The ideal candidate will enhance existing strengths in undergraduate education and science teacher preparation and will contribute actively in identifying and responding to new challenges and opportunities in these areas. Teaching assignments will be distributed evenly between courses in physics and astronomy and courses in SMATE. An active research program in Physics Education or Astronomy Education is expected, especially one that engages undergraduate research assistants and supports collaborations within and between SMATE and Physics. Service activities include departmental committees and student advising. Participation in planning and facilitating summer professional development programs for inservice K-12 teachers, with the possibility of summer salary, is encouraged.
About the College/Department:
Western Washington University, a primarily undergraduate institution with enrollment of about 15,000 students, was ranked highest among public, master's-granting universities in the Pacific Northwest by U.S. News & World Report in 2017. The Physics and Astronomy Department serves about 120 majors, half of whom are active in faculty-mentored research, and offers a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Education. The campus culture supports a teacher-scholar model for faculty, in which classroom teaching and research are both explicitly valued.
WWU prepares more K-12 teachers than any other institution in Washington State. SMATE is housed in the College of Science and Engineering, includes 12 faculty members with joint appointments in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geology, Computer Science, and the College of Education, and is led by a full-time director. SMATE prepares teachers in science content and methods and has an established history of leading and supporting systemic science education reforms efforts in Washington State and nationally. SMATE faculty engage actively in interdisciplinary collaborations in research, teaching, and teacher professional development.
Candidates must have a record of high quality and commitment to developing and maintaining a strong program of scholarship in physics or astronomy education. Successful applicants will be expected to actively involve undergraduate research assistants and to apply for external funding to support ongoing projects. Post-doctoral research experience and current engagement in Physics/Astronomy Education Research and/or Science Education research are strongly preferred. Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate potential for active collaborations with other WWU faculty.
Ph.D. by hire date in physics, astronomy, or related field, OR in science education
Teaching experience at the undergraduate or K-12 level
Record of high quality scholarship (in physics of related field OR in P/AER or related field)
Commitment to establishing a vigorous research program in P/AER involving undergraduate research assistants
Demonstrated ability to work with a diverse student body
Demonstrated interest in the preparation and/or professional development of K-12 teachers
Strong communication skills
Graduate-level course work in physics, astronomy, or related field
Post-doctoral research experience
Record of or potential for undergraduate teaching informed by best practices and/or research on student learning
Record of high quality scholarship in P/AER and/or science education research
Experience in the preparation and/or professional development of K-12 teachers
Potential for collaboration with existing faculty at WWU
Additional Salary Information: Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications
With 15,000 students, 160 academic programs, and an energized campus community, Western offers the focus on students and the faculty access of a smaller college and the academic choice, resources, multicultural diversity, and room to grow of a large university. Western is located in beautiful Bellingham, a scenic coastal city of approximately 80,000 situated between Seattle, Washington and Vancouv...er, British Columbia. With easy access to both the Cascade mountain range and the Pacific coast, the region is rich in cultural events and attractions as well as many recreational activities. Western is known nationally for its successes, including being named the top public master’s granting university in the Pacific Northwest by U. S. News and World Report and one of the best colleges in the nation to work for by the Chronicle of Higher Education.