home - login - register

PERC 2018 Abstract Detail Page

Previous Page  |  New Search  |  Browse All

Abstract Title: Improving the Content and Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Physics Graduate Students Using Physics Education Research
Abstract: Many physics graduate students face the unique challenge of being both students and teachers concurrently. To succeed in these roles, they must develop both physics content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Our research has involved improving both the content knowledge and PCK of first year graduate students. To improve their content knowledge, we have focused on improving their conceptual understanding of materials covered in upper-level undergraduate courses since our earlier investigations suggest that many graduate students struggle in developing a conceptual understanding of quantum mechanics. Learning tools, such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials (QuILTs), have been successful, e.g., in helping graduate students improve their understanding of Dirac notation and single photon behavior in the context of a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer. In addition, we have been enhancing our semester long course focusing on the professional development of the teaching assistants (TAs) by including research-based activities. Implications of these interventions for the preparation of graduate students will be discussed.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Researching Graduate Education in Physics: From Aspiration to Dissertation
Parallel Session: Parallel Sessions Cluster II

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Emily Marshman
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
and Co-Presenter(s)
Chandralekha Singh