[KACT] Re: Physical Science, Qualified Admissions, and KS B

  • From: "Kelly Deters" <kellymdeters@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: kact@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, "EOlmstea@xxxxxxxx" <EOlmstea@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 10:32:41 -0500

A point I'd never thought of...just like college professors want their
students to be prepared for college science, we chemistry and physics
teachers want our students to be prepared for chemistry and physics class!
In both my chem and physics teaching, I assume the students know NOTHING and
I'm usually correct--about the only think they remember is that there are
protons, neutrons and electrons and they had to balance equations.
Otherwise, nothing I teach in chem or physics sounds familiar to them.  (I
know some of it was covered in lower classes, but they didn't learn it well
enough to remember it a year or two later).  Perhaps if my chem and physics
students took physical science, then they'd be more prepared for my chem and
physics and I could do more with them there.

Good point, Gissel!


On 4/2/07, Gissel McDonald <mcdonaldg@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

 I also thank you for valuing the opinion of teachers.  We have struggled
with this issue at our school as well.
I echo Kelly's response and would also add the following....as a chemistry

If Physical Science does not count then students(at our school) would be
taking Biology their freshmen year and Chemistry their sophomore year.
I believe strongly that all students can benefit from a chemistry class,
but that does not mean that all students are ready to take a chemistry class
as a sophomore.  Chemistry at our school is truly a college prep rigorous
class. The Physical Science class at our school is an excellent preparatory
class for those that need some more foundation before they take Chemistry
and Physics.
Just because some feel that Physical Science is not rigorous enough to be
considered college prep at some schools, does not mean that all schools
should be punished....if they do not accept Physical Science then I will be
recieving students in chemistry that are not prepared---and Guess What?  I
will have to water down my Chemistry class to meet the needs of those
students (that should have been served in a physical science class)--- no
matter what the foundations have to be taught so that students can succeed
in sciecne.  If we start throwing students into rigorous college prep
Chemistry and Physics classes without proper preparation, then we are just
scaring kids away from science because there is a high change that they will
not find success.

Kelly said it perfectly.  There are some schools that teach Physical
Science as a rigorous course and there are some schools that don't---JUST
LIKE, there are some schools that teach Chemistry rigorously and some that
don't, and some schools teach Biology rigorously and some that don't.  No
one can control that.   The title of the class does not dictate necessarily
how rigorous it will be taught.  Physical Science serves a great role in our
curriculum and I feel it would greatly disrupt the sequence of learning if
not accepted as a Regent's course.
I feel strongly that Physical Science should be accepted as a Regent's

Gissel McDonald
Chemistry I and II Teacher
Student Council Advisor
Spring Hill High School
913-592-7299 ext 7372

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