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Haverford College
Departments of Physics and Astronomy
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Academic Programs: Concentrations: Education Concentration

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The Bryn Mawr-Haverford Education Program invites students to study the discipline of education; explore the interdisciplinary field of educational studies; begin the path of teacher preparation for traditional classrooms; and participate in teaching experiences in a range of classroom and extra-classroom settings. Haverford / Bryn Mawr Education Program

In the past year, our Education Program has added a number of options. Formerly, our majors interested in Education could elect a Education Concentration from the physics major and consider studying for certification as part of their four-year-degree program. Perhaps the most significant change is the addition of a 5th year certification option, which enables graduates of both Bryn Mawr and Haverford to obtain a secondary teacher certification with us at an affordable rate after they graduate. We have also made a change in course requirements for the Minor in Educational Studies and have made some adjustments to the Secondary Teacher Certification Program course requirements in response to the PA Department of Education's recent review of our program.

The Bi-College Education Program of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges offers several options. Bryn Mawr and Haverford students may:

Students should consult the Education Program website for more information.

The bottom of this website has a listing of scholarship, fellowship and job opportunities.

Relevant Education Courses for Physics Majors Interested in Education

  • PHYS 459 Teaching Laboratory Physics--practical experience in laboratory instruction including assisting the 1st-year lab course, development and evaluation of a new experiment and investigation of resources available for laboratory instruction;
  • PHYS 460 Association in Teaching Basic Physics--practical experience in physics lecture instruction via participation in the teaching of the 1st year course at Haverford including preparation, practice and delivery of a lecture including a new demonstration, staffing the clinic supporting the course and preparation and evaluation of examination problems.
  • EDUC 200 Critical Issues in Education--A survey of issues in education within an interdisciplinary framework;
  • PSYC 203 Educational Psychology--an exploration of human cognitive, social and affective behavior in relation to educational practice
  • EDUC 220: Pedagogies in Math & Sci Education
  • EDUC 225. Empowering Learners: Theory and Practice of Extra-Classroom Teaching
  • EDUC 250 Literacies and Education--a critical exploration of literacy focusing on the implications for teaching and learning
  • EDUC 310 Curriculum and Methods--consideration of theoretical and applied issues related to effective classroom instruction including field work
  • EDUC 311 Field Work Seminar--invites exploration and analysis of ideas, perspectives, and different ways of understanding what each person experiences and observes at his/her site.

The Education Concentration for Physics Majors

One of the distinctive features of Haverford's curriculum is that students may elect to 'concentrate' in areas related to their major discipline. The Education Concentration is available to physics majors. Professor Suzanne Amador Kane is involved in directing the concentration and should be consulted by interested physics students as should Ann Brown, Concentration Coordinator, Bi-College Education Program

Concentrations are grounded in two or more majors (the Education concentration is also available to students majoring in Mathematics, Chemistry and some of the Social Sciences) and function to expose students to fields related to their major in substantial ways. The physics education concentration focuses on the theory and practice teaching physics and other sciences at the secondary level.

A concentration consists of a total of six courses, at least two of which and no more than three may overlap with major requirements. The catalog may be consulted for further specifics. The Education Concentration requirements for physics majors are summarized following.

Summary of Course Requirements for Physics Concentrators in Education

  • PHYS 459 Teaching Laboratory Physics--practical experience in laboratory instruction including assisting the 1st-year lab course, development and evaluation of a new experiment and investigation of resources available for laboratory instruction;
  • PHYS 460 Association in Teaching Basic Physics--practical experience in physics lecture instruction via participation in the teaching of the 1st year course at Haverford including preparation, practice and delivery of a lecture including a new demonstration, staffing the clinic supporting the course and preparation and evaluation of examination problems.
  • EDUC 200 Critical Issues in Education--A survey of issues in education within an interdisciplinary framework;
  • PSYC 203 Educational Psychology--an exploration of human cognitive, social and affective behavior in relation to educational practice;
  • CHOICE OF:
    • EDUC 250 Literacies and Education--a critical exploration of literacy focusing on the implications for teaching and learning; or
    • EDUC 310 Curriculum and Methods--consideration of theoretical and applied issues related to effective classroom instruction including field work; or
    • EDUC 311 Field Work Seminar--invites exploration and analysis of ideas, perspectives, and different ways of understanding what each person experiences and observes at his/her site.

In the last several years an average three Physics majors graduates per year have gone directly on to careers in secondary education. The Education Concentration is suitable preparation for students interested in teaching physics and other science courses at the secondary level in the non-public school sector, and as such is an attractive alternative to pursuing full certification for many students.

Most public school systems require state certification, which is also an option for Haverford Physics majors, but it does require, besides completion of all requirements for the physics major, several additional courses and a full semester of student teaching. Given the demands of this program and the difficulty of fitting it into the four-year College experience (especially the allocation of one full senior-year semester to student teaching) Certification requires early planning and probably should be undertaken only by either students desiring to make a definite long-term commitment to a teaching career, or students willing to extend their college experience by one semester.

Minor in Educational Studies

The Minor in Educational Studies provides students with the opportunity to regard their own learning and fields of specialization with critical distance, to explore the complex relationship between theory and practice through observation, reflection, and action in field placements in a wide variety of settings, and to gain experience, knowledge, and skills that will serve them in future study and work. Since the Education Program does not offer certification at the elementary school level or certification in fields such as Psychology or Religion, many students choose to begin their exploration of the field of education (with future career or graduate school goals in mind) with the Minor. A Minor in Educational Studies is available to students completing six credits in the Education Program, including a required introductory seminar on Critical Issues in Education and courses such as Educational Psychology or Schools in American Cities. In their senior year, Education Minors also complete a two-semester senior seminar, which includes five to eight hours per week of fieldwork.

Haverford students interested in this option should contact Ann Brown, Haverford Advisor, at abrown@haverford.edu.

Secondary School Teacher Certification

The Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program is accredited by the state of Pennsylvania to prepare candidates for secondary school certification (grades 7-12) in the following fields: mathematics; English; biology; chemistry; physics; citizenship education (formerly, social studies), which is available to students majoring in history, political science, or economics; and social science (a new certification area), which is available to students majoring in sociology, psychology, or anthropology. We are also accredited to prepare candidates for K-12 certification in the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. Note that pursuit of certification in the fields of Chinese, German, Latin, and Russian is subject to availability of student teaching placements. Certain interdisciplinary majors and double majors (e.g., Romance Languages, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies) may also be eligible for certification provided they meet the Pennsylvania standards in one of the subject areas listed above. See below for required professional preparation and departmental course requirements.

Students interested in this option should contact Ann Brown, Advisor, at abrown@haverford.edu.

5th Year Teacher Certification Option for BMC/HC Graduates

Graduates of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges may complete requirements for PA state certification to teach at the secondary level in a 5th year at reduced tuition through the Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program and Bryn Mawr's Continuing Education Program. Students pay 1/4 of regular tuition per unit plus the cost of a College Supervisor.

Note that in addition to Education course requirements, there are also content course requirements. Students who major in the area in which they are seeking certification and take courses offered by the Education Program while they were at Haverford or Bryn Mawr are therefore best positioned to complete the program in one year.

Students interested in pursuing the 5th year option should consult with Ann Brown, Advisor, at abrown@haverford.edu as early as possible in their undergraduate careers to plan a coherent five-year program of study.

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