Developed by: Dwain Desbian, Eric Brewe, Vashti Sawtelle, Daryl McPadden, Jason Dowd, Renee-Michelle Goertzen, Idaykis Rodriguez, Geoff Potvin, Seth Manthey, Jared Durden, Adrienne Traxler, Remy Dou, Eric Williams, Laird Kramer, David Jones Natan Samuels, Camila Monsalve, Daniela Gil, and John Pendas
middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school other
What? A curriculum and pedagogy that integrates lab and lecture into a learning environment where students build, test, deploy, and revise structural models. The content focuses on a few basic models to help students see physics as a coherent whole rather than a disconnected set of facts and equations.
Why? It engages students in building, testing, deploying, and revising models, which is the heart of the scientific process. It has been shown to improve conceptual reasoning, attitudes toward learning physics, retention, persistence, and degree completion, and to build supportive learning communities.
Why not? It was developed with a fully reformed curriculum in mind - integrated lab and lecture and active engagement. Lacking a studio classroom or the ability to integrate the different course components, would require adapting materials. It requires instructional change, which often is challenging.
Week 1 - Mechanics - In-Class Activity Plan
(There are six hours in each week):
Primary goals for the week: Assessment, Community Building Activity, Good Whiteboarding, Constant Motion
- 5 min – Introduction
PURPOSE: This is an introduction of you and the class briefly (learning names), discussion of the syllabus comes later.
- 50 min – CLASS, Force Concept Inventory, SNA
All three of these assessments are done in a row, and in the order listed.
- 15 min – Create Instructions to make a paper airplane
PURPOSE: Provide non-physics context to discuss role of representations, definitions, models. Establish framing for the course.
- 15 min – Board Meeting
(Have students gather in large circle with paper airplanes)
Questions to pose to the class:
1) What did you do to make the airplane?
2) Why would I do this on the first day of class?
- 20 min – Instructor led discussion (at tables)
PURPOSE: Get students familiar with course policies
- 20 min – Fundamentals of whiteboarding & Equipment Introduction
PURPOSE: Introduce equipment and data collection;
- 10 min Whiteboard – Equipment Introduction Activity
Instructions for collecting data with the motion sensors
How to use computers to represent data from motion sensors
- 20 min – Board Meeting
PURPOSE: Principles of good whiteboarding and board meetings
- 120 min – Investigating Constant Motion Lab
PURPOSE: Introduce velocity vs. time graphs & their interpretation; identify patterns among graphs; develop constant velocity model.
- 20 min Whiteboard – Investigating constant motion lab
PURPOSE: Summarize findings of constant motion investigation
- 45 min – Board Meeting
PURPOSE: Establish definitions of relevant quantities, establish patterns in constant velocity.
- Homework #2: Constant Motion Homework
PURPOSE: Practice using graphs to represent motion and interpreting graphs
- Week one – Mechanics
- Week two – Constant acceleration
- Week three – Becoming quantitative with constant acceleration
- Week four – Developing 2D motion
- Week five – Predicting 2D motion & energy
- Week six – Becoming quantitative with energy
- Week seven – Practice with energy and introduction to work
- Week eight – Investigating forces
- Week nine – Investigating forces part 2
- Week ten – Investigating frictional forces
- Week eleven – Investigating momentum
- Week twelve – Practicing with forces
- Week thirteen – Investigating spring forces & circular motion
- Week fourteen – Rotational motion & simple harmonic motion
Student skills developed
- Conceptual understanding
- Using multiple representations
- Building models
Instructor effort required
- Computers for students
- Advanced lab equipment
- Tables for group work
- Studio classroom
Modeling Instruction at Drexel University provides a brief overview of this method.
Eric Brewe's interview on Teach Better Podcast about Modeling Instruction
PhysPort's page on Modeling Instruction for High School Physics describes the same method designed for use in high school classrooms.
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
- E. Brewe, Inclusion of the Energy Thread in the Introductory Physics Curriculum: An Example of Long-Term Conceptual and Thematic Coherence, Arizona State University, 2002.
- E. Brewe, Modeling theory applied: Modeling Instruction in Introductory Physics, Am. J. Phys. 76 (12), 1155 (2007).
- E. Brewe, Energy as a substancelike quantity that flows: Theoretical considerations and pedagogical consequences, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 7 (2), 020106 (2011).
- E. Brewe, L. Kramer, and G. O'Brien, CLASS Shifts in Modeling Instruction, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2008, Edmonton, Canada, 2008.
- E. Brewe, L. Kramer, and G. O'Brien, Modeling instruction: Positive attitudinal shifts in introductory physics measured with CLASS, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 5 (1), 013102 (2009).
- E. Brewe, V. Sawtelle, L. Kramer, G. O'Brien, I. Rodriguez, and P. Pamelá, Toward equity through participation in Modeling Instruction in introductory university physics, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6 (1), 010106 (2010).
- E. Brewe, A. Traxler, J. de la Garza, and L. Kramer, Extending positive CLASS results across multiple instructors and multiple classes of Modeling Instruction, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9 (2), 020116 (2013).
- D. Desbien, Modeling Discourse Management Compared to Other Classroom Management Styles in University Physics, Arizona State University, 2002.
- R. Dou, E. Brewe, J. Zwolak, G. Potvin, E. Williams, and L. Kramer, Beyond performance metrics: Examining a decrease in students’ physics self-efficacy through a social networks lens, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 12 (2), 020124 (2016).
- R. Goertzen, E. Brewe, and L. Kramer, Expanded Markers of Success in Introductory University Physics, Int. J. Sci. Educ. 35 (2), 262 (2012).
- V. Sawtelle, E. Brewe, and L. Kramer, Positive Impacts of Modeling Instruction on Self-Efficacy, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2010, Portland, Oregon, 2010.
- V. Sawtelle, E. Brewe, and L. Kramer, Exploring the relationship between self-efficacy and retention in introductory physics, J. Res. Sci. Teaching 49 (9), 1096 (2012).
- A. Traxler and E. Brewe, Equity investigation of attitudinal shifts in introductory physics, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 11 (020132), (2015).