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Adapting to a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities in Undergraduate Physics Education
Committee on Undergraduate Physics Education Research and Implementation; Board on Physics and Astronomy; Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences; National Research Council
NAS Press | 2013 | ISBN: 0309283035 9780309283038 | 143 pages | PDF | 5 MB

This book examines and summarizes the present status of undergraduate physics education, including the state of physics education research, and, most importantly, to develop a series of recommendations for improving physics education that draws from the knowledge we have about learning and effective teaching.

Contents
SUMMARY
1 INTRODUCTION: PHYSICS IS AMAZING AND PRACTICAL AND MUST BE TAUGHT BETTER
Undergraduate Physics Education in a Rapidly Changing World
Technology—Engine of Change
Economic Forces
Changing the Educational Paradigm
Themes
Physics Is Fundamental and Foundational
Systemic Tensions
Major Challenges
Improvements Exist
Scientific Approach to Physics Education
Concluding Thoughts
References
2 THE CURRENT STATUS OF UNDERGRADUATE PHYSICS EDUCATION
The Students
Undergraduate Education in General
Undergraduate Physics Education
Segments of the Physics Student Population
The Educational Landscape
Instructional Methods
Course Content and Program Structures
Recruiting and Retaining Students from Traditionally Underrepresented Groups
Preparing Future Teachers
Assessment
Faculty Development
Conclusions
References
3 PHYSICS EDUCATION RESEARCH AS A FOUNDATION FOR IMPROVING EDUCATION
A Brief Overview of the Field of Physics Education Research
Key Findings from Physics Education Research
Areas of Current and Emerging Emphasis in Research
Student Learning: Understanding, Reasoning, and Problem Solving
Learning to Learn Physics
The Role of Physical and Social Environments in Learning Physics
Participation and Achievement of Students from Groups Traditionally Underrepresented in Physics
Preparation of Future Physics Teachers
Assessing Progress
Scaling and Sustaining Research-Supported Instructional Strategies
Conclusion
References
4 RECOMMENDATIONS
Physics Faculty
Detailed Recommendations for Individual Physics Faculty
Departmental Leadership
Detailed Recommendations for Physics Department Leadership
Academic Administrators
Detailed Recommendations for Higher-Level Academic Administrators
Funding Agencies
Detailed Recommendations for Funding Agencies
Education Researchers
Detailed Recommendations for Education Researchers
Professional Societies
Detailed Recommendations for Professional Societies
Conclusions
References
APPENDIXES
A Statement of Task
B Meeting Agendas
C Biographies of Committee Members
D Additional Suggested Reading Material


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