Workshop on the Status of the Upper-Division Physics Curriculum

June 5-7, 2014
Corvallis, OR

Oregon State University plans to host a seminal workshop to define the current state of the upper-division physics curriculum, share lessons learned, and evaluate the potential for growth of this emerging field.

This workshop will invite a deliberately varied group of participants to take a multi-faceted look at the upper-division. The workshop will be kept small (~50 participants) to encourage interactions and discussion.

Participants will include:

  • faculty teaching upper-division courses from diverse institutions;
  • curriculum developers;
  • textbook authors;
  • physics education researchers;
  • developers of assessment tools;

as well as experts in:

  • professional development of collegiate faculty;
  • adoption issues;
  • connections with partner disciplines, especially mathematics;

and representatives of:

  • dissemination venues (including journal editors);
  • professional societies;
  • and funding agencies.

The purpose of this workshop is to make a broad assessment of the current state of curriculum development and education research in physics at the upper-division level. Expert participants will identify desired goals and student learning outcomes for the curriculum as a whole, with particular emphasis on electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics/statistical mechanics. Common student difficulties will be shared and discussed. The current status of curricular materials and physics education research will be assessed. Barriers to adoption of curriculum reform and opportunities for building community around future work will be explored.

In preparation for the meeting, ComPADRE will spearhead working with the participants to update and organize upper-division curricular materials and PER references on the NSDL. A variety of mechanisms for communicating the results of the conference will be pursued, including dissemination via ComPADRE.

Oregon State University Paradigms in Physics NSF APS AAPT ComPADRE