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Abstract Title: Epistemology in the hidden curriculum: Why should anyone care?
Abstract: The evidence is unequivocal: physics courses influence students' epistemological beliefs whether we intend this or not.  Unfortunately the influence is often negative in that students seem to move further away from the epistemic perspective of a physicist. We suggest that the physics curriculum, materials, learning activities, learning environment and assessments all send epistemic messages to our students. These are messages about the nature of physics and physics learning, and how physicists have come to know what they know. Such tacit messages form part of the hidden curriculum (Lin, 1982).  Science instructors often lament that science is too often presented as a 'rhetoric of conclusions' (Schwab, 1962) – but why should we care? Why should instructors concern themselves about anything beyond students' understanding of physics content and ability to solve problems? The purpose of this round table discussion will be to explore why one should care about students' epistemological development.
Abstract Type: Round Table Discussion

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: David T. Brookes
Florida International University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Saalih Allie, University of Cape Town
Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
David Hammer,  Univeristy of Maryland, College Park
Yuhfen Lin, Florida International University
Edward F. Redish, University of Maryland, College Park
David Schuster, Western Michigan University