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Challenging traditional assumptions of secondary science through the PET curriculum Documents

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Challenging traditional assumptions of secondary science through the PET curriculum 

written by Michael J. Ross and Valerie K. Otero

This study seeks to illustrate aspects of a physics classroom experience in an underserved high school through the perspective of the students. This context was chosen with the intent of determining factors that lead to successful secondary physics education outcomes for populations historically underrepresented in STEM. Two class periods of physics were observed and interviewed in an urban high school while using the Physics and Everyday Thinking (PET) curriculum. Findings indicate that students came to value and positively identify with the activities of physics through instruction that fosters a more dignified student experience than traditional approaches. Specifically, this experience was characterized by the valuing of students' naïve and developing understandings and shifting the authority for validating science knowledge from the instructor to laboratory evidence and social consensus.

Published January 24, 2013
Last Modified July 1, 2013