Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Physics teachers--Training of--Iowa; Follow-up in teacher training--Iowa; High school teachers--Training of--Iowa;


National studies have exposed a shortage of highly-qualified high school physics teachers, with over 25% of physics teaching vacancies in Iowa being very difficult to fill or unable to be filled. In an effort to improve the nation’s education system, there have been broad changes in the framework of what constitutes high-quality teaching which supports a trend away from traditional, lecture-based teaching methods and towards interactive, student-centered methods. This study analyzed the impact of a professional development program that aimed to prepare more high-quality high school physics teachers by building physics content knowledge through the use of reformed teaching techniques that could then be applied in their classrooms. The Iowa Physics Teacher Instruction and Resources (IPTIR) program was a three-year professional development program with a total of 35 high school science teacher participants. Program staff administered conceptual and pedagogical evaluation to teachers, and collected conceptual assessment data from their students. Analysis of this data provided insight into the program’s effectiveness as well as implications for future professional development programs. The IPTIR program enabled 20 out-of-field high school physics teachers to obtain a State of Iowa physics teaching endorsement, and improved the content knowledge of the teachers and their students through the use of interactive engagement techniques such as PRISMS PLUS learning cycles and Modeling Instruction. The results of this study reveal the effectiveness of programs such as IPTIR, and emphasize a need for further similar programs to produce more quality high school physics teachers.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Science Education Program


Department of Physics

First Advisor

Lawrence Escalada

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 94 pages)



File Format