American expert in teaching of physics dictated the USM workshop

David Sokoloff, of the University of Oregon, worked with campus academic two active learning strategies, including the use of computers in rooms for classes and laboratories. Two active learning strategies, focused on the teaching of physics, are the ones that Maria presented the academic David Sokoloff, of the University of Oregon, during his visit to the Santa University. The expert issued on campus a workshop concerning the issue, with the assistance of House of studies teachers and other universities in the area.

the USM workshop

The first one, “Physical” in real time”, is intended to be implemented in laboratories, while the second,”Interactive demonstration classes”, can be developed in the own classroom. “But the learning cycle is the same in both,” said the expert.

“The students, since they are too young are in contact with physics: walking, bike riding, driving a car.” They are all physical experiences. And therefore, some ideas are formed in your head about it,”said. “To teach physics, it is important to recognize that these ideas are there and that we must correct them rather than deny them. You must leave behind the belief that all you need to do is to transmit content and that they understand them. “So it is more difficult, because you have to explain why what you believe is not correct and replace it by what is right”.

Professor Sokoloff said that in the past, who taught classes assumed that students understood that speaking of certain concepts, such as non-friction of Newton, is was referring to an ideal situation.

“But today, they don’t really understand this situation and make no differences, so very often become very erroneous conclusions. Replace those ideas is complex: research in the teaching of Physics in the last 15 or 20 years shows very clearly that the students will not change their ideas unless they first recognize what are and then see that many times don’t match what actually happens in the physical world. And how to see and find out what they think, is to make to predict things. That is the most complicated for them, because they’re used to sit and listen, but not to express their thoughts. It is vital that they do so, because otherwise they won’t change their points of view through the course, something that often happens with the traditional kind, where the teacher only transferred knowledge”, he explained.

The tech support

In both learning strategies, predictions of the students prior to an experiment are starting engine. Then, they should gather in pairs or trios to discuss them and reach an agreement, which will be put to the test when the experiment effectively carried out, either by themselves or in the laboratory by the teacher in the classroom. Finally, the results of the discussion and produced a general dialogue.

The big difference is that in doing experiments, now it boasts the technology: simply plug a microcomputer and a motion sensor to have an instant chart that cross the speed and time variables using a toy car, for example,. “Student can view then the movement and the chart at the same time, doing a very careful and precise association between the two. “And is proven that there are major differences between that and make the graph by hand, which takes many minutes”, clarified.

“The technology allows to teach otherwise. Because previously it was the experiment and graphic, and analysed; now, this chart can be instantly, and the student can make modifications, and test, adding mass, friction, etc. And that results in more graphics and more analysis,”exemplified. “Students can live a series of experiences in a short period of time. Instead of spending those minutes doing the graphic, used in its analysis. Technology power then active learning”.

With respect to the same workshop, the academic said that the participating teachers seemed “very aware. They worked pretty hard in the workshop and I believe that they are interested in seeing these different teaching methodologies. I know that similar things in the USM are doing to enhance active learning, so for me this University is clearly receptive to try new teaching methods and in my opinion teachers are highly qualified to do so, in addition to being very interested in the problems to be resolved.”

Professor David Sokoloff is the author of two methodologies mentioned above and has received several awards and recognitions from the global academic community. For example, a few years ago was awarded the award of excellence in teaching by the American Association of physical (APS) and the medal Millikan of the American Association of teachers of Physics (AAPT), entity years later chaired.