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Research in Physics Education and the Connection to Classroom Teaching

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Title: Research in Physics Education and the Connection to Classroom Teaching


1
Research in Physics Education and the Connection
to Classroom Teaching
  • David E. Meltzer
  • Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Iowa State University

2
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
3
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
4
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
5
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
6
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
7
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
8
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
9
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
10
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
11
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
12
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
13
Recent Collaborators John Thompson (University of
Maine) Tom Greenbowe (Department of Chemistry,
ISU)
Graduate Students Jack Dostal (ISU/Montana
State) Tina Fanetti (M.S. 2001 now at
UMSL) Larry Engelhardt Ngoc-Loan Nguyen (M.S.
2003) Warren Christensen
Post-doc Irene Grimberg
Teaching Assistants Michael Fitzpatrick Agnès
Kim Sarah Orley David Oesper
Undergraduate Students Nathan Kurtz Eleanor
Raulerson (Grinnell, now U. Maine)
Funding National Science Foundation Division of
Undergraduate Education Division of Research,
Evaluation and Communication Division of
Physics ISU Center for Teaching
Excellence Miller Faculty Fellowship 1999-2000
(with T. Greenbowe) CTE Teaching Scholar
2002-2003
14
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

15
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

16
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

17
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

18
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

19
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

20
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

21
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

22
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

23
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

24
Physics Education As a Research Problem
  • Within the past 25 years, physicists have begun
    to treat the teaching and learning of physics as
    a research problem
  • Systematic observation and data collection
    reproducible experiments
  • Identification and control of variables
  • In-depth probing and analysis of students
    thinking

25
Physics Education As a Research Problem
  • Within the past 25 years, physicists have begun
    to treat the teaching and learning of physics as
    a research problem
  • Systematic observation and data collection
    reproducible experiments
  • Identification and control of variables
  • In-depth probing and analysis of students
    thinking

26
Physics Education As a Research Problem
  • Within the past 25 years, physicists have begun
    to treat the teaching and learning of physics as
    a research problem
  • Systematic observation and data collection
    reproducible experiments
  • Identification and control of variables
  • In-depth probing and analysis of students
    thinking

27
Physics Education As a Research Problem
  • Within the past 25 years, physicists have begun
    to treat the teaching and learning of physics as
    a research problem
  • Systematic observation and data collection
    reproducible experiments
  • Identification and control of variables
  • In-depth probing and analysis of students
    thinking

28
Physics Education As a Research Problem
  • Within the past 25 years, physicists have begun
    to treat the teaching and learning of physics as
    a research problem
  • Systematic observation and data collection
    reproducible experiments
  • Identification and control of variables
  • In-depth probing and analysis of students
    thinking

29
Physics Education As a Research Problem
  • Within the past 25 years, physicists have begun
    to treat the teaching and learning of physics as
    a research problem
  • Systematic observation and data collection
    reproducible experiments
  • Identification and control of variables
  • In-depth probing and analysis of students
    thinking

Physics Education Research (PER)
30
Goals of PER
  • Improve effectiveness and efficiency of physics
    instruction
  • measure and assess learning of physics (not
    merely achievement)
  • Develop instructional methods and materials that
    address obstacles which impede learning
  • Critically assess and refine instructional
    innovations

31
Goals of PER
  • Improve effectiveness and efficiency of physics
    instruction
  • measure and assess learning of physics (not
    merely achievement)
  • Develop instructional methods and materials that
    address obstacles which impede learning
  • Critically assess and refine instructional
    innovations

32
Goals of PER
  • Improve effectiveness and efficiency of physics
    instruction
  • measure and assess learning of physics (not
    merely achievement)
  • Develop instructional methods and materials that
    address obstacles which impede learning
  • Critically assess and refine instructional
    innovations

33
Goals of PER
  • Improve effectiveness and efficiency of physics
    instruction
  • measure and assess learning of physics (not
    merely achievement)
  • Develop instructional methods and materials that
    address obstacles which impede learning
  • Critically assess and refine instructional
    innovations

