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2005 PERC Proceedings

Conference Information

Dates: August 10-11, 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Theme: Connecting Physics Education Research (PER) to Teacher Education at All Levels: K-20

Proceedings Information

Editors: Paula Heron, Laura McCullough, and Jeffrey Marx
Published: February 14, 2006
AIP URL: AIP Conference Proceedings 818
Info: Single book; 178 pages; 8.5 X 11 inches, double column
ISBN: 0-7354-0311-2
ISSN (Print): 0094-243X
ISSN (Online): 1551-7616

The 2005 Physics Education Research Conference covered a broad spectrum of current research directions including student learning of specific topics, student attitudes, and the effectiveness of various teaching methods. The emphasis was on undergraduate instruction. The theme of this conference was "Connecting Physics Education Research Teacher Education at All Levels: K-20."

Readership: Physics education researchers (faculty, post-doctoral students, and graduate students); physics faculty at undergraduate and graduate levels; high school physics teachers

Table of Contents

Front Matter
Invited Papers (8)
Peer-reviewed Papers (30)
Back Matter

INVITED MANUSCRIPTS (8)

First Author Index

Finkelstein · Singh · Escalada · Adrian · Malina · Lindell · Urquhart · Cervenec

Invited Papers

Evaluating a model of research-based practices for teacher preparation in a physics department: Colorado PhysTEC
Noah D. Finkelstein, Chandra Turpen, Steven J. Pollock, Michael Dubson, Steve Iona, C. J. Keller, and Valerie K. Otero
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 3-6, doi:10.1063/1.2177009
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We describe and evaluate the first year efforts of the Colorado Physics Teacher Education Coalition (Colorado PhysTEC), which is designed to increase the number and quality of preparation of future pre-college physics teachers. The Colorado PhysTEC program partners the Department of Physics, the School of Education, and other University of Colorado programs (particularly STEM-Colorado), with local schools and K-12 physics teachers. We report on efforts to engage students in transformed teaching practices, programs to create educational partnerships among all of the participants, and research that documents local educational practices and larger features of sustainable and scalable educational transformations.

N. D. Finkelstein, C. Turpen, S. J. Pollock, M. Dubson, S. Iona, C. J. Keller, and V. K. Otero, Evaluating a model of research-based practices for teacher preparation in a physics department: Colorado PhysTEC, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 3-6 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177009.

Increasing interest and awareness about teaching in science undergraduates
Chandralekha Singh, Laura J. Moin, and Christian D. Schunn
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 7-10, doi:10.1063/1.2177010
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We discuss the development, implementation, and assessment of a course for science undergraduates designed to help them develop an awareness and a deeper appreciation of the intellectual demands of physics teaching. The course focused on increasing student enthusiasm and confidence in teaching by providing well supported teaching opportunities and exposure to physics education research. The course assessment methods include 1) pre/post-test measures of attitude and expectations about science teaching, 2) self and peer evaluation of student teaching, 3) content-based pre/post-tests given to students who received instruction from the student teachers, and 4) audio-taped focus group discussions in the absence of the instructor and TA to evaluate student perspective on different aspects of the course and its impact.

C. Singh, L. J. Moin, and C. D. Schunn, Increasing interest and awareness about teaching in science undergraduates, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 7-10 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177010.

The Challenges of Designing and Implementing Effective Professional Development for Out-of-Field High School Physics Teachers
Lawrence T. Escalada and Julia Moeller
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 11-14, doi:10.1063/1.2177011
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With the existing shortage of qualified high school physics teachers and the current mandate of the No Child Left Behind Act requiring teachers to be "highly qualified" in all subjects they teach, university physics departments must offer content courses and programs that would allow out-of-field high school physics teachers to meet this requirement. This paper will identify how the University of Northern Iowa Physics Department is attempting to address the needs of the high school physics teacher through its course offerings and professional development programs for teachers. The effectiveness of one such physics professional development program, the UNI Physics Institute (UNI-PI), on secondary science teachers' and their students' conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics, and the teachers' instructional practices was investigated. Twenty-one Iowa out-of-field high school physics teachers participating in the program were able to complete the physics coursework required to obtain the State of Iowa 7–12 Grade Physics Teaching endorsement. Twelve of the participants completed a two-year program during the 2002 and 2003 summers. Background information, pre- and post-test physics conceptual assessments and other data was collected from participants throughout the Institute. Participants collected pre and post-test conceptual assessment data from their students during the 2002–2003 and 2003–2004 academic years. This comprehensive assessment data revealed the Institute's influence on participants' and students' conceptual understanding of Newtonian Mechanics. The results of this investigation, the insights we have gained, and possible future directions for professional development will be shared.

L. T. Escalada and J. Moeller, The Challenges of Designing and Implementing Effective Professional Development for Out-of-Field High School Physics Teachers, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 11-14 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177011.

