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California State University, Long Beach
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Learning Assistant Program

The Learning Assistant (LA) Program is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students interested in physics teaching careers to explore the rewards and challenges of teaching and learning physics.

Learning Assistants work alongside graduate teaching assistants (TAs) in introductory-level physics courses to help students with lab exercises, calculations, and discussions. LAs help their fellow students learn physics and in the process, improve their understanding of physics and become better teachers and learners.

In order to be eligible for a Learning Assistant position, students must enroll in the three-unit course, Physics 390: Exploring Physics Teaching, which introduces students to the content and pedagogy appropriate for high school physics through observations and interactions with teachers and students.

Learning Assistant Learning Assistant Learning Assistant

Physics 390: Exploring Physics Teaching

For students interested in physics teaching careers, this course is a great introduction to the profession. Students are exposed to the content and pedagogy appropriate for high school physics through targeted observations and fieldwork assignments in high school physics classrooms. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to become Lab Learning Assistants for introductory level physics courses and tutors in the SAS Center.

If you are thinking about a career as a physics teacher, then Physics 390 is the course for you! Pre-requisite: Physics 151

PHYS 390 class PHYS 390

Physics 490: Physics Pedagogy

Fall 2012: Energy & Momentum

For individuals committed to physics teaching careers, this course is excellent preparation for the profession. This course is for both in-service and pre-service physics teachers who want to learn and develop lessons and activities that will really help students master concepts, sequence instruction, and critically assess student misconceptions and learning.

PHYS 490 PHYS 490

Spring 2011: Waves, Sounds, and Optics

Fall 2011: Force and Motion

For non-matriculated students, you can enroll in this course through Open University. A registration form can be obtained at the CCPE registration office (Foundation Building) or online the first day of instruction. You can obtain the instructor's signature (Laura Henriques) on the first class meeting. For more information about Open University, visit the Open University website.

Physics 491A: Physics Pedagogy (Thursdays 5-8pm)

Fall 2014: Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Physics--Force and Motion

Primary audience for this course is middle and high school physics teachers. The class is open to preservice and inservice teachers. Class meets in HSCI-280. Instructor: Kevin Dwyer ( If you are not enrolled at CSULB you may take this course through Open University. Simply show up the first night of class.