Combined major offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science and Engineering and the Department of Mathematics, College of Science and Engineering.
Physics is the fundamental science. It is the study of matter and energy and of the interaction between the two. Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Engineering apply the principles of Physics to specific problems. Almost all areas of modern technology involve applications of Physics.
“Mathematics reveals hidden patterns that help us understand the world around us. Now much more than Arithmetic and Geometry, Mathematics today is a diverse discipline that deals with data, measurements, and observations from science; with inference, deduction, and proof; and with mathematical models of natural phenomena, of human behavior, and of social systems.” From: Everybody Counts: A Report to the Nation on the Future of Mathematics Education (c) 1989 National Academy of Sciences.
This major must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in secondary education offered through Woodring College of Education. Courses required for a state teaching endorsement must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.
Why Consider a Physics/Mathematics - Secondary Major?
Teaching mathematics and physics is a challenge, a responsibility, and an opportunity. Learning to teach mathematics and physics occurs through a variety of means: the study of a wide variety of mathematics and physics, pedagogical preparation within a mathematical and science context, formal clinical preparation in education, an extended internship, and continual experiences as a student, learner, and problem solver in mathematics and physics.
Everyone aspiring to be a mathematics and physics teacher is aware of the demand for qualified teachers at the secondary level, but there is an even greater need for quality mathematics and physics teachers-teachers who care about both students and mathematics and physics, teachers who have a broad and deep understanding of mathematics and physics, and teachers who are thoroughly professional. The responsibilities are great, but the rewards are even greater.
As a prospective teacher you need to focus on expanding your personal understanding of mathematics and physics and capitalizing on opportunities to work with pre-college students as a tutor, as a classroom assistant, as a practicum student, and as a novice teacher in your internship.
Are you up to it?
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Secondary Education Teacher
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process)
Students are advised to declare the major as soon as possible, ideally no later than the end of the freshmen year or immediately upon transfer to Western. Contact the department office to declare in person or by mail. Be sure to provide unofficial copies of your transcript(s). We will determine which of the courses you have already taken will be applied toward the major and develop a plan of study for the remaining coursework. If you are not sure which program option is for you, we can help. Declaring the major allows you to receive important information from the department, priority enrollment into required courses, and benefits such as accounts on department computers and access to department study space.
This major must be accompanied by the professional education program in secondary education. This major meets the requirements for Washington state teaching endorsements in both physics and mathematics. See the Secondary Education section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.
A cumulative GPA of at least 2.50, plus a minimum grade of C (2.0) or better in the individual courses, must be maintained in the courses required by the major. Students must earn a grade of C (2.0) or better in the secondary education professional program and in all courses required for the endorsement.