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2010 Summer Meeting

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

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The Functions of Examples in Instruction
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 1:30 PM -2:00 PM
  Author: Tim Fukawa-Connelly, University of New Hampshire
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Examples are an important part of our teaching of mathematics and physics. Some of the ways that we might use examples in our teaching are to show how to use a formula, perform an algorithm, illustrate a theory, or help understand concepts. While these are relatively common, there are less common uses to which we might put examples that include having students recreate the fundamental ideas of our disciplines, develop their own original ideas, and develop ways of reasoning that support innovative thinking. In this presentation I will show examples of teachers in mathematics and physics drawing on different scientific functions that examples might serve in teaching at the university level. I will then suggest how instructor's uses of examples can communicate to students what it means to be a scientist, and, perhaps convey the wrong message about our respective disciplines. Or, good teaching may be leading to bad results?
  Footnotes: AAPT is sponsoring my presentation if that's what this box means.
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