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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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EF02:

Reforming Physics for Biologists and Pre-Meds: Disciplinary Barriers
  Location: SS 104
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 1:35 PM -1:55 PM
  Author: Edward Redish, University of Maryland
301-405-6120, redish@umd.edu
  Co-Author(s): Todd J. Cooke , Wolfang Losert , Karen Carleton
  Abstract: The calls from the biology and medical communities for reform of undergraduate biology education [1] requests that support courses be reformed as well. At the University of Maryland, the Physics and Biology Education Research Groups [2] have been discussing these issues and interviewing students in physics and biology classes. We find that adapting physics classes for biology students and including physics in biology classes is going to be harder than it appears on the surface. There are epistemological differences in the way both students and professionals in biology and physics think about their science, differences in the way they use math, and differences in the way they think about fundamental concepts. These differences create barriers to reform. Additional barriers arise when chemists and mathematicians are included. Bridging these disciplinary barriers to create effective reform is going to require creativity, open minds, and a willingness to communicate.
  Footnotes: [1] http://umdberg.pbworks.com/w/page/27519347/Documents-on-Biology-Education-Reform [2] http://www.physics.umd.edu/perg/; http://umdberg.pbworks.com/w/page/8039417/FrontPage
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