Toggle Accessibility Tools

Abhilash and Vashti publish paper about operationalizing relevance in physics education

PERL alumnus Abhilash Nair and PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle publish Operationalizing relevance in physics education: Using a systems view to expand our conception of making physics relevant in Physical Review Physics Education Research.

Abstract: A common hope of many physics educators and researchers is that students leave the course with a stronger sense that physics is relevant to them than when they entered the course. Multiple survey measures have attempted to measure shifts in students’ beliefs on the relevance of physics but frequently the results show a negative shift in students’ beliefs and are often reported as a failure of students to “see the relevance.” We challenge this view by highlighting the limitations of attitudinal and epistemological surveys’ ability to probe relevance. We then articulate a more expansive view of relevance using ecological systems theory that serves as a lens we apply to analyze students’ experiences. Instead of deficit-framing students’ abilities or challenging their beliefs about the relevance of physics, we show how incorporating their rich disciplinary experiences can make physics classrooms truly more relevant.

Share this story

Upcoming Events

September 23, 2020 PER Seminar PER Seminar

Bethany Wilcox
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 3:00pm on Zoom
Password: perseminar

Title: Understanding and measuring student learning across time, content, and educational context

October 21, 2020 PER Seminar PER Seminar

Mary Bridget Kustusch
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 3:00pm on Zoom
Password: perseminar

Title: Supporting the development of emerging STEM education researchers

November 11, 2020 PER Seminar PER Seminar

Gina Quan
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at 3:00pm on Zoom
Password: perseminar

Title: Students' exploring and refining their equity ethic within the Access Network

December 9, 2020 PER Seminar PER Seminar

Katemari Rosa
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 3:00pm on Zoom
Password: perseminar

Title: PER in a post-truth era: whose science is being denied?

...more events