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Conference

Physics Education Research Conference 2018

August 1, 2018 - August 2, 2018 in Washington, DC

Having Wonderful Ideas: Connecting the Content, Outcomes, and Pedagogies of Physics

Many physics instructors have educational goals for their students that go beyond understanding physics concepts and problem-solving approaches. These goals can include understanding how physics knowledge is generated, understanding how to learn difficult concepts, learning more general problem-solving skills, developing confidence in physics/science, and developing a physics identity. Our conference theme is inspired by an educational goal articulated by Eleanor Duckworth, a goal connected to the ones just mentioned but different in flavor:  "The having of wonderful ideas is what I consider the essence of intellectual development. And I consider it the essence of pedagogy to give [students] the occasion to have [their] wonderful ideas and to let [them] feel good about [themselves] for having them." What does "having wonderful ideas" mean in physics courses and other physics learning environments?  Sessions at PERC 2018 will explore this question by focusing on both learners (including students and teacher-learners) and classrooms . At the student level: What are the various ways in which student ideas in physics are wonderful? In what ways can students' ideas challenge our sense of what "counts" as physics? How do our assessments capture wonderful aspects of student thinking? At the classroom level: How do the learning outcomes we identify help us articulate what is wonderful about physics? What are the different ways in which our classrooms are wonderful places to be? Discussing these questions can help us better refine and articulate our goals as physics educators and physics education researchers.

Conference Organizers

Amy Robertson
Leslie Atkins Elliott
Andy Elby
Jen Richards