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Abstract Title: How instructors leverage the unpredictable in their classrooms
Abstract: The physics education research community is notable for the many research based instructional strategies (RBISs) it has produced.  The broader science and math education research literatures suggests a mechanism for the instructional success of our many RBISs: they create a classroom climate "...in which ideas bubble and effervesce...," a process sometimes referred to as "intellectual fermentation."  The success of such classes requires delicate management, as they present instructors with an unpredictable context in which many on the fly decisions must be made. RBIS instructors must navigate the messiness of this fermentation process, attempting to carefully guide it without controlling it. Despite their importance, our research community has paid scant attention to the challenges, decisions, and actions behind this guidance. We investigated a series of episodes from our own classrooms to investigate the nature of the instructional challenges that RBIS instructors are confronted with.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: B30

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jon Gaffney
Hamilton College
198 College Hill Rd.
Taylor Science Center
Clinton, NY 13323
and Co-Presenter(s)
Paul Hutchison, Grinnell College