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Lecture Series: Scientists’ discussions about teaching and learning

Foto: privat
Prof. Heather Lewandowski

Students' views about the nature of experimental physics

Visiting Speaker: Prof. Dr. Heather Lewandowski (University of Colorado Boulder and JILA)

 

The physics community explores and explains the physical world through a blend of theoretical and experimental studies. The future of physics as a discipline depends on training of students in both the theoretical and experimental aspects of the field. However, while student learning within lecture courses has been the subject of extensive research, lab courses remain relatively under-studied. Until recently, there was little data available that addresses the effectiveness of physics lab courses at encouraging students to recognize the nature and importance of experimental physics within the discipline as a whole. To address this gap, we present the first large-scale study of undergraduate physics lab courses in the US through analysis of students' responses to a research-validated assessment designed to investigate students'

beliefs about the nature of experimental physics. We find that students often enter and leave physics lab courses with ideas about experimental physics that are inconsistent with the views of practicing experimental physicists, and this trend holds at both the introductory and upper-division levels. These finding have implications for the recruitment, retention, and adequate preparation of students in physics.

 

when: Monday, May 6th 2019 at 16:00

where: Golm, Haus 28, Hörsaal 0.108

contact: Dr. Micol Alemani (alemani@uni-potsdam.de)

Foto: privat
Prof. Heather Lewandowski

The first invited speaker of the series is professor H. Lewandowski. She is an associate professor at the physics department at the University of Colorado Boulder, associate chair and director of the engineering physics program, and a fellow at JILA.

Prof. Lewandowski conduces research in both fundamental experimental molecular physics as well as Physics Education Research (PER). She studies collisions and reactions of simple cold molecules and ions. In her PER, she investigates how students obtain experimental research skills in physics laboratories classes and in undergraduate research experiences. She has transformed the physics laboratory courses at University of Colorado at Boulder, incorporating modelling to the curriculum and allowing students to have a better transition into a research lab environment.

For her works in molecular physics and in PER, Prof. Lewandowski received several prizes and awards, including the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF Career Award, the University of Colorado Junior Faculty Development Award, the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in STEM Education at the University of Colorado. In 2019, her work in PER was recognized with the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the Wolff-Reichert Award for Advanced Laboratory Instruction Award.

 

more about Prof. Lewandowski: www.colorado.edu/physics/heather-lewandowski


Scientists’ discussions about teaching and learning.

 

‘Scientists’ discussions about teaching and learning’ is a series of lectures about teaching and learning at our Mathematics and Science Faculty.  The invited speakers are scientists which are engaged in the improvement of teaching and students learning in addition to leading their cutting-edge research activities (in physics, chemistry, biology, …).

 

The goals of this initiative are:

1.      Strengthen the scientific discourse about teaching and learning at our institution, closing the gap between research and teaching.

2.      Provide a series of best practice examples of successful scientists engaged concurrently in scientific research and in the research on students learning.

3.      Spread scientific results about teaching and learning which will help our faculty members and teaching staff to design new courses and curricula or improve existing ones.

4.      Connect the scientists who teach at our university in a scientific environment.

5.      Reach out to the international community about teaching and learning.

6.      Present our institution to international established scientists whereas the main invitation reason is to discuss teaching and learning.

 

Topics: Development of new curricula, presentation of new teaching methods, investigations of students’ learning in different learning environments and using different teaching methods.

 

Format: Successful scientists are invited for one-two days at our Institution.

Department/Institutes organize a scientific programme (field specific). The invited guests give a talk about teaching and learning followed by a discussion.