Physics education research is a dynamic field, with many opportunities for growth and additional study. What was once being done in just one or two physics departments is now a vital part of scores of high schools, colleges, and universities worldwide. Physics education research is concerned with increasing our understanding of how students learn physics. Development tries to design instructional environments and curricular materials that take advantage of advances being made in our knowledge of physics students and how they learn the concepts of physics. The use of toys in the classroom is an effective method of teaching science. Professor Emeritus Jim Watson has used toys and food as educational learning techniques in teaching physics and science. Ball State as well as other universities are pushing the learning environment envelope with the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC). A nationwide initiative among college and university physics departments in collaboration with education departments and schools, PhysTEC aims to dramatically improve the science preparation and teaching skills of future secondary and elementary teachers and to establish an induction/mentor program for new teachers to improve the likelihood they will remain in teaching.
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