May 2009
Vol 6 No 5

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.5 May 2009

Cover Story by Matt Levinson
Schools and Facebook: Moving Too Fast,
or Not Fast Enough?
Schools can draw a line in the sand, with zero tolerance rules written into school handbooks, or they can shift with the changing sands of social networking and utilize social networking and Facebook to enhance teaching and learning.

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
Teachers Are the Greatest Assets
On the first day of school, the teacher across the hall commented to me that my students are "always so good!" It's not the students; it's the procedures that have proven to work. The First Days of School helps me to manage my class, so that I can be an effective teacher.

»Comedy Highlights from Room K-1! Sue Gruber
»What Will Your Students Remember? Leah Davies
»My Mrs. Krikorian Todd R. Nelson
»Discipline Is a Liberating Word Marvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly Five Marjan Glavac
»Help! Too Much Talk! Not Enough Work! Barbara Pressman
»Mayan Sites and Paris Easy on the Purse Josette Bonafino
»The Little Things that Count in Our Schools: Doing Something Different, Simple and Powerful Cheryl Sigmon
»Teacher Morale Matters Dorothy Rich
»Team Management - It’s in the Cards Rick Morris
»Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century Hal Portner

»The Document Camera: A Better Way to Present! Joe Frisk
»Need a Teaching Job? Here’s Where to Find One Alan Haskvitz
»Make Twitter an Ally in the Classroom! Alan Haskvitz
»Teaching Is... Bill Page
»Celebrating True Heroes Graysen Walles
»Digital Pens & Touch-Screens Tim Newlin
»12 Ways to Improve and Enhance Your Paraprofessional- Teacher Experience Susan Fitzell
»May 2009 Writing Prompts James Wayne
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing VII Hank Kellner
»How to Increase the Number of Physics and Chemistry Majors Stewart E. Brekke
»Bibliotherapy Booklist for Elementary Students Lisa Bundrick
»8 Ways to Make Math Magical at School Steve Sherman
»5 Brainteasers Steve Sherman
»What Will You Do For Shy Kids? Marjie Braun Knudsen

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes Barb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily Commemoration Ron Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Photo Tour: 3rd Grade Classroom
»Teacher Blogs Showcase
»Carol Goodrow's Kids Running Printables
»Dolch word activities, end of first grade test, first grade memory book, map and geography lessons for all levels, IEP progress, and graduation ceremonies songs
»Video Bytes; Are You Going to Finish Strong?, Antarctica, Ted Talks - Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?, How Big Is Will?, The Sling Shot Man, Styrofoam Cup vs. Deep Sea
»Live on Teachers.Net: May 2009
»New Teacher Induction Programs
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


The Teachers.Net Gazette is a collaborative project
published by the Teachers.Net community
Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Layout Editor: Mary Miehl

Cover Story by Matt Levinson

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Matt Levinson, Sue Gruber, Leah Davies, Todd R. Nelson, Marvin Marshall, Marjan Glavac, Barbara Pressman, Josette Bonafino, Cheryl Sigmon, Dorothy Rich, Rick Morris, Hal Portner, Joe Frisk, Alan Haskvitz, Alan Haskvitz, Bill Page, Graysen Walles, Tim Newlin, Susan Fitzell, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Stewart E. Brekke, Lisa Bundrick, Steve Sherman, Steve Sherman, Marjie Braun Knudsen, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Rita Sheffield, Carol Goodrow, and YENDOR.

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Stewart E Brekke

Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

How to Increase the Number of Physics and Chemistry Majors

There is a great untapped potential of minority students, average students and females, in the inner cities of this country who could become physics teachers and physicists, chemistry teachers and chemists, if only they could be turned on to a career in physics, chemistry and engineering.
by Stewart E Brekke, MS in Ed, MA
Regular contributor to the Gazette
May 1, 2009

It is the good experience in the high school course in physics or chemistry that generates many of the college physics and chemistry majors. Therefore, we need to make these traditionally hard courses substantive, but also user friendly.

There is a great untapped potential of minority students, Black and Hispanic, in the inner cities of this country who could be physics teachers and physicists, chemistry teachers and chemists, if only they could be turned on to a career in physics or in a related field such as chemistry and engineering. Another group of high school students that could tapped for the physics or chemistry major in college is the average student in both majority and minority communities.

In most high schools, only the top 30% or so of the school population takes the standard mathematically based physics course, and a few more take the chemistry course. Traditionally, physics and chemistry have been male oriented subjects. However, and unfortunately, in many minority high schools, males are often not the best students because they are targeted by gangs, peer pressure and violence; we must somehow reach them.

The advanced mathematics physics and chemistry classes, especially at the honors level, are often populated by a majority of young women. These young women have to be courted to make college physics and chemistry their major. I have found that these at-risk minority young women are excellent candidates for physics and chemistry professionals such as teachers, professors, industrial and health scientists. They need only encouragement and direction.

Many of the inner city girls and boys have never thought of majoring in physics or chemistry. By making the high school physics and chemistry courses user friendly, substantive but not unnecessarily hard, chemistry and physics teachers can generate many more successful college physics and chemistry majors from the enormous pool of inner city and middle class average and above average students.

I have found that many at-risk students do not always learn from examples in the text and/or from examples on the board. Thy learn from the teacher going around the room showing each individual student how to do a particular problem and then allowing the student to practice on two or more of the same type of problem.

As time goes on these at-risk students get the idea of how to solve a mathematical type physics or chemistry problem. With this type of empowerment they become interested in the real chemistry or physics because they are successful in the mathematical type problem solving, which is the basis of a career useful chemistry or physics course. Many university physics and chemistry professors would be surprised at the variety and kind of high school students who can actually do a standard mathematically-based college physics or chemistry course--from teenage mothers to gangbangers and football players--provided they are given a user friendly course with help in high school and support in college.

Continued on next page »

» More Gazette articles...

About Stewart E Brekke...

Stewart E Brekke, MS in Ed, MA retired from Chicago Public Schools where he taught high school physics and chemistry.

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