter Circumference Diameter Determining a Best-Fit Line to Make a Prediction