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Abstract Title: Re-defining lab norms via professional learning communities of physics teachers
Abstract: We present a study of a large-scale intervention designed to shift lab instruction away from tightly prescribed lab norms. The intervention was implemented in a network of Professional Learning Communities of Israeli high-school physics teachers (N=250) operating in a high-stakes exam setting with limited resources, and catering to diverse groups of students. An introductory questionnaire examined the lab goals that the teachers valued, revealing a gap between teachers' optimal lab goals and prevailing ones, in particular as concerns experimental design. The intervention addressed both teachers' interest in change as well as the constraints imposed by the setting in which they work, by: a) modest restructuring of traditional labs: encouraging students to reflect on the considerations underlying the experimental design; b) involving teachers in collaborative reflection on classroom enactments of the restructured labs. Indeed, most teachers chose to carry out the restructured labs. We will describe barriers and affordances that the teachers identified when reflecting on their experience.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Establishing scientific norms in the lab: a spotlight on the instructor
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Smadar Levy
Weizmann Institute of Science
and Co-Presenter(s)
Zehorit Kapach, Esther Magen, and Edit Yerushalmi