Pathway: Using a State-of-the-Art Digital Video Database for Research and Development in Teacher Education
Brian W. Adrian, Dean A. Zollman, and Scott M. Stevens
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 15-18, doi:10.1063/1.2177012
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To demonstrate how state-of-the-art video databases can address issues related to the lack of preparation of many physics teachers, we have created the prototype Physics Teaching Web Advisory (Pathway). Pathway's Synthetic Interviews and related video materials are beginning to provide pre-service and out-of-field in-service teachers with much-needed professional development and well-prepared teachers with new perspectives on teaching physics. The prototype was limited to a demonstration of the systems. Now, with an additional grant we will extend the system and conduct research and evaluation on its effectiveness. This project will provide virtual expert help on issues of pedagogy and content. In particular, the system will convey, by example and explanation, contemporary ideas about the teaching of physics and applications of physics education research. The research effort will focus on the value of contemporary technology to address the continuing education of teachers who are teaching in a field in which they have not been trained.

B. W. Adrian, D. A. Zollman, and S. M. Stevens, Pathway: Using a State-of-the-Art Digital Video Database for Research and Development in Teacher Education, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 15-18 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177012.

Development Of A Standards-Based Integrated Science Course For Elementary Teachers
Eric Malina, Denise Plunk, and Rebecca S. Lindell
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 19-22, doi:10.1063/1.2177013
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With the national mandates that science be an integral component of all levels of education, the importance of having courses for future elementary teachers designed to meet state and national standards is critical. This paper describes how three SIUE faculty, one from biology, chemistry, and physics, initiated, coordinated, and implemented curricular changes to our Foundations of Science course. The goals of this project were 1) to enhance the current content curriculum, 2) to revise current curricular modules and develop new modules to be inquiry-based, 3) to improve and expand upon the use of technology, and 4) to further articulate the interrelatedness of the sciences in the curriculum. Meeting these goals required the complete revision or creation of 25 hands-on inquiry-based modules. Evaluation of the project involved 1) determining the impact of the modules on student learning, 2) gathering student perspectives of the modules, and 3) collecting faculty feedback. This paper outlines the developed modules and presents our initial findings related to the student perspectives of the modules and their impact on student learning.

E. Malina, D. Plunk, and R. S. Lindell, Development Of A Standards-Based Integrated Science Course For Elementary Teachers, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 19-22 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177013.

Meeting the Needs of Our Future and In-Service Teachers: The Development and Implementation of a PER-Based Course to Teach Instructional Strategies in Astronomy
Rebecca S. Lindell, Douglas Franke, Elizabeth Peak, Thomas Withee, and Thomas M. Foster
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 23-26, doi:10.1063/1.2177014
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In the last five years the State of Illinois radically changed its Science certification programs. This change resulted in the creation of a new certification in Earth and Space Science. To meet the requirements of this new program, the SIUE Department of Physics and Office of Science and Mathematics Education created a new course entitled "Instructional Techniques in Astronomy". Required for all students seeking Earth and Space Science certification, it is also ideal for meeting the needs of in-service teachers, who need additional astronomy courses to become "well-qualified". This paper reports on this unique course, which combines content and pedagogy along with both teacher-participant and instructor views on the effectiveness of this new course.

R. S. Lindell, D. Franke, E. Peak, T. Withee, and T. M. Foster, Meeting the Needs of Our Future and In-Service Teachers: The Development and Implementation of a PER-Based Course to Teach Instructional Strategies in Astronomy, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 23-26 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177014.

The Impact of Teacher Quality Grants on Long-Term Professional Development of Physical Science Teachers
Mary Urquhart and Kendra M. Bober
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 27-30, doi:10.1063/1.2177015
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The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Teacher Quality Grants, supported through No Child Left Behind, are intended to ensure that secondary teachers of specific subjects are "highly qualified". Now in their third year, these grants have done much to shape long-term professional development for teachers in the physical sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). The grants have also created a suite of challenges and benefits for the UTD Science Education M.A.T. program. Teacher Quality Grants are based on the No Child Left Behind framework that requires teachers to be "highly qualified" as defined by the state. Recruitment is required to be targeted at teachers who are uncertified or teach one or more classes out of their content area and who work in high needs local school districts. Many of the students brought into our program through these grants have incoming content knowledge in physics similar to that typical of undergraduate non-majors, and a large percentage are uncomfortable with basic mathematics as well. How and what we teach has been dramatically impacted by the Teacher Quality Grants, as have our assessments and evaluations. An ongoing challenge has been to implement a Physics Education Research (PER)-based course design while meeting the specific requirements of the Teacher Quality Grant program. The Teacher Quality Grants have also provided a great deal of opportunity to new and existing teachers in our program. A barrier to our teachers, rising tuition costs, has been removed and as a result a mandate has become a doorway of opportunity for physical science teachers.

