Physics

Examining physics identity development through two high school interventions

As part of the STEP UP 4 Women project, a national initiative to empower high school teachers to recruit women to pursue physics degrees in college, we developed two lessons for high school physics classes that are intended to facilitate the physics identity development of female students. One discusses physics careers and links to students' own values and goals; the other focuses on a discussion of underrepresentation of women in physics with the intention of having students elicit and examine stereotypes in physics.

Year: 
2018
Short Description: 
Using structural equation modeling, the researchers test a path model of various physics identity constructs, extending an earlier, established model. In this paper, they also compare a preliminary structural analysis of students' physics identities before and after the career lesson, with an eye towards understanding how students' identities develop over time and due to these experiences.
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Dynamics of Scientific Engagement in a Blended Online Learning Environment

We investigate in-service teachers’ scientific engagement in a blended online science inquiry course. We analyze a shift from teachers following instructions to doing science themselves, and we characterize it at two levels: first, in how teachers engaged in individual sense-making; and second, in how they oriented to the online community as a space for collaboration and collective knowledge building.

Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2019
Short Description: 
Authors investigate in-service teachers’ scientific engagement in a blended online science inquiry course. A key implication of this study is the importance of instructional attention to epistemology and affect to create online learning environments that promote productive framings of scientific inquiry.

Teaching About Energy

In this article, we draw upon the Conceptual Profile Theory to discuss the negotiation of meanings related to the energy concept in an 11th grade physics classroom. This theory is based on the heterogeneity of verbal thinking, that is, on the idea that any individual or society does not represent concepts in a single way. According to this perspective, the processes of conceptualization consist of the use of a repertoire of different socially stabilized signifiers, adjusted to the context in which they occur.

Year: 
2018
Short Description: 
In this article, we draw upon the Conceptual Profile Theory to discuss the negotiation of meanings related to the energy concept in an 11th grade physics classroom.

Project Accelerate: Bringing AP® Physics 1 to Underserved Students

Economically disadvantaged and underrepresented high school students in many urban, rural, and small suburban communities don’t have access to Advanced Placement® (AP®) courses either because of a lack of trained teachers, limited or no AP program, or a school history of low participation. Physics is often a “gate keeper” course to entry into physical science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers and academic programs.

Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2018
Short Description: 
Project Accelerate is a partnership program between Boston University (BU) and the nation’s high schools combining the supportive infrastructures from the students’ traditional school with a highly interactive private edX online instructional tool to bring a College Board accredited AP Physics 1 course to schools not offering this opportunity. During the 2015-16 academic year, Boston University piloted this model with four Boston Public School (BPS) high schools and three small suburban high schools. During the first year of the pilot, students enrolled in Project Accelerate outperformed their peer groups enrolled in traditional AP Physics 1 classrooms.

Fostering high school students’ conceptual understanding and argumentation performance in science through Quality Talk discussions

Flourishing in today's global society requires citizens that are both intelligent consumers and producers of scientific understanding. Indeed, the modern world is facing ever‐more complex problems that require innovative ways of thinking about, around, and with science. As numerous educational stakeholders have suggested, such skills and abilities are not innate and must, therefore, be taught (e.g., McNeill & Krajcik, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(1), 53–78. 2008).

Year: 
2018
Short Description: 
The purpose of our quasi‐experimental study was to examine the effectiveness of Quality Talk Science, a professional development model and intervention, in fostering changes in teachers’ and students’ discourse practices as well as their conceptual understanding and scientific argumentation. Findings revealed treatment teachers’ and students’ discourse practices better reflected critical‐analytic thinking and argumentation at posttest relative to comparison classrooms.

Towards Meaningful Physics Recognition: What does this recognition actually look like?

In the February 2017 issue of The Physics Teacher, an article was presented that highlighted the importance of high school physics teachers in inspiring women in physics, particularly by recognizing them as being a “physics person.”1 Drawing on data from over 900 female undergraduates in physics, the article showed that the largest fraction became interested in physics careers during high school.
Year: 
2018
Short Description: 
This article examines recognition by presenting the case of a physics teacher, Dr. D, and his student, Kristina, to address the question: What are the ways in which a young woman perceives recognition from her teacher?

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