MA in Physics Areas of Study

The WGU Master of Arts in Science Education (5–12, Physics) program content is based on research on effective instruction as well as national and state standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to teach effectively in diverse classrooms. The M.A. in Science Education (5–12, Physics) program content and training processes are consistent with the accountability intent of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The degree program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified teachers. As described in the federal legislation, a highly qualified teacher is one who not only possesses full state certification, but also has solid content knowledge of the subject(s) he or she teaches. The hallmarks of our program include: (a) appropriate and rigorous subject-matter preparation, (b) research-based pedagogical course preparation, and (c) clinical field experiences in which teacher candidates are supervised by trained coaches.

General Science Content

Below are all of the courses that make up this area of study. Each competency is made up of specific competencies, or performance descriptions, that correspond to the specific skills or knowledge areas you must master.

Integrated Natural Sciences
This course focuses on application of scientific data, concepts, content, assumptions, methods of study, theories, and models in the natural sciences.

General Chemistry I

General Chemistry II

Pre-calculus and Calculus
This course focuses on the complex number system, trigonometry and limits, derivatives, continuity, and applications of differential calculus to mathematics and the sciences.

Physics Content (Grades 5-12)

This area of study covers mechanics, waves and optics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics.

Mechanics
This course covers the following topics: describing motion; Newton’s laws of motion; gravitation and Newton’s synthesis; work and energy; momentum and collisions; rotational motion; static equilibrium; fluids; and oscillations.

Waves and Optics
This course covers the following topics: wave motion, sound, temperature, thermal expansion, and the ideal gas law; kinetic theory and gases; laws of thermodynamics; light; lenses and optical instruments; the wave nature of light; and diffraction and polarization.

Electricity and Magnetism
This course covers the following topics: electric charge and electric field; electric currents and resistance; magnetism; electromagnetic induction and faraday’s law; and Maxwell’s equation and electromagnetic waves.

Modern Physics
This course covers the following topics: birth of modern physics; Quantum Theory and models of the atom; Special Theory of Relativity and quantum mechanics; molecules and solids; nuclear physics and radioactivity; elementary particles; astrophysics; cosmology; and general relativity.

Physics: Content Knowledge
The comprehensive exam will assess the student’s knowledge in the General Science and Physics Content courses.

Science Education

Science, Technology, and Society
This course will help candidates develop an increased understanding and appreciation for the nature and process of science. Candidates will develop a high-level view of core themes in science and the importance of science and technology to their personal lives. Candidates will analyze the historical development of scientific theories and engage in science by using inquiry to solve open-ended problems and through the analysis of socio-scientific issues.

Science Teaching and Learning
In this course candidates will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective practicing science educator. Candidates will learn principles and model of teaching for understanding, and gain familiarity with the standards and best practices of science education. Candidates will learn how to select appropriate resources, use multiple teaching strategies, use assessment to guide instruction, and plan for all students. Emphasis will be on strategies used for creating a safe and active community of learners that uses inquiry as the central teaching strategy to confront student misconceptions.