M. Urquhart and K. M. Bober, The Impact of Teacher Quality Grants on Long-Term Professional Development of Physical Science Teachers, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 27-30 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177015.

Ohio Teacher Professional Development in the Physical Sciences
Jason Cervenec and Kathleen A. Harper
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 31-34, doi:10.1063/1.2177016
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An in-service teacher program held during the summers of 2004 and 2005 is described. This program, sponsored with state funds, drew a varied group of participants to learn Modeling Instruction in physics. The workshop leaders used the state science proficiency standards and physics education research (PER) results to guide many of the workshop's activities. In 2004, the participants experienced the Modeling mechanics curriculum while pretending to be students; in 2005, the teachers worked in small teams to develop Modeling-consistent units in other areas, often utilizing PER-based materials. Indications are that the experience was valuable to the teachers and that the workshop series should be offered for a new cohort.

J. Cervenec and K. A. Harper, Ohio Teacher Professional Development in the Physical Sciences, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 31-34 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177016.

PEER REVIEWED MANUSCRIPTS (30)

First Author Index

Cui · Warnakulasooriya · De Leone · Rosengrant · Harlow · Brookes · Sadaghiani · McKagan · Singh · Morgan · Thompson · Bucy · Ashcraft · Endorf · Kohl · Etkina · Lin · Demaree · Keller · Aubrecht II · Kim · Hrepic · Withee · Rebello · Marx · Perkins · Pollock · Omasits · Henderson · Dancy

Peer-reviewed Papers

College Students' Transfer from Calculus to Physics
Lili Cui, N. Sanjay Rebello, and Andrew G. Bennett
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 37-40, doi:10.1063/1.2177017
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This research investigated students' transfer of learning from calculus courses to an introductory physics course. We used semi-structured think aloud interviews to assess the extent to which students transfer their calculus knowledge when solving problems in a physics course. Results indicate that students needed prompting and scaffolding to connect the calculus knowledge with the physics problem.

L. Cui, N. S. Rebello, and A. G. Bennett, College Students' Transfer from Calculus to Physics, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 37-40 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177017.

Evidence of Problem-Solving Transfer in Web-Based Socratic Tutor
Rasil Warnakulasooriya, David J. Palazzo, and David E. Pritchard
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 41-44, doi:10.1063/1.2177018
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We demonstrate learning and problem-solving transfer within the web-based homework tutor MasteringPhysics by considering time to completion, the number of hints requested, and the number of incorrect responses given. The group of students who were prepared by a prior related problem solves a related follow-up problem in ~14% less time on average compared to an unprepared group on that problem. Furthermore, the prepared group requests ~15% fewer hints and makes about ~11% fewer errors on average than the unprepared group.

R. Warnakulasooriya, D. J. Palazzo, and D. E. Pritchard, Evidence of Problem-Solving Transfer in Web-Based Socratic Tutor, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 41-44 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177018.

Is Instructional Emphasis on the Use of Non-Mathematical Representations Worth the Effort?
Charles De Leone and Elizabeth Gire
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 45-48, doi:10.1063/1.2177019
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A hallmark of physics is its rich use of representations. The most common types used by physicists are mathematical representations such as equations, but many problems are rendered more tractable through the use of other representations such as diagrams or graphs. Examples of representations include force diagrams in mechanics, state diagrams in thermodynamics, and motion graphs in kinematics. Most introductory physics courses teach students to use these representations as they apply physical models to problems. But does student representation use correlate with problem-solving success? In this paper we address this question by analyzing student representation usage during the first semester of an introductory physics course for biologists taught in an active-learning setting.

C. D. Leone and E. Gire, Is Instructional Emphasis on the Use of Non-Mathematical Representations Worth the Effort?, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 45-48 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177019.

Case Study: Students' Use of Multiple Representations in Problem Solving
David Rosengrant, Alan Van Heuvelen, and Eugenia Etkina
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 49-52, doi:10.1063/1.2177020
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Being able to represent physics problems and concepts in multiple ways for qualitative reasoning and problem solving is a scientific ability we want our students to develop. These representations can include but are not limited to words, diagrams, equations, graphs, and sketches. Physics education literature indicates that using multiple representations is beneficial for student understanding of physics ideas and for problem solving. To find out why and how students use different representations for problem solving, we conducted a case study of six students during the second semester of a two-semester introductory physics course. These students varied both in their use of representations and in their physics background. This case study helps us understand how students' use or lack of use of representations relates to their ability to solve problems.

D. Rosengrant, A. V. Heuvelen, and E. Etkina, Case Study: Students' Use of Multiple Representations in Problem Solving, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 49-52 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177020.

