"It is a thrill to be recognized by the physics community. I thank the people of the OAPT for their mentorship and the University of Toronto physics faculty for their inspiration. Physics education is changing from an art to a science and I have been lucky to be able watch this happen and to share it with others."
The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2016 CAP Award for Excellence in Teaching High School/CEGEP Physics (Ontario) is awarded to Christopher Meyer, York Mills Collegiate Institute, for his outstanding work in reforming the high school physics curriculum in a manner that has produced demonstrable improvement of student performance over a sustained period.
Chris Meyer has come to the forefront in the past five years as a physics teacher unequalled in Ontario for the rigour, research, and reflection that he applies to physics education.
Chris has been massively influential in reforming physics teaching in this province through his workshops, his articles in the OAPT Newsletter, his facilitation at OAPT Summer Physics Camps, and his website, www.meyercreations.com/physics. Having embraced the Physics Education Research (PER) movement, Chris was the first teacher in Ontario to take a rigorous, systematic, and well-documented approach to developing a complete and comprehensive Ontario reformed physics programme based on PER data and conclusions. He now has six years of data for his own students, proving substantial gains on standardized test instruments such as the Force Concept Inventory following instruction.
Most valuable in reaching the maximum number of students has been Chris’s willingness to share his learning and his teaching materials, developed over hundreds of hours of careful thinking and concentrated effort, with all physics colleagues, free of charge. He has followed up with a tireless five-year campaign advocating reform in physics teaching.
Chris challenges us to take steps to reform our physics teaching. If you are a high school physics teacher, do yourself a favour: download the entire package of Chris’s grade 11 or grade 12 activity handbooks and course guide presentations. Do the activities. You will learn some physics yourself! Then adopt the program without restriction in the fall. You will never look back. Student engagement will increase enormously. Student achievement will improve substantially. Teacher stress (after, perhaps, the initial roll-out) will decrease by an equal margin.