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PERC 2008 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Acting in Our Own Self-Interest: Blending University and Community
Abstract: Research in physics education has demonstrated new tools and models for improving the understanding and engagement of traditional college students. [1]  The research community has bridged the gap to pre-college education, even elementary school. [2]  However little work has been done to engage students in out-of-school settings, particularly for those students from populations under-represented in the sciences.  We present a theoretically-grounded model of university-community partnership [3] that engages students and children in a collective enterprise that has the potential to improve the participation and education of all.  We document the impact of these programs on: university participants (undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs in physics) who learn about education, the community and even some science; children in the community who learn about science, the nature of science and develop the identities and attitudes towards science; and, shifts in institutional practice which may allow these programs to be sustained. We conclude by identifying some of the structural barriers to implementing and sustaining these programs.      
[1] E.F. Redish, Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite ( Wiley, New York, 2003).
[2] F. Goldberg,  S. Robinson, and V. Otero, Physical Science and Everyday Thinking, (Its About Time, Herff Jones Education Division, Armonk, NY, 2008).
[3] Cole, M. Cultural Psychology, Harvard University Press 2006.
Abstract Type: Targeted Poster
Targeted Session: Applications of PER in Diverse Settings: Perspectives on Audience, Method and Implementation
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Noah Finkelstein
University of Colorado at Boulder
and Co-Presenter(s)
Laurel Mayhew
University of Colorado at Boulder