Talking to Learn Physics and Learning to Talk Physics
Danielle Harlow and Valerie K. Otero
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 53-56, doi:10.1063/1.2177021
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Many words are used in physics differently than they are used in everyday speech. Thus, physics learners must develop conceptual understandings of physical phenomena while learning to use words in new ways. This simultaneous construction of physics concepts and discourse requires that students talk about partially understood concepts using partially acquired vocabulary. Our analysis shows that the development of physics discourse and conceptual understanding, while intricately related, are separate processes.

D. Harlow and V. K. Otero, Talking to Learn Physics and Learning to Talk Physics, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 53-56 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177021.

Do Our Words Really Matter? Case Studies from Quantum Mechanics
David T. Brookes and Eugenia Etkina
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 57-60, doi:10.1063/1.2177022
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To understand the role of language in learning physics, we will treat it as one possible representation of a physical model. We will then present a theoretical framework that enables us to identify physical models encoded in language. We will present data showing that physicists use linguistic representations to reason productively about physical systems and problems. We will also present a case study and supporting evidence to argue that these linguistic representations are being used and applied by physics students when they reason. Sometimes students misapply and overextend these linguistic representations. This study allows us to understand and account for some student difficulties.

D. T. Brookes and E. Etkina, Do Our Words Really Matter? Case Studies from Quantum Mechanics, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 57-60 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177022.

Student Difficulties in Understanding Probability in Quantum Mechanics
Homeyra R. Sadaghiani and Lei Bao
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 61-64, doi:10.1063/1.2177023
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We have investigated student difficulties in understanding and interpreting probability and its relevant technical terms as it relates to quantum measurement. These terms include expectation value, probability density, and uncertainty. From this research, it is evident that students have difficulties in understanding these terms and often fail to differentiate among similar but different concepts. In addition, students' difficulties with the concepts of probability often interfere with their understanding and application of the Uncertainty Principle.

H. R. Sadaghiani and L. Bao, Student Difficulties in Understanding Probability in Quantum Mechanics, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 61-64 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177023.

Exploring Student Understanding of Energy through the Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Survey
Sam B. McKagan and Carl E. Wieman
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 65-68, doi:10.1063/1.2177024
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We present a study of student understanding of energy in quantum mechanical tunneling and barrier penetration. This paper will focus on student responses to two questions that were part of a test given in class to two modern physics classes and in individual interviews with 17 students. The test, which we refer to as the Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Survey (QMCS), is being developed to measure student understanding of basic concepts in quantum mechanics. In this paper we explore and clarify the previously reported misconception that reflection from a barrier is due to particles having a range of energies rather than wave properties. We also confirm previous studies reporting the student misconception that energy is lost in tunneling, and report a misconception not previously reported, that potential energy diagrams shown in tunneling problems do not represent the potential energy of the particle itself. The present work is part of a much larger study of student understanding of quantum mechanics.

S. B. McKagan and C. E. Wieman, Exploring Student Understanding of Energy through the Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Survey, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 65-68 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177024.

Assessing and improving student understanding of quantum mechanics
Chandralekha Singh
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 69-72, doi:10.1063/1.2177025
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We developed a survey to probe student understanding of quantum mechanics concepts at the beginning of graduate instruction. The survey was administered to 202 graduate students in physics enrolled in first-year quantum mechanics courses from seven different universities at the beginning of the first semester. We also conducted one-on-one interviews with fifteen graduate students or advanced undergraduate students who had just finished a course in which all the content on the survey was covered. We find that students share universal difficulties about fundamental quantum mechanics concepts. The difficulties are often due to over-generalization of concepts learned in one context to other contexts where they are not directly applicable and difficulty in making sense of the abstract quantitative formalism of quantum mechanics. Instructional strategies that focus on improving student understanding of these concepts should take into account these difficulties. The results from this study can sensitize instructors of first-year graduate quantum physics to the conceptual difficulties students are likely to face.

C. Singh, Assessing and improving student understanding of quantum mechanics, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 69-72 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177025.

Examining the Evolution of Student Ideas About Quantum Tunneling
Jeffrey T. Morgan and Michael C. Wittmann
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 73-76, doi:10.1063/1.2177026
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We have studied whether repeated exposure to complicated physics concepts, such as quantum tunneling, fosters increased understanding. For three students, we have multiple interview, survey, and examination data over three years. We present data from a single student whose understanding of energy conservation in tunneling improved with repeated instruction, but whose ability to correctly sketch wave function solutions and discuss their meaning showed little progress.

J. T. Morgan and M. C. Wittmann, Examining the Evolution of Student Ideas About Quantum Tunneling, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 73-76 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177026.

