Monday, February 27, 2012 - 16:00 to 17:00
Weniger 153
Event Speaker: 
Dr. Colin Wallace, Center for Astronomy Education (CAE), Steward Observatory, University of Arizona
Local Contact: 
Corinne Manogue

The fields of physics and astronomy education research (PER and AER) have made significant advances over the past several decades that have improved the learning students experience when taking course informed by this research. This research has had a profound impact on the way many college faculty think about and act on educational issues. In this talk, I will highlight some of the innovative collaborations and programs I have contributed to that I believe have helped advance PER and AER into new directions. These collaborations and programs include conducting fundamental research into students’ conceptual and reasoning difficulties on a variety of topics; utilizing advanced psychometric models from item response theory to measure students’ abilities from quantitative data; recruiting new science majors, teachers, and researchers from high-performing students in physical science classes; studying and improving students’ understandings of the role science plays in society; and delivering professional development opportunities for future and current faculty that elevate their abilities to implement research-validated instructional activities.