34
Goals of PER
  • Improve effectiveness and efficiency of physics
    instruction
  • measure and assess learning of physics (not
    merely achievement)
  • Develop instructional methods and materials that
    address obstacles which impede learning
  • Critically assess and refine instructional
    innovations

35
Methods of PER
  • Develop and test diagnostic instruments that
    assess student understanding
  • Probe students thinking through analysis of
    written and verbal explanations of their
    reasoning, supplemented by multiple-choice
    diagnostics
  • Assess learning through measures derived from
    pre- and post-instruction testing

36
Methods of PER
  • Develop and test diagnostic instruments that
    assess student understanding
  • Probe students thinking through analysis of
    written and verbal explanations of their
    reasoning, supplemented by multiple-choice
    diagnostics
  • Assess learning through measures derived from
    pre- and post-instruction testing

37
Methods of PER
  • Develop and test diagnostic instruments that
    assess student understanding
  • Probe students thinking through analysis of
    written and verbal explanations of their
    reasoning, supplemented by multiple-choice
    diagnostics
  • Assess learning through measures derived from
    pre- and post-instruction testing

38
Methods of PER
  • Develop and test diagnostic instruments that
    assess student understanding
  • Probe students thinking through analysis of
    written and verbal explanations of their
    reasoning, supplemented by multiple-choice
    diagnostics
  • Assess learning through measures derived from
    pre- and post-instruction testing

39
What PER Can NOT Do
  • Determine philosophical approach toward
    undergraduate education
  • target primarily future science professionals?
  • focus on maximizing achievement of best-prepared
    students?
  • achieve significant learning gains for majority
    of enrolled students?
  • try to do it all?
  • Specify the goals of instruction in particular
    learning environments
  • physics concept knowledge
  • quantitative problem-solving ability
  • laboratory skills
  • understanding nature of scientific investigation

40
What PER Can NOT Do
  • Determine philosophical approach toward
    undergraduate education
  • e.g., focus on majority of students, or on
    subgroup?
  • Specify the goals of instruction in particular
    learning environments
  • proper balance among concepts, problem-solving,
    etc.
  • physics concept knowledge
  • quantitative problem-solving ability
  • laboratory skills
  • understanding nature of scientific investigation

41
What PER Can NOT Do
  • Determine philosophical approach toward
    undergraduate education
  • e.g., focus on majority of students, or on
    subgroup?
  • Specify the goals of instruction in particular
    learning environments
  • proper balance among concepts, problem-solving,
    etc.
  • physics concept knowledge
  • quantitative problem-solving ability
  • laboratory skills
  • understanding nature of scientific investigation

42
Active PER Groups in Ph.D.-granting Physics
Departments
leading producers of Ph.D.s
43
Primary Trends in PER
  • Research into Student Understanding
  • Research-based Curriculum Development
  • Assessment of Instructional Methods
  • Preparation of K-12 Physics and Science Teachers

44
Primary Trends in PER
  • Research into Student Understanding
  • Research-based Curriculum Development
  • Assessment of Instructional Methods
  • Preparation of K-12 Physics and Science Teachers

45
Primary Trends in PER
  • Research into Student Understanding
  • Research-based Curriculum Development
  • Assessment of Instructional Methods
  • Preparation of K-12 Physics and Science Teachers

46
Primary Trends in PER
  • Research into Student Understanding
  • Research-based Curriculum Development
  • Assessment of Instructional Methods
  • Preparation of K-12 Physics and Science Teachers

47
Primary Trends in PER
  • Research into Student Understanding
  • Research-based Curriculum Development
  • Assessment of Instructional Methods
  • Preparation of K-12 Physics and Science Teachers

48
www.physics.iastate.edu/per/
49
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

50
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

51
Some Specific Issues
  • Many (if not most) students
  • develop weak qualitative understanding of
    concepts
  • dont use qualitative analysis in problem solving
  • lacking quantitative problem solution, cant
    reason physically
  • lack a functional understanding of concepts
    (which would allow problem solving in unfamiliar
    contexts)

52
Some Specific Issues
  • Many (if not most) students
  • develop weak qualitative understanding of
    concepts
  • dont use qualitative analysis in problem solving
  • lacking quantitative problem solution, cant
    reason physically
  • lack a functional understanding of concepts
    (which would allow problem solving in unfamiliar
    contexts)