Assessing Student Understanding of Partial Derivatives in Thermodynamics
John R. Thompson, Brandon Bucy, and Donald B. Mountcastle
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 77-80, doi:10.1063/1.2177027
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We are engaged in a research project to study teaching and learning in upper-level thermal physics courses. We have begun to explore student functional understanding of mathematical concepts when applied in thermal physics contexts. We report here preliminary findings associated with partial differentiation and the Maxwell relations, which equate mixed second partial derivatives of various state functions. Our results suggest that students are often unable to apply the appropriate mathematical concepts and operations to the physical situations encountered in the course, despite having taken the prerequisite mathematics courses.

J. R. Thompson, B. Bucy, and D. B. Mountcastle, Assessing Student Understanding of Partial Derivatives in Thermodynamics, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 77-80 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177027.

What Is Entropy? Advanced Undergraduate Performance Comparing Ideal Gas Processes
Brandon Bucy, John R. Thompson, and Donald B. Mountcastle
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 81-84, doi:10.1063/1.2177028
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We report data on upper-level student understanding of entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics when comparing the isothermal and free expansions of an ideal gas. Data from pre- and post-instruction written questions are presented, and several noteworthy features of student performance are identified and discussed. These features include ways students think about these topics prior to instruction as well as specific difficulties and other interesting aspects of student thought that persist after instruction. Implications for future research are also addressed.

B. Bucy, J. R. Thompson, and D. B. Mountcastle, What Is Entropy? Advanced Undergraduate Performance Comparing Ideal Gas Processes, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 81-84 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177028.

A Comparison of Student Understanding of Seasons Using Inquiry and Didactic Teaching Methods
Paul Ashcraft
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 85-88, doi:10.1063/1.2177029
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Student performance on open-ended questions concerning seasons in a university physical science content course was examined to note differences between classes that experienced inquiry using a 5-E lesson planning model and those that experienced the same content with a traditional, didactic lesson. The class examined is a required content course for elementary education majors and understanding the seasons is part of the university's state's elementary science standards. The two self-selected groups of students showed no statistically significant differences in pre-test scores, while there were statistically significant differences between the groups' post-test scores with those who participated in inquiry-based activities scoring higher. There were no statistically significant differences between the pre-test and the post-test for the students who experienced didactic teaching, while there were statistically significant improvements for the students who experienced the 5-E lesson.

P. Ashcraft, A Comparison of Student Understanding of Seasons Using Inquiry and Didactic Teaching Methods, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 85-88 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177029.

A Preliminary Study of the Effectiveness of Different Recitation Teaching Methods
Robert J. Endorf, Kathleen M. Koenig, and Gregory A. Braun
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 89-92, doi:10.1063/1.2177030
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We present preliminary results from a comparative study of student understanding for students who attended recitation classes which used different teaching methods. Student volunteers from our introductory calculus-based physics course attended a special recitation class that was taught using one of four different teaching methods. A total of 272 students were divided into approximately equal groups for each method. Students in each class were taught the same topic, "Changes in energy and momentum," from Tutorials in Introductory Physics. The different teaching methods varied in the amount of student and teacher engagement. Student understanding was evaluated through pretests and posttests given at the recitation class. Our results demonstrate the importance of the instructor's role in teaching recitation classes. The most effective teaching method was for students working in cooperative learning groups with the instructors questioning the groups using Socratic dialogue. These results provide guidance and evidence for the teaching methods which should be emphasized in training future teachers and faculty members.

R. J. Endorf, K. M. Koenig, and G. A. Braun, A Preliminary Study of the Effectiveness of Different Recitation Teaching Methods, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 89-92 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177030.

Student Representational Competence and the Role of Instructional Environment in Introductory Physics
Patrick B. Kohl and Noah D. Finkelstein
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 93-96, doi:10.1063/1.2177031
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In a previous study of a traditional, large-lecture algebra-based physics course, we demonstrated that giving students a choice of representational format when they solve quiz problems could have either significantly positive or negative performance effects, depending on the topic and representation used. Further, we see that students are not necessarily aware of the representation with which they are most competent. Here, we extend these results by considering two courses taught by a reform-style instructor. These performance data are substantially different in character, with the students from the reform courses showing much smaller performance variations when given a choice of representation. From these data, we hypothesize that students in the reform courses may be learning a broader set of representational skills than students in the traditional course. We therefore examine major components of the courses (exams, homeworks, lectures) to characterize the use of different representations. We find that the reform courses make use of richer selections of representations, and make more frequent use of multiple representations, suggesting a mechanism by which these students could have learned these broader skills.

P. B. Kohl and N. D. Finkelstein, Student Representational Competence and the Role of Instructional Environment in Introductory Physics, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 93-96 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177031.

Design labs: Students' expectations and reality
Eugenia Etkina and Sahana Murthy
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 97-100, doi:10.1063/1.2177032
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In a study reported in PERC 2004 the authors described how introductory physics labs in which students design their own experiments help them develop scientific abilities. These include the ability to design an experiment to solve a problem, to collect and analyze data and to communicate the details of the experimental procedure. The goal of the present study is to investigate the social aspect of student learning in these labs: whether students' expectations are consistent with the goals of the labs, whether student assessment of their learning in the labs matches the goals, and whether students perceive the labs as helpful in learning useful skills.

