According to Sadler & Tai (2001), high school physics is a gateway course to success in college physics and a career utilizing mathematics and science. Students who take high school physics are likely to be science teachers, doctors, engineers, and scientists. It has long been the ultimate threshold that distinguishes the highest performing students in the nation. Due to the nature of high school physics as the gateway to careers in science and medicine, the door for many students is closed before they are able to enter. Teachers have been long known to teach the way they were taught. Hehn & Neuschatz (2006) cite high school physics teachers often employ traditional lecture based practices that resemble instruction they have received in high school.
The instruction of students in high school today is beginning to change. With the implementation of teacher networking, focus on learning, professional developments on effect strategies, and implementation on the use of technology, the door has been opened to students who have been excluded to high school physics in past decades (Hehn & Neuschatz, 2006). One-third of recent graduates have reported to have taken physics. Because of the economic and national security linked to math and science, physics should no longer be viewed as a course for the select few. To secure our economic and national vitality, physics should be encouraged by high school teachers and counselors.
Hehn, J. & Neuschatz, M. (2006) Physics for all? A million and counting! Physics Today, 59(2), 37- 43.
Sadler, P. H., Tai, R. H. (2001) Success in introductory college physics: The role of high school preparation.
Science Education, 85(2), 111-136.