• Prof. Demers and Emily Coates developed the course Physics of Dance (photo by Christopher Capozziello)
    Prof. Demers and Emily Coates developed the course Physics of Dance
    • Prof. Mochrie concludes the Random Walkers activity "binning" the students in a hystogram of their positions
    Phys 170 "binned" in a hystogram of a diffusion process
    • Phys 170 students performing 1D Random Walkers
    Phys 170 students performing 1D Random Walkers
    • Prof. Shankar teaching Phys 201 in the TEAL classroom
    Phys 201 students in the TEAL classroom
    • Phys 201 students working in groups
    Phys 201 group work
    • Phys 200 students in the TEAL classroom.
    Phys 200 students experience being part of a human transversal wave
    • Phys 170 students performing a random walk in Becton Plaza
    Phys 170 students understanding diffusion processes
    • Phys 171 Students in the TEAL classroom
    Photo of the TEAL classroom
    • Prof. Sarah Demers teaching Phys 171 in the TEAL classroom
    Phys 171 Students in the TEAL classroom

Innovative Teaching

Significant learning combines the logical and the intuitive, the intellect and the feelings, the concept and the experience, the idea and the meaning. When we learn in that way, we are whole.

Carl Rogers, 1983

The Yale Physics Department has had a long tradition of faculty members who have been excellent and passionate teachers.  Across the board, the upper-level courses for physics majors continue to be popular and receive great student evaluations.

In recent years, the rejuvenated interest in the STEM fields around the nation has driven the need to make physics more accessible to non-majors and to reevaluate how physics is taught at the introductory level.  For this reason, the Yale Physics Department has been working closely with the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning to develop courses that put emphasis on activities and group work to enhance student learning.  Several faculty members have participated in the annual National Academy Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education, to refine and develop their classes based on the latest evidence and pedagogy-based techniques for effective teaching.  Many graduate students and postdocs are now Scientific Teaching Fellows, after attending Phys 530, a one semester course led by the Yale Center for Scientific Teaching.

In the following pages we give an overview of the ongoing initiatives and efforts in the department.

Examples of Innovative Teaching:

Helmsley Postdoctoral Teaching Scholars

Science Education Seminar & Journal Club Series

TEAL classroom

Outreach

Teaching Awards and Prizes

Photo Gallery