What else (besides the syllabus) should students learn in introductory physics?

David E. Pritchard, Analia Barrantes, Brian R. Belland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have surveyed what various groups of instructors and students think students should learn in introductory physics. We started with a Delphi Study based on interviews with experts, then developed orthogonal responses to "what should we teach non-physics majors besides the current syllabus topics?" AAPT attendees, atomic researchers, and PERC08 attendees were asked for their selections. All instructors rated "sense-making of the answer" very highly and expert problem solving highly. PERers favored epistemology over problem solving, and atomic researchers "physics comes from a few principles." Students at three colleges had preferences anti-aligned with their teachers, preferring more modern topics, and the relationship of physics to everyday life and also to society (the only choice with instructor agreement), but not problem solving or sense-making. Conclusion #1: we must show students how old physics is relevant to their world. Conclusion #2: significant course reform must start by reaching consensus on what to teach and how to hold students' interest (then discuss techniques to teach it).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2009 Physics Education Research Conference, PER
Pages43-46
Number of pages4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 16 2009
Event2009 Physics Education Research Conference, PER: Physics Education Research across Paradigms - Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Duration: Jul 29 2009Jul 30 2009

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
Volume1179
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616

Other

Other2009 Physics Education Research Conference, PER: Physics Education Research across Paradigms
CountryUnited States
CityAnn Arbor, MI
Period7/29/097/30/09

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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  • Cite this

    Pritchard, D. E., Barrantes, A., & Belland, B. R. (2009). What else (besides the syllabus) should students learn in introductory physics? In 2009 Physics Education Research Conference, PER (pp. 43-46). (AIP Conference Proceedings; Vol. 1179). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3266749