53
Some Specific Issues
  • Many (if not most) students
  • develop weak qualitative understanding of
    concepts
  • dont use qualitative analysis in problem solving
  • lacking quantitative problem solution, cant
    reason physically
  • lack a functional understanding of concepts
    (which would allow problem solving in unfamiliar
    contexts)

54
Some Specific Issues
  • Many (if not most) students
  • develop weak qualitative understanding of
    concepts
  • dont use qualitative analysis in problem solving
  • lacking quantitative problem solution, cant
    reason physically
  • lack a functional understanding of concepts
    (which would allow problem solving in unfamiliar
    contexts)

55
Some Specific Issues
  • Many (if not most) students
  • develop weak qualitative understanding of
    concepts
  • dont use qualitative analysis in problem solving
  • lacking quantitative problem solution, cant
    reason physically
  • lack a functional understanding of concepts
    (which would allow problem solving in unfamiliar
    contexts)

56
Some Specific Issues
  • Many (if not most) students
  • develop weak qualitative understanding of
    concepts
  • dont use qualitative analysis in problem solving
  • lacking quantitative problem solution, cant
    reason physically
  • lack a functional understanding of concepts
    (which would allow problem solving in unfamiliar
    contexts)

57
Origins of Learning Difficulties
  • Students hold many firm ideas about the physical
    world that may conflict strongly with physicists
    views.
  • Examples
  • An object in motion must be experiencing a force
  • A given battery always produces the same current
    in any circuit
  • Electric current gets used up as it flows
    around a circuit
  • Most introductory students need much guidance in
    scientific reasoning employing abstract concepts.
  • Most introductory students lack active learning
    skills that would permit more efficient mastery
    of physics concepts.

58
Origins of Learning Difficulties
  • Students hold many firm ideas about the physical
    world that may conflict strongly with physicists
    views.
  • Examples
  • An object in motion must be experiencing a force
  • A given battery always produces the same current
    in any circuit
  • Electric current gets used up as it flows
    around a circuit
  • Most introductory students need much guidance in
    scientific reasoning employing abstract concepts.
  • Most introductory students lack active learning
    skills that would permit more efficient mastery
    of physics concepts.

59
Origins of Learning Difficulties
  • Students hold many firm ideas about the physical
    world that may conflict strongly with physicists
    views.
  • Examples
  • An object in motion must be experiencing a force
  • A given battery always produces the same current
    in any circuit
  • Electric current gets used up as it flows
    around a circuit
  • Most introductory students need much guidance in
    scientific reasoning employing abstract concepts.
  • Most introductory students lack active learning
    skills that would permit more efficient mastery
    of physics concepts.

60
Origins of Learning Difficulties
  • Students hold many firm ideas about the physical
    world that may conflict strongly with physicists
    views.
  • Examples
  • An object in motion must be experiencing a force
  • A given battery always produces the same current
    in any circuit
  • Electric current gets used up as it flows
    around a circuit
  • Most introductory students need much guidance in
    scientific reasoning employing abstract concepts.
  • Most introductory students lack active learning
    skills that would permit more efficient mastery
    of physics concepts.

61
Origins of Learning Difficulties
  • Students hold many firm ideas about the physical
    world that may conflict strongly with physicists
    views.
  • Examples
  • An object in motion must be experiencing a force
  • A given battery always produces the same current
    in any circuit
  • Electric current gets used up as it flows
    around a circuit
  • Most introductory students need much guidance in
    scientific reasoning employing abstract concepts.
  • Most introductory students lack active learning
    skills that would permit more efficient mastery
    of physics concepts.

62
Origins of Learning Difficulties
  • Students hold many firm ideas about the physical
    world that may conflict strongly with physicists
    views.
  • Examples
  • An object in motion must be experiencing a force
  • A given battery always produces the same current
    in any circuit
  • Electric current gets used up as it flows
    around a circuit
  • Most introductory students need much guidance in
    scientific reasoning employing abstract concepts.
  • Most introductory students lack active learning
    skills that would permit more efficient mastery
    of physics concepts.