E. Etkina and S. Murthy, Design labs: Students' expectations and reality, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 97-100 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177032.

Student Assessment Of Laboratory In Introductory Physics Courses: A Q-sort Approach
Yuhfen Lin, Dedra Demaree, Xueli Zou, and Gordon J. Aubrecht, II
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 101-104, doi:10.1063/1.2177033
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This paper will introduce a previously developed Q-sort instrument, called the Laboratory Program Variables Inventory (LPVI). We will also report on a case study using a modified version of the LPVI to investigate students' perceptions about the implementation of a new lab type and further to compare characteristics of the new lab with those perceived by students in other PER-based learning environments. Our preliminary results show that the LPVI is a valuable instrument for assessing hands-on learning environments and related curriculum development and implementation in PER.

Y. Lin, D. Demaree, X. Zou, and G. J. A. II, Student Assessment Of Laboratory In Introductory Physics Courses: A Q-sort Approach, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 101-104 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177033.

Assessing ISLE Labs as an Enhancement to Traditional Large-Lecture Courses at the Ohio State University
Dedra Demaree and Yuhfen Lin
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 105-108, doi:10.1063/1.2177034
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At the Ohio State University (OSU), some laboratory sections were replaced with Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE) labs during the 3-quarter calculus-based introductory physics sequence this past academic year. The ISLE labs have been developed by the PAER Group at Rutgers University; implementation at OSU is discussed, making a direct comparison of OSU students participating in ISLE labs with students in pre-existing labs under the same large-lecture instruction. Assessment included diagnostic tests and feedback from a Q-type instrument. The ISLE environment focuses on helping students develop scientific abilities, so we also administered a voluntary lab `practical exam' aimed at testing if these abilities were gained by the students in the ISLE labs.

D. Demaree and Y. Lin, Assessing ISLE Labs as an Enhancement to Traditional Large-Lecture Courses at the Ohio State University, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 105-108 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177034.

Assessing the Effectiveness of a Computer Simulation in Conjunction with Tutorials in Introductory Physics in Undergraduate Physics Recitations
C. J. Keller, Noah D. Finkelstein, Katherine K. Perkins, and Steven J. Pollock
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 109-112, doi:10.1063/1.2177035
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We present two studies documenting the effectiveness of the use of a computer simulation with Tutorials in Introductory Physics in a transformed college physics course. An interactive computer simulation, entitled the Circuit Construction Kit (CCK), was introduced to investigate its possible impact on students' conceptual understanding. The first study compared students using either CCK or real laboratory equipment to complete two Tutorials on DC circuits. The second study investigated the impact of the simulation's explicit representation for visualizing current flow by removing this feature for a subset of students. In the first study, students using CCK with Tutorials performed slightly better on measures of conceptual understanding compared to real equipment, as measured by exam performance soon after the intervention. In the second study, students using CCK with and without the explicit visualization of current performed similarly to students using real equipment, though on some specific questions we note significant variation in student performance. We discuss the implications of adding (or removing) such representations within computer simulations.

C. J. Keller, N. D. Finkelstein, K. K. Perkins, and S. J. Pollock, Assessing the Effectiveness of a Computer Simulation in Conjunction with Tutorials in Introductory Physics in Undergraduate Physics Recitations, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 109-112 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177035.

Student Perceptions of Physics by Inquiry at Ohio State
Gordon J. Aubrecht, II, Yuhfen Lin, Dedra Demaree, David T. Brookes, and Xueli Zou
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 113-116, doi:10.1063/1.2177036
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Physics by Inquiry (PbI) has been adopted and taught at the Ohio State University for more than a decade. A Q-type instrument, the LPVI, was used to assess students' perceptions of this teaching method and measure the consonance between these and instructors' goals. We present methods of analysis to make use of all the information collected with this survey. In applying the LPVI to different sections of the PbI course, we found many similarities in students' perceptions and also some interesting differences. We also found similarities and differences between students' perceptions and the goals of PbI.

G. J. A. II, Y. Lin, D. Demaree, D. T. Brookes, and X. Zou, Student Perceptions of Physics by Inquiry at Ohio State, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 113-116 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177036.

Students' Cognitive Conflict and Conceptual Change in a Physics by Inquiry Class
Yeounsoo Kim, Lei Bao, and Omer Acar
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 117-120, doi:10.1063/1.2177037
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With proper context settings, instructors need to guide students to recognize explicitly cognitive conflicts among students' existing understandings and new observations. To study this issue, we have developed an easy-to-use instrument, the in-class Conflict and Anxiety Recognition Evaluation (iCARE), for monitoring the status of students' cognitive conflicts and anxiety in the context of Physics by Inquiry (PBI) classes. Using iCARE, we investigate what types of cognitive conflict is constructive or destructive in conceptual change when college students are confronted with anomalous situations in a PBI class. In this research, we will present our results about the relationship between students' prior knowledge and their conceptual change and the relationship between students' types of cognitive conflicts and their conceptual change.

