In 2022, the American Physical Society and the American Astronomical Society joined the American Association of Physics Teachers to expand the reach of the Faculty Teaching Institute (formerly known as the New Faculty Workshop). Financial support is provided by the National Science Foundation. The FTI is a professional development program for physics and astronomy faculty focused on effective and inclusive teaching practices with a documented impact in the physics community. 

The FTI vision:

Faculty are able to provide opportunities for all students to effectively learn physics and astronomy, and to experience the discipline as inclusive and relevant.

The FTI long-term goals:

Physics and astronomy faculty will:

  1. Value and use student-centered and reflective practices, and consider excellent teaching and learning to be a shared responsibility within departments;
  2. Demonstrate awareness and practices that support diversity, equity, and inclusion, with particular attention to marginalized groups;
  3. Connect to a supportive disciplinary community that is engaged in helping and empowering one another to evolve their approach to student-centered teaching as lifelong learners; and
  4. Be empowered to navigate a fulfilling academic career, achieving a rewarding balance among teaching, service, and research commitments.

These design principles are described in more detail here.

  1. Workshop content is focused on student-centered practice.
    1. We are committed to fostering equity and inclusion for all.
    2. We provide subject-matter-relevant workshop content.
    3. We emphasize the value of student-centered instruction for all students.
    4. We use "How learning works" principles as the explanatory framework.
    5. We lead with practical advice.
    6. We emphasize student-centered classroom practices using a "big tent" philosophy.
    7. We are informed by education research but it is rarely a focal topic.
    8. We address the whole faculty member.
  2. Workshop delivery is respectful and participant-centered.
    1. We are sensitive to diversity and context of participants in our facilitation.
    2. We model student-centered practice.
    3. We do not ignore feelings; rather we are emotion-attentive.
    4. We explicitly foster choice and agency.
    5. We encourage productive experimentation.
  3. Workshop structure is equitable and coherent.
    1. We are sensitive to diversity and context of participants in our structures.
    2. We intentionally assemble a team of effective and diverse presenters.
    3. We onboard and support presenters as effective and reflective practitioners.
    4. We intentionally and coherently organize the structure and content around the workshop design principles.

The FTI design includes a commitment to support equity in the classroom. Here we define what we mean by “equity” in this context. The FTI approaches to equity are aligned with the American Physical Society Statement on Diversity in Physics.

  • Marginalized groups: We support efforts to increase access, achievement, and other positive outcomes for marginalized groups [1], [2]; i.e., those that have been marginalized in society and in physics [3], [4].
  • Positionality: We all bring our identities and experiences into the learning space. We believe faculty ought to have awareness of their positionality and social identities in order to understand how these influence their perspective and choices in the classroom environment as well as student learning. 
  • Multi-dimensional diversity: We are committed to supporting diversity along many dimensions of social identity including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, class, LGBTQ+, first-generation status, veteran status, disability status, learning differences, neurodiversity, religion, age, and intersections thereof. We recognize that the experiences of those in one marginalized group are not the same as those in another marginalized group.
  • Power in the classroom: We believe that instructors, as central authorities in the classroom, have the responsibility to create an inclusive and equitable classroom that supports learning for all students.
  • Access: We support increased access to learning, toward students having equal opportunity to learn in classrooms and equitable distribution of academic resources [5]. This need for increased access acknowledges that we do not yet live in a just society; this lack of justice impacts student learning and institutions of higher education. 
  • Achievement: We promote equitable educational achievement, e.g., addressing differences in student outcomes. 
  • Resources: We promote an asset-based (not deficit-based) view of students: thinking of students as conceptually resourceful, having ideas that are productive for disciplinary learning [6], not only having difficulties or misconceptions that need to be fixed or replaced. Deficit-based views of students can lead to evaluation of those based on perceived weaknesses or lack of resources (such as communication or math skills) which often disproportionately affect underrepresented students. 


[1] N. R. Council, A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. 2011. doi: 10.17226/13165.

[2] “Next Generation Science Standards.” https://www.nextgenscience.org/ (accessed Aug. 14, 2019).

[3] “Aspire - IPF: Societies.” https://www.aspirealliance.org/national-change/inclusive-professional-framework/ipf-societies (accessed Nov. 02, 2022).

[4] “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion | EP3 Guide.” https://ep3guide.org/guide-overview/equity-diversity-and-inclusion (accessed Nov. 02, 2022).

[5] V. Sathy and K. Hogan, “How to Make Your Teaching More Inclusive,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jul. 22, 2019. https://www.chronicle.com/article/how-to-make-your-teaching-more-inclusive/ (accessed Feb. 28, 2022).

[6] D. Hammer, “Student resources for learning introductory physics,” Am. J. Phys., vol. 68, no. S1, pp. S52–S59, Jun. 2000, doi: 10.1119/1.19520.