Mar 18, 2019
Dr. Eric Brewe from Drexel University will give a lecture titled "Engaging Students in Modeling Instruction."
Physics Education Research is both about improving instruction and understanding the
fundamentals of what learning is and how learning manifests in its many forms. In this talk I
describe the development of Modeling Instruction (MI) for University Physics as a research
endeavor into improving instruction. Modeling is built on the idea that all science proceeds
through an iterative process of model development, evaluation, deployment, and revision.
Accordingly, effective science instruction should promote the development of modeling skills by
engaging students in the practices of modeling. I describe research within the context of MI
classes as the basis for understanding learning broadly. Over the course of this talk I will
summarize the theoretical foundations for MI, and describe research that translates the theory
into practice in the MI classroom. Drawing on the MI classroom as a context for research, I will
report on findings including: improved conceptual understanding, positive attitudinal shifts, the
growth of student networks, and even changes to the neurobiology that underpins physics
reasoning. Finally, I will describe how these research findings drive further questions and
understanding of learning generally.
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