Physics and Everyday Thinking

developed by: Fred Goldberg, Valerie Otero and Steve Robinson

middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school   other

 Intro College Conceptual

Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism  Waves / Optics
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Lab  Studio

What? A guided-inquiry conceptual physics course that helps students develop a deep conceptual understanding of big ideas in physics through small groups, whole-class discussion and laboratory work. Incorporates activities that focus on the nature of science and the nature of learning.

Student skills developed

Designed for:
  • Conceptual understanding
  • Using multiple representations
  • Metacognition
Can be adapted for:
  • Making real-world connections

Instructor effort required

  • Medium

Resources required

  • Computers for students
  • Advanced lab equipment
  • Cost for students
  • Tables for group work

Developer's website: PET
Bronze Validation
This is the third highest level of research validation, corresponding to:
  • at least 1 of the "based on" categories
  • at least 1 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
  • at least 1 of the "studied using" categories
(Categories shown below)

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • theories of how students learn
  • student ideas about specific topics

Demonstrated to Improve:

  • conceptual understanding
  • problem-solving skills
  • lab skills
  • beliefs and attitudes
  • attendance
  • retention of students
  • success of underrepresented groups
  • performance in subsequent classes

Studied using:

  • cycle of research and redevelopment
  • student interviews
  • classroom observations
  • analysis of written work
  • research at multiple institutions
  • research by multiple groups
  • peer-reviewed publication