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Abstract Title: "Collectively, we're a genius": Teachers discussing student difficulties*
Abstract: In a teacher professional development meeting, teachers were asked a question about potential energy and then to discuss why students might give a particular response to it. Working together in a large group, they came up with a rich, nuanced description of student reasoning, touching on multiple ways of thinking about energy, and how these might affect student responses. As PD organizers, we (the authors) had predicted 3 or 4 different explanations of the most common incorrect answer. Teachers came up with several more. Their answers included ideas in the literature (related to time, effort, and work, for example) and ideas not in the literature (such as a wonderfully compelling reverse deficit model of energy). We find that bringing teachers together and sharing student data within a facilitated community lets teachers arrive at surprising insights about how their students think about energy.

* Funded in part by NSF MSP 0962805 and DRL 1222580.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Michael C. Wittmann
University of Maine
5709 Bennett Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5709
Phone: 207-581-12327
and Co-Presenter(s)
Carolina Alvarado, University of Maine
Laura A. Millay, University of Maine

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster