On Campus | Alumni
Over two decades ago, physics educators identified the three C’s as forces that were changing Physics and Physics teaching in profound ways. Computers, Communication, and Cognition would change the world, and Physics was taking the lead in all aspects. Computing was in a period in which it was advancing so rapidly that neither researchers nor educators could keep up. The internet was bursting upon the world, changing the way people communicate, and Physics did it first. Even in the cognitive sciences, much of the work was being done in understanding how physics concepts were learned and taught. In early 2011, the National Academy of Sciences formed a Committee on Undergraduate Physics Education Research and Implementation to review the progress in undergraduate physics education and see how well we had adapted to these forces. In 2013, our report, “National Academy of Sciences, Adapting to a Changing World--Challenges and Opportunities in Undergraduate Physics Education” was released. It was fair to say that the committees reaction was mixed. While Physics Education had continued to innovate and many of these innovative programs had been deployed, we were a bit disappointed that the change had not been as pervasive as the committee thought it should. We provided recommendations to the various stakeholders on what we thought could and should be done to allow Physics and Physics education to regain the momentum and prominence that we once had enjoyed. This was an optimistic report that saw how much had been accomplished, but it was also a report that advocated for an increased pace of change. We will discuss some of the issues raised in the report and some of the future opportunities (and challenges) in physics education –from studio or workshop courses, to flipped classrooms, to MOOCs.
Room: 161Physical Sciences (PS)