63
Origins of Learning Difficulties
  • Students hold many firm ideas about the physical
    world that may conflict strongly with physicists
    views.
  • Examples
  • An object in motion must be experiencing a force
  • A given battery always produces the same current
    in any circuit
  • Electric current gets used up as it flows
    around a circuit
  • Most introductory students need much guidance in
    scientific reasoning employing abstract concepts.
  • Most introductory students lack active learning
    skills that would permit more efficient mastery
    of physics concepts.

64
But some students learn efficiently . . .
  • Highly successful physics students are active
    learners.
  • they continuously probe their own understanding
  • pose their own questions scrutinize implicit
    assumptions examine varied contexts etc.
  • they are sensitive to areas of confusion, and
    have the confidence to confront them directly
  • Majority of introductory students are unable to
    do efficient active learning on their own they
    dont know which questions they need to ask
  • they require considerable prodding by
    instructors, aided by appropriate curricular
    materials

65
But some students learn efficiently . . .
  • Highly successful physics students are active
    learners.
  • they continuously probe their own understanding
  • pose their own questions scrutinize implicit
    assumptions examine varied contexts etc.
  • they are sensitive to areas of confusion, and
    have the confidence to confront them directly
  • Majority of introductory students are unable to
    do efficient active learning on their own they
    dont know which questions they need to ask
  • they require considerable prodding by
    instructors, aided by appropriate curricular
    materials

66
But some students learn efficiently . . .
  • Highly successful physics students are active
    learners.
  • they continuously probe their own understanding
  • pose their own questions scrutinize implicit
    assumptions examine varied contexts etc.
  • they are sensitive to areas of confusion, and
    have the confidence to confront them directly
  • Majority of introductory students are unable to
    do efficient active learning on their own they
    dont know which questions they need to ask
  • they require considerable prodding by
    instructors, aided by appropriate curricular
    materials

67
But some students learn efficiently . . .
  • Highly successful physics students are active
    learners.
  • they continuously probe their own understanding
  • pose their own questions scrutinize implicit
    assumptions examine varied contexts etc.
  • they are sensitive to areas of confusion, and
    have the confidence to confront them directly
  • Majority of introductory students are unable to
    do efficient active learning on their own they
    dont know which questions they need to ask
  • they require considerable prodding by
    instructors, aided by appropriate curricular
    materials

68
But some students learn efficiently . . .
  • Highly successful physics students are active
    learners.
  • they continuously probe their own understanding
  • pose their own questions scrutinize implicit
    assumptions examine varied contexts etc.
  • they are sensitive to areas of confusion, and
    have the confidence to confront them directly
  • Majority of introductory students are unable to
    do efficient active learning on their own they
    dont know which questions they need to ask
  • they require considerable prodding by
    instructors, aided by appropriate curricular
    materials

69
But some students learn efficiently . . .
  • Highly successful physics students are active
    learners.
  • they continuously probe their own understanding
  • pose their own questions scrutinize implicit
    assumptions examine varied contexts etc.
  • they are sensitive to areas of confusion, and
    have the confidence to confront them directly
  • Majority of introductory students are unable to
    do efficient active learning on their own they
    dont know which questions they need to ask
  • they require considerable prodding by
    instructors, aided by appropriate curricular
    materials

70
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

71
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

72
Research in physics education suggests that
  • Teaching by telling has only limited
    effectiveness
  • listening and note-taking have relatively little
    impact
  • Problem-solving activities with rapid feedback
    yield improved learning gains
  • student group work
  • frequent question-and-answer exchanges with
    instructor
  • Goal Guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

73
Research in physics education suggests that
  • Teaching by telling has only limited
    effectiveness
  • listening and note-taking have relatively little
    impact
  • Problem-solving activities with rapid feedback
    yield improved learning gains
  • student group work
  • frequent question-and-answer exchanges with
    instructor
  • Goal Guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

74
Research in physics education suggests that
  • Teaching by telling has only limited
    effectiveness
  • listening and note-taking have relatively little
    impact
  • Problem-solving activities with rapid feedback
    yield improved learning gains
  • student group work
  • frequent question-and-answer exchanges with
    instructor
  • Goal Guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

