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Abstract Title: Introducing students to the culture of physics: explicating elements of the hidden curriculum
Abstract: When we teach physics to prospective scientists and engineers we are teaching more than the "facts" of physics – more than the methods and concepts of physics.  We are introducing them to a complex culture – a mode of thinking and the cultural code of behavior of a community of practicing scientists.  This culture has components that are often part of our hidden curriculum: epistemology – how we decide that we know something; ontology – how we parse the observable world into categories, objects, and concepts; and discourse – how we hold a conversation in order to generate new knowledge and understanding.  In order to understand these often-tacit components of our teaching, we need an understanding of how students' minds work, how they perceive the activities of science, and how we perceive those activities.  To teach our hidden curriculum we must pay attention to students' intuition and perception of physics, not just to their reasoning.
Abstract Type: Invited Talk

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Edward F. Redish
University of Maryland
Department of Physics
College Park, MD 20742-41111
Phone: 301-405-6120
Fax: 301-314-9531