developed by: Fred Goldberg, Valerie Otero and Steve Robinson
middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school other
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.
- Chapter 1: Interactions and Energy introduces students to all of the common themes of the course, in particular the themes of interactions between objects and the energy description of interactions.
- Chapter 2: Interactions and Forces introduces students to an alternative framework (that of forces) within which they can explain interactions they first see in Chapter 1 that involve objects pushing or pulling on one another.
- Chapter 3: Interactions and Fields introduces students to the ideas of "fields of influence" mediating interactions that can occur over a distance, specifically the magnetic, electric charge and gravitational interactions. The concept of potential energy is also introduced.
- Chapter 4: Model of Magnetism concentrates on the nature of science as students develop a model for magnetism, and then track its evolution among elementary students and historically, among scientists.
- Chapter 5: Electric Circuit Interactions introduces students to electric circuit interactions and how to describe electric circuits in terms of energy and current.
- Chapter 6: Light Interactions introduces students to light interactions. Students examine the interaction of light with mirrors, eyes, transparent objects, white and black objects, and objects of different colors.
Student skills developed
- Conceptual understanding
- Using multiple representations
- Making real-world connections
Instructor effort required
- Computers for students
- Advanced lab equipment
- Cost for students
- Tables for group work
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
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
- retention of students
- success of underrepresented groups
- performance in subsequent classes
- cycle of research and redevelopment
- student interviews
- classroom observations
- analysis of written work
- research at multiple institutions
- research by multiple groups
- peer-reviewed publication
- F. Goldberg and S. Bendall, Making the invisible visible: A teaching/learning environment that builds on a new view of the physics learner, Am. J. Phys. 63 (11), 978 (1995).