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A critical examination of "expert-like" in physics education research
written by Anna McLean Phillips and Christine O'Donnell
The growing push to address the lack of diversity in physics has come with an array of curriculum reforms and interventions. There has been work in Physics Education Research (PER) that has supported these reforms, including studying the experiences and identity development of students from minoritized backgrounds. However, there has been a lack of critical reflection on the core methodologies and constructs used in PER. Here, we present a critical analysis of qualitative and quantitative work used to define and measure "expert-like" thinking, beliefs, and practices in physics. We show that this work has largely omitted any consideration of race or cultural backgrounds of participants, instead defining "experts" as either physics faculty or Ph.D. holders. Research in critical theory demonstrates that failing to intentionally address potential biases tends towards reinforcing those biases. Thus, work in PER on expert-like thinking may unintentionally replicate, rather than challenge, existing biased structures in physics. We conclude with recommendations for constructing more inclusive views of what it means for students to develop "expert-like" thinking.
Physics Education Research Conference 2021
Part of the PER Conference series
Virtual Conference: August 4-5, 2021
Pages 339-346
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
- Problem Solving
= Expert-Novice Comparisons
- Research Design & Methodology
= Evaluation
- Societal Issues
= Cultural Issues
= Race Issues
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
- Lower Undergraduate
- Graduate/Professional
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2021…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2021.pr.Phillips
Keyword:
PERC 2021
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created October 4, 2021 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
October 7, 2021 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 10, 2021
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Record Link
AIP Format
A. Phillips and C. O'Donnell, , presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference, 2021, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15778&DocID=5507).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Phillips and C. O'Donnell, A critical examination of "expert-like" in physics education research, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference, 2021, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15778&DocID=5507>.
APA Format
Phillips, A., & O'Donnell, C. (2021, August 4-5). A critical examination of "expert-like" in physics education research. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15778&DocID=5507
Chicago Format
Phillips, Anna, and Christine O'Donnell. "A critical examination of "expert-like" in physics education research." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference, August 4-5, 2021. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15778&DocID=5507 (accessed 8 December 2022).
MLA Format
Phillips, Anna, and Christine O'Donnell. "A critical examination of "expert-like" in physics education research." Physics Education Research Conference 2021. Virtual Conference: 2021. 339-346 of PER Conference. 8 Dec. 2022 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15778&DocID=5507>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Anna Phillips and Christine O'Donnell", Title = {A critical examination of "expert-like" in physics education research}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2021}, Pages = {339-346}, Address = {Virtual Conference}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {August 4-5}, Year = {2021} }
Refer Export Format

%A Anna Phillips %A Christine O'Donnell %T A critical examination of "expert-like" in physics education research %S PER Conference %D August 4-5 2021 %P 339-346 %C Virtual Conference %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15778&DocID=5507 %O Physics Education Research Conference 2021 %O August 4-5 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings %A Phillips, Anna %A O'Donnell, Christine %D August 4-5 2021 %T A critical examination of "expert-like" in physics education research %B Physics Education Research Conference 2021 %C Virtual Conference %P 339-346 %S PER Conference %8 August 4-5 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15778&DocID=5507


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