75
Research in physics education suggests that
  • Teaching by telling has only limited
    effectiveness
  • listening and note-taking have relatively little
    impact
  • Problem-solving activities with rapid feedback
    yield improved learning gains
  • student group work
  • frequent question-and-answer exchanges with
    instructor
  • Goal Guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

76
Research in physics education suggests that
  • Teaching by telling has only limited
    effectiveness
  • listening and note-taking have relatively little
    impact
  • Problem-solving activities with rapid feedback
    yield improved learning gains
  • student group work
  • frequent question-and-answer exchanges with
    instructor
  • Goal Guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

77
Research in physics education suggests that
  • Teaching by telling has only limited
    effectiveness
  • listening and note-taking have relatively little
    impact
  • Problem-solving activities with rapid feedback
    yield improved learning gains
  • student group work
  • frequent question-and-answer exchanges with
    instructor
  • Goal Guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

78
What Role for Instructors?
  • Introductory students often dont know what
    questions they need to ask
  • or what lines of thinking may be most productive
  • Instructors role becomes that of guiding
    students to ask and answer useful questions
  • aid students to work their way through complex
    chains of thought

79
What Role for Instructors?
  • Introductory students often dont know what
    questions they need to ask
  • or what lines of thinking may be most productive
  • Instructors role becomes that of guiding
    students to ask and answer useful questions
  • aid students to work their way through complex
    chains of thought

80
What Role for Instructors?
  • Introductory students often dont know what
    questions they need to ask
  • or what lines of thinking may be most productive
  • Instructors role becomes that of guiding
    students to ask and answer useful questions
  • aid students to work their way through complex
    chains of thought

81
What Role for Instructors?
  • Introductory students often dont know what
    questions they need to ask
  • or what lines of thinking may be most productive
  • Instructors role becomes that of guiding
    students to ask and answer useful questions
  • aid students to work their way through complex
    chains of thought

82
What needs to go on in class?
  • Clear and organized presentation by instructor is
    not at all sufficient
  • Must find ways to guide students to synthesize
    concepts in their own minds
  • Instructors role becomes that of guiding
    students to ask and answer useful questions
  • aid students to work their way through complex
    chains of thought

83
What needs to go on in class?
  • Clear and organized presentation by instructor is
    not at all sufficient
  • Must find ways to guide students to synthesize
    concepts in their own minds
  • Instructors role becomes that of guiding
    students to ask and answer useful questions
  • aid students to work their way through complex
    chains of thought

84
What needs to go on in class?
  • Clear and organized presentation by instructor is
    not at all sufficient
  • Must find ways to guide students to synthesize
    concepts in their own minds
  • Instructors role becomes that of guiding
    students to ask and answer useful questions
  • aid students to work their way through complex
    chains of thought

85
What needs to go on in class?
  • Clear and organized presentation by instructor is
    not at all sufficient
  • Must find ways to guide students to synthesize
    concepts in their own minds
  • Students need to be thinking about and discussing
    conceptual questions
  • aid students to work their way through complex
    chains of thought

86
What needs to go on in class?
  • Clear and organized presentation by instructor is
    not at all sufficient
  • Must find ways to guide students to synthesize
    concepts in their own minds
  • Instructors can help students work their way
    through complex chains of thought

87
What needs to go on in class?
  • Clear and organized presentation by instructor is
    not at all sufficient
  • Must find ways to guide students to synthesize
    concepts in their own minds
  • Focus of classroom becomes activities and
    thinking in which students are engaged
  • and not what the instructor is presenting or how
    it is presented

88
Active-Learning Pedagogy(Interactive
Engagement)
  • problem-solving activities during class time
  • deliberately elicit and address common learning
    difficulties
  • guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

89
Active-Learning Pedagogy(Interactive
Engagement)
  • problem-solving activities during class time
  • deliberately elicit and address common learning
    difficulties
  • guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

90
Active-Learning Pedagogy(Interactive
Engagement)
  • problem-solving activities during class time
  • deliberately elicit and address common learning
    difficulties
  • guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

