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Topic: Physics Education Research (PER) Could Use More PR
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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,217
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
Physics Education Research (PER) Could Use More PR
Posted: Dec 11, 2011 1:39 PM
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att1.html (6.1 K)

Some subscribers to MathEdCC might be interested in "Physics
Education Research (PER) Could Use More PR" [Hake (2011)]. The
abstract reads:

***********************************************
ABSTRACT: PhysLrnR's Bill Goffe wrote (paraphrasing): "PHYSICS
EDUCATION RESEARCH (PER) COULD USE MORE PR. In the last year I've
only seen PER in the popular press twice: (1) a slew of reports on
'Improved Learning in a Large Enrollment Physics Class' [Deslauriers,
Schelew, and Wieman (2011) <http://bit.ly/sNVYKI>, and (2) 'Don't
Lecture Me' <http://bit.ly/vw3b5H> broadcast on local NPR stations.
As I understand it, JOURNALISTS DON'T SO MUCH READ THE SCIENTIFIC
LITERATURE (OR LISTSERVS!) BUT GET IDEAS PITCHED TO THEM. I would bet
that an awful lot of pitching was done for Deslauriers et al. - it
suddenly appeared in numerous publications. It would seem that more
needs to be done along these lines."

Among the reports on Deslauriers et al. were: (a) "Study: It's not
teacher, but method that matters" [Borenstein (2011)] in the
"Associated Press"; (b) "Less Talk, More Action: Improving Science
Learning" [Carey (2010)] in the New York Times; (c) "An Alternative
Vote: Applying Science to the Teaching of Science" in "The Economist"
(2011)]; (d) "A Better Way to Teach?" [Mervis (2011)] in
"ScienceNOW"; (e) "The Worst Way to Teach" [Bressoud 2011a)]; and
(f) "The Best Way to Learn" [Bressoud 2011b)], the last two in the
"Lauchings" column of the "Mathematical Association of America."

Consistent with Goffe's idea that PER needs more PR, the
*non-physicists* Daniel Willingham <http://bit.ly/p8aPpM> and James
Stigler <http://bit.ly/ofJSwU> interviewed by Carey (2011); and Jere
Confrey <http://bit.ly/pZXKm1> interviewed by Mervis (2011) revealed
no acquaintance with any physics education research other than
Deslauriers et al., even despite many references to such research in:
(1) Deslauriers et al. (2011); and (2) many articles dating back to
2001 in influential journals including "Science."

Unfortunately, the two examples of PER in the popular press cited
above by Goffe both contain substantive errors: (a) Deslauriers et
al. erroneously claim that "As reviewed by Froyd (2007) other science
and engineering classroom studies report effect sizes less than 1.0;
(b) David Hestenes at <http://bit.ly/ncfVQI> in the "Don't Lecture
Me" <http://bit.ly/vw3b5H> broadcast, erroneously states ". . .Eric
Mazur was unusual. He was the first one who took it. . . . .[[Halloun
& Hestenes (1985a)]]. . . . to heart."
***********************************************

To access the complete 25 kB post please click on <http://bit.ly/uQ7X5U>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the
Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
<rrhake@earthlink.net>
<http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~hake>
<http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~sdi>
<http://HakesEdStuff.blogspot.com>
<http://iub.academia.edu/RichardHake>

"There is substantial evidence that scientific teaching in the
sciences, i.e., teaching that employs instructional strategies that
encourage undergraduates to become actively engaged in their own
learning, can produce levels of understanding, retention and transfer
of knowledge that are greater than those resulting from traditional
lecture/lab classes. But widespread acceptance by university faculty
of new pedagogies and curricular materials still lies in the future."
Robert DeHaan (2005) in "The Impending Revolution in
Undergraduate Science Education,"


REFERENCES [All URL's shortened by <http://bit.ly/> and accessed on 7
Dec 2011.]
DeHaan, R.L. 2005. "The Impending Revolution in Undergraduate Science
Education," Journal of Science Education and Technology 14(2):
253-269; online as a 152 kB pdf at <http://bit.ly/ncAuQa>.

Hake, R.R. 2011. "Physics Education Research (PER) Could Use More PR"
online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://bit.ly/uQ7X5U>. Post
of 7 Dec 2011 13:45:18-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and
link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion
lists and are on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/uLyLzz>
with a provision for comments.




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