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Physics Education Research Press Releases

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This is a promotional project from the PER Topical Group of the AAPT.  In order to help increase the visibility and appreciation of Physics Education Research (PER) with a broader audience, we are working to promote greater media visibility of PER. We are achieving this by writing press releases about studies that we think are likely to be of interest to reporters, and then distributing to journalists through various channels related to physics and science education. This project is run by Stephanie Chasteen (stephanie@sciencegeekgirl.com), a physics education researcher, with a background in science journalism and communication, who will be leading this effort with the help of an advisory committee.  

Members of the PER community can get involved in two ways:

  • Nominate studies for inclusion.  Studies must be forthcoming, or recently published.  See our criteria for nomination.
  • Help screen nominated studies for inclusion.  If you would like to serve on the committee, contact Stephanie (stephanie@sciencegeekgirl.com)

- Produced Press Releases -

3.  PROBLEM OF GENDER DIFFERENCES ON PHYSICS ASSESSMENTS REMAINS UNSOLVED.  October, 2013.

 In a new synthesis of past work, researchers found that women consistently score lower than men on common assessments of conceptual understanding of physics. However, no clear pattern emerged as to the possible factors accounting for these differences.

"The gender gap on concept inventories in physics:  what is consistent, what is inconsistent, and what factors influence the gap?", Adrian Madsen, Sarah B. McKagan and Eleanor C. Sayre, Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research.  To be published online November 7 (approx.)  Full article will be available online at http://prst-per.aps.org/.

 

2. EDUCATORS EXPLORE INNOVATIVE "THEATER" AS A WAY TO LEARN PHYSICS.  July, 2013.

 By role-playing how energy flows and changes, learners achieve rich insights about this central, globally-relevant concept.

"Negotiating energy dynamics through embodied action in a materially structured environment," Rachel Scherr, Hunter Close, Eleanor Close, Virginia Flood, Sarah McKagan, Amy Robertson, Lane Seeley, Michael Wittman and Stamatis Vokos, Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research, 9, 020105 (2013).   http://prst-per.aps.org/abstract/PRSTPER/v9/i2/e020105.


1.  FACULTY TRY INNOVATIVE TEACHING METHODS, BUT DON’T STICK WITH IT.  July, 2012.

 A study of physics faculty awareness and use of research-based instructional techniques offers greater understanding of what is missing from current education reform efforts.

 “Use of research-based instructional strategies in introductory physics: Where do faculty leave the innovation-decision process?”  Charles Henderson, Melissa Dancy, and Magdalena Niewiadomska-Bugaj, Phys. Rev. ST Physics Ed. Research 8, 020104 (2012). Published online July 31, 2012.  http://prst-per.aps.org/abstract/PRSTPER/v8/i2/e020104