Physics Teacher Education Program Analysis Rubric (PTEPA Rubric)

Developed by Stephanie V. Chasteen, Rachel E. Scherr, Monica Plisch, and the PhysTEC Project


To characterize physics teacher education programs in order to provide guidance for self-improvement and enable comparisons among programs.

Format Rubric
Duration 60-120 min
Focus Teaching (Institutional commitment, leadership and collaboration, recruitment, knowledge and skills for teaching physics, mentoring community and professional support, program assessment)
Level Upper-level, Intermediate, Intro college

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Example of PTEPA Rubric items and levels for Component 3C: Early Teaching Experiences for Recruiting Teacher Candidates (within Standard 3: Recruitment).

Example of PTEPA Rubric items and levels for Component 4B: Pedagogy Courses and Curriculum (within Standard 4: Knowledge and Skills for Teaching Physics).


PTEPA Rubric Implementation Guide

Everything you need to know about implementing the PTEPA Rubric in your class.

R. Scherr and S. Chasteen, Initial findings of the Physics Teacher Education Program Analysis rubric: What do thriving programs do?, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 16 (1), 010116 (2020).
External Resources

The developer's website contains much more information about the Thriving Programs Study and the Physics Teacher Education Program Analysis Rubric.

The PTEPA Rubric Developer’s Website includes:

  • User’s Guide
  • PDF and Excel versions of the PTEPA Rubric
  • Full Report: A Study of Thriving Physics Teacher Education Programs
more details
Gold Star Validation
This is the highest level of research validation, corresponding to all seven of the validation categories below.

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • Relevant theory and/or data

Studied Using:

  • Iterative use of rubric
  • Inter-rater reliability
  • Expert review

Research Conducted:

  • At multiple institutions
  • By multiple research groups
  • Peer-reviewed publication

Through extensive engagement with theory, analysis of existing instruments, review of relevant studies, and direct observations of thriving programs, independent researchers and PhysTEC staff collaborated on the development of the PTEPA Rubric. The researchers conducted in-depth visits to eight thriving physics teacher education programs. Program visits were conducted either in-person or virtually, and each visit involved interviews with a wide variety of stakeholders, including program leaders, administrators, teachers, staff, and students. Analysis of the data from thriving programs contributed strongly to the development of the rubric, provided initial validation, and supported research findings. Review by nationally recognized experts in physics teacher education as well as extensive alignment with literature and accreditation processes established substantive validity, content validity, and face validity. During the development and validation process, the PTEPA Rubric was iteratively improved through over 20 versions to better reflect the practices and structures of diverse thriving physics teacher education programs.


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Typical Results

There are no typical scores on the PTEPA, as it is meant to be used for self-study to show you the strengths and weaknesses of your program. To see typical results for high-producing physics teacher education programs, see the full report, A Study of Thriving Physics Teacher Education Programs.

The most recent version of the PTEPA Rubric, released in 2018, is version 2.0.