Author Archives: Paul Cottle

Why is this FSU physics professor handing out recruiting posters for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering? Because the posters give high school students a road map for preparing for college STEM majors.

When I met in December with Tisha Keller, who is the Marketing and Communications Director for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, and Kayla McLaughlin, the college’s Recruitment Coordinator, they seemed a little puzzled that I was so eager to get … Continue reading

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Got equations? In my calculus-based physics class, equations don’t come first.

At the beginning of the second three-hour class period of this semester’s studio physics course, I told my students that we wouldn’t be using any equations for the next week. Just to be clear, I am not teaching a general … Continue reading

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Two research-based perspectives on teacher certification and teacher preparation: the negative impact of some certification requirements on teacher quality; and, math and science teacher prep programs that really add value.

Teacher certification is on the agenda for next week’s meeting of the PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee of the Florida House.  To provide my readers (both of them) a chance to prepare for that discussion, I am recommending two papers posted by … Continue reading

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Florida’s 2019-20 Critical Teacher Shortage Areas: Even elementary education graduates are in shortage now

This week, Florida’s State Board of Education will adopt its 2019-20 list of Critical Teacher Shortage Areas.  Among other things, the report includes the number of students who completed the state’s approved college- and university-based teacher preparation programs in 2016-17 … Continue reading

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FSU Police once had an unarmed standoff with a disturbed student in my classroom. If the student had been carrying a firearm, it likely would have turned out very differently.

Years ago, I called FSU’s campus police to my classroom because of an outburst by a disturbed student that was so violent that it scared the other students in the room. In response, a group of campus police officers entered … Continue reading

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The power of architecture in a classroom and the influence of the SCALE-UP studio-style classroom design on students

“Architecture provides a stage to engender certain behaviors by curating one’s experiences.” – Allison Peitz, Overland Partners My first real lesson about the power of architecture came fairly late in life – in 2008 – when FSU’s first SCALE-UP studio-style … Continue reading

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Bachelors’ degrees in engineering, computer science and physics are among the surest routes to economic security in America and more Florida students should have access to them: What I’ll be doing in 2019.

Bachelors’ degrees in engineering, computer science and physics are among the surest routes to economic security in 2019 America. Unfortunately, the State of Florida does a poor job preparing its high school students for college majors in those fields. Florida … Continue reading

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