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H.S. Physics Teacher seeks Grad School Options

  1. Jul 27, 2015 #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I am a high school Physics Teacher. I have a B.S. in Chemistry and a B. ChemE from a Big 10 University. I did a Post-Bacc. certification program to get my teaching certification in Wisconsin. I live and teach in southeastern Wisconsin. I have small children.

    I'm looking for a grad school option in the Wisconsin/Illinois area that specifically focuses on Physics or Science Education. In addition to becoming a better Physics teacher, I really would like to increase my knowledge in Physics. I did take Physics coursework to get my Physics teaching certification, but I really would like more in depth knowledge, specifically in E&M, optics, and modern.

    I would be totally open to a legitimate, high quality, online option.

    Is anyone involved with or does anyone have experience with a Grad Program that they would recommend (online or located within 2 hours of Milwaukee, WI)?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2015 #2
    If you don't need a degree or course credit, MIT OCW (Open Course Ware) is very, very good.
  4. Jul 28, 2015 #3
    Thank you very much for the suggestion. I did complete MIT's Mechanics Review through edX, and I found it to be excellent. I am seeking an accredited, quality Master's program. As I said, the Physics education focus options are limited in my geographic area (Wisconsin / Chicago).
  5. Jul 28, 2015 #4
    Accredited by what organization?
  6. Jul 30, 2015 #5
    You don't really mention your goal, except becoming a better high school physics teacher. I don't know if grad school will make you become that.

    If your goal isn't to get a job you can't get now, just look at these modern distance learning options. But you also say you want it to be accredited. If all that matters is your own amusement and becoming more knowledgeable, third party accreditation doesn't really matter, does it.

    If you want a degree for your own ego, and I have to say I understand that very well (before my post becomes deleted by overzealous moderators for 'insult'), maybe the hard truth is that it won't be worth all the effort.

    I see you have a double degree in chemistry. Would be natural to get a masters in chemistry and move to an engineering position in industry. But that is not the career you want, I guess. And you can't just enter grad school in physics based on chemistry.

    A master in education would be a different matter. I guess that holding one would also give you more seniority at your school, which is good for the career you want.
  7. Jul 30, 2015 #6
    Most teaching jobs have a significant pay bump with a Masters. Even if one could get the knowledge and become a better teacher with unaccredited options, there will likely be a good pay increase with an accredited MS.
  8. Aug 5, 2015 #7
    Hi Al,

    I think your post gets to the core of the reason of why I asked for a master's program recommendation. I am looking for something more than amusement, a pay increase, and seniority. I was hoping someone could share a positive experience they had with a Master's Program. In theory, an education focused master's program is supposed to help you improve what you do in the classroom. I guess my thoughts are that if I'm going to spend the time and effort to complete a Master's Program, why not do something that will help me become a better teacher. There are plenty of Master's of Curriculum and Instruction programs out there, but some individuals I spoke with felt that the program they completed involved mostly hoop jumping.

    In Wisconsin, two different state colleges formerly offered a Master's of Physics Education program. All of the graduates I spoke with reported positive experiences. Due to the politics here, these two programs no longer exist. If they did, I wouldn't have posted this thread.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  9. Aug 5, 2015 #8
    This is true. My district actually offers an interest free loan to complete an accredited Master's program. The loan is paid back through paycheck deductions after the program is completed.
  10. Aug 5, 2015 #9
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