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Friends and Family Assignments

Friends and family assignments were first implemented by a graduate teaching assistant, Michele Crowl, to promote informal science teaching and learning experiences. These assignments require students to take what they have begun to learn in Physics 111 and teach others about physical phenomena. Sometimes the students are asked to teach their peers or parents, but they are always encouraged to teach children of the age they would like to teach in the future if they are able to do so. Depending on the type of assignment, students may be asked to interview their friends and family members, conduct experiments or activities with them, and/or explain science concepts to them in easy to understand language. By breaking down science concepts and activities, and by sharing them with friends and family, the students in Physics 111 get the opportunity to solidify knowledge and gain new insights about science and teaching. In this way, friends and family assignments become more than just teaching others; they become a process of self-discovery and learning! Students not only gain knowledge about science, but they also gain confidence in their teaching skills and abilities.

After conducting each friends and family assignment, students in Physics 111 write reflections about their experiences. Reflecting on the friends and family interactions can be beneficial to future teachers because it often helps them conceptualize the process of learning and teaching. Thinking about these strategies will likely enhance their future teaching practices.

Friends and Family Activities


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