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2010 Summer Meeting

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

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Concept Mapping to Clarify Interdisciplinary Themes: An Example Using Osmosis
  Location: SS 104
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 2:15 PM -3:15 PM
  Author: Ji Shen, University of Georgia
  Co-Author(s): Craig C. Wiegert , Shannon Sung , Georgia Hodges
  Abstract: Boundaries between traditional academic disciplines often hinder students from integrating "big ideas" across subjects. In response to the growing need for college-level interdisciplinary education, we have assembled a diverse team of educators and education researchers (in physics, biology, physiology, and other STEM subjects) to investigate student understanding of interdisciplinary science topics. Important early steps in this project include identifying the pivotal concepts associated with a given topic, and developing a common understanding of the discipline-specific explanations of these concepts. We illustrate these steps applied to the topic of osmosis, a phenomenon often poorly understood by students and educators alike. We share our results in creating several iterations of an "expert" group concept map for osmosis. This collaborative process highlights different and often imprecise use of terminology; the challenges of developing an accurate common model; and several problems in understanding and communicating the underlying physical mechanism of selective diffusion.
  Footnotes: Sponsored by Craig Wiegert.
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