91
Active-Learning Pedagogy(Interactive
Engagement)
  • problem-solving activities during class time
  • deliberately elicit and address common learning
    difficulties
  • guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

92
Active-Learning Pedagogy(Interactive
Engagement)
  • problem-solving activities during class time
  • deliberately elicit and address common learning
    difficulties
  • guide students to figure things out for
    themselves as much as possible

93
Interactive Engagement
  • Interactive Engagement methods require an
    active learning classroom
  • Very high levels of interaction between students
    and instructor
  • Collaborative group work among students during
    class time
  • Intensive active participation by students in
    focused learning activities during class time

94
Interactive Engagement
  • Interactive Engagement methods require an
    active learning classroom
  • Very high levels of interaction between students
    and instructor
  • Collaborative group work among students during
    class time
  • Intensive active participation by students in
    focused learning activities during class time

95
Interactive Engagement
  • Interactive Engagement methods require an
    active learning classroom
  • Very high levels of interaction between students
    and instructor
  • Collaborative group work among students during
    class time
  • Intensive active participation by students in
    focused learning activities during class time

96
Interactive Engagement
  • Interactive Engagement methods require an
    active learning classroom
  • Very high levels of interaction between students
    and instructor
  • Collaborative group work among students during
    class time
  • Intensive active participation by students in
    focused learning activities during class time

97
Elicit Students Pre-existing Knowledge Structure
  • Have students predict outcome of experiments.
  • Require students to give written explanations of
    their reasoning.
  • Pose specific problems that trigger learning
    difficulties. (Based on research)
  • Structure subsequent activities to confront
    difficulties that were elicited.

98
Elicit Students Pre-existing Knowledge Structure
  • Have students predict outcome of experiments.
  • Require students to give written explanations of
    their reasoning.
  • Pose specific problems that trigger learning
    difficulties. (Based on research)
  • Structure subsequent activities to confront
    difficulties that were elicited.

99
Elicit Students Pre-existing Knowledge Structure
  • Have students predict outcome of experiments.
  • Require students to give written explanations of
    their reasoning.
  • Pose specific problems that trigger learning
    difficulties. (Based on research)
  • Structure subsequent activities to confront
    difficulties that were elicited.

100
Elicit Students Pre-existing Knowledge Structure
  • Have students predict outcome of experiments.
  • Require students to give written explanations of
    their reasoning.
  • Pose specific problems that trigger learning
    difficulties. (Based on research)
  • Structure subsequent activities to confront
    difficulties that were elicited.

101
Elicit Students Pre-existing Knowledge Structure
  • Have students predict outcome of experiments.
  • Require students to give written explanations of
    their reasoning.
  • Pose specific problems that trigger learning
    difficulties. (Based on research)
  • Structure subsequent activities to confront
    difficulties that were elicited.

102
Inquiry-based Learning
  • Students are guided through investigations to
    discover concepts
  • Targeted concepts are generally not told to the
    students in lectures before they have an
    opportunity to investigate (or think about) the
    idea
  • Can be implemented in the instructional
    laboratory where students are guided to form
    conclusions based on observational evidence
  • Can be implemented in lecture or recitation, by
    guiding students through chains of reasoning
    utilizing printed worksheets

103
Inquiry-based Learning
  • Students are guided through investigations to
    discover concepts
  • Targeted concepts are generally not told to the
    students in lectures before they have an
    opportunity to investigate (or think about) the
    idea.
  • Can be implemented in the instructional
    laboratory where students are guided to form
    conclusions based on observational evidence
  • Can be implemented in lecture or recitation, by
    guiding students through chains of reasoning
    utilizing printed worksheets

104
Inquiry-based Learning
  • Students are guided through investigations to
    discover concepts
  • Targeted concepts are generally not told to the
    students in lectures before they have an
    opportunity to investigate (or think about) the
    idea.
  • Can be implemented in the instructional
    laboratory where students are guided to form
    conclusions based on observational evidence.
  • Can be implemented in lecture or recitation, by
    guiding students through chains of reasoning
    utilizing printed worksheets

105
Inquiry-based Learning
  • Students are guided through investigations to
    discover concepts
  • Targeted concepts are generally not told to the
    students in lectures before they have an
    opportunity to investigate (or think about) the
    idea.
  • Can be implemented in the instructional
    laboratory where students are guided to form
    conclusions based on observational evidence.
  • Can be implemented in lecture or recitation, by
    guiding students through chains of reasoning
    utilizing printed worksheets.

