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

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Building a Sustainable Learning Environment in a Physics Classroom
  Location: HC 3023 & 3023A
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 8:30 AM -8:40 AM
  Author: David Brookes, Florida International University
  Co-Author(s): Yuhfen Lin
  Abstract: In the words of Sugata Mitra, “Education is a self-organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon.” If we take this to the extreme: good teaching has little to do with what we teach or how we teach it. What we should be concerned with is designing a learning environment that will encourage the spontaneous emergence of learning. In this talk I will present a) some initial ideas about how we can model a physics course as a self organizing system, and b) an ongoing two-year experiment to design a physics learning environment that promotes emergent learning. Our initial results show that students are learning the content at a level that is comparable to other reformed courses, developing positive attitudes toward physics, and developing their identities as learners, knowers, and physicists. Most importantly, students have developed the ability to learn on their own.
  Footnotes: None
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