Eugenia Etkina Garners “Most Promising New Textbook Award” for College Physics text
Eugenia Etkina, Professor and physics education program coordinator at Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE); and her co-authors Michael Gentile, and Alan Van Heuvelen; are the recipients of the Most Promising New Textbook Award for the first edition of their introductory physics textbook College Physics. The text is one of eight to be named a “2016 Most Promising New Textbook Award”by the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) for its excellence as a 1st edition textbook.
Published by Pearson, College Physics uses an investigative learning approach to encourage students to build scientific habits of mind and to practice scientific skills such as observation, analysis, and experimentation.
“Students learn physics best by doing physics,” said Eugenia. “In this text we reinforce physics concepts by allowing students to apply physics phenomena to everyday observations and activities in the world around them.”
The prestigious award will be presented during an awards luncheon at TAA’s 29th Annual Authoring Conference in San Antonio, TX, in June.
Eugenia is a well-recognized expert for her contributions to physics education. In 2014 the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) awarded her the Robert A. Millikan Medal, the highest award for physics educators in the country, for her notable and creative contributions to physics pedagogy, such as creating numerous curriculum materials to help k-12 and college students engage in activities that mirror the practice of physics. In the same year she was named an AAPT fellow for her contributions to the organization’s mission of enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching.
In 2015 the GSE received “The 5+ Club” award by the Physics Teacher Education Coalition, a partnership between the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) thanks to Eugenia’s leadership of the school’s physics education program. “The 5+ Club” recognizes institutions that graduate at least five highly qualified physics teachers each academic year. Approximately 20 institutions in the United States graduate five or more highly qualified physics teachers annually, with a majority of institutions graduating less than two physics teachers a year. The GSE has produced 17 highly qualified physics teachers since 2012 and continues to prepare highly qualified physics educators year after year.
Eugenia created the school’s teacher preparation program in physics education in 2002. She continuously improves the program to meet the demands of today’s science-driven world. The GSE is one of very few schools in the nation with a master’s degree program dedicated solely to the preparation of physics teachers. Additionally the program has a community of graduates that is approaching 100 members that regularly meets and interacts to continuously provide and receive personalized professional development.
In addition to preparing new teachers, the program provides continuous professional development for physics teachers. In collaboration with Suzanne White Brahmia and program graduates, Eugenia developed Physics Union Mathematics (PUM), which provides middle and high school physics curriculum materials for free. Over 500 physics teachers from the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America use the materials. Every summer, about 20 physical science and physics teachers are invited to attend a week-long PUM workshop where they improve their knowledge of physics content and process while sharpening their understanding of students’ ideas, allowing them to increase their students’ learning and motivation.
To learn about the master’s degree in physics education with certification please visit the program webpage.