106
Example Force and Motion
  • A cart on a low-friction surface is being
    pulled by a string attached to a spring scale.
    The velocity of the cart is measured as a
    function of time.
  • The experiment is done three times, and the
    pulling force is varied each time so that the
    spring scale reads 1 N, 2 N, and 3 N for trials
    1 through 3, respectively. (The mass of the
    cart is kept the same for each trial.)
  • On the graph below, sketch the appropriate
    lines for velocity versus time for the three
    trials, and label them 1, 2, and 3.

velocity
time
107
Example Force and Motion
  • A cart on a low-friction surface is being
    pulled by a string attached to a spring scale.
    The velocity of the cart is measured as a
    function of time.
  • The experiment is done three times, and the
    pulling force is varied each time so that the
    spring scale reads 1 N, 2 N, and 3 N for trials
    1 through 3, respectively. (The mass of the
    cart is kept the same for each trial.)
  • On the graph below, sketch the appropriate
    lines for velocity versus time for the three
    trials, and label them 1, 2, and 3.

3
common student prediction
2
velocity
1
time
108
Example Force and Motion
  • A cart on a low-friction surface is being
    pulled by a string attached to a spring scale.
    The velocity of the cart is measured as a
    function of time.
  • The experiment is done three times, and the
    pulling force is varied each time so that the
    spring scale reads 1 N, 2 N, and 3 N for trials
    1 through 3, respectively. (The mass of the
    cart is kept the same for each trial.)
  • On the graph below, sketch the appropriate
    lines for velocity versus time for the three
    trials, and label them 1, 2, and 3.

3
result of measurement
2
velocity
1
time
109
Key Themes of Research-Based Instruction
  • Emphasize qualitative, non-numerical questions to
    reduce unthoughtful plug and chug.
  • Make extensive use of multiple representations to
    deepen understanding.
  • (Graphs, diagrams, sketches, simulations,
    animations, etc.)
  • Require students to explain their reasoning
    (verbally or in writing) to more clearly expose
    their thought processes.

110
Key Themes of Research-Based Instruction
  • Emphasize qualitative, non-numerical questions to
    reduce unthoughtful plug and chug.
  • Make extensive use of multiple representations to
    deepen understanding.
  • (Graphs, diagrams, sketches, simulations,
    animations, etc.)
  • Require students to explain their reasoning
    (verbally or in writing) to more clearly expose
    their thought processes.

111
Key Themes of Research-Based Instruction
  • Emphasize qualitative, non-numerical questions to
    reduce unthoughtful plug and chug.
  • Make extensive use of multiple representations to
    deepen understanding.
  • (Graphs, diagrams, sketches, simulations,
    animations, etc.)
  • Require students to explain their reasoning
    (verbally or in writing) to more clearly expose
    their thought processes.

112
Key Themes of Research-Based Instruction
  • Emphasize qualitative, non-numerical questions to
    reduce unthoughtful plug and chug.
  • Make extensive use of multiple representations to
    deepen understanding.
  • (Graphs, diagrams, words, simulations,
    animations, etc.)
  • Require students to explain their reasoning
    (verbally or in writing) to more clearly expose
    their thought processes.

113
Key Themes of Research-Based Instruction
  • Emphasize qualitative, non-numerical questions to
    reduce unthoughtful plug and chug.
  • Make extensive use of multiple representations to
    deepen understanding.
  • (Graphs, diagrams, words, simulations,
    animations, etc.)
  • Require students to explain their reasoning
    (verbally or in writing) to more clearly expose
    their thought processes.

