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Using physics identity to understand students’ experiences in high school and introductory university physics courses
Robynne Lock, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University - Commerce

Physics identity provides a useful framework for understanding students’ experiences in physics classes and for understanding their career goals. Physics identity consists of three dimensions: recognition, interest, and performance/competence, and can be described as the extent to which a person sees themselves as a “physics person”. In this presentation, I will discuss two contexts in which the physics identity framework provides insight. The first context is an introductory university physics course sequence. We investigated the impact of the transition from a traditional lecture/lab to a studio setting on both conceptual understanding and physics identity in the introductory calculus-based physics sequence at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Furthermore, because studio physics relies on students working in groups, creating effective groups in studio classes is critical to maximizing success. We analyzed videos of groups in introductory physics at A&M-Commerce in order to identify trends of effective group work in studio physics. Another context in which physics identity is useful is in examining the factors that affect students’ career decisions. This is of key importance when developing methods to recruit women into physics. STEP UP 4 Women is an ambitious project with the goal of increasing the representation of women in physics by mobilizing and supporting high school physics teachers nationwide to recruit young women to become physics majors through strategies that support the physics identity development of young women. The results of the pilot study include analysis of effects on future physics intentions in addition to physics identity as well as an investigation of students’ career goals.

Kelsey wins Excellence in Teaching Award
November 16, 2018
Kelsey wins Excellence in Teaching Award

PhD student Kelsey Funkhouser has been awarded an Excellence-in-Teaching Citation from the College of Natural Science.

Vashti Publishes Article About an Analytic Framework to Characterize Student Reasoning
September 5, 2018
Vashti Publishes Article About an Analytic Framework to Characterize Student Reasoning

PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle, PERL alumni K.K. Mashood, and colleagues have published an article in Life Science Education title Developing an Analytical Framework to Characterize Student Reasoning about Complex Processes.

Angie publishes article in The Physics Teacher
August 30, 2018
Angie publishes article in The Physics Teacher

Angie Little and colleague published a paper in The Physics Teacher titled On the Importance of Engaging Students in Crafting Definitions.

Dr. Alanna Pawlak Defends Her PhD!
July 23, 2018
Dr. Alanna Pawlak Defends Her PhD!

Dr. Alanna Pawlak Defends Her PhD!

Katie Publishes Article on a Critical Look at Physics Identity
June 1, 2018
Katie Publishes Article on a Critical Look at Physics Identity

Prof. Katie Hinko and her collaborators, Simone Hyater-Adams, Claudia Fracchiolla, Noah Finkelstein, have published an article investigating a framework for examining race and physics identity.

Vashti Publishes Article on Modeling Instruction for University Physics
May 11, 2018
Vashti Publishes Article on Modeling Instruction for University Physics

PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle and colleagues have published an article on Modeling Instruction for University Physics in the European Journal of Physics

Dr. Daryl McPadden Defends Her PhD!
March 21, 2018
Dr. Daryl McPadden Defends Her PhD!

Daryl McPadden successfully defended her PhD. Congratulations Daryl!

PERL Members Publish 10 PERC Papers
March 13, 2018
PERL Members Publish 10 PERC Papers

We're proud to annouce that the PERL Team has contributed to 10 PERC Papers in 2017.

Prof. Katie Hinko Wins $10,000 S3 Grant
February 8, 2018
Prof. Katie Hinko Wins $10,000 S3 Grant

Prof. Katie Hinko is leading a team that was awarded a $10,000 Science and Society @ State grant. Working with Prof. Megan Halpern, their project titled: Hidden Value: Investigating the Physics Demonstration as Aesthetic Experience looks to explore physics demonstrations as meaningful experiences.

Angie publishes in Journal of Science Teacher Education
February 2, 2018
Angie publishes in Journal of Science Teacher Education

Angie Little and colleagues published a paper in the Journal of Science Teacher Education titled: Building Reflective Practices in a Pre-service Math and Science Teacher Education Course That Focuses on Qualitative Video Analysis