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Documenting and Interpreting Ways to Engage Students in ‘Thinking Like a Physicist’ Documents

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Documenting and Interpreting Ways to Engage Students in ‘Thinking Like a Physicist’ 

written by Emily H. van Zee and Corinne A. Manogue

The Paradigms in Physics Program at Oregon State University has adapted a variety of interactive pedagogies to engage students in 'thinking like a physicist.' Video recordings of class sessions document what the students and instructor say and do. This paper discusses development of narrative interpretations of such videos. Examples are drawn from two detailed narratives of activities during which the main ideas emerged during the wrap-up discussions rather than during the tasks that the students had been doing in their small groups. The goal of these 'compare and contrast' wrap-up discussions was to help the students envision connections among geometric and algebraic representations of the mathematics they would be using during the coming weeks of instruction in quantum mechanics. The purpose of the narratives is to provide examples of wrap-up discussions with commentary about ways in which the instructor was choosing to guide this process.

Published August 24, 2010
Last Modified October 8, 2010

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