Y. Kim, L. Bao, and O. Acar, Students' Cognitive Conflict and Conceptual Change in a Physics by Inquiry Class, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 117-120 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177037.

Developing an Inquiry-Based Physical Science Course For Preservice Elementary Teachers
Zdeslav Hrepic, Paul Adams, Jason Zeller, Nancy Talbott, Germaine Taggart, and Lanee Young
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 121-124, doi:10.1063/1.2177038
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Preservice elementary teachers should experience science through inquiry in order to be effective in teaching science. In addition, inquiry as a mode of teaching is mandated by Kansas and National Science Education Standards. As a result of the No Child Left Behind Act, teachers also need to be prepared to include basic skills in reading and mathematics in all instruction. To address these issues, Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is adapting and extending the NSF-developed teacher enhancement materials Operation Primary Physical Science (OPPS) for use in a physical science course for preservice elementary teachers. This paper presents main features of OPPS, describes advantages of using it as a template in developing desired course material and discusses results collected with students enrolled in the adapted course during 2004/2005 academic year.

Z. Hrepic, P. Adams, J. Zeller, N. Talbott, G. Taggart, and L. Young, Developing an Inquiry-Based Physical Science Course For Preservice Elementary Teachers, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 121-124 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177038.

Different Views on Inquiry: A Survey of Science and Mathematics Methods Instructors
Thomas Withee and Rebecca S. Lindell
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 125-128, doi:10.1063/1.2177039
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The national science standards encourage the use of inquiry-based instruction to teach difficult scientific concepts. As part of a larger study to investigate teachers' views on the nature of inquiry-based instruction, a survey was administered to Science and Mathematics methods course instructors to determine their views on inquiry, as well as to explore the success and difficulties associated with teaching this difficult concept. In addition, we wished to obtain their views on the "5 E's" method, an inquiry method specifically designed to promote conceptual change that is often taught as "the" method to utilize. Initial survey data suggests there are many different views among Science and Mathematics methods course instructors about the nature of inquiry. This paper discusses the difficulties encountered with the "5 E's" and teaching inquiry-based methods to teachers.

T. Withee and R. S. Lindell, Different Views on Inquiry: A Survey of Science and Mathematics Methods Instructors, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 125-128 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177039.

Teacher-Researcher Professional Development: Case Study at Kansas State University
N. Sanjay Rebello and P. R. Fletcher
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 129-132, doi:10.1063/1.2177040
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We report on a case study which provides professional development to advanced undergraduate and graduate research team members of the Kansas State University Physics Education Research (KSU-PER) group. An integral component of a student's professional development is the opportunity to participate in a range of research activities and work in collaboration — both as a mentor and a junior researcher with a range of individuals. In order to coordinate and facilitate these opportunities KSU-PER established an ongoing research project investigating students' conceptions of the physics underlying devices. The project utilized an integrated methodological and administrative framework — combining elements from grounded theory, phenomenology and action research. This framework provides a forum and research setting allowing junior and experienced researchers to act in various project management roles and perform a range of research activities. We will conclude by reflecting upon our experiences.

N. S. Rebello and P. R. Fletcher, Teacher-Researcher Professional Development: Case Study at Kansas State University, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 129-132 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177040.

Helping Students Connect Science Coursework to the "Real World"
Jeffrey Marx and William Knouse
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 133-136, doi:10.1063/1.2177041
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It is fundamentally important to help students connect the material they learn in their science courses to the world they encounter outside the classroom. In this preliminary report, we describe how we facilitated such connections in our undergraduate students by creating materials for a First-year Seminar course, The Earth (a non-science-majors course). The materials included specific in-class, small-group discussion questions; talking points in lecture; and a journal where students recorded their observations of the natural world. Our analysis indicated that we improved our students' attitudes and beliefs about how their coursework relates to the real world, and these improvements were better than those of students with similar experiences but who were not exposed to the additional, tailored course materials.

J. Marx and W. Knouse, Helping Students Connect Science Coursework to the "Real World", 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 133-136 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177041.

