Physical Science and Everyday Thinking

developed by: Fred Goldberg, Rebecca Kruse, Steve Robinson, Valerie Otero and Nephi Thompson

middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school   other

Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism  Thermal / Statistical
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Lab  Studio

What? A guided-inquiry conceptual physical science course that helps students develop a deep conceptual understanding of big ideas 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
  • Metacognition
Can be adapted for:
  • Making real-world connections
  • Using multiple representations

Instructor effort required

  • Medium

Resources required

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

Developer's website: PSET
This is the lowest level of research validation, corresponding to at least one of the validation categories 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