Facilitating thinking and learning in and beyond the physics classroom
I will discuss, using my research in physics education, how research can be used as a guide to develop curricula and pedagogies to reduce student difficulties and for making physics equitable and inclusive. My research has focused on improving student understanding of introductory and advanced concepts, for example, in learning quantum mechanics. We are developing research-validated learning tools such as tutorials and peer instruction tools that actively engage students in the learning process. I will first discuss how we evaluate the effectiveness of these tools using a variety of methodologies. I will then describe our research studies that provide guidelines for how to enhance physics by making it inclusive. I will discuss how a field-tested short intervention was implemented at the beginning of a physics course and how it improved the performance of underrepresented students in introductory physics classes compared to the comparison group.