114
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

115
Outline
  • Physics Education as a Research Problem
  • Goals and Methods of Physics Education Research
  • Some Specific Issues
  • Research-Based Instructional Methods
  • Principles of research-based instruction
  • Examples of research-based instructional methods
  • Research-Based Curriculum Development
  • Principles of research-based curriculum
    development
  • Examples
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

116
Research-Based Curriculum Development Example
Thermodynamics Project
  • Investigate student learning with standard
    instruction
  • Develop new materials based on research
  • Test and modify materials
  • Iterate as needed

117
Research-Based Curriculum Development Example
Thermodynamics Project
  • Investigate student learning with standard
    instruction probe learning difficulties
  • Develop new materials based on research
  • Test and modify materials
  • Iterate as needed

118
Research-Based Curriculum Development Example
Thermodynamics Project
  • Investigate student learning with standard
    instruction probe learning difficulties
  • Develop new materials based on research
  • Test and modify materials
  • Iterate as needed

119
Research-Based Curriculum Development Example
Thermodynamics Project
  • Investigate student learning with standard
    instruction probe learning difficulties
  • Develop new materials based on research
  • Test and modify materials
  • Iterate as needed

120
Research-Based Curriculum Development Example
Thermodynamics Project
  • Investigate student learning with standard
    instruction probe learning difficulties
  • Develop new materials based on research
  • Test and modify materials
  • Iterate as needed

121
Addressing Learning Difficulties A Model
ProblemStudent Concepts of GravitationJack
Dostal and DEM
  • 10-item free-response diagnostic administered to
    over 2000 ISU students during 1999-2000.
  • Newtons third law in context of gravity
    direction and superposition of gravitational
    forces inverse-square law.
  • Worksheets developed to address learning
    difficulties tested in Physics 111 and 221, Fall
    1999

122
Addressing Learning Difficulties A Model
ProblemStudent Concepts of GravitationJack
Dostal and DEM
  • 10-item free-response diagnostic administered to
    over 2000 ISU students during 1999-2000.
  • Newtons third law in context of gravity
    direction and superposition of gravitational
    forces inverse-square law.
  • Worksheets developed to address learning
    difficulties tested in Physics 111 and 221, Fall
    1999

123
Addressing Learning Difficulties A Model
ProblemStudent Concepts of GravitationJack
Dostal and DEM
  • 10-item free-response diagnostic administered to
    over 2000 ISU students during 1999-2000.
  • Newtons third law in context of gravity
    direction and superposition of gravitational
    forces inverse-square law.
  • Worksheets developed to address learning
    difficulties tested in calculus-based physics
    course Fall 1999

124
Example Newtons Third Law in the Context of
Gravity
  • Is the magnitude of the force exerted by the
    asteroid on the Earth larger than, smaller than,
    or the same as the magnitude of the force exerted
    by the Earth on the asteroid? Explain the
    reasoning for your choice.
  • Presented during first week of class to all
    students taking calculus-based introductory
    physics (PHYS 221-222) at ISU during Fall 1999.
  • First-semester Physics (N 546) 15 correct
    responses
  • Second-semester Physics (N 414) 38 correct
    responses
  • Most students claim that Earth exerts greater
    force because it is larger

125
Example Newtons Third Law in the Context of
Gravity
  • Is the magnitude of the force exerted by the
    asteroid on the Earth larger than, smaller than,
    or the same as the magnitude of the force exerted
    by the Earth on the asteroid? Explain the
    reasoning for your choice.
  • Presented during first week of class to all
    students taking calculus-based introductory
    physics at ISU during Fall 1999.
  • First-semester Physics (N 546) 15 correct
    responses
  • Second-semester Physics (N 414) 38 correct
    responses
  • Most students claim that Earth exerts greater
    force because it is larger

126
Example Newtons Third Law in the Context of
Gravity
  • Is the magnitude of the force exerted by the
    asteroid on the Earth larger than, smaller than,
    or the same as the magnitude of the force exerted
    by the Earth on the asteroid? Explain the
    reasoning for your choice.
  • Presented during first week of class to all
    students taking calculus-based introductory
    physics at ISU during Fall 1999.
  • First-semester Physics (N 546) 15 correct
    responses
  • Second-semester Physics (N 414) 38 correct
    responses
  • Most students claim that Earth exerts greater
    force because it is larger

127
Example Newtons Third Law in the Context of
Gravity
  • Is the ma
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