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Thesis Detail Page

written by Danny Doucette
Labs have long been considered an important component of physics education. However,
while there has been progress in transforming physics education in physics lecture classes to improve student learning, less progress has been made in introductory physics labs. At the same time, the physics community has come to recognize that there is a need to transform instruction in order to improve equity and inclusion in the discipline. Inequities may be manifested in the curriculum, the instruction or, especially, interactions between students. In physics labs, where students typically work collaboratively in groups of 2-4 students, some of these inequities may be especially salient. This dissertation addresses the question of equity in introductory physics labs by considering student interactions, curriculum, and professional development for lab instructors. I report on qualitative studies that sought to outline mechanisms by which inequities are perpetuated and exacerbated in introductory labs, such as gendered task division, isolation, and stereotype threat. I conducted quantitative analyses to assess the impact of task division and diversity on student performance. I performed case studies of two lab transformations, shedding light on what works, and what slips through the cracks, when lab instruction is transformed. I analyzed the impact of transformed labs on student attitudes toward experimental physics, and I advance a framework for designing lab curricula and lessons to improve student learning. I developed and analyzed an approach to providing professional development for graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) who served as lab instructors. Finally, I analyzed student reflections about the impact of the transition to online learning.
University: University of Pittsburgh
Academic Department:  Department of Physics and Astronomy
Pages 255
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Inquiry Learning
- Curriculum Development
= Laboratory
Education - Basic Research
- Learning Theory
= Cognitive Apprenticeship
- Sample Population
= Instructor: Pre-service
= Instructor: TA
- Societal Issues
= Gender Issues
- Teacher Characteristics
= Affect
= Pedagogical Content Knowledge
Other Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Mathematics
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Thesis/Dissertation
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Free access
Does not have a copyright, license, or other use restriction.
Courtesy of:
Doucette, D.
Constructivist Theory, Inquiry Process in Lab, Inquiry Process in Laboratory, Inquiry-based Labs, RIOT, Real-Time Physics study, Real-time Instructor Observation Tool
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 16, 2023 by Daniel Doucette
Record Updated:
March 3, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 8, 2021
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Record Link
AIP Format
D. Doucette, , Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2021, WWW Document, (http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/40940/).
D. Doucette, Equity and Introductory College Physics Labs, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2021, <http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/40940/>.
APA Format
Doucette, D. (2021, October 8). Equity and Introductory College Physics Labs (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2021). Retrieved February 28, 2024, from http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/40940/
Chicago Format
Doucette, Danny. "Equity and Introductory College Physics Labs." Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2021. http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/40940/ (accessed 28 February 2024).
MLA Format
Doucette, Danny. "Equity and Introductory College Physics Labs." Ph.D.. 8 Oct. 2021. University of Pittsburgh, 2021. 28 Feb. 2024 <http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/40940/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@phdthesis{ Author = "Danny Doucette", Title = {Equity and Introductory College Physics Labs}, School = {University of Pittsburgh}, Type = {Ph.D.}, Month = {October}, Year = {2021} }
Refer Export Format

%A Danny Doucette %T Equity and Introductory College Physics Labs %R Ph.D. %D October 8, 2021 %P 255 %I University of Pittsburgh %U http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/40940/ %O Department of Physics and Astronomy %O application/pdf %O Ph.D.

EndNote Export Format

%0 Thesis %A Doucette, Danny %D October 8, 2021 %T Equity and Introductory College Physics Labs %B Department of Physics and Astronomy %I University of Pittsburgh %P 255 %8 October 8, 2021 %9 Ph.D. %U http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/40940/

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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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