Towards characterizing the relationship between students' interest in and their beliefs about physics
Katherine K. Perkins, M. Gratny, Wendy K. Adams, Noah D. Finkelstein, and Carl E. Wieman
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 137-140, doi:10.1063/1.2177042
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We examine the relationships between students' self-reported interest and their responses to a physics beliefs survey. Results from the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS v3), collected in a large calculus-based introductory mechanics course (N=391), were used to characterize students' beliefs about physics and learning physics at the beginning and end of the semester. Additionally students were asked at the end of the semester to rate their interest in physics, how it has changed, and why. We find a correlation between surveyed beliefs and self-rated interest (R=0.65). At the end of the term, students with more expert-like beliefs as measured by the `Overall' CLASS score also rate themselves as more interested in physics. An analysis of students' reasons for why their interest changed showed that a sizable fraction of students cited reasons tied to beliefs about physics or learning physics as probed by the CLASS survey. The leading reason for increased interest was the connection between physics and the real world.

K. K. Perkins, M. Gratny, W. K. Adams, N. D. Finkelstein, and C. E. Wieman, Towards characterizing the relationship between students' interest in and their beliefs about physics, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 137-140 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177042.

Transferring Transformations: Learning Gains, Student Attitudes, and the Impacts of Multiple Instructors in Large Lecture Courses
Steven J. Pollock
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 141-144, doi:10.1063/1.2177043
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We have implemented several research-based transformations in our introductory calculus-based physics course at CU Boulder. These include Peer Instruction with student response system in lecture, Tutorials with trained undergraduate learning assistants in recitations, and personalized computer assignments. In an effort to distinguish the effects of instructor, TA preparation, and particular research-based activities, we present extensive new measurements from six courses representing a spectrum of reforms. This study includes data from Physics I with and without Tutorials, and Physics II with Tutorials. We present multiple quantitative and qualitative measures of success, including validated pre/post content- and attitude-surveys and common exam questions. We investigate the hand-off of reforms between faculty implementing different suites of activities, and begin to assess elements and requirements for success with these transformations. We present evidence that combining research-based interactive engagement methods in lecture, Tutorials, and homework plays a significant positive role in conceptual and attitudinal development.

S. J. Pollock, Transferring Transformations: Learning Gains, Student Attitudes, and the Impacts of Multiple Instructors in Large Lecture Courses, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 141-144 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177043.

Investigating the Validity of the MPEX Survey
Christopher J. Omasits and Doris J. Wagner
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 145-148, doi:10.1063/1.2177044
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The Maryland Physics Expectations Test (MPEX) is a Likert-scale survey used to study students' attitudes toward learning physics. Student responses are categorized as either favorable or unfavorable as determined by the prevalent responses given by an expert control group. We investigated the possibility of false negative or positive responses on the student surveys by asking students to elaborate on their responses to some of the statements. While the majority (more than 95%) of explanations were consistent with the corresponding Likert choice, a few questions generated multiple student responses that deserved further review. Several of these "interesting" student responses were compiled and sent to physics experts who gauged the favorability of each entire response. Here we present our analysis of the questions that generated the highest number of inconsistent responses.

C. J. Omasits and D. J. Wagner, Investigating the Validity of the MPEX Survey, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 145-148 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177044.

Physics Faculty and Educational Researchers: Divergent Expectations as Barriers to the Diffusion of Innovations
Charles R. Henderson and Melissa H. Dancy
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 149-152, doi:10.1063/1.2177045
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To identify barriers to the dissemination of innovative instructional strategies we conducted interviews with 5 physics instructors who represent likely users of educational research. One significant barrier appears to be that faculty and educational researchers have different expectations about how they should work together to improve student learning. This discrepancy was expressed directly (and often emotionally) by all of the instructors we interviewed. Although different instructors described different aspects of this discrepancy, we believe that they are all related to a single underlying issue: educational researchers expect to disseminate curricular innovations and have faculty adopt them with minimal changes while faculty expect researchers to work with them to adapt knowledge and materials for their unique instructional situations. We will explore this claim and the evidence found in the interview transcripts. We will also discuss implications for the educational research community.

C. R. Henderson and M. H. Dancy, Physics Faculty and Educational Researchers: Divergent Expectations as Barriers to the Diffusion of Innovations, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 149-152 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177045.

New Directions for Physics Education Research: A Broad Perspective Analysis
Melissa H. Dancy and Charles R. Henderson
AIP Conf. Proc. 818, pp. 153-156, doi:10.1063/1.2177046
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In this paper we introduce a framework that can be used to categorize instructional practices. We then use this framework to identify areas where mainstream Physics Education Research (PER) has embraced alternative ideas and areas where mainstream PER is more traditional. As an example we argue that while PER has embraced the practice of interactivity, it has neglected the practice of student autonomy. This is despite student autonomy being consistent with the goals of PER and being supported by research in other fields. We offer insights and implications based on this analysis.

M. H. Dancy and C. R. Henderson, New Directions for Physics Education Research: A Broad Perspective Analysis, 2005 PERC Proceedings [Salt Lake City, UT, August 10-11, 2005], edited by P. L. Heron, L. McCullough, and J. Marx [AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 153-156 (2006)], doi:10.1063/1.2177046.