The proof is in the results, I think...Not only has the Science Reasoning portion of the ACT significantly increased within Vista Ridge HS; it has outpaced the growth in the composite VRHS scores as well. In 2015, VRHS topped the CO State Science Reasoning score!
Mary Lougee | High School Physics Teacher | Vista Ridge HS
Mary Lougee is a high school physics teacher at Vista Ridge High School in Colorado Springs, CO. She is using PSI, Algebra Based Physics (ABP), which has been taught at Vista Ridge HS for four years. This year, she had five sections of Linear Physics (their name for ABP).
How are teachers using the many resources provided by PSI?
The ninth grade uses Algebra Based Physics solely*. We do not complete the curriculum entirely, but feel our students are very able in what we do cover. The teachers utilize presentations, homework and classwork problems, exams and labs. Tenth graders learn Chemistry, and 11th graders learn Biology. Teachers vary in their use of PSI materials. *There is a small subgroup of students who are not mathematically ready for Algebra Based Physics. They take a different science course in 9th grade, moving to ABP in 10th grade.
What is the most positive outcome you have seen with your implementation of PSI?
The proof is in the results, I think. Colorado uses the ACT as a state exam. All 11th grade students take the exam during the school day, some time in April. We have had two classes who have gone through PSI take the ACT exam. 2015 and 2016 are post PSI years. I have included CO state data as well. CO State CO State Vista Ridge HS Vista Ridge HS VR HS Year Composite Science Reasoning Composite Science Reasoning # of students 2014 20.3 20.4 18.8 19.1 269 2015 20.5 20.1 19.6* 20.3* 320 2016 Not available Not available 20.3* 20.6* 340 *PSI Years Not only has the Science Reasoning portion of the ACT significantly increased within Vista Ridge HS; it has outpaced the growth in the composite VRHS scores as well. In 2015, VRHS topped the CO State Science Reasoning score!
What was the biggest adjustment you made in your teaching when you switched to using PSI?
The PSI style of teaching is very different from how I taught in the past. My biggest adjustment was learning to be quiet while students worked together to solve problems. I walk around the room checking work, giving stamps on correct problems (incredibly motivating, even in HS!) and helping individuals who need it. I can identify those individuals because I am not in the front of the room lecturing; but walking around and interacting with all my students.