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August 30, 2014

"How do I know what I know?"

I had the great pleasure this summer to hear Dr. Eugenia Etkina speak at the AAPT meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.   Dr. Etkina is a physics professor at Rutgers University, the creator of the I.S.L.E. (Investigative Science Learning Environment) curriculum and is the author of a recently released textbook based on that curriculum.  She was the recipient of the Millikan Medal and her hour-long talk is outstanding.  Her talk is now available through AAPT on the University of Minnesota web site.  You can find her talk here.

Quotes/ideas from the talk:

  • What you you want your students to take away from your course?
  • How do we know what we know?
  • The process of constructing new ideas is as important as the application of those ideas.
  • Experiments play three distinct roles: observation, testing and application.
  • Representations are reasoning tools.
  • Reading the textbook comes after you construct the ideas.
  • If you want to flip the classroom, let students observe things at home through videos, then construct ideas together in the classroom, and only then read the textbook.
  • Don't be afraid to have crazy ideas and make mistakes.
  • Get used to working with others.

You can also find other highlights of the AAPT Summer Meeting on the AAPT web site at this link.

Dr. Etkina's resources for implementing her curriculum can be found at http://www.islephysics.net.

The Physics and Astronomy Education Research (PAER) group at Rutgers University can be found at http://paer.rutgers.edu.


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