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Abstract Title: On the Interaction of Physics with Physics Education Research
Abstract: In the decade after completing my doctoral degree in theoretical nuclear physics, myprofessional interests changed from how elementary particles interacted with nuclei to how students learned physics. To use an optical metaphor, my physics lenses helped me focus on some aspects of how students learned the discipline of physics. Identifying isolated systems, looking for causal mechanisms, and adapting models of interactions are examples of physics approaches that (I brought to/guided) my journey of understanding this new field. Yet my physics lenses left other aspects out of focus and even out of my field of view. To notice and pay attention to these aspects, I needed other lenses.  Examples of these are the philosophy of education with respect to teaching and learning, the history of science with respect to how disciplines advance, and cognitive psychology with respect to the role of students' knowledge in learning. I will draw from my own experience in moving from physics into the practice of science education to illustrate the interaction of physics with physics education research.
Abstract Type: Plenary

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Peter W Hewson
University of Wisconsin-Madison