The Role of Problem Solving in Introductory Physics – Why, What, and How?

January 16, 3:15pm - 4:30pm
Mānoa Campus, Watanabe Hall, 112 Add to Calendar

Department of Physics and Astronomy Colloquium: Prof. Ken Heller, University of Minnesota, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy to speak on "The Role of Problem Solving in Introductory Physics – Why, What, and How?"

Preparing students to solve problems has long been recognized as one of the primary purposes of a university education. In addition, problem solving is often used as an important motivation and an assessment tool. Within the university, the introductory physics course is broadly believed to help achieve this purpose. This talk will describe the national focus on problem solving as an educational goal and frame the discussion of what teaching elements are essential to support student problem solving. At Minnesota, the Physics Department has focused on implementable, sustainable methods of improving student problem solving for over twenty years, especially in large introductory physics classes. Many of these techniques such as Cooperative Grouping and using Context-rich problems are in routine practice at Minnesota and have spread to other institutions and disciplines. This talk will try to frame a practical discussion about effectively using existing course structure and identifying missing elements in that structure to encourage students to develop strong problem solving behaviors while enhancing their conceptual learning.

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Event Sponsor
Physics and Astronomy, Mānoa Campus

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Dr. Frederick Harris, 808-956-2940,

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